Doron Sharon is the Co-Founder at Descope, a company helping developers build secure, frictionless authentication and user journeys for any application.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I studied computer science at the Reichman University, but there’s a funny story about how I ended up there. I initially did not think of studying computer science. I tried to get accepted to law studies but was not qualified for it and did not want to waste another year, so I compromised and went to study computer science. This was a good decision in the end because I fell in love with it and became very good at it. I always had a passion for computers – my parents bought me my first computer when I was 2-3 years old, which back then was an unusual thing to have. I have also always been passionate about entrepreneurship, and not only related to computer science.
After studying, I worked at HP Software, which was an amazing time for me. I learned a lot, especially about how to build an enterprise-ready software company and product. Then I met Demisto’s founders, whom I fell in love with, and joined Demisto as the first employee to help build an amazing company and product from scratch. We got acquired by Palo Alto Networks, and after 3 amazing years we all left and started Descope, where I plan to stay forever if possible.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
My workday is not that usual. I believe in working whenever needed and not being tied to a specific schedule. I try to always be responsive on Slack, emails, and to customer questions. My aim is not to be a blocker to others in any way..
My day consists of a variety of tasks encompassing programming, product, design, customer support, and team management. A day might involve developing features and fixing bugs, attending productive product and design meetings, helping other employees with their day-to-day job, taking customer calls, and lots of other things besides.
In fact, at Descope, we believe that this is how all employees should act – solve the problems in front of them without being tied to job titles. We also give them the freedom of working from home, taking vacations, and spending ample time with their family.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
Work-life balance is very important, and the fact that I’m not tied to a specific schedule helps me with that. I’m always taking my daughter Naomi to kindergarten every morning, I’m being truly present in her life, and being involved in as many school activities as possible. Spending quality time with my family also makes my work much more focused and effective. I’m also trying to involve myself with hobbies and go out with my wife whenever I can. My wife also has a very demanding job, so it is not that easy to spend quality time consistently, but both of us try whenever we can.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
Actually no, this is how I used to be in all of my previous positions. Early in my career, I realised the importance of balance, family time, and how being disciplined in taking time away from work would make the quality of work better. I have followed these tenets throughout. If anyone reading this needs to start thinking about work-life balance, I’d like to say that it’s never too late. Start it today!
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
I love listening to podcasts about parenting and about interesting facts and trivia. One of them is Mom Dad (Hebrew), which talks about parenting and also puts life in perspective. Another one is After The Fact, which presents data and commentary on important world trends. Another nice website is Baby Center, which is very helpful to track children’s development in all ages.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I believe that if you do what’s good for you and your family, other things will take care of themselves. If you ignore either of these things, both your work and your life will be less fulfilling.
My other piece of advice is differentiating between “good stress” and “bad stress”. It’s sometimes important to stretch yourself professionally and personally to grow in life, but going overboard can burn you out and negatively affect all aspects of your day. Always try to reduce bad stress and have at least some good stress in your life.
In closing, I’d like to tell readers to always dare to chase their dreams without being afraid of what could go wrong. As Dr. Seuss said: “Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!”
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