I’m Jaret Rader, a development support technician at Raxis. I’m excited that, while I’m still working on my education, I get the chance to work part-time at Raxis supporting the Raxis One and PTaaS development team.
Bonnie: So you’re in your second semester at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, and you’re already working at a tech company. That was fast work! What made you interested in working at Raxis?
Jaret: I’ve always been interested in tech. At SAU I’m studying to be an Electrical Engineer with focuses on radio-frequency (RF) and embedded systems development. My dad has worked in cybersecurity for years and is good friends with Raxis CEO Mark Puckett. That got me thinking about the benefits of learning from a team of penetration testers now. By learning more about pentesting and methods used to attack systems, I can better design secure technology from the ground up as opposed to the afterthought it tends to be in today’s world.
Bonnie: That’s great thinking, and it sounds like your work at Raxis fits in well with your schoolwork. I follow your parents on social media, so I happen to know you’ve been interested in tech since a young age. What was your first project that really made you feel this may be your passion?
Jaret: Well, way back in the sixth grade, I started doing FIRST Lego League, which is a robotics competition designed for middle schoolers. There were two main parts, an actual robot that would be built using Lego technics and a project that would follow a yearly theme. I can still remember our project from that sixth-grade year. With a theme of animal conservation, my team came up with the “turtle tunnel.” Its purpose was to go over turtle nests and to protect baby turtles on their way to the ocean from things like light pollution as well as seagulls.
Bonnie: Wow, that sounds like a fun project! And you did other tech work during middle school too, right?
Jaret: Yes, I got to help the IT department at my middle school test the new web filtering services they used to prevent students from accessing shopping websites or other unapproved sites. I helped with IT work at some other local schools too. I still remember working around the clock to manually reset the BIOs passwords on all the schools’ computers.
Bonnie: By high school you were getting into RF, right?
Jaret: That’s right. I began working with an engineer at Lockheed Martin in Orlando on radio frequency (RF) projects. This is what inspired me to study Electrical Engineering and continue learning more about technology. Working with my mentor at Lockheed Martin, I was able to program my own SDR (Software Defined Radio) to receive transmissions, record them, and broadcast them to other radios. I did all of this using a software tool called GNU Radio. It has led to a great friendship with my mentor, even though I’m still not sure what all he works on due to NDAs. I did get the opportunity this past Christmas break to visit his work complex, and, even though I was not allowed inside any of the buildings, it was very cool to see how hidden their offices are in my area.
Bonnie: You’ve gained a lot of great experience, and it sounds like you’ve made some great friends in the process. What do you do to relax & take a break from your busy student and work life?
Jaret: Actually, one of my favorite hobbies is coding. When I’m programming, I typically use Python. I don’t tend to do anything too fancy with it other than some small pet projects or using a service such as repl.it to make short text-based games for my friends to play during downtime in class. While I was in robotics during my first two years of high school, we also experimented with a modified version of Java.
Bonnie: That’s great, but sometimes you do step away from the computer, right?
Jaret: Haha. Yes, I actually do once in a while. I really enjoy spending time outdoors. One of my favorite things to do outdoors is scuba diving with my family. We have all had our open water certifications for a long time and just a couple years ago took our training to get our advanced certifications. One of our favorite places to dive are the Turks and Caicos Islands, and we have been going there to dive for years. Other outdoor activities I enjoy are participating in my university’s intramural sports. I also umpire for softball and referee for flag football when needed. Something I love about my university campus is all of the hiking trails that we have both on campus and nearby.
Bonnie: And I hear you have a bit of a loyalty in baseball, is that right?
Jaret: Oh yes, I am always up for watching football or baseball and you can probably find me at an Atlanta Braves game whenever I have a long weekend off from school or if I am able to get out of class a little early. I grew up in Atlanta until age 11 and have been a Braves fan as long as I can remember.
Although not all of my sports teams reside in Atlanta. My family loves Alabama in college football… so much so that extended family members like my great uncle will drive seven hours to Florida just to watch the playoffs with us, or this year even FaceTime all the way from Vietnam.