In this employee spotlight, we speak with Eden Taitt, Technical Support Engineer at Verkada. (And if you’re interested in joining us in our mission of making the world safer, check out our open positions!)
What’s different about working at Verkada?
The culture here is different from anywhere I’ve worked. It’s kind of like a family. When I joined, I moved to the Bay Area from Atlanta, and everyone on the team was so welcoming. They offered to show me around the city — places to live, places to eat. People are really accessible, too. For example, when I joined I didn’t have a lot of experience with SAML authentication or SCIM user provisioning, but a lot of tickets were coming my way that required me to learn those standards. So I reached out to my colleague Reese with my questions, and he didn’t hesitate to help. He shared his SAML and SCIM lab and taught me everything, from setup to troubleshooting. Since then, I’ve been able to help customers much more effectively, and I’ve become the team’s go-to for SAML and SCIM. It’s not something you see at every company — a colleague taking time out of their busy day just to help you improve your skills. But everyone’s like that here. If you want to learn something, people are always eager to share what they know, and then you can do the same for the next person.
“People are always eager to share what they know.”
What’s a difficult problem you have recently solved?
In February, I noticed that customers were experiencing similar network issues with our platform. These issues are not a huge deal — they happen. But I wanted to have a structured approach for troubleshooting them to make things as efficient as possible. Especially when new team members joined, I wanted them to apply the OSI model in a methodical way to make troubleshooting complex network issues easier. So I decided to create a troubleshooting checklist to walk people, step-by-step, through solutions to common problems. Over the few weeks I was developing the guide, I checked in with my manager, Ethan Cuttler, and showed it to a couple team members for their feedback. Not long after we published it and took it a step further: We wrote some code that automated certain aspects of the troubleshooting, which obviously makes tackling these specific issues more efficient. The experience has taught us a lot about how to automate workflows more broadly. So far, it’s worked well. Not only does the process make life easier for our team, it also helps us find resolutions more quickly, which makes for happier customers. The guide has become a part of people’s daily toolset, and we use it in onboarding training for new people as well.
Tell us about a big decision you recently made on your own.
We have a lot of freedom to work on things we are passionate about. If you like to create documentation and notice we could use a knowledge base article on something, either for the team or for customers, you can write one. If you like to work with Python and have an idea for a program to automate something we do manually, you can just run with it. I did that right after we launched a new live streaming service on our cameras, before we’d pushed this code to the fleet. A lot of beta customers were calling and asking us to enable it, because it improved image quality, but some of them had hundreds of cameras. Instead of upgrading them one by one, I wrote a script that let us do it for every camera in an organization with one click. I tested it out and asked one of my teammates to review it. Then I let the rest of the team know in our group chat — and now everyone’s using it.
“We have a lot of freedom to work on things we are passionate about”
Who at Verkada has taken a special interest in your success or development?
Since starting at Verkada, Ethan, my manager, has definitely helped me expand my skill set. On the technical side, he helped me get more familiar with Wireshark to troubleshoot network issues. I gained a deeper understanding of how networking works at a protocol level.
He also gave me the responsibility to create and implement a new-hire training process. I feel a sense of accomplishment because I have seen so many new people become successful from the training program I designed. By having this training process in place it has made onboarding for the team more effective, allowing new hires to get up to speed on our processes quickly and efficiently. We also get to experience things most people fresh out of college don’t get to do. I have had the opportunity to interview potential candidates and have a say in the hiring process. That is something unique to Verkada and the team. My entire experience at Verkada has been beneficial because it has opened my eyes to aspects of building a startup which I didn’t really think of when I first joined.
“My entire experience at Verkada has been beneficial because it has opened my eyes to aspects of building a startup which I didn’t really think of when I first joined.”
Interested in joining the Verkada team?