Awards to Disposable mail’s team members – 10 minute mail

Team members of Disposable mail have received not one, but two, public awards over the last few weeks. We are proud of having skilled people in Disposable mail.

Super talents of 2015

Our two team members Rickard Carlsson and Fredrik Almroth was given the “Super talents of 2015” award by Veckans affärer, which is the Swedish version of the Economist.

Rickard, CEO of Disposable mail, was listed as future digital star for his work with Disposable mail and our Head Application Engineer Fredrik was listed as innovative thinker in the security space for his security knowledge and innovations with Disposable mail.

Security experts of the future

Symantec gave Fredrik and Mathias the “Security experts of the future” award to bring attention to their hard work and to inspire others.

Motivation for Fredrik:

“One of the country’s most knowledgeable security experts, where his understanding of Web security and security technology is at least as impressive as his knowledge in automation. With an ambition to change the world, he will continue to be one of the most important figures in the country for security to keep up with the rapid development of threats.”

Motivation for Mathias:

“He is one of the most active security experts in Sweden, especially regarding bug bounty hunting where he have reported lots of security issues to some of the worlds biggest companies. But he is not keeping his knowledge to himself, he is sharing his knowledge through lectures in both Sweden and internationally.”

International Startup Award

We made a pitch on stage at the Launch festival and won the International Startup Award with the following comment:

“My partner in crime Tyler Crowley always brings me a couple of interesting startups from Europe, and Disposable mail was the most impressive of all time. It’s a security monitoring tool that is well-designed, simple, and powerful.”

You can see our pitch here.

We’re looking for more talents!

It’s great to have skilled people in a team where we learn from each other. Do you want to be a part of this great adventure? Check out our open positions at career.detectify.com.

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Team event – Disposable mail Sailing – 10 minute mail

The Disposable mail team took a day off in order to explore the archipelago outside Stockholm from the sea side. It was a great day blessed with sunshine and just enough sea breeze.

The sailing took us from Saltsjöbaden and on a tour heading east out in the archipelago. In the beginning we experienced light winds that picked up in the afternoon when we were sailing 10 knots with a 20 knots headwind. After a day of sailing we moored in a bay where we enjoyed some well deserved dinner, some swimming, slacklining, hiking and just had a great time. The day after we set sail back to the city.

Here are some pictures from the day.

So these are the things we do when we are not working on making the internet a safer place. Do you think this is cool and want to join our team?

Take a look at our open positions here!

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Meet the team: Martina Janevska – Problem solver who loves a challenge – 10 minute mail

Few people know Disposable mail’s website as well as our web developer Martina Janevska. Originally from Macedonia, Martina moved to Sweden to do a master’s in software engineering and joined Disposable mail’s web development team in the spring of 2015. We talked to her about her work, how she maintains a security-oriented mindset, and what it takes to be a successful developer.Meet the Disposable mail Team: Martina Janevska

When you log in to your Disposable mail account, many of the features you use are the result of Martina Janevska’s work. For Martina, the best thing about being a developer is coming up with creative solutions to problems and the potential to learn something new every day.

From logic enthusiast to software engineer

Martina has always had a knack for solving logical problems and liked maths and physics, but in her own words, she wasn’t “that big of a nerd in high school, programming-wise”. When the time came to apply for university, she chose to study Computer Science and Informatics because the programme was known for being challenging and requiring heaps of logical thinking. Martina decided to take on the challenge and says her studies taught her a lot about the concept of programming itself: “Learning how to think about the problems you need to solve is really important. In programming, you always have a problem and how you’re going to approach it depends on your way of thinking.”

Macedonia, Croatia, and Sweden

After finishing her degree, Martina was ready for another challenge – moving abroad for her master’s. Having spent three months doing an internship in Croatia as an undergraduate, she knew that living in a foreign country is an unforgettable experience: “I had a great time in Croatia because I worked with what I had learnt, got the chance to improve, and met a lot of people. I really loved it and wanted to do it again!” When a lecturer mentioned that Sweden was worth visiting, Martina decided to apply for a one-year master’s programme in software engineering at Mälardalen University College in Västerås.

Even though she now lives in Stockholm, Västerås still feels like home to Martina as it was her first impression of Sweden. She says it was the perfect place to slowly get acquainted with a new country and adjust to the environment – even the Swedish weather! In Sweden, the approach to education is very different from that in Macedonia, which was a pleasant surprise as it gave Martina more freedom to work independently and gain in-depth knowledge about solving programming problems.

