What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Aslan Pishdad and I'm from San Jose California, the largest city in the Bay Area.

What is your title and what do you do?

I am the Regional Sales Director for the Western United States.

I'm in the field and responsible for GitGuardian's largest accounts, specifically in the Western U.S. territory. If you think of your household company names like Apple, Salesforce, Adobe—some of the large tech enterprises here—I'm responsible for getting us a foot in the door. Then it's maneuvering; managing the complexities of the organization and various stakeholders to ensure that we're solving an impactful business problem for them. It takes a lot of planning, a lot of internal/external committee involvement, and ultimately showcasing that GitGuardian can solve the problems they face. My north star is always determining and meeting the customer's needs.

What's something you've done at GitGuardian you're really proud of?

I’m really proud of the fact I’ve given field visibility to the GitGuardian brand.

This has taken some extensive traveling. I present at the Snyk booths during various conferences. I’ve presented at OWASP and gotten a lot of great interest from the local communities. On top of that I take pride in helping new team members onboard and sharing what's worked for me and common pitfalls to avoid. When you care about the company & team it's easy to help out and want to see everyone succeed. 

Something that I’m most proud of is having the accolade of selling the largest deal in GitGuardian history for one of our product lines. We did this in record time thanks to a concerted team effort plus the great relationships we formed. Tackling a large business problem was at the core of what we were doing, so inevitably, it was a great outcome for the customer.

What is something you've done outside of work that you're really proud of?

I'm very community-centric and I used to sit as the chair for the city of San Jose's Human Services Commission. So, outside of my daily life. I'm pretty involved in the community. And I think civic responsibility is huge. I campaigned for our city council member in San Jose, who is now our current mayor. So I'm very proud of the fact that I'm involved in my local community and I have relationships within a city the size of San Jose. I try to help as much as I can on a civic level.

What is your favorite trick or habit for keeping you ready to face the challenges of your role?

I am involved in improv comedy. I don't do it as much as I used to, but I'm picking it back up. It's very unscripted. It's very live. And it helps in terms of navigating real-world dynamics, especially in our day-to-day, because you're always getting hit with something that comes out of the blue; something that forces you to think quickly and improvise. Improv naturally lends itself to being customer-facing and engaging in a unique way. One other ingrained habit of mine is that I’m a voracious reader - so that's helped me keep up to date on the industry and emerging trends.

Where did you attend university and what's something you learned there that has helped you here at GitGuardian?

[Editor's note for transparency: the author and Aslan are alumni of the same university.]

I went to UCR (University of California at Riverside). I got a full-ride scholarship there, so I didn't have to pick up too many loans at all. That was one of the reasons I went there. 

One thing that I picked up that helps me at GitGuardian is I still have connections to the campus and to the network. Originally when I went, I was going for Public Policy. So, the politicking of the world and my aspirations to be in political life kind of naturally lend themselves to the soft skills that I use in my daily interactions with people. My role is very people centric.

And then the other great thing is I met my wife there, so it's been a 10+ year relationship that has its traces to when I went to college!

Back to the company for the big finale. Aside from the product, what do you like about working at GitGuardian?

They are an amazing crew of people. GitGuardian has this amazing culture of transparency, and that is refreshing. That's rare coming into an organization like this because, historically, cybersecurity companies tend to be a little bit gated and the organization doesn't share as much of what happens behind the scenes. So that's number one. Number two is the team itself. The team is not only hungry, but we’re very collaborative in nature. There's no one that's a jerk which is a huge plus.