Paul Beskow

Tell us what you do in Cisco?

I work as a software engineer in the personal systems group. Our primary purpose is to develop and maintain the main application and its corresponding protocols and feature sets that run on the EX-series of endpoints. As such, we play an important role in the personal collaboration space.

What are the most interesting aspects of your job?

There are a number of interesting challenges related to my job. The most notable are the challenges associated with working on such a large and complex code base, which uses a broad range of standards, such as SIP/H.323/SDP, etc. In addition to working on the main code base, there are a lot of related challenges, with regards to supporting frameworks, such as automated testing tools, static analysis, etc. There is always something new to learn, and therefore no day is boring!

What do you like best about working here?

That there is such a variety of challenges and that the day to day interaction involves speaking to people from product management, interaction design, developers and UI design. In other words, on a day to day basis you get to interact with some of the best people in the business, and what is more they are always willing to share their knowledge with you.

What surprised you most about Cisco when you first started?

Sometimes you expect a large corporation to be a rigid structure, where you need to do what you are told, but here there is an inherent understanding that if you have a good idea, do it! You do not need to ask for permission. One might think this would end up with a lot of time wasting, but instead everyone has an inherent understanding that they only engage in tasks that are beneficial to the project. This freedom to make your own decision is great, you feel that you can be trusted to make the right choices.

What's your favourite benefit at Cisco?

Knowledge. I love to learn, and being able to attend a course in C++ held by the creator himself, Bjarne Stroustrup, or stroll over to the neighbouring building and talk to a committee member of the H.265 standard, that is amazing.