Zenith Community Member Spotlight (Employee Edition): Meet Aaron Rohyans
Aaron Rohyans, Principal Technical Product Specialist at Zscaler steps into the Zenith Community spotlight for October and we are excited to share their story!
Aaron Rohyans has been with Zscaler since October 2021 and has been active in the Zenith Community since early 2022. Aaron is currently serving as a Principal Technical Product Specialist, working on Zscaler’s Workload Communications product team focusing on the Cloud Connector appliance.
Read on to learn more about how Aaron started his security career and his experiences with Zscaler!
Q. What made you originally join Zscaler, and what has your career path looked like while at Zscaler?
I’ve always had a passion for Security. In the early 2000s, I started my professional life as a Cisco network engineer. As time went on, I began to develop a knack for security and, in particular, securing network routers, switches, and firewalls. In 2008, I obtained my Cisco CCIE certification in Security and started down a path that would eventually lead me to Zscaler. Fast forward to 2021, at the height of the pandemic, Zscaler’s message began to resonate with me. I began to ask myself, “how would I secure an organization that has a global or regional user-base where everyone now works from home?” It’s very difficult to do with legacy solutions. Zscaler figured out how to do it using the pervasiveness of the cloud. It wasn’t long after that when I made the jump. I started as a Principal Technical Product Specialist in October of 2021 and I’m currently on the Workload Communications team where we apply zero-trust architectural principles to AWS and Azure cloud workloads.
Q. Tell us about your family.
My wife, Shari, and I have been married for over 17 years. We have three children, Caleb, Claire, and Abram. We are originally from Indiana but recently moved to Tennessee to be closer to our favorite summer activity: the lake.
Q. What are some life achievements that you are proud of?
Though not Zscaler-specific, one of my greatest accomplishments was obtaining my CCIE certification in 2008. It was, bar none, one of the hardest tests and lab exams I’ve ever had to prepare for. I failed it two times before finally passing in RTP, North Carolina. It set the stage for the path that eventually led me to Zscaler!
Q. Tell us about your team. (specifically, your department/team)
I’m part of the Workload Communications team at Zscaler. As you can imagine, not only is securing remote workers a priority nowadays but so is securing cloud workloads. As more and more companies seek to move out of their corporate-controlled data centers and into the cloud, cloud workload security is becoming top of mind. What better way to secure these workloads than to direct their traffic through the Zero Trust Exchange and subject them to the same centralized, granular security policy that users adhere to? The Cloud Connector appliance is what we use to enable this functionality. It’s the easy button for cloud connectivity to the Zero Trust Exchange!
Q. What is a typical day in your life?
I’m usually up around 6 am to go get my morning run-in before plopping down in front of my laptop by 7:30 or so to prepare for the day. Most days consist of customer pre-sales calls and a few internal calls that help move larger projects forward. At present, I have three large projects I’m working on: a Demo/PoC tool, creating enablement content (such as videos for Zenith Communities), and competitive comparison. When I’m not on a customer call, you’ll find me in one of those three activities!
Q. How did you grow your career and what advice would you give to people looking to forge ahead on the same path? What are essential skills to develop?
Generally speaking, stand out and put forth perfection in whatever you are tasked with. That sounds cliche, but in an age of mediocrity, you’d be surprised how far you can go by simply putting forth your best effort and striving for perfection. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Just the person willing to put forth an exceptional effort.
Q. You attended Zenith Live - 2022 tell us about that experience
Wow! Such a cool opportunity to meet Zscaler customers, peers, and industry experts. Not to mention you get to hang out face-to-face with your friends again!
Q. Why do you feel the Zenith Community is important for not only customers but other Zscaler employees?
We all have questions. Zenith Community allows you to pool the collective brainpower of the masses to get those questions answered. It’s as simple as that. Part of being successful in your professional life is knowing where to find answers because… let’s face it, we’re all gonna get hit with a dilemma we don’t have a solution for. Knowing where to go find the answer, or who can help with an answer is half the battle!
Q. What is/are your favorite hobby(ies)
Boating and generally anything outdoors! I enjoy slalom skiing, wakeboarding, and wake surfing but I especially enjoy watching others have fun and progress behind the boat.
Q. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tough one, but I think I’d have to go with pizza!