by Brian Nordli
January 2, 2019

At most fast-growing companies, it can be easy for employees to get lost in the wave of new faces joining their ranks each week.

That hasn’t been a problem at Ping Identity.

While the identity security tech company has quadrupled in size since 2011, it has built in leadership development courses, mentorship opportunities and professional development training to grow its own staff. Meanwhile, its new office is designed to bring people together with a large communal space that they have no problem keeping busy. Yoga Tuesday and wine Wednesday, anyone?

We spoke with four employees at Ping Identity for the scoop on how they’re growing with the company.

 

Ping Identity Office
Photography By Keith Trigaci
Ping Identity Kitchen
Photography By Keith Trigaci
Ping Identity Logo
Photography By Keith Trigaci

 

FOUNDED: 2002

EMPLOYEES: 720 (64 local)

WHAT THEY DO: Ping Identity provides an identity-defined security platform that enables clients to keep their information protected and accessible only to the right people.

WHERE THEY DO IT: Austin

FINE DINING: Every day of the week brings a new activity at Ping Identity, like yoga Tuesdays and breakfast taco Fridays, but a favorite is wine Wednesdays. Each Wednesday, a volunteer host brings in wine and a platter of cheeses, nuts and bread for taste sessions.  

PING PERKS: In addition to unlimited PTO, Ping Identity provides education and fitness reimbursements to employees and pays the entire cost of their health care medical premiums.

 

Saira at work

Saira Portrait

 

Saira Guthrie, Product Marketing Manager

Saira orchestrates Ping Identity’s messaging on blogs, videos, web content, webinars and more to showcase the value its products offer to customers. Her content helps the demand generation and sales teams complete sales and drive growth.

BEYOND WORK: When Saira isn’t busy making sure Ping Identity’s communication hits the right notes, she’s busy building harmonies as a founding member and business manager of the women’s acapella group, The Austonettes.

 

What attracted you to Ping Identity?

The open PTO policy was the first thing to grab my attention. Everyone takes advantage of it, which is a great feeling. I was also very intrigued by Ping Identity’s rapid growth. Before I joined in 2018, the company had more than quadrupled in size since 2011.

The fact that every acquisition Ping has been a part of has made business sense and increased the value proposition for our platform is impressive. When I learned that Ping was also exploring the possibilities of tying artificial intelligence and machine learning to identity, it was icing on the cake.

 

I’ve been at Ping for less than a year, however, I feel like I’m poised for career growth.”

 

What opportunities are there for career growth at Ping Identity?

I’ve been at Ping for less than a year, however, I feel like I’m poised for career growth. I’ve been nominated for a training workshop in Denver that will help me become a stronger leader, and with so much growth on my team and the overall success of the company, I feel like there are endless opportunities to shape my own destiny.

 

Where do you see the biggest opportunity for product growth in the security industry?

Security is about ensuring the right people get access to the right things, and identity is an increasingly important part of that equation. The best way for us to move toward a more seamless, granular access experience for the right users is to put big data to work through machine learning and artificial intelligence. With the rapid growth of traffic through web APIs, PingIntelligence for APIs positions us to help enterprises secure their APIs as they become a greater proportion of overall traffic.

 

emily at play

Emily Portrait

 

Emily McKeown, Content Marketing Manager

Emily works with product marketing and demand generation teams to plan and create marketing content. She writes white papers and blogs, builds web pages, shoots video and more.

BEYOND WORK: Emily plays on a city rec league softball team with her coworkers. While she confesses they don’t win a lot, like any good underdog, they have a lot of heart.  

 

Ping Identity recently moved into a new Austin office. How does the new office compare to the previous one?

I love the big kitchen, where people tend to congregate and drink lots of coffee, of course. It’s also where we hold many of our social events, like our Thanksgiving potluck, wedding and retirement celebrations and our weekly wine Wednesdays and breakfast taco Fridays.

I also appreciate how many different kinds of working spaces there are. I can stick to my office, reserve a conference room for a meeting, circle around a table in a common area for a quick chat or cozy up in an armchair to get some writing done.

 

I also appreciate the autonomy that I’ve been given to take the lead and make decisions that matter.” 

 

How have you grown in your career since joining Ping Identity?

Since joining Ping, I’ve been exposed to many people and projects that have allowed me to explore different aspects of my job. There’s a lot of collaboration across marketing, which has allowed me to gain more experience in project management, product launches, event planning, performance metrics and web and SEO best practices. I also appreciate the autonomy that I’ve been given to take the lead and make decisions that matter. It’s given me more confidence in my ability as a leader.

 

What’s next for the product marketing team? 

I see us getting bigger. We're hiring at a rapid rate, which will come with its own challenges, such as finding the right level of communication and collaboration. But with more product marketers we’ll be able to accomplish more, reach new audiences and become more specialized. We’ll also be able to take advantage of more diverse ideas and expertise.

 

Kristen at play

Kristen Portrait

 

Kristen Komatz, Senior Director, Product Development

Kristen oversees the teams the developing, testing and documenting PingDirectory, Ping Data Governance and Ping Data Sync. She’s also guiding the team building PingOne for customers.

BEYOND WORK: They say a sound body leads to a sound mind. For Kristen, nothing beats hitting the gym or going on a run to release stress and keep her mind clear for work.    

 

How have you grown in your career since joining Ping Identity?

Ping has given me the opportunity to grow in my career and manage a larger organization of people than I have in the past. I get to mentor other managers and help to grow the team in Austin. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with remote teams and foster relationships and teamwork across the sites.

 

What opportunities are there for employees to shape the direction of their career at Ping Identity?

Ping is growing so much right now — there are so many opportunities for people to take on new roles, mentor new hires, move into leadership positions or mature in their area of expertise. The company is a huge supporter of promoting from within, offering leadership classes and mentoring opportunities for those who are ready and interested.

 

We foster an environment that is supportive, inclusive and diverse.”

 

How does Ping Identity foster diversity on its teams as it continues to grow?

We foster an environment that is supportive, inclusive and diverse. When hiring, we recruit extensively at different college events looking for new and diverse candidates, and we promote internal referrals from employees. I’m on the steering committee for the Women in Ping group, which offers opportunities for networking, conferences, mentoring and technical training.

 

Javier at play

Javier Portrait

 

Javier Alberto Ortiz Bultron, Senior Quality Engineer

Javy prepares Ping Identity’s products for release. Each product comes with its own set of verifications, ranging from patch releases to new features, bug fixes to user experience code. 

BEYOND WORK: Wrestling is in Javy’s blood. His grandfather was a former wrestler, and some of Javy’s earliest memories are going to wrestling matches with him. Today, he gets his fix watching wrestling and playing wrestling video games.

 

What attracted you to Ping Identity?

I started as a college software teacher, and then took on a role testing and verifying medical devices regulated by the FDA and other agencies. After more than 14 years in that environment, I was ready for a change. I've been learning and programming in Java since 2003 and always dreamt of using it at work. I never had the chance until I was approached to work at Ping.

 

We are encouraged and allowed to move among roles as we like. That flexibility is refreshing after being stuck in the same role at other companies.”

 

How has the engineering team grown at Ping Identity from when you first joined?

I've seen new faces frequently over the year. We are encouraged and allowed to move among roles as we like. That flexibility is refreshing after being stuck in the same role at other companies.

 

Tell us about a project or challenge you’re working on that excites you most.

I'm moving from on-premise software to identity as a service starting this year, which will involve microservices and cloud solutions. It'll be another first to me, the same way that Ping gave me my first exposure to ID management and LDAP.

 

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