We sat down with Konstantin Belyalov, Staff Software Engineer at Todyl, to discuss the journey that led him here, what he is working on, and his advice to help people become better problem solvers.
How did you get started in networking and security?
In 1999, I co-founded a local ISP for my town to make it easier for everyone to connect. It was an incredible experience where I could see an immediate impact from my efforts. While building the ISP, I created a WebChat to serve as a communication channel.
Both projects were enjoyable and jump-started my career focused on developing and architecting highly scalable and performant applications. I have significant experience optimizing traffic flow management and implementing inspection protocols while ensuring the security features remain very strong.
While at F5 Networks, I gained significant experience with Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). I also worked on the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine, designing and re-architecting solutions to make them more efficient. At Dropbox, I architected and implemented Next-Gen Firewalls to replace their existing solutions.
How did you end up at Todyl?
After moving to Colorado, I met John Nellen. The more I learned about the mission, the more I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I loved the prospect of building a world-class product from the ground up. It’s rare to have a greenfield opportunity to get in on the ground floor while developing something that makes a direct, immediate impact.
The team here is intelligent and driven. Everyone is committed to changing how organizations connect and protect themselves. I enjoy applying my experiences to new challenges.
What are you working on?
As part of the Secure Global NetworkTM (SGN) Cloud Platform engineering team, I'm making the SGN faster, more reliable, and easier to use. My focus is on re-building the Web Proxy and all the elements built into that, including the URL & Content Filtering and DPI Engine.
The end goal of my efforts is to have increased reliability, better observability, and overall simplification. Our partners and end-users will experience faster throughput and increased security.
What can we find you doing outside of work?
When not working, you can usually find me engineering hardware and software. I enjoy making things from scratch, creating custom solutions to fit whatever problem I set out to solve. I also am an avid skier and try to get out as often as possible.
What advice do you have to help people become better problem solvers?
The critical part of solving any problem is ensuring you understand it. Get to know the problem. Take the time to talk to understand the requirements before diving into problem-solving. Talk with stakeholders to learn the end goal and any parameters or constraints.
Armed with this information, you need to take the time to do your research. With these three easy steps, you’ll be surprised at what you can uncover. A better solution may present itself than what first occurred to you.