Sophos Community: Staff Spotlight - Raphael Alganes

In our staff spotlights, we get up close and personal with our amazing Sophos team members.

Up next is Raphael Alganes, Senior Global Community Support Engineer.

Let's Talk Career 

1. Can you tell us about your role at Sophos?  
I am a Senior Global Community Support Engineer. I am part of the Digital Customer Support team that monitors the Sophos Community and social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit. I help customers and partners resolve their technical support issues.  

2. How did you get to the role you're in now?  
Back in 2016 to 2018, I started contributing to the Sophos Community to share my expertise with others. In 2022, I saw that there was a job opening for the Global Community Support Engineer role on LinkedIn. I read through the job description and thought that this could be my chance to be part of the team for real.  

I took the opportunity and applied, and I am happy to be part of the Sophos Community, this time as one of its Global Community Support Engineers.  

3. What inspired you to get into IT and security?  
When I was in college, I watched Jeremy Cioara for the first time where he taught CCNA topics on CBT Nuggets. From then on, I was inspired to pursue this path because I found the concept of networks amazing. I said to myself that this would be my profession and I would help out mankind in building networks for us to communicate with our loved ones through technology.  

I want to be part of building it in my own special way and little did I know that network, network security, and security in general would all complement each other. The foundations learned from the CCNA topic would be useful in my day-to-day job. 

4. What do you enjoy most about your role?  
I love that we’re building an amazing Community spirit where it’s focused on helping people. Moreover, there’s also plenty of room to grow with supportive leaders and teammates who are with you every step of the way. 

5. What's something you've done during your time in the organization that you're proud of?  
One of my proudest moments was when I helped resolve an issue with Sophos UTM during the Holiday Season last year. I responded to a Community thread which in turn helped many customers resolve their issues during that time. It saved our customers’ time and also our technical support resources.  

I found it very fulfilling when I read one of the customer’s comments saying “The Magic of Christmas is here!” 

7. Describe a typical day in your Sophos life.  
First off, I get myself a cup of coffee and check emails. After that, I check the Sophos Community, specifically NSG forums, Sophos Firewall tags. My day-to-day tasks include checking responses, filtering out spam as necessary, and if some major concerns arise, ensuring that there’s documentation from the backend.  

For the rest of the day, I also monitor other Sophos Community’s Twitter and Reddit accounts. I also do internal coordination, and for the last hour of my shift, it’s reserved for proper turnover to the next Community Engineer on duty. 

8. What's the best advice you can give to someone who has just started their career?  
Don’t be shy to expand your reach. Networking is an important part of the job, and it goes a long way for your career. You can benefit from it whether it may be for guidance, skill mentoring, or career path. Believe in the power of networking, and many doors will open before you. 

Moreover, as much as you can, never burn bridges with anyone in the industry. The tech world is a small world, after all, and you never know when you’ll need a good friend for help. 

9. What would you do (for a career) if you weren't doing this?
Vlogging bike rides in the morning and do some gardening as my cooldown activity. In the afternoon, I imagine myself doing reviews and deep-dive analyses on pop culture, video games, movies, and anime.  

Role in the Sophos Community

10. What's a fun fact about you that you could share with the Community?
I’m a big basketball fan, an anime fan (my favorite is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba) and I’m officially a video game nerd.  
Fun fact: in 2021-2022, I was the record holder for the Philippines' best record on speedrunning Outlast (a horror game). My record was at 54:16 - full run and no glitch – as far as I remember. Blush 

11. Have you posted any Recommended Read guides on the Community?
One for now: Sophos Firewall: SSL/TLS Inspection on Mobile DevicesBut many more to come! Blush  

Who is Raphael outside of Work?

11. What are your hobbies outside of work?
My outdoor hobbies include walking, nature sightseeing, and biking. I also love watching anime and movies and playing video games. For the past three months, I’ve been into calisthenics as well.  

12. What’s something you’re planning on doing in the next year that you’ve never done 
I’m looking into trying out boxing or muay thai. I also envision myself traveling around the Philippines with my wife to learn how to do bird photography.

13. What's one thing you're really good at?
Playing basketball and playing competitive video games. 

14. If you could learn how to do anything, what would it be?  
I want to be better at gardening (like my wife, who has a green thumb) and be able to grow a self-sustaining homestead. 

15. Tell us about where you live (and your journey getting there - if applicable).
I live in Parañaque, South of Luzon. There’s nothing special here, just the airport close to our home, so that means I see and hear airplanes taking off and landing every single day. 

16. What's your favorite thing about where you live?
We’re close to the airport. 

17. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  
I’m genuinely curious about trying out exotic food. Anything at all! If you have any suggestions, share them below!  

18. Any favorite line from a movie?  
There are no accidents. We have not come here by chance. I do not believe in chance. I do not see coincidence, I see providence. I see purpose.” – Morpheus, The Matrix 

19. If you had a superpower, what would it be?  
Like the movie “Jumper”. Be able to travel anywhere with the speed of thought.