Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Microsoft DOS and the gleaming Windows, and the rise of "The Cloud", there was an Age undreamed of, when shining servers lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars - Debian, FreeBSD, Slackware, AIX, Solaris with its dark-haired sales women and server towers of spider-haunted mystery, SuSE with its chivalry, Caldera that bordered the pastoral lands of SCO, OpenBSD with its shadow-guarded passwords, RedHat whose Sys Admins wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Apple, reigning supreme in the dreaming west. Hither came Chris the Texan, little-haired, sullen-eyed, MacBook in hand, a builder, a programmer, a sys-admin, a devops engineer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jewelled server rooms of the earth under his sandled feet." -- By tradition, this has been on every home page I've ever had
I'm a Texan living in the UK for over 20 years. I currently run my own company as a consultant cloud architect and DevOps engineer and I specialise in helping companies build enterprise grade solutions using AWS and Google public clouds, infrastructure as code, and other DevOps practices.
Outside work, among other things, I'm an allotment gardener, and in 2020, after quite a few years of study with The Open University, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Technology.
I also volunteer as: a trustee and webmaster of The Druid Network, - a registered charity in English and Wales.
Email: chris at funderburg.me
Relationship: Married with 2 adult daughters
Current Home: Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Nationality: American, with permanent UK Residency
“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” - Marianne Williamson
Specific Skills and Technologies
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
20+ Year's Experience
I've worked in the UK IT industry for over 20 years. First as a systems developer using Informix 4GL, then as a database administrator, then as systems administrator responsible for entire enterprises, before finally finding my niche as a Linux-based release engineer / architect. In the last few years I've been heavily involved in DevOps methodologies and the slow move to Cloud based environments.
Deko - Contract - Senior DevOps Engineer
September 2021 - current
At Deko I'm working to improve, rationalise, document, and lower costs around the DevOps technology stack.
Technologies: Kubernetes (via AWS EKS), Helm, Jenkins, ArgoCD, and Terraform work.Hybrid working From Home - and London, United Kingdom https://www.dekopay.com/
Global Payments - Contract - Senior Consultant DevOps Architect
March 2021 - September 2021
Through AWS Professional Services, I worked on a massive cloud migration project for Global Payments. We were building the observability stack: consisting of InfluxDB, Prometheus, Thanos, and Grafana - all on top of AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), using Helm charts (some wrapped with Terraform) and deployed via ArgoCD.Working From Home - with Multinational Teams https://www.globalpayments.com
Deutsche Bank - Contract - Lead DevOps Engineer
September 2020 - current
I was the sole DevOps engineer responsible for the Client Lifecycle Management team. I'm standardised the build process with CI/CD pipelines using Jenkins, enforcing Sonarqube scanning, and advised on best practice.
Technologies: Redhat Enterprise Linux, Openshift, Kubernetes, Bitbucket, JenkinsWorking From Home - with Multinational Teams https://www.db.com/
Tide - Contract - Senior DevOps Engineer
September 2019 - June 2020
Currently working on a long project to both migrate all micro-services from Docker Swarm into AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS), and to homogenise the CI/CD pipelines to fully utilise Bitbucket Pipelines.
Technologies: Ubuntu Linux, Docker Swarm, Ansible, Bitbucket, AWS, ECSLondon, United Kingdom https://tide.co/
nubeGO - Consultant - Cloud Architect
Jun 2019 - Sep 2019
This was a three month project to develop a Terraform Framework for providing best practice account structure for new clients along with a bit of Terraform 0.12 conversion.
Technologies: Terraform, AWSReading, Berkshire, United Kingdom https://nubego.io/
HSBC - Consultant - Cloud Architect
Feb 2019 - Jun 2019
A five month project with HSBC. This time as Devops Lead where I was a team lead of 3, and getting hands-on building Jenkins pipelines for CI/CD with Ansible on top of Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Technologies: Redhat Linux, Terraform, Ansible, Springboot, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)Sheffield, United Kingdom https://www.hsbc.co.uk/
TSB Bank - Consultant - Cloud Architect
Jan 2019 - Feb 2019
A short six week project for TSB providing both cloud architectural best-practice and hands-on engineering assistance in building native cloud infrastructure with Terraform and Ansible on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Technologies: Terraform, Ansible, Springboot, AWSMadrid, Spain https://www.tsb.co.uk/
Prepay Solutions (PPS) - Fulltime - System Administrator / Cloud Engineering
Nov 2017 - Jan 2019 (1.25 years)
An exciting role in Fintech doing refreshingly complex work! On any given day I might find myself debugging LDAP and Kerberose on a Solaris server running Zones which talk to Oracle databases in the morning, and by the afternoon be progressing on next-generation Cloud and container based projects using proper DevOps tools and methodologies.