Growing as a developer

Towards the end of their studies, Martina and her coursemates attended a recruiting event at SUP46 called Meet a Startup. Out of all the startups that presented their pitches that day, Disposable mail was the one that caught Martina’s attention. She remembers her first impression of the company very clearly and says: “I thought ‘Wow, these guys have a really interesting idea, I really like them.’” Martina decided to talk to the team and as it happened, the company was looking for developers!

The security aspect of technology was a subject Martina had always found interesting, but joining Disposable mail took it to a whole new level. The steep learning curve was a great opportunity to grow as a developer and Martina says it’s exciting to see how much progress she has made and how her way of thinking about programming has changed. “I definitely do things differently now,” she explains as she looks back on the code she wrote for a coding challenge that was part of the recruitment process.

“I feel like I’m learning every day”

Being surrounded by experienced security researchers makes Martina’s work environment stimulating and helps her constantly improve her security mindset. Learning new skills at work is an ongoing process that isn’t limited to security knowledge. Martina says the most challenging aspect of her job is the fact that technology changes all the time and as a developer, it’s important to stay on top of what’s new: “You might be working on something today and tomorrow, something new is released and what you’ve built won’t work anymore. You need to be able to keep up.”

What Martina’s day looks like depends on the stage of the sprint the team is in. Sometimes, she works on new code and develops new features, but you can also find her testing or doing code reviews. Martina also loves learning about new technologies and being able to try them out at work is one of her favourite things about working at Disposable mail. At the moment, she really enjoys working with React, an open-source Javascript library.

Q&A with Martina Janevska

Mac or PC?
Mac. PC was my first love but nowadays it’s Mac. I don’t only like it as a developer, but also as a user. It’s a good combo of Unix and commercial software.

What is your favourite thing you have built while working at Disposable mail?
All of them! If I have to choose one, it’s the new findings list. It feels good with the filtering and it looks good.

What’s the most important skill a developer should have?
I think it’s learning to learn. Learning how to learn things is really important in all areas of life. It’s practically impossible to follow all the changes in technology, but if you are good at learning, you can improve a lot. Knowing how to work with the people in your team is also important, to collaborate, being able to agree on stuff.

Do you have any security tips for web developers?
One of the most important things I’ve learnt at Disposable mail is testing user inputs. Always, always try to test the input and sanitise it. Never trust user inputs and never assume that your code is fully invulnerable.

Use encryption more often than you think you should.

Use limits in your code because most attackers do attacks over time so it’s always good to have a way to delimit that.

Code reviewers and analysers are your friends. Don’t be afraid of people who take a look at your code and say “I don’t like that” because it’s for your own good and for the good of what you’re developing.


Want to work in Disposable mail’s tech team? Take a look at our Careers page and check out our open positions!

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Meet the team: Johan Norrman – From building code to building teams to building companies – 10 minute mail

Johan Norrman is a proper IT veteran. He has always found companies in the early stages of development exciting, so it’s hardly surprising that he ended up working at a startup. His passion for creating order from chaos, combined with the capacity to be a good leader and build strong teams, makes Johan the perfect fit for the role of CIO at Disposable mail.

Meet the Disposable mail Team: Johan Norrman

It’s no wonder that Johan Norrman’s career led him to an IT security startup. From an early age, he was interested in technology and he still owns his first Commodore 64 computers. “My friends and I mainly used them for playing videogames, but we also tried learning how to program,” Johan says. As the accessibility of computers grew, so did Johan’s passion for IT. He picked a science-oriented high school programme with a focus on mathematics and programming and spent most of his time in the school’s computer room.

Wanted to become a chef

Johan’s original career plan was to study culinary arts and become a chef. He has his parents to thank for his career as they firmly encouraged him to choose science instead.

“When I was in high school I realised just how much you can do with programming. Amongst other things, I built a vocabulary exercise program that I sold to the school,” explains Johan. “My first hack also happened in high school; we built a fake login on the network computers, which made it possible to access everyone’s credentials, including the teachers’.”

Experiencing the .com era

When we say that Johan has had a lot of cool experiences in his career, we’re not exaggerating. There’s a reason why we call him “Gandalf the Wise” at the office! He got his first job at the height of the notorious dot-com era. Icon Medialab, a company where Johan worked during the .com bubble, grew from 50 employees to a staggering 3500 in a very short time.

