A Day in a Life
BitDam's swimming research engineer
Eyal Blyachman, a Research Engineer at BitDam, starts his day at an Olympic-size pool and loves hiking, all while working at Datto’s Cybersecurity Hub in Tel Aviv and completing his BSc in Bioinformatics
Name: Eyal Blyachman
Position: Research Engineer
Company: BitDam - Datto’s Cybersecurity Hub in Tel Aviv
Living in: Tel Aviv
For a Starter
I work part-time as a research engineer and last year I started my BSc in Bioinformatics at Tel Aviv University. Luckily, all classes are recorded so I can watch them whenever it suits me and I don’t need to physically be there. I dedicate 2.5 days to work and 2.5 days to studying (plus weekends when needed) so there is a separation between my “two lives”.
I live in the university dorms with two roommates and love traveling and hiking (I walked the entire Israel National Trail), which unfortunately I don’t get to do much these days due to COVID-19 and my busy life routine.
What is special about what you do: I’m a researcher, which means that my work is very diverse and I always encounter new challenges. I’m pretty independent in how to work (I select my own work methods and daily processes) and how to split my day and workweek. I get to interact with different disciplines and learn new things at work regularly. Most importantly, it’s a challenging job that requires a lot of creativity.
What in your opinion makes a good researcher: To become a good researcher one needs to be enthusiastic about problem-solving, pay attention to details, and not be afraid of trying. When stuff doesn't go as planned you should keep trying and be patient because sometimes it takes time to see results.
What do you like about your workplace: I like the people and the atmosphere. I joined BitDam about three years ago when it was still a small start-up company. I joined right after my military service and was welcomed by a team of sharp and creative engineers who were looking to change the world of email security. After meeting the founders and the team I had no doubt that I’m going to join this company. I loved the people and the vibe and was curious about the promising technology.
Since then, BitDam and I have continued to grow, and just a few months ago the company was acquired by Datto, an American company that is now entering the cybersecurity market. In fact, Datto acquired BitDam as their first step in this market and is planning to expand their involvement much more. So now I get to work for an American company, but still enjoy the start-up atmosphere in the Tel Aviv office. I really get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
My Daily Routine
I usually start my morning with a swim practice, unless I had acrobatics training last night or hung out too late. I swim either at sea or at the Tel-Aviv university pool, which I like because it’s an Olympic-size swimming pool.
I go home, take a shower, have breakfast, and take some time to relax before I start the day.
Now it depends if I work from home or at the office that day. If I’m home, I start my workday at this point, turn on some music and open my computer. If it is an office day - I ride my non-electric bicycle to the office, have breakfast there with my colleagues, and start the day.
Daily team meeting. The team I’m part of is called “The Core Team” since we work on the core algorithms of BitDam’s product, and also because we all like the cold (core sounds like cold in Hebrew ;-)). Our side of the office is at least five degrees cooler than the rest of the office. We’re a team of five and we always start this meeting with some personal chitchat. Then each team member gives an update on what they are working on, what they did yesterday, and what they plan on doing today. If one of us encounters a challenge, we share it with the team and we all brainstorm and try to help.
I keep doing my individual work. For example, at the moment I’m working on a project aiming to provide more visibility to users about the type of malware caught by the product. Our Go-To-Market team has recently learned that our customers want access to this type of threat information. Therefore, I am working on adding this capability to the product.
Typically, when I start researching a new topic, I first try to understand the problem context myself. Once I understand the problem, I search online for similar issues which typically help point me in the right direction. As part of my research work I use reverse engineering techniques and check threats and processes in different environments or with different configurations.
Lunchtime - I normally cook for myself and everyone at the office knows that I try to eat healthy. I’m mainly known for the buckwheat I have for lunch. If I’m home, I sometimes have lunch with my roommates.
Cafe Core: Every day at 16:00, my team (Core team) takes some time off to socialize, either in person or on Zoom, and just have a virtual coffee or snack together. It’s really informal and we talk about anything, from the movie we watched last night to the most burning news items.
I finish my workday and close the laptop. At this point, I can’t even think of studying. This is my time to relax, meet friends, do my hobbies, and shut off my brain.
I either meet with friends or just hang out over beer with my roommates. Once a week I go to acrobatics class, where I currently practice my backroll. I started about a year ago and I love it since it’s super challenging and I feel so good when I succeed.
Android or iPhone: Android. With no doubt.
What book are you reading: I’m currently reading Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow.
Recommended TV series: I don’t watch much TV, but really liked Lost.
What music do you listen to: A bit of everything. I like older Israeli musicians like Dani Sanderson, Gidi Gov, and Meir Ariel.
Home / Office / Hybrid: Hybrid. I love that I have this flexibility, and being also a student, the hybrid model works very well for me.