By pure chance, I started at the lowest level, getting to grips with some hairy problems in the physical layer devices used to make a LAN connections. From there I moved up into the world of ASIC design, working on custom silicon for network adapters and switches. As that area became commoditised, I moved further up the stack, writing software for network intrusion detection and security devices for wireless networks and finally looking at hardware assisted deep content inspection at the application layer. Looking for a new challenge and thanks to a few calls from some of the people I’d worked with straight out of University, I arrived in a large empty office in the centre of Rickmansworth in May 2009. There were three of us and my first day involved a trip to Ikea to buy a desk. The remit was wide open and for the first time I was in a pure software role, but despite all that, a product plan came together within a few months and we started to grow a team. The rest as they say, is history, but I’m happy to say that even in a company twenty times the size of that original little group, we haven’t lost the sense of innovation, team work and rapid progress that makes StarLeaf such a great place to work.