Sophos Community: Staff Spotlight - Aaron Bugal

Our staff spotlight is our blog series where we get up-close and personal with our amazing team members at Sophos.

Up next is , Global Solutions Engineer.

Let's Talk Career

1. Can you tell us about your role at Sophos?
My title here at Sophos is Global Solutions Engineer, APJ. My focus is predominantly on the Endpoint Security Group, which entails Intercept X, Encryption, Server Protection, Mobile, and anything that goes on an endpoint. I’m dedicated to the APJ business which includes everyone within India, Japan, and down, inclusive of our mates in New Zealand. I help out with tricky designs, questions, issues, RFPs, public relations, and marketing.

2. How did you get to the role you're in now?
After a decade of being a Sales Engineer at Sophos, I just so happened to come across an opportunity within the Global team that I was keen to apply for. With my extensive knowledge of Sophos products both next-gen and legacy, and my passion to help others, it was a great fit. I've since joined the GSE team.

3. What inspired you to get into IT and security?
It happened very organically. I didn’t set out initially to get into the security industry. What I did want to get into was the computing field, specifically systems management. I love personal computing from back in the ‘olden days’ of computing, cutting my teeth on an IBM XT, working off a Commodore 64, and learning basic, hoping I could do that stuff as a job someday. All of this was inspired by my father who ran a small business providing security and coding facilities for old school mainframes.

4. What do you enjoy most about your role?
The vast variety of people, networks, requirements, and the problems they all need to solve. The security problems are similar, but solving them universally isn’t. Each territory and team have different capabilities and requirements that make tackling and solving an issue very unique. The variety is one thing, but having the privilege of exposure to so many different cultures has been one of the most rewarding things at Sophos.

5. What's something you've done during your time in the organization that you're proud of?
The proudest moments have been whenever I get to help someone here at Sophos or within our Partner Community, and I receive good feedback. It’s these moments of gratitude that make me proud of what I do. They inspire me to pay that gratitude forward whenever I see something exemplary done.

6. Describe a typical day in your Sophos life.
I work from home predominantly. And since there are a lot of emails and teams messages to go through, I prioritize what needs a response and create a daily action plan.

I try and get out for a walk in the morning and pick the kids up after school when I can. The days can be long, since I cover multiple time zones that fall on either side of my own native one. Balancing life and work is essential.

7. What's the best advice you can give to someone who has just started their career?
Ask as many questions as you need. There’s a lot of knowledge to be gained from people, so asking questions and listening can accelerate what you need to know. I find that simply asking for help or asking questions help me not only learn, but also helps me refine my questions so I can get succinct information back – this has really helped me, especially when talking with partners, prospects, and customers.

8. What would you do (for a career) if you weren't doing this?
It would either be a carpenter or mechanic. I love woodworking and I love cars. If I had to choose one it would be a carpenter – I could really refine my woodworking skills!

Role in the Sophos Community 

9. What's a fun fact about you that you could share with the Community?
I am super fond of retro arcade games, specifically old-school arcade games – Wonderboy, Raiden, Final Fight, TMNT, Double Dragon. Dropping a 20-cent piece into an arcade machine and playing a game was a great time growing up.

10. Have you posted any Recommended Read guides on the Community?
Not since the old ‘Astaro Forum’ when we first acquired Astaro. After we release the UTMv9, I made a guide that walked people through using hardware tokens (Time-based One-Time Password) tokens from Feitan to enable the use of MFA on various UTM functions. I think it still exists in the community and needs an update for Sophos Firewall.

Who is Aaron? 

11. What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love woodworking, electronics, and retro arcade games. This has all come together to build Raspberry pi-powered arcade machines that I use to chase those old arcade playing feels.

12. What's one thing you're really bad at?
Soldering. Especially fine soldering ICs and small components. I need lots of practice.

13. What's one thing you're really good at?
Cooking. Especially low and slow American BBQ. My pork ribs and lamb cutlets have won awards!

14. Three words to describe you.
Excitable, sincere, and relaxed.

15. Tell us about where you live (and your journey getting there - if applicable).
I live in Victoria, Australia! I've been living here all my life. It’s one of the best countries and cities in the world. Food, coffee, sports, outdoor adventures -- we’ve got everything here and I want everyone to experience it.

16. What's your favorite thing about where you live?
How accessible anything is. If I want to go fine dining I can, if I want to go four-wheel driving I can, if I want to BBQ with the family I can. Inside, outside there’s just so much flexibility and accessibility to a range of fun activities.

17. What's your favorite restaurant/hang-out where you live?
There are a handful of awesome places to go here in my own local suburb. There's an old courthouse-turned-cocktail speakeasy, which is amazing. There's a small hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese takeaway that does amazing Bahn-Mi. But I really like going out into the back yard at home, and sitting under the smoke shack I built to cook some food, listen to music and hang out with the family.

18. Any tips or interesting facts to share with people who want to visit?
Any international guest who comes my way will be treated to a day or two of fun times and food! And if it’s during the football season (Aussie Rules, that is), we’ll go to a game.

19. Who's your favorite artist?
Musicians! The ones that can use a guitar and sing are my favorites. The list is long, but recently I’m loving the sounds of Benny Walker, an Aussie who hails from regional Victoria. Cracking voice, amazing talent.

20. Name one person living or dead – who would you have dinner with?
This is a super hard question. And after careful consideration, I’d always prefer to go to dinner with my wife. We always have a laugh and a great time together. Love you, dear!