Culture

Life @ Elastic | Know the Role: Support

If you’ve read anything about our culture as a distributed company, or seen other articles about roles at Elastic such as what it’s like in Sales Development or Field Operations, you know we do things a little bit different from the rest.

The way we do Elastic Support is no different. Support is offered at various levels of subscriptions, but no matter your level, our support team is curious and works hard to provide solutions to the most unique use cases.

To give potential Elasticians out there insight into what a role in support at Elastic is like, we spoke with three of our support engineers — Val Guzman, Inbar Shimshon, and Rafi Estrada — to discover a little bit about who they are, how they ended up at Elastic, and to learn more about what their roles entail.

Val Guzman, Senior Support Engineer

Val Guzman

How long have you been at Elastic and where are you located?

I've been at Elastic for two and a half years and I'm based in Portland, Oregon.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I do ballet. That's my main activity that I do outside of work. I do that and I also play piano and read. A wide array of things!

How did you get into technology?

I pursued dance pretty seriously until college. My dad wanted me to do something practical. Computer science seemed like the most interesting thing to me, and luckily I was naturally aligned with it. It wasn’t something that came to me naturally, but it was so different from what I’d been doing before that I found it really interesting. In school I would have a programming problem, and I would break it down into little pieces, and three hours later I was sitting in the same spot. It just worked with how my brain functions.

Did you start right away in technical support once you graduated college?

Yes, right off the bat. I got an entry level position at a software company.

How did you end up at Elastic?

I was working for a different company that also had a search function in their product. They had a Lucene back end and I found myself drawn to those search cases, really wanting to learn more. I saw that Elastic was looking for a support engineer and I thought that sounded like a perfect opportunity.

What’s your role like at Elastic?

It’s a mix of being a customer service representative and a detective. Like if Sherlock Holmes had to be customer facing. You have to find where issues originate, which is often in weird places or ways that you’d never expect. While doing all that you have to be friendly and helpful and working in a way that avoids confrontation in often frustrating situations.

What motivates you to get up in the morning for work?

I take my job really seriously. People are waiting for me to fix their problem. They’ve submitted a support ticket and they’re waiting on me to solve it. But I also really like the team — we have a collective sense of humor that’s hard to explain, but I love it.

How do you define success in your team?

We define our success in how successful our customers are.

What do you think is special about Elastic, something that potential candidates might want to know about?

I think it's really cool to work for Elastic. Honestly, I'm a bit of a fan girl. In support, you get to play around with a lot of things. What the Elastic Stack can do is so vast, you’re always learning something new. When a ticket is filed with a strange problem, it’s up to you as the support engineer to get to the root cause and help the customer.

Inbar Shimshon, Support Engineer I

Inbar Shimshon

How long have you’ve been at Elastic?

I’ve been at Elastic for one year and I’m currently based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Raising twin girls I have limited time but when I do have some time alone I love to boulder (climb) and run, play my guitar, and play my Playstation.

How did you get into technology?

I stumbled into high tech pretty much right after I finished my degree in psychology.

How did you end up at Elastic?

As a support engineer I’ve always ended up working with one or more Elastic products — either Elasticsearch or Kibana. I always loved working with the diversity of the products so when I got the opportunity to join Elastic I didn't think twice.

What’s your role like at Elastic?

As a support Engineer I help identify, debug, and fix issues people may encounter when either setting up their Elastic Stack (be it in Cloud, on-prem, etc) or help identify and resolve any issues or bugs after the initial set-up they may experience throughout the stack and its features.

As for how this contributes to Elastic’s success, I believe support is the heart of any company. When a product or update gets released, the first team to hear about any pain points or issues will be support. The impact support has is therefore very important both for the clients experience as well as for internal feedback on improvements, feature requests, etc.

What motivates you to get up in the morning for work?

I very much love the complexity of the puzzles I get to solve throughout the day. Elastic has so many products and features, it’s kind of dazzling really, but it really does keep you on your toes. What I love is that no issue is ever really the same, so every day here feels like I learned something new — and that to me is a great motivator!

Outside the amazing product and challenging puzzles you get to solve as a support engineer here, what drew me to Elastic the most was the culture and the company’s mindset. it’s simply amazing to work with such a diverse group of people from all over the world. I may be working from home but I definitely do feel connected to the people I work with.

How do you define success in your team?

This will vary per person depending on their initial skills set and goals or ambitions. There is no one measure of success that fits all, which is what I love about Elastic.

What do you think is special about Elastic, something that potential candidates might want to know about?

Working at Elastic is not just working with the Elastic Stack — its understanding cloud infrastructure as a whole across other platforms and helping integrate them with Elastic. I know every tech company probably says this but at Elastic, you really work on the most cutting edge technology in terms of cloud engineering. Working here means you will broaden your skills. The opportunity to learn is endless. Really! I speak to engineers who have been here for four plus years and they will happily admit that there is still so much they can learn.

Rafael Estrada Maya, Support Engineer

Rafael Estrada Maya

How long have you been at Elastic and where are you located?

I’ve been at Elastic for a little over one year. I’m currently located in Manabí, Ecuador.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m heavily into activism, and I’m specifically interested in activism around racial justice.

How did you get into technology?

I've done support my entire life. My dad is a doctor. Specifically, a radiologist. His job involves using up-to-date technology. And so he was probably one of the first people to have a computer in my hometown, which is very small. So from a very early age I was already messing around with computers and supporting his equipment.

How did you end up at Elastic?

After working for Palm Pilot and a company called Convergys that outsourced support for a while, I ended up at another support outsource company. They were paying OK, but it was a situation where people were being taken advantage of. I was there for about two years before the work environment got a bit tough. One of my friends there, who is now one of the senior techs here in support, applied at Elastic. He urged me to also apply, and I did and was lucky to get the job.

What’s your role like at Elastic?

What we do is collaboratively “suffer” through the joy of releasing a great product. There are so many moving parts in what we release that we’re there to help customers if or when they spot a problem or need help with a particular, maybe unusual use case. Usually a support role involves a lot of troubleshooting of a particular known problem with a product and you need to figure out what's wrong with it and fix it, right? With the Elastic Stack, the versatility of the product requires that we find creative solutions for obscure issues.

What motivates you to get up in the morning for work?

The folks in support are amazing. And I’m always learning new skills. Today included.

How do you define success in your team?

Learning together along with the customer. We’re not figuring out problems, we’re discovering solutions. It goes beyond doing simple support and troubleshooting — it’s about discovering what the product is really capable of.

What do you think is special about Elastic, something that potential candidates might want to know about?

I’ve worked with a lot of companies with a code of ethics but there’s a lot of problematic things going on because of the way these corporations are structured. At Elastic, we’re lucky that isn’t the case. There’s a great amount of authenticity within people, and they’re encouraged to share that authenticity with others. Even during the pandemic when meetups aren’t possible, there’s a great sense of camaraderie among the support team over Slack and using our other distributed tools.

Interested in joining a company with a Source Code to live by? We’re hiring. Check out our teams and find the right career for you! Want to read more about life at Elastic? Read more on our blog!

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