No one can say that Senior Software Manager Michael Balloni isn’t a team player. Because Michael is constantly tasked with tackling multiple advanced technical projects at once, he relies on his top-notch engineering team to prioritize and keep projects moving while he orchestrates the collective.
Loyal to the end, Michael Balloni has seen a promising career as a software developer under the tutelage of Webroot CTO, Hal Lonas. This is the second company he’s worked at with Hal, and he’s found the Webroot culture of innovation and teamwork unparalleled.
What are some projects you are currently working on and how do you prioritize them?
I’m on the DNS team and we’re currently improving the security and scalability of the product. The team strives to provide DNS protection in all networking situations: in the office, home, coffee shop, airport, you name it. With any project, prioritization is key. You have to pick your battles, and work with the product manager to stay informed of business trends and needs. We also have bi-weekly “sprint planning” where our team goes over what we had set out to do in the previous two weeks and decides what to finish it in the next two weeks, and what new work to take on.
How do you promote technical leadership?
Technical leadership involves staying up to date on our industry and technical craft, then sharing that information with the broader team. It also involves staying current on the development of the products and steering in that direction as needed. Most of the time, there’s no need to change direction but sometimes there is, and can be tough to identify. I’ve learned that getting clarification and input should happen before prescribing a fix to what may not be a problem at all.
What is your greatest accomplishment in your career at Webroot so far?
There was a misunderstanding between a development team and their management. Management did not think the development team had a plan to move forward with a pressing need in an area, and created their own plan for getting it across the goal line. Unaware of this, development went ahead and made their own plan for solving the problem. I put together a meeting for development and later met with the product manager from the team’s management. We took everyone’s perspective into account, and both teams proceeded informed and respected from there. It helped me hone my cross-team management skills a lot.
What brought you to Webroot after your last job?
I had fun working with Webroot’s CTO Hal Lonas in the 2000s at a previous company. He’s such a clear-headed individual. He really listens to your ideas and excels at communication. He was able to teach me about prioritizing pretty early on. He taught me to identify if something isn’t going to work early and to know where to focus. We luckily haven’t had many projects where that has happened here, but it’s a good skill to have. There’s a reason he’s a CTO—he’s technical, but also a people person for sure.
How did you get into the technology field?
When I was a little kid I used to work on these electronic kits that would come with wires and springs. It was a circuit board with different electronic pieces like restrictors and capacitors. I would wire them together to make circuits that all did different things. In high school, I would build loudspeakers and amplifiers, I was always attracted to tech in that way.
What is your favorite thing about working at Webroot?
Everybody says it, but it’s the people. Everyone is sharp, hardworking, and friendly. We have a good thing here. It’s an environment of good intentions and backing each other up. Simply put, this is a great place to work!
Check out career opportunities at Webroot here: www.webroot.com/careers