“Our office was at the top of the skyscraper at Sergels Torg and we were working across five floors. The company grew globally and even though we did make stuff, it felt as if we were just play-acting. We would pay for drinks at Berns (a nightclub in Stockholm) with our business cards and the bill would be sent straight to work. Not bad if you’re 20 years old and on your first real job!”

New path as a team leader

Although working at Icon Medialab was great fun, Johan decided it was time to take the next step in his career. This led to jobs at IT consultancies like Qbranch and Pulsen. While working at Qbranch, Johan discovered that he was better at project management, working with people, and leadership than writing code. He became the sole responsible for structuring the development department at Qbranch and ensure that the right skills were in place so that the department could break even.

“I’ve gone from building code to building teams to building companies,” Johan says about his journey.

Building Pingdom’s Stockholm office

Johan was eventually recruited by Pingdom as an HR evangelist tasked with building the company’s Stockholm office where he was one of the first employees. He soon got the office to grow from 1 to 20 people within one year. Johan emphasises how important it is to consider the human factor when it comes to developing businesses, an insight he has brought with him to Disposable mail.

Creating order from chaos

Johan came across Disposable mail through the company’s security advisor Frans Rosén. “We exchanged T-shirts at Pingdom’s office and had a chat as I’d been following both him and Mathias Karlsson on Twitter, so this was how I got in touch with Disposable mail.”

As the 11th employee at Disposable mail, Johan joined the team right in the middle of the early startup phase. Soon after, the number of employees doubled and processes could start being established.

“What’s attractive about working at Disposable mail is the chaos that’s present in the beginning. I have realised that I prefer working in smaller companies with a ‘messy’ environment. It’s not as much fun if all the structures are already in place and everyone knows how things are done. I enjoy having a role that is both operative and strategic, which is something I have at Disposable mail.”

Working as CIO at Disposable mail

Johan is head of the development team that currently consists of 12 people. For many of them, working at Disposable mail is their first job and Johan’s task is to guide them and help them find a balance between freedom and responsibility.

No two days are alike, but Johan tries to explain what life as Disposable mail’s CIO is like. “There’s an awful lot to do every other week, and the week after is always calmer. Release weeks are packed with planning, strategy, reviewing, testing. Weeks after releasing are all about soft values: feedback sessions, making sure everything works and that the team members are happy.”

Johan sees a bright future for Disposable mail and is looking forward to being part of the journey. Looking forward, he envisions a much larger organisation, many more teams and new areas such as IoT and Mobile. He’s responsible for recruiting and HR at Disposable mail, which will remain a part of his role in the future. Johan says it takes a special type of person to thrive on working at a startup. He believes that character traits such as being driven, resourceful, and unpretentious are important.

“If you want a desk, you need to go and assemble a desk. This is something I talk about a lot when I’m recruiting because the people we employ need to understand this mindset. There’s no receptionist to welcome them here. If they want coffee, they need to go turn on the coffeemaker because there’s nobody to do it for them. It is what we make of it. If we are to build a culture that involves a lot of laughter and social activities, everyone needs to pitch in and make it work. I try to contribute as much as I can, since it is incredibly important to me.

Q&A with Johan Norrman

Mac or PC?
Mac since my father brought home a Macintosh in the beginning of the 80’s. That was in 1985 and it didn’t take me long until I started wondering where I could find the system map. I still have that computer at home…

Iphone or Android?
iPhone I guess, but just for simplicity with my other Macs.

Best source for security related news/knowledge?
A general mix, Twitter, Reddit and our internal chat channels.

Favorite feature in Disposable mail?
Lazer! Of course! http://lazer.detectify.com

Do you want to know more about Johan and what his days at Disposable mail look like? Follow him on Twitter: @johannorrman.


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Meet the team: Yasmin Tilles – The editorial mind behind the brand – 10 minute mail

Ever wondered who the person behind Disposable mail events, marketing campaigns and content is? Meet our PR & Marketing Manager Yasmin Tilles, an editorial mind with tonnes of energy who carefully plans Disposable mail’s marketing and PR strategy and is passionate about developing the Disposable mail brand. We talked to her about business development, her hectic second day at Disposable mail, and making a difference by spreading the word about web security. Meet the Disposable mail team: Yasmin Tilles

When Yasmin was in high school, she dreamed of becoming a journalist and had no idea she would eventually work at a web security startup. After a couple of years in the events business, she decided to shake things up and joined Disposable mail as PR & Marketing Manager.

