Employee story

Collaboration, Inclusion - Meet Manoli

#DistinguishedEngineer #Data #InformationFlow
Published: 2022.08.30.

Hi, my name is Manoli Yiannakakis and I’m a Distinguished Engineer at Roche.

With a California surfer dude accent and a name like “Manoli”, the first question I often get asked is “Where are you from?”  I always know a telemarketer is calling me when they say “Hey is Mr….. Ya…Yianna…Yiannananaan…there?”  Heck, I couldn’t correctly spell my own last name until I was in 2nd grade!  And to further complicate matters, “Manoli” is a nickname, the Greek form of my “government name”.  If someone addresses me as Emmanuel, it takes me a moment to know they’re talking to me.

I joined Roche in 2018 as a Principal DevOps Engineeer, my journey has been very exciting so far. I have the chance to collaborate with global teams and work on questions that really have a great impact on our patients' journey. I feel especially lucky that I get to work on our Navify Identity and Access Management platform. We are the authoritative source of all things identity in our suite of applications. We run a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and JSON Web Token (JWT) systems that encode and protect users’ digital identities at different parts of their healthcare journey.  This ensures rightful access to data at every stage of our system. We provide the user profile information that lets applications on our platform know your name, how you want to be addressed and your locale information. Essential information that empowers us to tailor a great web experience just for you. I really believe that this approach eases the use of Roche applications and resonates well with Roche’s ambitions toward personalized healthcare. 

"The gravity of the challenge and enormity of the task is also what makes it such satisfying and meaningful work."

Identity information is as essential and critical as it gets. The data contained within is the most private, personal, and identifiable there is. So we must keep this encrypted, protected, and audited.  Additionally, we are also the source of authentication and integrity. We are the root of trust. That applications are certain “yes, it really is Manoli clicking this button and asking to do this operation”, is the foundation upon which all secure information systems are built. So the seriousness of the task and the responsibility demanded of us are always paramount in my mind. But the gravity of the challenge and enormity of the task is also what makes it such satisfying and meaningful work. In my area of expertise, it is especially important to be up-to-date with the latest technologies and keep an innovative mindset which leads to us developing ourselves constantly.

We have a diverse, globally distributed organization that honors everything that makes us individual, and understands the work it takes to make that kind of environment possible.  I have never felt odd or ostracized for my name at Roche.  Every internal system I log in to and every person I meet, I’m greeted as “Manoli”.  I strive to provide that welcoming, respectful and integriful sense of personality in all the work I do and I believe this is what awaits our newcomers in general. So please, check our open positions or join our talent pool to keep in touch about relevant positions!