Carbon Black (NASDAQ: CBLK) is a leading provider of next-generation endpoint security delivered via the cloud. We consolidate prevention, detection, response, threat hunting, and managed services into a single platform with a single agent and single console, making it easier for organizations to achieve better protection. More than 5,000 global customers, including 34 of the Fortune 100, trust Carbon Black to keep their organizations safe.
Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
Keeping our customers protected from cyberattacks is at the core of our company’s vision.
Carbon Black’s platform the Predictive Security Cloud (PSC) consolidates multiple security and IT use cases into a single, lightweight agent to make endpoint security stronger and easier across the globe. Our platform empowers 5,000+ global customers to prevent, detect, respond to and predict advanced cyberattacks. The platform is guided by our vision and influenced by multiple players within the CB ecosystem including our internal teams, our threat research efforts, our customers, and our partners.
With a vast ecosystem comprising the best minds in cybersecurity, we are continually innovating in the market and, when we hire, we look for people with diverse viewpoints who are: excellent problem solvers, team players, and who understand the value of strong cybersecurity. We often say that everyone at Carbon Black has cybersecurity in their DNA. This shines through in our products and everything we do.
Uses Agile Methodologies
The majority of our R&D organization follows the scrum methodology.
However, a number of our systems teams that tend to be more interrupt driven use Kanban instead. For new hires, the first month is chock full of onboarding and training. We have a two-day company-wide New Employee Orientation followed by a day with an R&D-specific orientation. Informally, there is a number of product training and in-depth walkthroughs of each product. You’ll also spend time getting acquainted with your scrum team and shadowing your team.
In case you were wondering, yes we pair program! We share the role of scrum master across the scrum teams so that each member is able to expand their skill set.
We spent the last few years investing in our engineering and product talent.
In 2017, we hired a new Chief Product Officer whose goal was to restructure our teams and give them more influence on Carbon Black’s roadmap and products. Part of this change was to go through a major Agile Transformation. We hired a number of Agile and Scrum coaches to help restructure our teams to be more efficient and versatile. This change was embraced and directed from the top up, including our leadership team, and was communicated throughout the company. The Chief Product Officer went as far as to educate the whole company on what Agile was and how to effectively work with our engineering and product teams who were adopting this.
To better adopt the Agile change, our company invested in Big Room Planning (BRP). BRP is a major event that happens every three months at Carbon Black. We fly in every single person on engineering/product throughout the world and bring them to our headquarters in Waltham, MA for a couple of days.
At BRP, everyone gains clarity on the vision for our products, individual teams come together to plan out their 12-week sprints, and teams communicate and partner with one another based on their goals. BRP has not only been instrumental in giving our engineers a voice when it comes to Carbon Black’s vision, but it also gives engineers the ability to dictate what they personally want to focus on for their upcoming sprint.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to plan these events and is a large monetary investment. Not many companies invest in events like these, especially companies of our size and scale. Despite this, we at Carbon Black believe in the importance of bringing everyone together and providing a level of transparency to our engineering and product teams so that they can influence decisions and build stronger relationships with one another.
Flexible Work Arrangements
We want to make work work for our employees and allow people to create their own flexible schedules.
Some of our engineers choose which days of the week they’ll work from home. They typically pick them based on their life needs and personal schedules. They can also be flexible for schedule. For example, some people choose to come in late/leave late (or early/leave early) to avoid traffic. Since we have distributed teams, some people prefer specific hours that work best with the time zones their teams work in. Others might come in late if they have an off-hours deployment.
In short, we’re fairly flexible if people get their work done and are responsive when needed. Carbon Black is set up well for remote and flexible work, as we have a ton of tools for communication and collaboration (i.e., Slack, video chat, phone, intranets, etc.). Flexibility is one of the key things that people like about working at Carbon Black. We have a variety of people (i.e. families, individuals who are attending school, people who have specific hobbies like sports or community service, or live far from an office), so these flexible arrangements allow them to do what they need to do in their personal lives.
We also have a number of employee spotlights where people talk about the company/team culture and their experiences at Carbon Black.
Safe Environment to Fail
When people “fail” we pick them up and dust them off.
Carbon Black is a constant work in progress and the best way we navigate this is by living our values. One of the biggest ways we live our values is by doing a retro when we fail to figure out how we can do better in the future – and not who caused the issue. By shifting the language to “doing better going forward” rather than “which throat do I choke?” we start from a place of safety. Then we take the recommended steps to improve and add those steps to our future work.
A great example of this is when we had a migration issue on CB Protection a few years ago. A person wrote a script that had a mistake which ended up modifying data. Once we recognized that the issue came from a poor migration step, we went right to remediation and lessons learned for the team. This meant three weeks of planning for how to address the root cause and how to get our customers back to health. We spent zero time calling out the person who wrote the script. We, instead, focused on how to tactically fix the software issue and help our customers.
Only after the two above issues were met did we have a personal retro with the person. We discussed what they learned from the process and what, if anything, they’d change. (In this case, the person said they’d add several tests to smoke tests. And that’s what we did!)
We also do post-mortems, and we always do a “lessons learned/retro” for major failures. The example given above is one such example. We don’t always share the results of the post-mortem externally; however, we do make sure our customers know what the problem was and how we’ll fix it. For example, in the scenario above, we talked to every customer impacted and worked with them to remediate the data change.
