System Administrator Caleb Crawford is one of the hardworking programmers of the Computing Infrastructure team. One of the things he loves about his job is that there is never an average day. “Some days I may be programming scripts or automating things,” he said. “Some days I may be debugging problems. Some days I’m compiling software…working on tape backups… [or] installing new servers, both hardware and software. All kinds of things.”
One part of his job is ensuring the security of Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) systems through what is known as “white hat hacking.” Unlike the hacking often reported in the news or portrayed in the popular media, white hat hacking seeks to identify security vulnerabilities so they can be patched, preventing others from gaining unauthorized access to systems or information. This proactive approach strengthens the security of servers and systems. “Knowing that there’s a problem and figuring out how it works and trying to get around it is satisfying,” Caleb said.
Caleb first began working for ACMS as a student technician. He moved from providing user support to fellow students into a programming role. Right before he graduated, he learned about an available career position as a programmer with the department. “I interviewed for that and I got that job,” Caleb recalled. “That started me off. I decided to stick with it because it’s always interesting. I always do different things [and] get to learn new technology.”
In addition to his computer skills, Caleb is a banjo and trombone player. He has played the latter with the UC San Diego Pep Band both as a student and as an alumnus. What might surprise people is the fact that he has also played the kazoo with the Pep Band. What makes a good kazoo player? “For the Pep Band, probably the ability to play really loud.” Caleb has also been part of the orchestra for some of his favorite musicals, including How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Jekyll & Hyde.
Thanks for everything you do to keep ACMS’s systems running smoothly Caleb!
ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of ACMS at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!