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Spotlight on Engineering: A Sneak Peek Into Cobalt's Engineering Teams

Stephanie Lütge-Thomas
Mar 23, 2021

Over the past 7 years, Cobalt has evolved from a four-man startup into a provider of a leading Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) platform with 160+ employees distributed across the US and Germany and counting. While we’ve grown like crazy, we keep aiming for the stars. A key player in our success is our engineering division, powered by passionate, talented individuals whose contributions drive our impact on the cybersecurity industry.

As we introduce more members to the team, we’d like to give visibility on its structure, what our engineers work on and how they collaborate. If you’re a candidate curious about what life in Cobalt’s Engineering team is like, a customer interested in what happens behind the scenes or anyone with a fascination in all things cybersecurity —- this blog series is for you.

What We Do

Operating at the forefront of cybersecurity, Cobalt is redefining pentesting, making it easier and more accessible — ultimately, we aim to make security beautiful. Our platform is modernizing the traditional penetration testing model by streamlining processes, optimizing developer integrations, and giving our customers access to a global community of on-demand pentesting experts who have undergone rigorous vetting (check out our recent award for Best PtaaS Platform). Together our customers and pentesters connect on the application to identify, triage and fix vulnerabilities. With over 20K commits, our technology has been battle tested by thousands of users.

Our Engineering Domains

After securing our $29M Series B Funding in August 2020, our speed of growth has accelerated and Cobalt’s Engineering Team has been expanding rapidly to achieve our vision of becoming the world's interface to the security workforce. Currently, our engineering team is distributed across Germany (75%) and the US (25%). We adopted remote work quickly and easily and evolved into a remote-first distributed team during 2020. This year, we’re looking into going fully global and hiring exceptional engineers from different parts of the world (watch this space for updates!).

We have 6 engineering domains that cover different areas of the business. Each team is made up of an Engineering Manager, a Product Manager, a Product Designer and 5 - 6 Engineers at various levels:

  • Growth Experience (GX) focuses on converting prospects into customer (Sales), SEO & optimizing our live website

  • Pentester Experience (PX) powers our global community of pentesters and how they interact with the platform

  • Employee Experience (EX) focuses on supporting all internal operations by automating processes and creating workflows that make everyone’s lives easier

  • Customer Experience (CX) is split into two teams. The first aims to create delightful experiences for our customers. The second is focused on API development and integrations with other tools

  • Infrastructure (Infra) handles all of our Infrastructure as Code (IaC), deployments, cloud configurations, monitoring, and many other things to to make our engineering workflows efficient and our platform reliable

  • Innovation (colabs) is a newer initiative we’ve launched where employees come up with ideas to run as hackathons twice per year, along with longer running innovation projects selected quarterly

Our Tech Stack & Processes

Our teams are agile — with a lowercase “a”! Each team has daily standups, we host virtual sprint demos open to all Cobalters and our teams all come together monthly for our Tech All Hands. We work in two-week sprints with Kanban, Sprint Planning, Retrospectives, and Grooming Sessions.

We use various technologies, libraries and tools to power our platform. On the backend we predominantly use Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL, while on the frontend we use React. For our public API and RBAC services we use Kotlin. We’re hosted in Google Cloud and leverage Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform and BigQuery. Other tools we use in day-to-day development and to stay connected remotely include JIRA / Confluence, GitHub, Slack, Zoom, CircleCI, Datadog, Sentry, Flipper and Swagger.

If working with these teams and technologies sparks your interest, check out our open roles and stay tuned for our next blog in the series, which will dive into our interviewing process.