Welcome to Meet a Descoper! This interview series shines a spotlight on app builders – whether they are Descope employees, community members, or users of our service. In these chats, Descopers chronicle their daily work, highlight stuff they are proud of, and share advice for developers wishing to pursue similar careers.
Today, we’re delighted to talk with full-stack whiz Nitzan Peretz. Nitzan spoke to us about his love for creation, looking behind the computer screen, and scaling literal mountain peaks. Take it away, Nitzan!
How I got here
Q. To start off, can you tell us something about yourself?
Hello Internet, I’m Nitzan! I’ve had the good fortune of only working at a few places in my career so far and being happy at every place I worked. I started off with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for 7 years. After that, I was part of the Demisto engineering team and went through an unforgettable ride both before and after the acquisition by Palo Alto Networks. For the past six months or so, I’ve been at Descope and am loving every second of it.
Q. Why did you decide to become a developer?
The passion really came to me while I was doing it daily in the army. I realized that I loved many aspects of being a developer – using my head to solve analytical problems, working together with people I liked and respected, and creating things from scratch.
The creation aspect is what calls out to me the most about being a developer. In the beginning, there’s nothing except ideas in our heads. After debates, discussions, coding, and testing, the ideas become reality (even though the reality is never as perfect as the ideas are!). Going through this process gives me a sense of meaning.
Q. Why did you join Descope?
I think the reasons are very similar to the reasons I enjoy being a developer! Creating things from scratch, working with people I like, and solving hard problems. I have worked with these people at Demisto before and count them as friends. I know from years of experience that we can come together to build something useful and meaningful.
Additionally, the problem space around authentication that we are tackling is what drew me to Descope as well. It’s not often that ideas are big enough to potentially affect every online user in a positive way. For me, it’s very important that my work is a mission-driven story that I can share with myself, my family, and friends. The Descope story is certainly a compelling one!
Day in the life
Q. What’s your favorite part of your day-to-day work as a developer?
Hmmm, I can’t choose between two different favorites so I will mention both. One is when I was a manager and the other is when I’ve been a developer responsible for execution as part of a team.
When I was a manager at Palo Alto Networks, I really enjoyed planning projects with my team, guiding them, and unblocking them so that they could achieve their goals. Positive feedback for any of my team members was the best feedback I could receive.
For everything you gain while being a manager, the one thing you lose is free time to do focused work since there are so many other things to handle. So I’d say that’s my other favorite thing about being a developer (which I’m doing now) – uninterrupted hours spent zeroing in on a task, thinking about how to tackle it, and being in the zone.
Q. What’s one piece of work you are most proud of?
I’ll share an example from Descope without giving too much away since we are still in stealth! I’m responsible for our admin console. It’s something that every Descoper will see. I’ve been there from the first lines of code to the state it’s in right now. I’ve lived and breathed this console and while I know there’s a long road still to travel, I’m really proud of how far it has come in a short period of time.
Q. What do you do to unwind from work?
I like to work hard and unwind hard! Before anything else, I’m a very family-oriented person and try to spend time with my loved ones whenever I can. Besides that, I’m passionate about hiking, traveling, and sports.
On hiking, I’m really into mountain hikes. I’ve hiked on mountains across all five continents. I remember my hikes on Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Alps with particular fondness. I’m planning on hiking to the Mt. Everest base camp next April and am excited for it!
While hiking and traveling go hand in hand, I love to travel in general too. I just got back from a very interesting trip to Vietnam where I hiked in the north, had great food, met many nice people, and immersed myself in the culture.
I have a beach volleyball group with my friends and we play every week. I also enjoy slacklining and frisbee.
Q. What’s something you wished you knew when you started your career?
Like most junior developers, I found that I was quite stressed from work when I started my career. The task list always seemed to grow longer and work never seemed to end.
Reflecting on that period, I think it’s very important to spend some time looking behind the screen. This can mean many things – exploring new technologies, learning for yourself, connecting to your end users. But the common denominator connecting all of them is to not always be task-focused.
Q. What advice do you have for developers who are just starting their journey?
Look behind the screen! Apart from that, I find that junior devs sometimes tend to rush into code without spending time to think and plan ahead. My strongest advice would be to take that time, even if it ends up being half of your overall time. Deliberate and thoughtful planning will make the coding more worthwhile and fruitful.
The other piece of advice I have is to always pay attention to testing. What makes me sleep well at night is knowing that my code is tested across every possible edge case even if it seems like overkill. It’s better to spend the extra time testing rather than risking something breaking in the wild.
Q. Anything else you’d like to share that we haven’t asked you already?
I’m yet to find a person that likes passwords. If you are out there, get in touch because I’m curious to know your reasons!
Joking aside, I’m always available to share any tips and advice with junior developers. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Nitzan a little better. For more developer chats, authentication concept overviews, and open-source updates, subscribe to our blog.