Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

March 16th, 2011

5 Questions with Martin Cohen (Tech Support Specialist)

Not long after I started at AVAST, I started hearing about Martin as “the guy” capable of handling almost anything language or support related. We connected quickly, I think, because of similar backgrounds (in music and education) and responsibilities (kids and work). Whenever possible, I try to join him for vegetarian lunches a few minutes from our office, and I’m hoping we’ll soon make it into a recording studio to get some of his tasty (jazzy) Fender Rhodes keyboard riffs added to a couple of my songs-in-progress. –Jason Mashak

Martin Cohen (Tech Support Specialist)

1. How does the ability to communicate in roughly half a dozen tongues shape your ‘official’ job function at AVAST?

The fact that I can communicate in several languages means that I can easily fill the ‘holes’ wherever needed. So when someone takes a holiday, I can easily jump in and take over the work in his or her (native) language. I’m not only doing tech support, but also sales and, if really necessary, I can do some work for other departments, like editing datasheets in other languages or dealing with unique customer issues. And of course, a big part of my work consists of translating (mostly technical) documents (where my background as a former physics teacher of course helps a lot concerning the technical aspect). So actually, I’m officially in tech support, but much of the time doing other things.

2. In terms of tech support, what are some of the strangest inquiries that you’ve encountered? 

Well, to illustrate that not all people are as computer literate as we sometimes think, here are some of the comments I’ve received in my tech support tickets:

  • “I have a problem with my avast! Internet Security; it always stops working when I shut down the computer.”
  • “Your advice to make a screenshot (of the error message) didn’t help to resolve my problem either…”
  • “avast doesn’t work with my computer because my avast was in French and the license was in English.”
  • “I for one wouldn’t know a computer cookie from one I bake in my oven.”

3.  What things stand out most to you about the AVAST work environment?

What I like is the international environment at AVAST, which I was used to also in my former work at the European School of Brussels. What I also like is that we don’t spend on advertising the way most other companies do. A good product doesn’t need a full-page ad shouting: “Hey, did you see me? I’m the best! Buy me!” since people will recommend the product to their friends and family because it is a good product. The companies that shout the loudest are, in most cases, not the companies that have the best product (this is true for all kind of products, not only antivirus products).

4. As a native Dutch who has been all over Europe and lived in various countries, what is it about Czech culture that makes you feel most ‘at home’?

Home, what is home? I was born in the Netherlands in Amsterdam, but grew up in Luxemburg, lived a while in the south of Spain, worked 10 years as a physics teacher at the European School of Brussels in Belgium, and I’ve lived now almost two years in Prague, Czech Republic. I consider Europe my home, not one specific country or place. Aside from that, the Czech landscape is very much like in Luxemburg where I grew up as a child (little hills and nice woods) – that makes me feel home.

5. How would you describe your ideal day away from the office?

That’s an easy question: being the whole day in a recording studio, recording my own jazz (fusion) compositions with a bunch of good musicians/friends. After the recording, we would have a great jam session with some nice bottles of good beer (or good wine). And then not needing to drive home by car after that :-)


Read other interviews here:

History & questions with Charles O. Prince (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

5 Questions with Vladimír Černík (Lead Virus Analyst)

5 Questions with Bob Gostischa (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

5 Questions with Christian Cantoro (Channel Sales Manager)

5 Questions with Michal Krejdl (Senior Virus Analyst)

5 Questions with Lukáš Rypáček (Senior Software Developer)

5 Questions with Lukáš Hasík (QA Director)

5 Questions with Julia Szymanska (Community Manager)

5 Questions with “Tech” (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

5 Questions with Jitka Špačková (Reseller Admin Manager)


  • walter Lederhos

    well said, no advertising means, AVAST is good product until version FREE!!!

  • hunShiki


    Dr. House! \o/

  • http://google jose (lalo)

    mi querido amigo lo felicito por sus esfuerzo por combatir los molestos virus pero le tengo una mala noticia mi nombre es jose eduardo saavedra. de santiago de chile.
    le comento, entro un virus a mi maquina TROYANO y se mete al pricipio de todo no me deja usar la lectora de DVD el HD lo para y arranca , lo para y arranca a nuestro común amigo avast lo ignora y continua con su destrucción se párese al sunami de japón a pesar de que el avast lo tengo instalado con los atributos de impeccion de arranque aun asi se queda en el sistema ?alguna sugerencia chau su admirador

  • Jesús Reyes

    Good day, need help, buy avast, by two years to 3 machines, with a backup cd, (and get me), but I don’t have the key to enter, I searched as but I cannot find how I finally get a key but for version free, and I bought it,
    my email is cocdom@hotmail please help me to have my right key, thanks for your help

  • Martin Cohen

    @jose (lalo)
    Hola José. Gracias por su comentario, pero le pido que presente su problema al departamento de soporte técnico ( ). Me temo que si le contesto su pregunta aquí en el blog, habrán muchos otros con preguntas técnicas en este blog, y por eso tenemos nuestro centro de soporte técnico.
    Gracias y saludos,

  • Martin Cohen

    @Jesús Reyes
    Hello Jesús. Thank you for your comment, but I would like to ask you to ask your question to the support center ( ). I’m afraid that when I answer your question here in the blog, there will be a lot of other people with technical issues in this blog, we therefore have our technical support center.
    Thanks and best regards,

  • seleng

    J’aime Avast et je l’adore mais comment faire pour augmenter la vitesse de fonctionnalité? comment résoudre les erreurs d’installation de windows avec mon portable (PC) Compaq Evo N600c? merci d’avance pour vos apports techniques à solution durable.

  • seleng

    Résolution d’erreurs HTTP 404? affichage introuvable.

  • Rednose

    Hi Martin,

    I hope I will come back to Prague some day, and have lunch/dinner with you again.

    Cheers, Erik.

  • Martin Cohen

    Hoi Erik,

    als je weer in Praag bent gaan we zeker weer samen eten en drinken we er een goed Tsjechisch biertje bij!



  • Martin Cohen

    Bonjour Seleng. Merci pour votre commentaire, mais j’aimerais vous demander de poser votre question dans le centre de support ( ). J’ai peur que si je vous réponds à votre question ici dans le blog, beaucoup d’autres vont vouloir poser leurs questions techniques dans ce blog, pour cela nous avons notre centre de support technique.
    Merci, cordialement,

  • john simpson

    just a personal pc customer who’s been satisfied by Avast until today. When I get signals that it has prevented malware and a Trojan horse but has shut down my browsers and refuses to let me connect to the internet or send a ticket — guess I will uninstall you and go from there. Is this the right forum? of course not. just the only one I can get to. [expletive deleted]