Career progression is a key driver for many if not all professionals, which isn’t surprising. At Turbonomic we’ve seen people grow their careers, advance into new roles and take on new challenges which in turn, enabled a lot of our growth as a company. One employee here, Mor Cohen-Tal, has experienced a lot of career changes and recently sat down to discuss our culture of innovation, being able to take an idea and turn it into an impactful part of our platform and how she navigated all the changes along the way.
It’s often difficult finding the right career path. Can you tell us a bit about the environment here and the opportunities for developers?
Mor: To me the greatest thing about being a developer at Turbonomic is the innovation culture. If you have an idea about a feature, a new functionality or even something that would improve the internal development process, you are given the opportunity to run with it. Many of the greatest features in the product today are fruits of such ideas. Innovation is not only encouraged and rewarded but it’s part of the DNA of the R&D organization. Anyone in the organization can come up with such ideas and influence the product.
How has this openness to try new things influenced your path and where you are today?
Mor: This culture taught me how to think differently about the development process. For me it wasn’t about “this is what needs to be developed and go build it,” but rather, what problems are our customers facing and how can we solve them using our platform and our unique and extremely powerful algorithm?
I have seven either pending or approved patents with Turbonomic for ideas I was a part of innovating. It taught me how to understand our end users, how to think broadly about the features I am building and think outside of the box. By doing that, I believe I learned how to think differently about products and features. It is what drove me to product management.
Tell us about a time you’ve driven innovation.
Mor: As a product manager, that open innovation culture was as impactful as when I was a developer. Talking to customers, partners and our field teams, I became extremely passionate about an extension of our platform, to solve performance and cost challenges in the public cloud. It wasn’t easy but I sponsored this idea through the organization.
Initially I received two developers to help me build a prototype. We took that to the field and received raving feedback. Slowly it grew and became one of the most impactful features of our product today with a massive team of developers, QA engineers and product managers behind it. Leading this opportunity for the past two years is what gave me the opportunity to prove myself as a thought leader, a visionary and together with the execution behind it allowed me to grow to the CTO position I hold today overlooking the public cloud product, strategy and field adoption. The opportunities I was given at Turbonomic to pursue my ideas allowed me to broaden my skill sets and grow into new spaces I never thought I would have this much passion for.
How did you navigate these growth opportunities? Did you ever hesitate or question yourself along the way?
Mor: I questioned myself many times along the way. When sponsoring new ideas through an organization not always everyone agrees with what you want to drive. It takes extreme perseverance, conviction, and passion for what you build to stick it through. There were times where I thought I couldn’t drive this, that I didn’t have the skills needed to pull it off. The team I work with helped me overcome that. They gave me the guidance and feedback to understand my strengths and weaknesses and the mentoring and learning opportunities to improve.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where Mor discusses the unique facets of the Turbonomic R&D culture, the excitement of coming in each day to take on new challenges and more. If you’re interested in learning more about careers with Turbonomic, check out our Career Page.
About our featured employee:
Mor Cohen-Tal is currently CTO of Cloud at Turbonomic where she is our leading cloud evangelist and thought leader. She started her career as a software engineer and over the years earned seven patents for development of Turbonomic’s original cloud software. Mor holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from Cornell University.