Article Written by Stephen Bell – Founder/Lead Design @coffeescreative
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James Baldwin – Follow him on twitter @BaritoneBaldwin
At Coffeeshop Creative, we are not only passionate about web design and all things custom, but also in sharing stories of our clients, and team members. Today we are proud to feature our new resident network security chief, James Baldwin.
Like all good chiefs of tech, James has a wide knowledge base of both PC/Mac/Linux web-cloud and hard server storage. We are super excited to offer our clients support and network/web security for their websites. Without further ado, lets sit down for a cup of coffee and get to know a bit about our newest chief of engineering, Montgomery Scot… I mean James Baldwin.
Tell us a little about yourself?
After singing professionally for 12 years, performing both as a part of ensembles of all sizes and as a soloist, I decided I actually wanted to make some money. So I decided to get a network systems administrator diploma and begin a career in IT.
Other than that, I try to keep up with a few of my favourite TV shows, spend a bit of time with my fiancée, and explore our new home, Hamilton.
As a network systems admin or technician, what areas of server/web maintenance do you work on?
My work on servers is mostly balancing security needs and availability. More often I’m dealing with PCs or network issues. If the intertubes aren’t configured correctly, no one can see the beautiful work that the designers have put their time into. A big career influence for me can be found from the HBO show ‘Silicon Valley’. NSFW, of course.
Cloud base network storage
How have your skills as a musician helped you in the tech field?
Most of my work as a musician was in ensembles, so collaboration is big for me. Everyone has their own skill set and specialization. Understanding what the other members of the team do and how their side of things works is very important, as is sharing the information you have. Without that communication, it’s amazing how much extra work ends up having to be done.
Apple or Android? Cloud or hard backup?
For computers and phones, anything non-Apple. Android, Windows, Linux, anything where I can actually look under the hood and tinker. I like being able to upgrade any of my systems whenever I want.
Backups are trickier though. If you house mission-critical servers on-site you probably do want to run regular tape backups on them. For personal use though, I’m a big “cloud” advocate. As we solve bandwidth issues and eventually away from metered connections, the issues around cloud availability will eventually disappear and most things will be stored up there. That doesn’t mean it’s always safe though; improve your passwords, and turn on multi-factor authentication. Remember that in truth, there is no cloud… it’s just your data on file servers that you don’t really own or control so do some research on a company before you trust them with your information. MFA is an easy fix, but proper password creation can be a little bit trickier, as some of the widely-spread password “rules” really no longer apply or can create bad habits. If you can’t tell, this is something I care about and can discuss for a long time.
Most importantly, favourite type or style of coffee?
I love a really good cortado; it’s a treat I allow myself occasionally. Other than that, I tend to need the max caffeine of a large cup of drip-brewed or French press coffee.