A Day in the life at MPG: Automation Architect

Hear from our Automation Architect on what it’s like to work at Mind Point Group

This month we’re interviewing David Ferderlein, a Principal Automation Architect with MindPoint Group and one of our resident Ansible experts. In this interview, you’ll hear about David’s experiences at MindPoint Group.  

Walk us through your typical day?

Aside from the fact that I work from home with a 4-year-old, my biggest challenges come from the support side of my job. When someone contacts support it is because something doesn’t work for them. This becomes a triage of trying to figure out where the issue stems from, why it is or isn’t unique to the particular use case, and how to effectively address this in a way that broadly applies to all our customers. Everyone’s datacenters look pretty similar from 30,000 feet but when you get up close you see that it’s just like a snowflake—the details are very different!

What was your first job in technology or security?

While no day is ever the same, my typical day revolves around the product development of Lockdown Enterprise. Lockdown Enterprise is an MPG product that automates security baselining on operating systems, applications, and infrastructure with supported Ansible content. All of our code repositories exist in Gitlab to test, deploy, and release the code when we write these Ansible roles. My job is to create a workflow so that everyone on the team can output the same testing results and utilize the same tools. 

Well, my first job was as a System Admin for a company where I focused on Oracle software and NT4 Windows Server (okay, now I’m dating myself). However, the real magic didn’t start until I started at a different company and joined their Unix operations team. 

What are the biggest challenges you face in a day?

What is your favorite part of your job?

Definitely the team of people that I get to work with. I feel fortunate to work with a company of some of the most intelligent people in the business. If I have any questions any number of people at MPG, who are industry-leaders in cybersecurity, can offer their expert opinions. 

Why do you love cybersecurity?

I don’t! Cybersecurity is hard and painful. It isn’t the focus of my work in cybersecurity that drives me, but the ability to solve problems in a space where so many problems exist. What I love is to create products and content that make things easier for customers.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I love to help out local musicians. I have a background as a sound engineer so I am able to use those skills to help with recordings, track production, or even renting some of my gear out. I also own a 105-year-old craftsman-style house that keeps me pretty busy with updates and repairs. 

Last book you read and/or podcast you listened to?

I love the Broken Justice PBS podcast. Anything that is true crime-related, I usually gravitate toward. Another favorite is “Fiction/Non/Fiction”, a podcast hosted and produced by a friend of mine. Ant Pruitt hosts another interesting one called “Everyday People Doing Everyday Sh**.” He is also great to follow on TWiT.

What is your favorite part of MindPoint Group?

MindPoint Group is uniquely positioned to bring the revolutionary culture change that has started to happen on the commercial side with DevOps and Agile workflows to the public sector. On the other side of that, we’re uniquely positioned to help bring the compliance and regulation side of cybersecurity to the commercial side that is more typical of the public sector. Overall, I think there is a really great opportunity for MPG to help companies and government IT with their security transformation and I’m excited to be a part of that. 

David Federlein, Principal Automation Architect

Check back next month where we will highlight another MPG employee. In the meantime, check out our job openings to find the right fit for you!

David Federlein
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