- I solve problems by listening, committing, and acting.
- I turn business requirements into technical realities, quickly.
- Me in three words: empathetic, thorough, committed.
Leader, Systems Thinker, Engineer.
I am an engineering manager living in the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney, Australia.
I lead product-focused development teams spread across the globe. Together we build platforms and services to help other teams within our organisation succeed. I make this happen by doing two key things for the team: remove obstacles and limit interruptions.
A regular speaker at conferences internationally, when at home I organise the longest continuously running DevOps meetup in the world, the Sydney DevOps meetup.
When not looking after my three kids, I listen to music, run, and read.
Head of Technology at Digital Transformation Office (2015 - 2017)
As Head of Technology I am responsible for helping teams in the DTO successfully build and operationalise simpler, clearer, faster digital services that solve problems for all Australians.
As the first technical hire in the newly formed DTO, I was responsible for growing the engineering arm of the organisation to 40 people in the first year, with 97.5% retention. I implemented a hiring process that grants teams authority to make hiring decisions in an inclusive and transparent way.
I am responsible for developing and iterating the DTO technology strategy as the organisation has scaled up, creating a framework that allows for teams to deliver in a consistent, safe, and unsurprising way across the organisation, but gives teams the freedom to make their own technology choices based on the problems they are solving.
I regularly speak on behalf of the DTO to the government and private sector, keynoting the Cloud Foundry Summit 2016 in Santa Clara about how the DTO uses Cloud Foundry to deliver services and recover from failure fast.
Finally, I spearheaded the creation of cloud.gov.au: a faster, safer, standard way to change web apps without impacting the user, which frees up teams to focus on writing code that meets user needs.
Co-Founder at Rad Alert (2015)
Rad Alert was an early stage startup building monitoring for people who don’t do monitoring.
I paused Rad Alert when the DTO came knocking.
R&D Manager at Bulletproof Networks (2010 - 2015)
As R&D Manager it was my responsibility and privilege to lead a team of highly skilled engineers to understand and automate existing business processes and build scalable systems from the ground up.
- Growing the team from zero to 12 people over 3 years, with 100% employee retention over this period.
- Connecting and mentoring people within the organisation, listening and providing professional guidance to people across both non-technical and technical roles at all levels in the business, and building cohesion within the Bulletproof management team.
- Deeply influencing the growth and sustainability of remote work culture at Bulletproof. As of 2014, 45% of the work force was remote, compared to 5% when I began.
- Designing, documenting, project managing, and implementing a core monitoring system refresh to pay off >10 years of technical debt within Bulletproof, and enable new competitive opportunities for the organisation.
- Driving adoption of Open Source tools developed at Bulletproof outside of the organisation, with several large enterprises in the US using Flapjack in production.
Consultant at asymmetrics.net (2009-2010)
- Deployment of monitoring and notification system for VPS provider Digital Pacific.
- Development of web based e-commerce site, for a jewellery wholesaler.
- Development of backend and ETL process for a car discount search startup.
- Maintenance of business loans management system for Suncorp Metway Business Banking division.
Sysadmin + Developer at Solutions First (2006 - 2008)
- Creation of data extraction and printing software used Australia-wide to print rental agreement, for Thrifty Car Rental.
- Migration of Point-Of-Sales environment to Ubuntu-based Linux-HA clustered STONITH setup from legacy SCO and Red Hat infrastructure, for Thrifty Car Rental.
- Operational support for development team, building and maintaining global ad serving platform serving 80 million+ ads per day, for Mooter Media.
- Federation of authentication across multiple production sites, including directory administration tool for user, group, and permissions management, for Mooter Media.
Linux Desktop Engineer at Stratech (2004 - 2006)
Design, implementation, and maintenance of Point-Of-Sales SOE for Kennards Hire. At the time this was the largest deployment of desktop Linux in the southern hemisphere.
- Development of Puppet-based automated provisioning for desktops and servers, with end-to-end automation for web, file, print, and proprietary database servers.
- Build of nation-wide federated authentication for all employees.
- Implementation of performance monitoring tools for analysing performance of mission critical Java POS application.
- Humility, and knowing what I don’t know
- Engineering leadership, engineering management
- Team hiring and building, career development
- Negotiation, performance management
- Vendor management, contract negotiation
Practice and process:
- Delivering projects on time and within budget
- Technology strategy, budget management and spend control
- Process development, workflow optimisation, and business case development
- Actually doing agile and lean in practice, Kanban
- Go, C, Java
- Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment
- Software Testing (TDD, BDD), infrastructure testing
- Monitoring, graphing, and alerting
- Building APIs and documentation that people love to use
- Linux, Puppet, Ansible, Kickstart, iptables
- AWS, VMware, Xen, Cloud Foundry, Docker
- collectd, Nagios, Flapjack
- Apache, Nginx, Postfix, Dovecot, HAProxy
- OpenLDAP, BIND, DHCP, Samba
- Jenkins, Vagrant
- MySQL (including DBA and HA tools)
- Flapjack, a monitoring alert routing system.
- Got Gastro, helps you find potential food safety problems when eating out or buying food.
- Ript, a Ruby DSL for firewall changed management on Linux.
- cucumber-nagios, helps you describe how websites should work in plain text, and outputs whether they do in the Nagios plugin format.
- Visage, a web service and interface for viewing collectd statistics.
- Emcee + organiser, Sydney DevOps Meetups, 2010 - present
- Secretary, DevOps Australia, 2014 - present
- Advisor, DevOpsDays Sydney 2013 & DevOpsDays Brisbane 2014
- Convenor, Devops Down Under, 2010 + 2011
- Core organiser & Secretary, linux.conf.au 2007
I frequently speak at meetups and conferences in Australia and internationally.
The highlights are:
- Deepening our people to weather the org
- 5 Years of Monitoring & Metrics
- The devops field guide to understanding cognitive biases
- Escalating complexity: devops learnings from Air France 447
- Flapjack Tutorial
- Presented at: Monitorama PDX 2014 (Portland, OR), Velocity NYC 2014 (New York City, NY)
- Manage People Effectively training, Australian Institute of Management
- High School Certificate in English, Mathematics, Software Design & Development, Bradfield College, 2006
- High School Certificate in Music, Visual Arts, St. Leo’s College, 2005