Engineering spotlight: Meet Rex

Abstract architectural photo shot from the ground. Features a lot of modern windows and steel.Central to every successful app or platform are engineers who designed and built them, and who continue to make them even better every day. That’s just one of many reasons why we’re excited to spotlight software engineer Rex Guo this week. Rex was one of the driving forces behind the implementation of two of our newest Polygraph® Data Platform features, the Exposure Polygraph and Attack Path Analysis. He applied his cloud security expertise and exceptional software engineering skills to enhance our platform and help our customers easily and accurately pinpoint threats in their cloud environments. Learn more about Rex: 

Lacework: What are some of the things you enjoy about being an engineer? 

Rex: I like problem solving because there are always new ways to make people’s lives better with engineering. I also like the creativity aspect of engineering. In order to solve the toughest problems, we have to push ourselves to think creatively. Those ‘aha’ moments when I figure out how to solve a challenging problem are very enjoyable. Another great aspect of being an engineer is collaborating with a team. Working with a team enables people to solve a much bigger and more complex problem. Building products that people love is important to me too. Nothing is more satisfying than transforming customers’ lives.

Lacework: What first sparked your interest in engineering and how did you get started in the field?

Rex: My parents both worked as engineering managers. I remember playing various problem solving games when I was a kid. Getting engineering degrees from college and graduate school is a pretty natural choice for me to get started in engineering.

Lacework: What’s the most interesting thing you have ever built? 

Rex: I co-implemented the Exposure Polygraph and Attack Path Analysis with an amazing team at Lacework. The Exposure Polygraph unifies data across dozens of domains and presents them in a unified and context rich view. Leveraging Exposure Polygraph, Attack Path Analysis automatically identifies critical risks by predicting how attackers can get to the crown jewels through a series of actions. We use both posture and runtime data to provide the most accurate risk assessment through Attack Path Analysis and augment the runtime investigation contexts. 

Lacework: What is the most important advice that you have received as an engineer, and how has that advice impacted your career?

Rex: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I got this from my Ph.D. advisor. It has inspired me to overcome many challenges in life. During my career, I have been in many situations with vast ambiguity, but I have always figured it out by creative thinking, hard work, and persistence.

Lacework: What is one interesting fact about yourself that most people don’t know?

Rex: Although I enjoy “doing”, I also enjoy public speaking. I co-founded a Toastmasters club while doing my Ph.D. I helped many club members to improve their speaking skills, got precious help from others to improve myself, and made a lot of friends during the journey. I was also lucky enough to win a humorous speech award for a speech I wrote about how I was barely surviving in graduate school for a period of time. 

Lacework: What’s something you love to do when you’re not working? 

Rex: I love exploring many new things with my family. Our family enjoys art work. I find it fascinating how artists revolutionize the way people see, feel, and understand the world. I can find many similarities between the creativity patterns in art and engineering. 

Lacework: What’s something you wish people knew about being an engineer? 

Rex: Engineers come from diverse backgrounds and have a vast range of interests. My colleagues came from different backgrounds, perspectives, and traditions. Working with them keeps me fresh, dynamic, and entrepreneurial.

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