The best of media and business

As a student, Yasmin tried her hand at everything from phone sales and working in a café to being a children’s dance instructor. She says: “It all comes down to being service-minded, it was a good experience.” Because she felt journalism was too niched, she went on to graduate in media communication at Södertörn University and started her career in the events business at IDG. “I got the best of the two worlds because I worked with journalists but had the marketing and business perspective. I think I’ve always been more marketing-oriented, but influenced by the editorial way of thinking and producing content,” Yasmin explains.

Yasmin’s work at IDG focused on developing Webbdagarna, a leading event covering digital trends in business. Building a new concept in a time when the media landscape was changing in leaps and bounds was the perfect challenge for Yasmin, who enjoyed trying out new business models and creating something new and profitable.

Joining the startup life on Långholmen

After working at IDG for five years, she felt it was time for a change: “I had done everything I had planned and I was ready to take the next step.” The startup world seemed like an interesting option because Yasmin wanted to work in a less traditional environment with a flat hierarchy and plenty of room for creativity.

The opportunity to take the plunge came unexpectedly over a meal at a Thai restaurant. Yasmin was having dinner with a friend who knew one of Disposable mail’s founders and mentioned that the company was hiring. Not long after, Yasmin met Disposable mail’s CEO Rickard Carlsson (funnily enough, at another Thai restaurant) and a couple of months later, she joined the team.

The Patreon Hack

On her second day at Disposable mail, Yasmin was on her way to work and saw that Frans Rosén had written something about Patreon getting hacked in the company chat. “I was checking the app we use for communication and noticed that Frans said he’d warned Patreon about the vulnerability a few months earlier. My editorial brain took over and I realised this could really be something.”

She asked Frans to write an article explaining the hack and not long after, the team was watching the Disposable mail site traffic explode. Many major tech publications covered the story and even though it was Friday evening, everyone was checking the company chat and following Google Analytics screenshots. Yasmin explains that this intense second day at Disposable mail showed her how important the educational aspect of web security is: “I realised what a big responsibility we have, communicating about IT security the right way. It was a very interesting first week!”

Building the Disposable mail brand

Yasmin has been part of the team for over a year now, developing the Disposable mail brand, planning content and events and spreading web security awareness. Even though the startup environment can be challenging because everything needs to be done from scratch, Yasmin emphasises that the work is great fun and offers plenty of opportunities to be independent and learn. She says she has learnt a lot about technology, but also about business development, target audiences and communities. “It’s not just about the slogan or social media, it’s everything. Creating a good team, having the right business model and building a company that gives people something valuable in their life,” she explains.

What lies ahead? Yasmin envisions a global business covering a wider range of technologies and Disposable mail becoming a standard security tool for dev teams. She adds that knowledge sharing will continue to play an important role: “We still have a lot of work to do to educate people about web security.”

Making a difference

Yasmin says her favourite thing about working at Disposable mail is the team because the competence of her colleagues inspires her to be better at what she does so that they can create something awesome together. She points out that having an understanding of what the tech team does is really important and says that working closely with them is extremely rewarding: “I’ve learnt so much about building a team and how important routines are, how much of a difference it makes when you have the right people on board, with the right skillsets.”

Working in an industry with a potential to change the world is the icing on the cake: “Web security is really happening right now and it’s great to know that you’re part of changing everything. It feels like we have the power to do something, change something, and make a difference. It’s a very cool feeling.”

Q&A with Yasmin Tilles

iPhone or Android?
iPhone, but I have to buy a new one because the camera on my current one is broken and makes it look like there’s a ghost in all the pictures I take.

Favourite Disposable mail blog post?
That’s a difficult question! I really like our SPF research and guides. It’s so extensive and thorough and it was not about exposing companies, it was about helping them and providing them with hands-on guides and explaining the problem. It’s really simple and yet got a lot of attention, initiated some additional local research and was just an example of amazing teamwork.

#1 security advice?
Use your VPN!

Any tips for people who are interested in working in tech marketing?
Don’t be afraid of working with tech because you think you don’t have the knowledge. You can always explain things in your own words, so you should never feel like backing from conversations and meetings because you think you don’t know enough.

Do you have any time management advice to share?
I couldn’t live without my to-do list app! You can never remember everything and it’s also important to prioritise the right things. It’s not just about ticking off everything on the list. And remember to take breaks!

Do you want to know more about Yasmin and what her days at Disposable mail look like? Follow her on Twitter: @yasmintilles.


