Meet the Team: Chris Conlon

I sat down with Chris Conlon, an employee here at wolfSSL and got to ask him a few questions:

Q: How did you start working with the company, and how long have you been here?
"I've been here going on four years now. I got the job directly out of MSU with a BS in Computer Science and minor in Management of IT. I met our CEO, Larry Stefonic, here in Bozeman, was offered an internship, and was really excited about working for a fast-paced and growing company. This also allowed me to stay in Bozeman where I could hike and ski, which I love to do."

Q: What projects have you worked on?
"I've worked on a very diverse range of projects. The first one I worked on was related to Android. I was trying to see how difficult it would be to replace OpenSSL with CyaSSL. The final project was a Java SSL Provider for Linux and Android - both of which can be found on our website. I also worked with MIT on porting the Kerberos Authentication Protocol to Android. Since then, there have been many customer-specific projects ranging from "Smart" door locks to different forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. One of the more recent larger projects was our wolfSSL JNI product, which was a lot of fun. Besides engineering projects, I've worked on a number of things to help the company grow including developing the website and various marketing and partnership activities."

Q: What are your daily responsibilities like?
"It varies from day to day, but there are a few consistencies: managing our technical support, helping with pre-sales technical discussions, engineering projects, website work, and marketing activities. Customer projects vary in type of application and tools used so, like several of our employees, I end up working with a large variety of development tools and platforms.

I also speak and write on behalf wolfSSL for many of our presentations, magazine articles, and case studies. Last year I gave presentations at FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium, Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, and at the ARM Technology Conference in San Jose, CA. Those were a lot of fun.

My most recent task, and one which I'm very excited to be part of, is supervising six interns here in Bozeman over the Summer of 2014. I know the whole team is really excited to bring this group of interns into the company for the Summer. It's exciting to see the company expanding, and the fact that we've reached the point where we are able to handle six interns shows us just how much we have grown as a company. And that's really cool for all of us to see."

Q: You've worked on a lot. What was your favorite project? Your most challenging?
"I really enjoyed working on the wolfSSL JNI wrapper, but I feel like all the projects I've worked on were unique enough to where I enjoyed them all. Everything keeps me busy with new challenges. As far as the most challenging project, I would have to say that either porting Kerberos to Android or working on ASN-encoding related projects have taken that spot."

Q: How did you overcome these challenging situations?
"I think the best way to solve problems is flexibility and having an open mind to learning new things. One of the reasons I enjoy working in this field is because I think it's really exciting to be working with new technologies - and with the rapid expansion of the embedded Internet and IoT it really keeps things interesting."

Q: What do you find most rewarding about working here?
"Lots of things are rewarding, but I think getting to see the impact we make on the communications security market and even on the technology itself is the most rewarding. Even being a small company we've got to work on lots of projects that help the field evolve and expand. Working with such a talented group of individuals here at wolfSSL and our partner companies is rewarding and inspiring."

Q: What are your final thoughts?
"I think the whole team is really excited to bring on our new interns this Summer. I've enjoyed being part of yaSSL (now wolfSSL) for the past four years, and am looking forward to continuing to work with the wolfSSL team into the future."

About the author:

My name is CJ Smith, and I am one of the interns that wolfSSL has taken on over the summer of 2014. I'm really looking forward to working for such a great company in an extremely exciting field. I'm a Sophomore at Montana State University working toward a BA in Computer Engineering. In my spare time I like to read, play games, hike, and mess around with programming. I haven't done much in this field outside of school, so this summer should be a great learning experience as well as a huge opportunity to see the real-world applications of everything I have learned.

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