Meet a Helpful Human – Devin Grindle

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Each month we recognize one of our Most Helpful Humans in Hosting. 

Meet Devin Grindle

Devin Grindle has always had a desire to learn new technologies. At Kellogg Community College, he developed an understanding of Windows servers and computer networking. After obtaining several degrees and certificates, including becoming a Microsoft® Certified Solutions Associate, Plesk Windows Expert, and certified for CompTIA A+, Grindle joined the team at Liquid Web. Over ten years later, he's happy to still be a part of Liquid Web, working on the Windows Support Team.

We sat down with him to find out what drives him as a Windows System Administrator all these years later.

Meet a Helpful Human - Devin Grindle

Why did you join Liquid Web?

I joined Liquid Web directly out of college since web hosting seemed like an exciting initial step into my career. There was something about assisting customers with configuring new servers that was both exciting and satisfying, since this process can often be very overwhelming. It was obvious that I still had much to learn. The open-minded environment at Liquid Web has helped me to grow and polish my skills as a Windows System Administrator. 

What draws you to the Hosting Industry as a career?

Nearly every day in hosting, there is a new challenge. It is incredibly satisfying to take a basic understanding of technology and use that knowledge to grow and solve problems I have never seen before. One recent example of this is planning and assisting with a customer migration. The customer needed to move from a very simple solution to a solution that was fully redundant and highly available. The complexity and critical thinking required for planning before making these changes was very satisfying to me.

Is there something specific at Liquid Web that you just love?

I love the company culture at Liquid Web. I have met some of the most intelligent people I know working here. They are passionate about what they do, and it's exciting to work alongside them to implement new solutions to help grow as a company.

What's your favorite part about the company culture at Liquid Web?

Liquid Web's culture is unique. My favorite part about the company culture is how open to suggestions the company is for ways to achieve our common goals. While not every idea can (or should) be implemented, Liquid Web employees are often given the resources to carry out great ideas. Learning and implementing code while working at Liquid Web has allowed me to make numerous scripts that greatly help our team’s day-to-day workflow.

In your eyes, what's the difference between Liquid Web and other employers?

At Liquid Web, I feel encouraged to provide my opinion about the best possible solution. Other companies often give the impression that you are to focus strictly on your part of the task at hand. At Liquid Web, our team takes a step back to reconsider all options instead of driving ahead with simple solutions that could result in additional issues. 

What is the biggest milestone you've accomplished?

One of my most significant milestones is being able to identify security issues before they become a problem, such as when I discovered my first CVE, Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, (CVE-2019-5864) in Google Chrome. Issues can stem from very simple features and seem harmless at first, but by thinking critically and testing all components of an application, I have found that bugs can lead to very serious issues. These issues can range from privilege escalations, financial issues, or a complete account takeover. 

Reporting vulnerabilities results in more secure applications, which benefits everyone. It is a truly great feeling to be able to contribute to more secure applications, and I continue to be driven to question why an application works the way it does.

Tell us about an amazing customer experience you have had at Liquid Web.

One of the most positive experiences I've had at Liquid Web has been when I was given the opportunity to lead several small teams through multiple acquisitions. It was gratifying to assist with a strategy to transition the customers and lead the teams carrying out the plan. 

What is one thing you wish our customers knew about their hosting? 

Our customers should be aware of what ports are open on all servers. An improper or poorly configured firewall is all too common and often the source of malicious behavior. It is preposterous how quickly a brand new server can be attacked when common ports that run protocols such as RDP or SSH are left open. Attack patterns you should be aware of are brute force and credential stuffing attacks. Customers should use a firewall and a VPN and only allow traffic from the public on ports that require it. 

There are many other types of threats and issues to be aware of. Do your part and stay cyber smart during Cybersecurity Awareness Month with these five practical tips.

Work aside, what are some of your hobbies?

As a husband and father, I love spending time with my family. It doesn't get much better than when you can put a smile on your child's face. Woodworking is also a great outlet for me. I enjoy the design and problem solving required to make unique pieces.

What is your favorite app?

Recently, I've enjoyed using Burp Suite to tinker with web security. It's an excellent tool for those looking to get started with bug hunting.

We hope you enjoyed our series, and stay tuned for the next Most Helpful Human Profile. Or, read more of Devin's articles on all things hosting.
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Todd Terwillegar

Todd has been published with several global brands on the topics of marketing, SEO, and blogging, including Nexcess & Uberflip. You can follow Todd on LinkedIn.

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