Early Aspirations in Technology Become a Reality for Circadence’s Paul Ellis
Paul Ellis, Senior Product Manager at Circadence, was always interested in technology, even at a young age. When Paul was 8-years old, he rode his bike to the closest RadioShack to buy a book written for adults on the topic of electrical engineering no less. After saving enough allowance to purchase the book, he dove into it as soon as he got home and that’s where his love for technology really began.
But perhaps, too, Paul’s passion stemmed from his father, who worked for a company developing computer robots. Their bond over technology contributed to Paul’s interest in the field. In fact, Paul and his father built their first computer together – an 8Mhz Intel 8088 PC when he was 10 years old. Paul read the entire instruction manual from front to back to learn what he could do with his newly built device. From that day on, he was always creating! He created electronic devices, computers, and even composed music.
In high school Paul played many different instruments and began his college journey with aspirations to become a sound engineer to satisfy his interest for both technology and music. He quickly realized that his interest in technology outweighed his musical career interest, and that the lifestyle of a sound engineer wasn’t very appealing.
He changed his major to Business and Marketing and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from California State University San Marcos in 2005. He then continued to Purdue University for an MBA in Technology Commercialization, Marketing and Finance. Throughout his academic journey and in his free time he continued to create and assemble tech devices. He was never afraid of technology; he was drawn to it and always knew there was a way to control it.
Paul, a techie through and through, followed his cyber heart and became a Senior Product Manager for more than a decade for various leading tech firms. He began to learn about identity risk and how our technological advancements were increasing threats. During his time at a previous employer, LifeLock, he learned about risk prevention, identity theft, how vulnerable consumers are in the real world, and how risk would continue to escalate if companies and individuals weren’t taking precautions to protect themselves and their devices.
Upon joining Circadence, Paul began to navigate the world of cybersecurity. The company’s cutting-edge ideas and technology designed to protect businesses, government and consumers were appealing to him given what he had observed in previous tech positions. He was interested in the innovative products that provided new ways for cybersecurity beginners and professionals to learn, and he could envision how it would improve the cyber posture of enterprises.
“I feel like I’m doing something positive for society,” Paul said. He’s been with Circadence for a year now as the Senior Product Manager and continues to be inspired by his team and the revolutionary products Circadence brings to market.
“There’s a huge threat out there, and a huge lack of skills in the industry, and being a part of the solution is a big part of my intrinsic motivation.”
Paul enjoys partaking in all the different facets of a product’s lifecycle – how the product supports a need for the consumer or industry, how it is marketed, and how to assess its financial viability. He also enjoys talking to customers to learn about their experience with a product first-hand, because at the end of the day, a product’s success is dependent upon a customer’s experience with it.
Managing the success of a product is how he gauges the success of his career – what did the product solve, and how did it benefit the customer and the industry? “The payoff is seeing the cumulative effect of the entire product,” said Paul. For example, in November 2019 he worked long hours along-side his team to prepare for one of our largest partner events – Microsoft Ignite. They developed specific gamified battle rooms in Project Ares to teach user’s about Microsoft’s new security tools and how they can be utilized in realistic cyber scenarios. Attendees could get direct experience using Microsoft’s security tools within Project Ares, which runs on Microsoft Azure.
“Ignite was one of the most meaningful moments in my career and I’m fortunate I had the opportunity to work with my team to pull it off! There was so much teamwork, collaboration and problem solving from planning, developing, to deployment at the event. It’s only in bringing people together, that my work succeeds.”
Paul not only enjoys doing something that keeps consumers and businesses safer, but he truly respects and values his team at Circadence. There’s a true sense of trust between everyone on his team and he feels fortunate to have this experience in the workplace.
“The need for improved cybersecurity is everywhere,” said Paul. The cyber learning products Circadence provides today will help teach the future cyber workforce and help protect us from the countless risks and threats that are out there. He continues to fulfill his passion for technology by bringing Circadence cyber learning products to market. He appreciates Circadence products because they actually provide trainees what they need to know, and what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis. It’s not just about reading a white paper or watching a video – gamified platforms like Project Ares provide hands-on experience to master the craft of cybersecurity.