April Slayden Mitchell is vice president of engineering and operations at Dasera, a startup developing its own automated data security platform. A former software developer, she runs a growing team of engineers while also — in true startup fashion — taking leading roles in operations, talent management, culture and strategy.
Mitchell brings creativity and inquisitiveness to her work, telling SC Media she enjoys finding new ways to solve problems. She’s the author of more than 40 different patents, covering topics ranging from secure multi-party information retrieval and software-defined sensing nodes to augmented reality displays and a system for identifying and matching instances of manipulated media.
“I would say I enjoy looking at problems and talking to customers, to people who have those problems, and trying to find unique ways to solve them,” she tells SC Media. “But I think I enjoy, most of all, collaborating with a team to create or build creative solutions to those problems.”
Mitchell’s gratification from being part of something larger than herself probably stems from her childhood, when she was heavily involved in team sports like basketball and soccer.
She has a background in computer science and is involved with building a diverse team at Dasera where women are front and center. She describes her management style as one that relies on both over communication and empowering staff to make the best decisions for the moment.
“I’m here to help you know what to focus on, to make sure you know your priorities. I’m here to make sure you are not blocked and that you have what you need to be successful, and I’m here to make sure you are growing in this job and that you have an opportunity to grow at this company.”