Kara Luton Turns Gracefully From Ballet Dancer to Publicist to Cybersecurity UX Engineer

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Meet Kara Luton—she’s a ballerina-turned-publicist-turned-coder who joined CrowdStrike in 2019 as a UX engineer. In her role, Kara acts as something of a go-between, working with CrowdStrike® programmers, researchers and product developers as well as our customer service and support teams to design and deliver an intuitive and effective user experience for our customers.   

Since cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field, Kara’s path to the industry is unique but not uncommon. Although many CrowdStrike engineers and technologists arrive with years of industry experience, there are also many like Kara who begin their cybersecurity careers with CrowdStrike. 

Read five questions with Kara to learn more about how her career change evolved, her experience as an industry newcomer and what it’s like working for a remote-first organization.

1: As an industry newcomer, did you have any concerns about joining CrowdStrike?

I wasn’t in the cybersecurity field prior to joining CrowdStrike, and I really didn’t have that much knowledge about the company or this type of work. But through talking to everyone throughout the interview process, I realized how great the team seemed, and how passionate everyone is about the mission — so that made me excited to join. I do understand how people would hesitate to apply if they didn’t have a security background, but I’m a good example of how it’s not totally necessary to have that industry experience, and I have had the opportunity to learn over time.

2: What’s the best or most important thing you’ve learned in your time at CrowdStrike so far?

Focus on the customer. For example, prior to joining CrowdStrike, I used to do web development at a small agency that created advertising websites. In designing those, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the customer — only how I wanted the customer to interact with the site. At CrowdStrike, you really have to bring in the customer’s mindset. Everything you do needs to be considered from their perspective and designed with them in mind.  

3: Can you describe the culture at CrowdStrike?

Absolutely! At first, I was so nervous joining such a large company, especially because my position was fully remote. I had worked remotely part time in the past but never completely. As a somewhat junior engineer, I was a bit nervous because I was concerned that I could get lost in the shuffle here. But honestly, everybody made me feel so welcome and the support I get is great here. If I’m stuck, I can post a question in a Slack channel and someone will immediately respond offering to help. 

That said, I will admit it took time for me to adjust to full-time remote working. That was a process. But now that I’ve gotten used to it, I love it! The flexibility is great: I can take my dog on a walk or run a quick errand and come back. If I’m stuck on something, I can take a break and not feel bad about stepping away from my laptop for a few minutes. That flexibility, especially right now, is so valuable.  

4: Speaking of Slack, what’s your favorite CrowdStrike Slack channel?

Probably the Wooof channel, where people share pictures of their dogs. Either that, or Animal Crossing, because that’s my addiction right now. I know there’s one for cat pictures, but I haven’t looked yet because I already want a cat. I know that if I spend time on that channel, I’ll want one even more!  

5: What do you think CrowdStrike brings to the world? And how does your role or your team contribute to that?

CrowdStrike is making the world a more secure place. I think that cybersecurity is becoming more and more of a concern, as it should be. Now that I’m working here, I realize how disruptive and impactful a breach can be. What we’re doing makes a difference in the world — really helping on a human level. I’m part of that — so is everyone at CrowdStrike — and it feels rewarding.  

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