Inside Illumio is a monthly series that highlights the exceptional individuals behind Illumio’s world-class products. Each post will peek behind the scenes to spotlight a member of our team. Come get to know us a little better and learn more about what makes Illumio’s culture so unique.
This month, meet Rushabh Sanghvi, Staff Innovation Engineer at Illumio. Learn about the pivot his role at Illumio took after two years and why now is the time to join our CloudSecure team.
Tell us about yourself. What do you do at Illumio?
My name is Rushabh Ajit Sanghvi and I joined Illumio in 2018. I work in the office of the CTO as a Staff Innovation Engineer. Over the past four years, I’ve had two lives at Illumio: one before CloudSecure and one after CloudSecure. And they are both very different!
Initially, I was focused on technology exploration, researching and figuring out what technologies we will use in the Illumio Products in future. During that time, I came up with a few ideas that have since been patented. I also worked on our containers solution in its infancy and some proof of concepts for features that we wanted to add to Illumio Core.
Then, in 2020, my role changed just as the world was shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I became the first employee to focus on our agentless cloud solution, CloudSecure, under our co-founder and CTO PJ Kirner’s leadership. This is still my primary focus today—I breathe, think, and dream about CloudSecure around the clock.
What made you interested in working at Illumio?
At my previous company, I was working on an end-to-end systems team. I came across the role of Staff Innovation Engineer for the Office of the CTO at Illumio by way of our amazing recruiter, Cindy White, and it piqued my interest right away. I had no idea what the role meant, but based on the title and my first call with Cindy, I knew that the position would work very closely with PJ and that excited me. There are so few opportunities in your life to work directly with an executive day in and day out. I knew I had to jump at the chance.
What does a day in the life of Rushabh look like? What are you working on that excites you?
When I am wearing my technology exploration hat, I spend a lot of time researching and reading. I’m so deeply entrenched in our cloud offering that it’s up to me to categorically understand the different services and their underlying technologies in Azure, AWS, GCP, and beyond. Because of my deep technical knowledge in all things cloud, I am also often pulled into customer and prospect calls to share this expertise and to provide guidance.
As I mentioned previously, I was the first employee to work on CloudSecure, so I have done several different things in terms of product development. I have designed, written code, demoed to customers, helped customers with onboarding, incorporated feedback into feature requests, resolved issues, provided support where needed, and more. That’s one of the most exciting parts about our CloudSecure product. There are ample opportunities to roll up your sleeves and get deep into our technology as we refine and grow the offering over time.
As a staff innovation engineer, I get to work cross-functionally and provide support to many different teams. I have learned from PJ that success can be defined by the impact you have not just on your own team, but others as well. I always welcome the opportunity to work with others to solve any number of challenges. Nothing is insurmountable when we work as a team.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned at Illumio so far?
I have learned many things at Illumio thus far, but here are two which serve as my guiding principles:
1. Innovation is not a process, it’s a mindset. You don’t just wake up one day with a big idea and invent something new. Innovation requires a shift in your perception, a change in your thought process to look at something and first understand the problem before determining the best possible solution.
2. Unlearning is more difficult than learning. Sometimes you come with pre-existing opinions, thoughts, or knowledge that can muddy your judgement. Unlearning so you can learn something new is actually quite difficult and it’s something that I learned from PJ while building CloudSecure. When developing the product, I would use my past experiences to make assumptions about how the product should work. However, when I saw issues in that thought process, I had to actively unlearn, so I could creatively solve the current issue at hand.
What are you passionate about outside of your career?
I am an avid reader. I read historical and mythological fiction. Any novel recommendation I get in that genre from a family member or friend, I will action on. If I’m not reading, I am writing. I like to write short essays or short stories. Eventually, I would like to write a novel, but I’m still learning how to develop character arcs at the moment. Lastly, I also enjoy cooking. In Indian cooking, there are a set of curries that I often make. I enjoy starting from scratch, looking up multiple recipes online, and understanding the most suitable method to prepare the dish so that it turns out best. During the weekend, I can spend hours making a dish perfectly and enjoying it with friends and family.
Which Illumio core value resonates most with you and why?
My favorite core value is Run to Challenges which is a critical part of my role. Whenever someone experiences a challenge, either inside or outside Illumio, I face it head on and do whatever it takes to resolve the issue. I won’t quit until there is resolution.
I also identify with the core value of Build Trust. I am on so many customer calls and interact with our prospects daily, it’s imperative that I build trust right away to create a mutually trustworthy environment that can foster growth and success.
What do you want people to know about working at Illumio?
If there is ever an exciting time to Illumio, it is right now. Specifically for those interested in joining the CloudSecure team, we’re hiring for roles that allow you to work directly with PJ. If you want to understand how to execute on a long-term vision, how to think bigger than just a feature, how to build a truly cloud-native project that has the potential to secure thousands of customers across the globe, then you will certainly have the opportunity to do here. The opportunity before us couldn’t be greater.
Interested in joining the team? Check out our career openings.