Stronger Together:

Meet Maximillian Milovets, Software Engineer

Tetra Defense values a well-rounded approach when it comes to cybersecurity. Preparing for cyberattacks, strengthening defenses, and responding to incidents are all important separately, but they are far more effective when combined. To that effect, we learn from Maximillian Milovets, Software Engineer, as he describes his experiences in programming with a security focus.

“While our work may seem independent, we know we are all working together towards something bigger.”

How did your career begin?

I was able to start my career right in college, luckily, through an internship with a development company founded in Germany. They had an office near University of Wisconsin – Lacrosse, where I was attending school. At the time, I was pursuing an electrical engineering degree, so I was skeptical when first accepting an offer to work strictly as a software developer. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to just sit around on a computer for six months, only to find out that it isn’t for me.” To my surprise, I had ended up really enjoying my internship as a developer; I enjoyed working with the team, solving the issues, and I found myself having more fun at work than I had during my classes at the time.

Soon after, I made the decision to work full-time as a developer while finishing up my degree. It was challenging to say the least, but it’s a decision I’m glad that I made since it helped me get the experience I needed to boost my career after graduation.

What first piqued your interest in programming?

As I had mentioned before, I hadn’t originally planned to become a developer when I started college. I had gone in with the goal of earning an electrical engineering degree to work more with hardware. Truthfully, the inspiration for this decision at the start is all thanks to my love for Iron Man. Growing up, I always loved superhero books and had my own collection of them. Their stories were always on my mind throughout my childhood. Eventually, I learned that I probably wouldn’t get bitten by a radioactive spider, nor would I travel to space for gamma radiation. What I could do, realistically, was pursue the tech behind my favorite heroes. This was the inspiration for my original electrical engineering path; I wanted to invent what I had always read about growing up. After my internship, I realized that software engineering is just as inventive and creative.

How does your team interact in relation to others?

Every day is different, so depending on the task at hand, it’s a comfort to know that I have teammates from all sides of the security industry to help solve problems. With our incident response team in particular, their needs are exactly what inspire our work on the development side. As threats change, we’re able to help meet the needs of our teammates who respond to cyber incidents, which oftentimes means creating software that didn’t exist yesterday. This is something about Tetra that I really enjoy, since it’s not every day that you get to create something completely new.

While our work may seem independent, we know we are all working together towards something bigger. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t hear from everyone on the team at least once.

Any advice for aspiring software engineers?

I’m a recent graduate myself, so when I look back on how my classes prepared me for the workforce, I see some gaps when it comes to the security aspect within development. In my personal experience, most of the work I did in school would only briefly touch on the aspect of security, but never an in-depth look at how to address it. My school assignments would always draw attention to security as in, “This is something to worry about,” whereas my work today can finally start to answer the question, “Well, how do we fix it?”

Some resources I use come from Udemy to better understand how development fits into the larger context of security, and of course, my skilled teammates who see the latest threats as a part of their daily work. For current students, I would recommend taking some sort of web design class since they usually cover both front-end and back-end work, along with everything in between regarding interface and even security.

A non-work related question: What do you do in your spare time?

I tend to stay really active when I’m not working. COVID19 has certainly changed my lifestyle (as it has with most people), but normally I enjoy traveling as much as possible and staying active outside. Lately, I’ve been getting into cooking and figuring out how to make my own recipes. That’s been my project as of late — I remember one day thinking, “I’m tired of having to search for every recipe I want to make,” so I’m working towards building my own recipes and learning to improvise along the way.

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