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Teleport Blog - Why I Joined Teleport - Dec 27, 2021

Why I Joined Teleport

by Xin Ding

Why I Joined Teleport as VP of Product

There are many ways to evaluate employment opportunities. In this post, I share a bit about my thought process and why I joined Teleport.

When evaluating opportunities, I always ask myself two questions:

  1. Will this opportunity enable me to do good (i.e. “make the world a better place”)?
  2. Will this opportunity enable me to be great (i.e. build valuable skills and execute at a high level)?

Let’s look at each of these.

Do good.

“Make the world a better place,” a meme about tech startups so worthy that HBO made a whole show about it. It means something different to everyone, but here’s what it means to me:

  1. Solve a real problem.
  2. Build an effective solution.
  3. Make the solution accessible.

Are there startups that actually do good? I think so.

On solving a real problem

Having previously worked in the developer tools space, I immediately knew that Teleport is solving a real problem because every company I’ve worked at or with has experienced challenges with infrastructure access. The most common solutions (e.g. shared passwords, multiple OpenSSH servers, etc.) often pose security, usability, and scalability issues. These challenges have only been exacerbated by the rise of remote work and data breaches.

On building an effective solution

After doing some market research, it was obvious to me that an effective solution in this space exhibits two primary attributes: usability and security. Simply trying the product convinced me of its usability, and talking to Teleport engineers and reading the RFCs they wrote convinced me of their security-centric approach.

On making the solution accessible

If people who could benefit from your solution can’t afford it, then it’s not a good business model. To make the product accessible to everyone, Teleport offers its community product for free. It doesn’t get much better than free.

Be great.

Why did I think that Teleport would help me build valuable skills and execute at a high level? Simply put, the people and the culture.

On the people

Everyone I spoke with during my interview process was exceptionally great at what they did. I can just as easily talk about how impressed I was with the sales, marketing, engineering, or design teams, but I’ll take a less common approach and give praise where it's due for the traditionally less-talked-about functions: recruiting and IT.

On recruiting.

At the beginning of my interview process, I was given a thorough interview guide for my role. I knew exactly what to expect going into each session and how each interviewer would view my strengths and weaknesses. I was empowered to present my best self to the interview panel.

On IT.

Would you believe me if I told you that my entire onboarding process was zero-touch? I entered my information into a system and I was automatically allocated all resources and access for my role.

If you still don’t believe how great the people are, come meet us and see for yourself!

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On the culture

Good culture is hard to describe, so I’ll try to do it through examples.

First, Teleport has cultural behaviors. One of these behaviors is we write it down, and wow do we write. The reasoning behind this behavior is twofold: 1) writing things down helps preserve and share thoughts which leads to smarter work and more scalable growth and 2) recording everything makes decisions more transparent, thereby leveling the playing field for all employees.

Second, a more anecdotal example. Of the ten people in my “onboarding class,” eight were referrals. If people didn’t like working at Teleport, they wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to recruit their friends.

The combination of people and culture create an amazing environment that pushes everyone to be great.

TL;DR: Do good. Be great. I joined Teleport because it embodies this approach.


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