Mantas joined Oracle Lithuania in 2018 when we acquired Zenedge—a start-up with network and infrastructure security capabilities that protect cloud customers from complex digital threats. Now a principal software engineer in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Mantas’ career journey begs several questions: What was the transition like? How does Oracle compare to a start-up? And why should other engineers make the move to Oracle?
Mantas joined Zenedge while he was still in college. “I got the job in 2014 when I was in my third year studying for my bachelor’s degree. It was my first job as a programmer,” he reveals. “Now, several years on, I’m at Oracle leading the team of developers responsible for Web Application Firewall (WAF). We’re mainly developing the user interface and APIs for the Oracle Cloud WAF service.”
Mantas’ team takes complete ownership of their product, developing, testing, and implementing it all in our Lithuanian hub. Being able to progress his software development career in his home country means a lot to him. “Our WAF service gets completely developed here in Lithuania. It’s great to be able to work for Oracle in my home country, and even better in my home city,” he enthuses.
“Oracle is one of the tech giants, one of the big companies that’s well known everywhere, and it’s the only company in Lithuania that’s working on a cloud offering. Many people from Lithuania have to immigrate to other countries for better job opportunities but with Oracle we have good opportunities right here,” he observes.
Before the acquisition took place, Mantas says he wasn’t actually aware that Oracle offered an industry-leading cloud. “I can’t believe I didn’t know Oracle was building all these cloud services. I knew Oracle developed Oracle Database, Java, VirtualBox, MySQL, but that was about it, really. I had worked with some of those products before and my own personal experience of them was good,” he notes. “But working on Oracle Cloud has been a very refreshing experience. We’re building a great product.”
Change brings growth
The transition from Zenedge to Oracle marked a distinct change in work culture for Mantas. “I’m definitely well-adjusted now,” he shares. “I wouldn’t say the transition was hard but the cultures were completely different. Zenedge was a start-up and Oracle is obviously a big corporation. So at Zenedge there were very few processes; most things were done in an ad hoc manner, whereas at Oracle there’s a process for everything—and I find them surprisingly useful,” he admits.
“For example, in OCI there’s a change management process where every change to production is described in steps so you can track what was done, where it was done, and when it was done. It really helps with diagnosing issues in production.”
Perfecting the product
Mantas says he can already see how the move to Oracle is benefitting their product. “The acquisition will help our product reach a much wider user base because even internal Oracle teams are using WAF, and on top of that Oracle already has a lot of customers using other Oracle products who will turn to WAF.”
He also says that the calibre of talent at Oracle is helping to bring their product to the next level. “There are so many great engineers working on Oracle Cloud. There’s an architecture review process here where they review the architecture of each service and help us design a scalable and maintainable service, so I think having those experienced people contribute to our product is hugely beneficial.”
Career growth beckons
On the career side of things, Mantas believes that joining Oracle has opened up a whole new world of opportunities. “Zenedge was a pretty small company so there wasn’t a lot of room to grow there, whereas Oracle has a defined career path for individual contributors and managers—which we didn’t have. Career growth was another thing that was ad hoc. I can already see myself going up to the next career level here, and the level after that,” he anticipates.
At Zenedge, Mantas’ role was limited to working on the WAF product alone. He says that working in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers far more exposure to exciting teams and products. “The WAF team recently migrated to the virtual networking organization within OCI, and we’ll soon be working with one of the main services which is Load Balancer as a Service,” he explains. “It’s a great opportunity to work on one of the most important services at Oracle. The fact that there are so many services in Oracle Cloud means there is the possibility to work on them all. All of this brings opportunities and career growth,” he notes.
An unusual career kick-start
Oracle is an active recruiter at Kaunas University where Mantas received his undergraduate degree. But funnily enough, that’s not how Mantas landed his first job as a programmer. “This story is really interesting,” he laughs. “I didn’t go to a job fair, in fact, I wasn’t even looking for a job! I was in my third year and one of the lecturers in the university worked at a company that had the same founders as Zenedge. They offered me an opportunity and I accepted,” he remembers. “I had three months to learn some new technologies they were using and then I was hired,” he continues, “I had to study each day after university; we would go to the office and have calls with people from Ukraine who were working on the Zenedge product.”
A developer’s learning is never done
Mantas says the ability to learn quickly is something that has always defined him, both as a student and as a software engineer. “When I was first hired as a programmer, all I knew was what I had learned at university, but everything else I had to learn on the job,” he recalls. “You have a task you have to do and you do it. It’s active learning; you have to figure out how to achieve the end result. With the acquisition there were a lot of things to learn, from the processes Oracle has to the technologies we use. We had to migrate our service to Oracle servers, and so on, so there was a lot to pick up and active learning really played a big part.”
Being mentally agile and having the opportunity to teach others is something that really motivates Mantas in his current role. “I always have a desire for new knowledge. As a leading engineer of one of WAF teams, I’m often the first to learn and understand new technologies that we have to implement. Then I coach my team on these technologies, how I use them, and their various quirks,” he shares. “It’s very satisfying for me to do that.”
Why should software engineers join Oracle Lithuania?
“Engineers want to work with new and exciting technologies,” Mantas insists. “We aren’t really interested in maintaining old products. We want to work on something new and have the ability to re-write and update products. What we’re after is something more fast-paced and agile. That’s what Oracle Cloud Infrastructure can give you.”
Mantas leaves us with 6 key reasons why software engineers should join OCI Lithuania:
Do you want to follow Mantas’ advice and join the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure team in Kaunas? Explore our range of career opportunities and create the future with us.