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Blog Employee Spotlight

DomainTools Employee Spotlight - Ian Campbell

Yikes! It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these! And I know we said that last time, but we’re making a resolution to ourselves to do these more often because while it likely sounds totally biased, we do have some really great people here and we want you to know them too.

Since our last Employee Spotlight, DomainTools acquired Farsight Security, and with it, some really talented people. Security Operations (SecOps) Engineer Ian Campbell is no exception.

If Ian’s name sounds familiar to you, it might be because he’s been a recent guest on the Breaking Badness podcast and has begun blogging as well. We hope you check those out if you haven’t already!

Ian’s had a deep interest in Information Security (infosec) since his childhood and grew up fascinated by hackers and hacking. One of his formative experiences was pulling an old Tandy 1000-EX computer out of the attic and using it to forge report cards to keep him out of trouble, having to rewrite formatting standards and some driver interactions on the fly to print something convincing enough to get past his mom, who taught in the same school district. I think if that had occurred to more of us, we’d have done the same!

Computers continued to be a focal point for Ian and he self-taught many of the skills he gained. He continued to hone his craft by fixing family computers and then fixing computers at work while employed as a police/emergency services dispatcher. As is the way for a lot of hobbies, it turned into some freelance work (also as is the way for a lot of freelance work, Ian was not exactly a fan of it).

So when an opportunity came to work technical support in the US House of Representatives, Ian knew he had to jump at it. It was perfect for a self-proclaimed West Wing fan. He got to spend his days walking those hallowed halls, have sit downs with members of Congress and staffers,  and help augment the technical side of major legislation like the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) among other things. In his words, “there’s just nothing like it.”

Ian spent a year in the Capitol, but received his next great opportunity with Farsight Security, a Silicon Valley security company run by brilliant internet pioneer, Paul Vixie. While at Farsight, Ian’s duties evolved from IT responsibilities to a decent amount of security work alongside Farsight’s Deputy CISO and VP of Engineering, Daniel Schwalbe (who has also joined DomainTools as CISO and VP of IT since the acquisition).

Ian considers his time at Farsight Security as “amazing” and felt like it was an excellent learning opportunity and a chance to grow as a person. He got the chance to work with fantastic teammates like Peter Popovich, Travis Hall, Dan Coutu, and Ben April (all of whom also came aboard DomainTools!) The Farsight culture allowed him to feel comfortable saying “I don’t know” or “I need help” which is exactly the kind of culture that won’t allow ego to get in the way of becoming better than you were before.

He’ll admit that the DomainTools acquisition was nerve wracking (I think we might all feel that way if we were in that position!), but with Paul Vixie’s straight shooter advice and trust in DomainTools CEO Tim Chen, Ian knew the move would be a good one. Additionally, Ian’s duties at Farsight were centered around IT and internal user support with some security tasks, but as DomainTools restructured there was more need for someone in SecOps, and he’s excited he could make that jump along with backstopping some IT tasks when needed.

Outside of work, Ian is incredibly prolific. He’s an avid Twitter user and he likes to write both fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing, he loves reading and lucky for him, DomainTools has a bunch of bookworms and a Slack channel devoted to sharing what we’re reading! He’ll read as many as 6 books at a time, switching from genre to genre (eBooks are a savior because otherwise it would be exhausting to carry around that many books!)

We’re looking forward to sharing other Employee Spotlights this year. In the meantime, if you’re interested in joining our team, check out our current job listings!