From SDK developer to security specialist: Abdullah’s employee story
Abdullah Joseph joined Adjust over two years ago and, as our resident Security Specialist, he is an integral member of our fast-growing and formidable anti-fraud department.
Abdullah belongs to the team responsible for our Fraud Prevention Suite, detecting new forms of fraud as they develop and building the solutions to stop them.
We wanted to find out a little more about Abdullah’s day-to-day, what brought him to Adjust, and how he went from SDK developer to security specialist.
What about Adjust first interested you?
After finishing up my studies, I worked as a mobile developer for a couple of companies in Malaysia. And while I liked it there, I wanted to see what other opportunities there were outside of South East Asia
When job-hunting I stumbled across Adjust, and it looked like an amazing fit right from the start - a very young, successful company, with a great team and an impressive CTO [Adjust’s Co-founder and CTO, Paul H. Müller].
I had watched several of his videos and talks online, and that was the clincher when making my decision to come and work at Adjust.
It was really important to me that I was surrounded by smart people who know what they’re doing and from who I can learn. Also, in a young company like Adjust, you’re more likely to get a lot of responsibility - it’s learning by doing, which I love.
During the interview process, I also met with Anna, Adjust’s Head of HR. She was great at explaining how the company works. From the first interview, Adjust ticked all the boxes in terms of what I was looking for. Relocating from Malaysia to Berlin was a pretty big move, but the company was really helpful when it came to figuring it all out.
How has your career developed since joining us?
I joined Adjust as an SDK developer, and worked in the SDK team for around a year and a half.
But, on the side, I’d always harbored an interest in security.
It started when I picked up a few textbooks on the topic at college and became a security “hobbyist”.
Over time at Adjust I’d built a good relationship with Andreas [Naumann], our Head of Fraud. Back then, he was a one-man band, but was looking to expand the team. After realizing that my interests lay more in security than development, we agreed a move to the fraud team would be a good fit. Once the SDK department was also happy, I joined the fraud team in April 2018 and started my new role as Security Specialist.
Since then, the team has doubled. We’re now split into three disciplines: data, communication, and research (where I fit in).
What does your day-to-day look like?
I still work really closely with the SDK team, so there’s a lot of communication back and forth through Github or Trello, developing new solutions before their release while trying to iron out any issues.
But the majority of my time is spent on research, including a lot of outside learning. I’m currently enrolled in three online courses to further my knowledge.
Fraudsters move fast, and are constantly creating new workarounds to steal budgets and fake traffic - so the more we know, the more we can do, and the easier it is to apply solutions.
We also do a lot of research on malware. While it doesn’t strictly play into the kind of fraud we try to fight, it’s totally relevant to what we do here - we can analyze trends and apply those to what we see.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective?
It’s cliché, but a willingness to learn. If you have a solid understanding of the ecosystem it’s obviously going to make the role much easier. But you also need to be motivated and actually enjoy what you’re doing. That’s what’s going to help you apply and adapt your skills - whatever the situation.