Who Am I?
My name is Caesar Kabalan, at the time of this writing I’m a 27 year old resident of Phoenix, Arizona. I was originally born in the Phoenix area and went to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona for my Undergraduate. I graduated from NAU’s W.A. Franke College of Business with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis on Computer Information Systems. While there I also received a certificate in Systems Administration.
I currently hold a position at a global manufacturing company on their Cloud Enablement Services team. My primary focus has changed over the past few years but my main role now involves engineering and building our first public cloud environment.
Straight from the resume: Currently responsible for the planning, engineering, and implementation of Amazon Web Services for a large global organization. Primary duties involve working closely with Cloud Architects and IT Leadership regarding strategy and timelines for the implementation of cloud services. Technical duties consist of working hands-on as part of a small team to implement cloud technologies including autoscaling, continuous integration/delivery, and configuration management all using DevOps practices. Founding member of a Cloud Enablement Services group aimed at assisting and easing the utilization of cloud resources by traditional infrastructure and development teams.
A Not-So Brief History
I was originally introduced to computers at a VERY young age. At three years old I could use a computer by myself to play simple puzzle games and “type the alphabet”. My father was a quality assurance engineer for an aerospace company that developed power supplies for satellites. He often had to write code to automate burn in testing. Before age 12 most of my experience with computers were gaming related. Every Christmas my father and I would build a new computer which led me to being introduced into hardware side of computers very early (maybe about age 10).
At around age 12 he encouraged me to play with programming, specifically Quick Basic and Visual Basic 4. My first application was one we wrote together (he “suggested” most of it while I typed it) was a simple address book that stored the information in text files. This sparked my interest and I began to spend more and more time on my computer. Throughout the following years I played video games, wrote some small programs, did some web design (Microsoft FrontPage Express), and overall got very familiar with my Windows 98SE PC.
High school widened my technological background:
- I started my first major programming project: SocketBot. I wrote an IRC (chat server) bot that would listen for commands in the channel (chat room) and do “something”. In this case it would take a command, look up the stats for a character on an online game, and send a message back to the requester with the information. This was programmed in VB6.
- I was given my own server (a Virtual Private Server), which I used to host my own website. I later realized it was more of a shell then a true VPS. Here I learned about IRC Eggdrop bots, configuring the Apache HTTPd, and was first introduced to the Unix operating systems (FreeBSD).
- I took an CompTIA A+ Computer Technician certification course. Most of the course I had already picked up by tinkering with my own PC, but it did open my eyes to a few aspects I had not known the technical details about.
- Spent a summer doing computer technician work for the school district. Three months of virus scans, disk defragmentations, and windows updates.
After high school I was accepted to Northern Arizona University where I studied Computer Information Systems as a student in the Business College. Major milestones include:
- Exposure to more programming languages including C#, PHP, and expanded my knowledge of HTML/CSS/JS. This exposure included several programming projects too numerous to mention. Highlights include a MP3 Streaming Client-Server Suite, and a BlackJack game whose purpose was to perfectly emulate casino play.
- A business class called BizBlock in which your group was tasked with coming up with a business idea, doing research, market analysis, developing an extensive business plan, building presentations, and presenting those to a group of actual investors. We came in first place out of ten teams and ended up with a 94 page business plan. Our idea was a way for bike hobbyists to socially interact by swapping customizable bike parts.
- Spent a summer doing phone tech support for AT&T DSL.
- Spent a summer doing web application development for NAU’s College of Business.
During the time through high school and college I continued to explore the computing world. After junior year at NAU I won an highly sought-after year-long internship working in the datacenter of the organization I am still with. The internship allowed me to get great real world experience working with technical individuals, servers, Active Directory, and the physical aspects of the datacenter.
Once my internship ended I applied for a full time position at the same organization as part of their “Desktop Automation” team. This role involved planning, automating, and executing software rollouts for the entire organization.
After ~2 years in that role I took an opening with the same organization as a Linux Systems Administrator. I also work on a lot of peripheral projects and technologies including VMware vSphere, SAN and NAS Storage, Server/Systems Monitoring, Puppet, and Amazon Web Services.
During my role as a Linux SysAdmin I became involved in a project to explore Amazon Web Services and how our organization could benefit from the public cloud. After a year of on-and-off experimentation a became a founding member of a team that was formed to build our cloud environment on AWS.