In 2018, 30% of our jobs were filled internally.
Carbon Black is passionate about growing our employees. Not only have we seen people move up in their current teams or relevant departments, but we’ve also seen people move from completely different roles.
Each department is given a certain budget for learning and development. Sometimes managers choose what they want to send members of their teams to (based on internal/team needs), and other times members will pitch trainings, conferences, or MeetUps that are important to them. For instance, we frequently send our engineers conferences such as DevOps Days, SANS, Cubecon, AWS re:Invent, Black Hat, RSA, Grace Hopper Celebration, and many more. We also provide trainings, like Agile leadership and Kanban, for our team members.
As just one example, our campus recruiter moved into a product owner role last spring and is now a product owner team lead! There are many other examples of how we develop people at Carbon Black. To put it simply, we invest in our people and want to see them grow their careers in ways that make sense with their personal goals. We’re always evaluating new ways to support our employees and offer them more. In fact, our Chief People Officer will be moving into a new role in January that will be focused on training and growing our employees as leaders.
Actively Practices Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion is a company-wide focus of ours.
There was a large push in 2017 that focused on attracting new women to the organization and supporting our current women employees. The momentum we created then carried into 2018 when we officially established our Diversity and Inclusion team. We have since invested in more initiatives, such as putting out content to showcase our women and what it’s like to work there, sending 24 of our technical women (including engineering, product, sales, sales engineering, and more) to Grace Hopper Conference (which we also sponsored), sending 30 women to the Mass Conference for women, and hosting a number of internal meetings/presentations to support our women. We also signed the Parity Pledge.
Inclusion, of course, is not only about gender. We also support people of color and LGBTQ groups and have a number of internal groups (via Slack) and events to support and celebrate Carbon Black employees. We also invest in Hack.Diversity, which focuses on helping the underrepresentation of high-skilled minority employees in Boston’s economy. We also engages with our greater community through things like STEMatch and TUGG’s Guppy Tank (both focused on exposing 6th graders to careers in STEM).
In 2019, we plan on building out new initiatives via Employee Resource Groups and expanding our D&I initiatives to build momentum in the people of color and LGBTQ groups.
A hallmark of our culture is our approachable leaders who are skilled at having open and transparent communications with their teams.
Having honest conversations with your leadership and knowing they are truly interested in hearing your feedback is incredibly important to every employee. And if it isn’t, it should be. Having clear communication across an organization enables you to grow quickly and keep teams aligned throughout that growth. This is one of our strengths at Carbon Black.
Every month, we have our “Ask Patrick Anything” series where employees can ask our CEO Patrick Morley anything they want. Questions can be submitted in advance or asked on the fly, but they’re all answered during a live video meeting. Everyone is encouraged to participate, and questions range from corporate strategy to the company’s management practices and desired culture. This forum has been a resounding success and has enabled fast, open, and transparent communications as we scale. (The best part was that it was really easy to implement!)
Many of our other leaders have adopted this approach as well. With the implementation of Slack, we have channels such as Ask Ryan (our Chief Product Officer) or ask Thomas (EVP Chief Operating Officer) where employees are encouraged to ask questions and will know they can get an honest response. We also have a number of collaboration and communication channels within Slack and via our intranet, Beehive, where employees can connect on work, various topics of interest, or just to chat.
To close, here are some thoughts from Allison Perkel, our Sr. Director of Engineering:
“Open communication, to me, is the process of being true to the team and to yourself in the dialogs that constantly happen at a company. This means people impacted by a potential decision have a say. This means folks who express differing opinions are cheered rather than jeered. And it’s a constant work in progress.
“To give an example, we bring all of R&D together four times a year – once a quarter. At each of these R&D gatherings, we plan the next 12 weeks of work. At the end of the planning, we do a “fist of 5” to see if we agree and commit to the proposed plan. It’s public. If anyone is a two or less, we stop and have a serious discussion as to why they chose that. For four planning sessions, no one has put out a two. When someone finally did throw out a two (which means no confidence), it led to a 2-hour architecture meeting which led to our plans and commitments changing for the upcoming quarter. This had a material impact on the plans and commits for the upcoming quarter and demonstrated that we, Carbon Black, value everyone’s opinion.
This is how we work to foster open, honest, 2-way communication.”
Uses Agile Methodologies
Flexible Work Arrangements
Safe Environment to Fail
Actively Practices Inclusion
44 Other R&D groups (including IT)
50 Product Management
CB Defense: A next-generation anti-virus solution for desktops, laptops, and servers that protects computers from the full spectrum of modern cyber attacks.The application server exposes a REST API.
CB Protection: The most proven application control solution that establishes automated software execution controls and protects policies that safeguard corporate and customer data. It’s hosted on-prem. CB Protection exposes a REST API.
CB Response: A precise IR and threat hunting solution that continuously records and captures all threat activity in real time. is a multi-tenant, cloud hosted solution that utilizes a Service Oriented Architecture consisting of scalable services.
Our typical interview process started with an application, recruiter screen, and then another phone screen with a subject-matter expert. For both remote-based and office-based roles, you’ll then come to our Waltham, Mass. HQ for an on-site interview.