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The hoodies behind Zerocopter

Welcome back to one of our favourite blog series, where a different member of the team is introduced on the second Monday of each month. In these posts, you can find out more about the hoodies behind Zerocopter!

This month we would like to introduce you to our Chief Human Resources Officer, Mark de Roos! Mark is dedicated to shaping the people strategy and operations at Zerocopter. He collaborates closely with the management team and among other things, ensures that the company adapts to the ever-evolving landscape of people-related developments!

Please tell us a bit about yourself, who is Mark de Roos?

Hi, I’m Mark, 42 years old, married, and father of five. I’m a huge sucker for nature (animals and gardening in particular). I love psychology, philosophy, culture, history, archaeology, geography, politics, etc. Basically, anything you can debate around life, the universe, and everything. I’m also really happy with my kids because I can now relive my youth and love for anything related to Nintendo, Jurassic Park/World, LEGO, Marvel, etc, etc. Currently trying to balance my time between taking care of our 3 months old baby and playing Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. *cough* oh, and work, of course! *cough*

Can you please describe your job title in a couple of words?

CHRO stands for Chief Human Resources Officer. I actually would’ve preferred “People” over “Human Resources,” but we already had a Chief Products Officer when I joined. In this role, I’m responsible for our people's strategy and operations. I work closely with the rest of the Zerocopter management team to ensure we constantly adapt to people-related developments. Next to the People responsibility, I was also asked to lead the Zerocopter Delivery organization, consisting of our Researcher-, Triage- and Customer Success & Support teams.

What do you like about working as a Chief Human Resources Officer?

It might sound a bit unimaginative or corny, but I like working with people. I really do. Not because all people are nice (none of us are always nice!), but when it comes to working with people, you’re never done. People will react as soon as an organization introduces something new (be it a new process, role, business model, or whatever). Some people will react predictably, others unpredictably. People’s behavior can both enable or totally sabotage the strategy and direction a company aims for. I see it as my responsibility to make sure we create a strategy that takes into account both the predictable and the unpredictable nature of people. A strong focus on our people’s engagement and an iterative approach to our people's strategy, processes, and methods are absolutely vital in that regard.

How did you end up at Zerocopter?

Our CEO Erik and I worked together in the past. I had fond memories of working together, so I was very open to learning more about Zerocopter when he asked me to talk about a vacancy. When I learned more about the company, its background, the people working here, its DNA, and especially the thrilling prospect of its goals and dreams for the (near) future, I was swept off my feet. To me, this was a rare opportunity to become part of something genuinely special.

If you could trade positions with anyone in Zerocopter for a day, what would it be and why?

I’d say, Maarten Boone, our principal security engineer, as I would try to absorb as much as possible of the genius inside his brain.

What have you learned from working at Zerocopter?

I’m still learning! Especially how to balance out so many important values; it’s sometimes tough to decide on the best way forward because of that. You have our security mindset, responsibility to our people’s well-being, financial health, etc.

What (book/podcast/courses etc) would you recommend to someone (new) in this industry/job function?

In general, I would recommend reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. While not about our industry specifically, it does help in understanding why our industry is so extremely relevant in human evolution. I would recommend visiting a Hacker community event like Hacker Hotel for any new people. It’s such a heartwarming and passionate community, very inspiring, and as long as you have an open mind, you will absolutely learn some valuable lessons from them!

When was the first time that you heard about the term “bug bounty” or “RD/CVD”?

Years back when I first started working in this industry.

What is your favourite stereotype about the hacking industry and why?

That we’re all nerds. Because while that’s mostly true, I grew up in the 90’s, when the term “nerds’ was used to insult and bully these people (remember revenge of the nerds, etc.). I love how that has totally changed, and ‘nerd’ has become a title that you have to earn nowadays. Some of these nerds were at the root of some of this society’s biggest achievements and innovations. They’ve made some of Jules Verne’s stories become realities and will probably continue doing so long after we’ve all passed away.

Do you have a (hacker)handle/username? And what is the story behind that name?

I do, though I only still use it as a handle for a spam mailbox. As a teenager, I became a huge fan of Busta Rhymes. One of my favorite albums is called ‘When disaster strikes”. At that time, I was looking for a nickname to use in my clan on IRC, so it became Dis_AstaH. Of course still very proud of it, hah! Please don’t slap me around with a large trout!

We hope you enjoyed the blog and got to know Mark more. Stay tuned for the new blog in July, and find out more about the hoodies behind Zerocopter!

Written by Zerocopter

June 12, 2023

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