March 13, 2019 | 11 min read
Humans of MacKeeper: Adik, Anti-Malware Lab Lead
Position: Anti-Malware Lab Lead
Random fact: Adik believes that doing a job you're not passionate about is just stupid. He says that if you love Friday just because it's the end of the work week, you should change something in your life.
Let's travel back to your first day at work. What was it like?
I joined the company seven years ago. I remember my job interview and how seriously I was preparing for it. To get that job, I had to be fluent in English. Since I did not have much practice at that time, I spent months improving my skills with a native speaker.
I don’t remember my first day at work, but I do remember the first call I answered. It was my first real call from a real user. It was scary, and I don’t think I will ever forget it. It was a call from a woman who was going through hard times in her life and, for some reason, she wanted to discuss it with me. First, I helped her fix her Mac problems, but then she started talking about her divorce. I told her that everything would be fine. A hundred times.
Did you hesitate before accepting a job offer?
Nope. It was the best I could get at that moment. It was the job I had been preparing for. I didn’t plan to spend so much time working in support, but life had its own plans for me. I spent three years in this department, and it was enough for me to realize that neither support nor management career perspectives were right for me. Sometimes, looking back, I still wonder how I spent almost three years there. A year or two would be more than enough to learn everything I had to know. Although it was an amazing experience, I feel like I should have changed my position faster.
Your nickname is Adik. What does it mean for you?
Adik is a shortened version of Adolf. When I say this, most people give me a strange look, as if there is only one Adolf in this world. My nickname is inspired by Adolf Dassler, the founder of Adidas.
Let's talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
I am a part of the Product Team and my focus is our Anti-Malware Lab.
The role of the Product Team is to communicate with users in order to understand their needs and, therefore, make our product more valuable for them. Our job is to listen to users and adjust our product to meet and exceed their expectations.
In the past, MacKeeper used to run aggressive ads. Some people had negative associations with our brand because of it, while some others wondered what was the point of buying a software that does what a user can do with help of native macOS apps. The truth is that most people lack time or technical skills to take care of their Macs manually. And this is where MacKeeper comes in handy.
However, such feedback inspired me to turn MacKeeper into something more than a cleaning and performance optimization software for Mac. That's how the idea of the Anti-Malware Lab was born.
It happened in 2017, when malware was on the rise, and there was a lack of anti-malware solutions for Mac. If you focus on Mac users, you will see that the market for cyber security solutions is still immature. Compared to Windows, there are much fewer threats, but it doesn't mean there are not any. As we’ve learned from our users, malware is a big pain for them, and it is cool that we have resources and expertise to help.
Describe your typical day at work.
My day starts with a sync with my team. They work in a different office, so we have to sync regularly in order to stay on the same page. We discuss what interesting or important work happened in the last 24 hours, prioritize tasks, and execute them.
As I am a part of the Product Team, I have three goals. First, I am developing an optimal workflow for our Anti-Malware Lab. Second, I make sure that our results and findings result in expanding the functionality of MacKeeper. Third, I communicate with our users.
Name three character traits or skills that are necessary for your job.
Analytical thinking. Listening skills. Result-orientedness.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
I don't believe in superpowers, but if I had to pick one, I'd want to be immortal. If I could live forever, I would have time for more projects, and I would be able to continuously grow as a professional.
However, I would only want this superpower if I could make people I love immortal, too. Because...what's the point of living forever if your loved ones don't?
What helps you keep up with trends in your niche?
What helps me most is my passion for knowledge as well as a clear understanding that without continuous education I will only go so far.
I learn from experts. There are professionals who are really cool at what they do, and they are ready to share their expertise. I think learning from such people is the best way to keep up with trends.
I also attend conferences. Some people say conferences are a waste of time and money, but I do not agree. I gained a lot of insights from the conferences I have had a chance to attend.
Describe your job in three words.
Everything's on fire. Art. Food.
Is there something about your job you feel proud of?
I like the people I work with. They are professionals both individually and as a team. There is a developer in our team who can answer all questions right away, without the need to look up some information. He keeps all that knowledge inside of his head, isn't it impressive? And there are many people like him in this company. Being surrounded by experts is what makes me feel proud.
On days when you lack motivation for work, what helps you to pull yourself up and do it?
I switch to tasks I really enjoy doing. I spend some time working on what I find more interesting (or just easier). Once I realize I feel motivated enough, I switch back to the major task at hand. Changing focus for a few hours helps me see the same problems from a new perspective and, therefore, find better solutions for them.
There's one more thing that helps me pull myself together. On days when I lack motivation or energy, I remind myself that I am a part of a team. If I fail to deliver something on time, others will be affected.
What is your personal anti-stress recipe? How do you recharge after a busy week at work?
I do sport. I spend time with people I love. I also used to do photography as a hobby. Now I'm trying to get back to it. I quit photography when I realized that taking it to the level I aim for requires more time than I was ready to spend. Now I still lack time, but I changed my attitude. I am learning to enjoy the process and accept results even if they are not perfect.
If you could swap places with any employee in a company for one month, who would this be? Why?
I'd try swapping places with everyone. Seriously. Pick anyone from any team and any department and I would agree to swap places with that person. I can't choose only one position because I believe there are no jobs that can bore you in a month—at least not in our company.
It's not my first year at MacKeeper, and I had a chance to try some different positions. I started in Support; I tried Automation QA; then I realized I was interested in adware and malware. I moved from support to engineering to product management, and I enjoyed every part of this journey. Maybe it is my problem that I find all jobs interesting. Maybe it's time to pick one niche. [laughing]
Describe your dream job.
For me, it's not that much about a company. It's more about new challenges. I mean, if Google offered me a boring position, I would not accept it. Yes, it's Google. But it is important for me to know that what I do brings value to others. Without this, any position at any company feels meaningless to me.
Nothing compares to seeing (or hearing from) people who use your product. When I worked in Support, a nice word from a community member was enough to keep me happy and motivated for the rest of the day.
Now imagine you've got the job offer of your dreams. It's too good to reject, so you're leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and your team before you head out?
I'd wish the company to attract more outside experts in order to expand and enrich our own expertise. I believe that attracting more professionals from around the world can help us turn MacKeeper into a truly world-class brand.