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Meet the team: Andrea Palaia – From particle physics at CERN to Disposable mail data – 10 minute mail

Team Data at Disposable mail is a one-man show ran by our Data Scientist Andrea Palaia. After completing his PhD in accelerator physics and doing research at CERN, Andrea worked at an Italian startup and joined Disposable mail two years ago, building the data infrastructure from scratch.

Meet the team: Andrea Palaia | Disposable mail

Inspired by a high school teacher

The story of Andrea and data science started in Rome when Andrea was in his final year of high school. He was interested in Biology and IT, but wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to study. As he worked on a project about black holes for his finals, he got help from a teacher who was a physicist and specialized in theoretical physics. “He introduced me to Einstein’s theory in such a simple way that I could actually do the calculations with my high school maths. I realized this was what I wanted to do, to be able to study and explain nature,” Andrea says. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in Physics, Andrea got a master’s in accelerator physics and started looking for PhD positions.

Between CERN and Uppsala

During his time as a PhD student in Uppsala, Andrea researched the feasibility of a new particle accelerator that could, for example, be used in medicine and would reduce costs and infrastructure requirements for hospitals. Andrea spent time doing research at CERN and then travelled back to Uppsala to do data analysis, which is what originally sparked his interested in data science: “That’s how I started doing data analysis and I really liked data. I liked it a lot!”

Big experiments, big datasets, big numbers

Andrea says that data science and the nature of particle physics are a great fit: “Experiments to study particles are big and you have to produce a huge amount of particles, so products of these collisions are usually huge numbers of other particles. All big numbers! In the end, these numbers go into big datasets and that’s how I started doing data science.” Andrea enjoyed doing data analysis because the data he worked with was so diversified and there was no obvious way to approach it. He explains: “The game was to find creative solutions to look at the data in a smart way and I think that’s what intrigued me the most, to be creative and look for a smart solution.”

First foray into the startup world

Once his PhD was complete, Andrea co-founded a startup with his friend. The company worked with protection from plagiarism and Andrea says the experience was a lot of fun and made him curious about the startup world. “The startup scene is exciting and you can shape your own ideas. Enterprises are bigger and more stable, but more structured and less dynamic. It’s all about the trade-off and what’s more exciting for you.” Andrea points out that he nearly ended up working with software development at a huge corporation, but luckily, he realized that he found startups more exciting and eventually found his way to Disposable mail.

It started with an event at SUP46

In spring 2015, Andrea attended a startup recruiting event at SUP46. He says he was immediately interested in working at Disposable mail: “I talked to a lot of startups at the event, but when Rickard and Fredrik (Disposable mail’s CEO and Head of Engineering) pitched Disposable mail, I thought ‘wow, this sounds really cool’.” Andrea gave them his CV and was invited to a Skype interview a couple of days later, followed by another interview and an offer. Disposable mail’s Team Data was ready to get started and crunch some numbers!

His own data creature

The fact that Andrea joined the team at an early stage and helped build everything from scratch means that he’s never bored. He explains how he tackled the opportunity to shape Disposable mail’s data analysis in his own way: “When I got the position, there was no dedicated data infrastructure. I got to design and build everything according to our needs, it’s my own creature! I really like that I have an overview of the whole process.” Disposable mail has changed and grown a lot since his first day on the job: “Seeing all these people around me has been one of the best rewards because indirectly, it means that we are doing a good job.” The time has come for the data team to grow, something Andrea is looking forward to: “We’ve come to the point when it’s not enough with just me. It’s a completely different phase and it’s very exciting!”

Q&A with Andrea

iPhone or Android?
Definitely Android.

Mac or PC?
PC, I need to decide every little piece of hardware and software in it.

Favourite data science resource?
A few blogs about data visualization and data engineering and data science blogs of big data companies.

Any tips for data scientists?
Don’t be frustrated when you realize that you spent 90% of your time to make data look decent and you still haven’t started to put any science on top of them.

#1 security advice?
Be ready for data disasters by always having backup copies of everything. Especially the most obvious things which are usually those you will forget and will be lost forever.

Andrea enjoys sharing his knowledge and explaining data in a simple way. He writes about Disposable mail data, provides us with fun stats in our Yearly Review and also guest blogged about data science for Swedish tech publication InternetWorld.

 


Do you want to become part of Team Data at Disposable mail? We’re looking for a data engineer, so why not head over to our careers page to find out more?

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