Technologies: Redhat Linux, Ansible, Oracle, Tomcat, Springboot, Puppet, Docker, Kubernetes, AWSSwindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom http://prepaysolutions.com/
FridayLabs - Contract - Cloud Engineer
Sep 2017 - Aug 2018 (1 year)
At Friday I developed and supported an Infrastructure as Code solution using Ansible and Bitbucket to automate the deployment of resources to AWS. I was responsible for the deployment of new website code with Elastic Beanstalk and I both designed and implemented a monitoring system using Cloudwatch, Prometheus, and Grafana.
Technologies: Ubuntu Server, Ansible, Elastic Beanstalk, HTML, AWSCopenhagen, Denmark http://www.fridaylabs.net/
Cognito - Fulltime - Senior Cloud Architect, Cloud Engineering
May 2011 - Nov 2017 (6.5 years)
As the senior member of Cloud Engineering team, I'm a technologist specialising in DevOps best practices at scale! In my current role I'm responsible for: empowering the Cloud Engineering team to design, optimise, and support IAAS and PAAS solutions; collaborating closely with Architectural, R&D, and Operational Support teams; and one hopes - making life easier for our project, change, and release managers.
Technologies: Redhat Linux, Cloud (Amazon), Terraform, Ansible, Agile, MySQL, SQL Server, Tomcat, JBoss, Puppet, Liquibase, Nagios/Icinga, CollectD, InfluxDB, Grafana, StatD, Pagerduty, ObserviumNewbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom http://www.cognitoiq.com/
Volunteer - Trustee and Webmaster
Jan 2008 - current (9 years)
The Druid Network is a registered charity in England and Wales (1138265) and I'm one of the volunteer trustees that run the day to day operations. I'm also the webmaster and look after both the Wordpress powered public site and ELGG powered private user forum.
Technologies: Linux, MySQL, Apache, Nagios/IcingaEngland and Wales https://druidnetwork.org/
12 Hour Shift Worker - NOC Incident Manager
Dec 2009 - Mar 2011 (1 years, 4 months)
Here my primary role was as an Incident manager - a senior Linux engineer monitoring and supporting the entire operational services of SpinVox and Nuance for over 30 enterprise customers and thousands of individual customers.Marlow, Berkshire, United Kingdom http://www.nuance.com/
Fulltime - Infrastructure and Deployment Manager
Dec 2005 - Dec 2009 (4 years, 1 months)
In June 2008 I was promoted from Release and Testing Manager to Infrastructure and Deployment Manager. In this role I managed 6 system administrators, 2 storage managers, and 3 Informix DBAs, the release team leader, and also the testing team leader. Along with the 120 servers I was responsible for in the previous role I also had Cisco networking equipment and IBM storage devices to support.
Technologies: Linux, Informix, MySQL, Apache, Nagios/IcingaMaidenhead and Marlow, Berkshire, United Kingdom http://www.spinvox.com/ (archived)
Fulltime - Systems Administrator Team Lead
Dec 1999 - Dec 2005 (6 years, 1 months)
As head administrator, I managed a 4 man team responsible for the technical implementation and support of internal hardware and software products in the UK, France, Germany, South Africa and Australia. I established policies for server deployments, maintenance, and security. I performed day-to-day maintenance of server, workstation, and network equipment for internal and product related infrastructure – comprising roughly 50 servers plus networking equipment. I ensured compliance with SLA’s and performance standards through product benchmarking and proactive monitoring.
Technologies: IBM AIX, Redhat Linux, Solaris, IBM Informix, Windows Server 2000, SQL ServerIsleworth, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Contractor - Consultant Developer
Jun 1998 – Nov 1999 (1 year, 7 months)
I was a contract Informix 4GL Programmer. During this time I worked with Davy Stockbrokers, United Gas, and Informix Ltd (who subcontracted me to Londis and Bull Information Systems.Various Locations
Fulltime - Senior Systems Developer / Informix DBA
May 1997 - Jun 1998 (1 years, 2 months)
I assisted in the development and support of the Global Investment Manager (GIM II) for Chase Manhattan Bank.Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Senior Airman - Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist
Jan 1992 - Jan 1996 (4 years)
My duties included: Loading and unloading of nuclear and nonnuclear munitions, explosives, and propellant devices on aircraft, and managing, controlling, maintaining, and installing aircraft bomb, rocket, and missile release, launch, suspension, and monitor systems; guns and gun mounts; and related munitions handing, loading, and test equipment.55th Fighter Squadron, RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
74th Fighter Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, North Caroline, USA
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” - T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
My Educational Background
The Open University
2011 - 2020
- 2011 - Environment: journeys through a changing world (U116)
- 2012 - Introducing the social sciences - part one (DD131)
- 2012 - Introducing the social sciences - part two (DD132)
- 2013 - Exploring Science (S104)
- 2013 - Energy and sustainability (T213)
- 2014 - Environmental management 1 (T219)
- 2015 - Environment: sharing a dynamic planet (DST206)
- 2016 - Innovation: designing for change (T317)
- 2018 - Environmental management 2 (T319)
- 2020 - Renewable energy (T313)
I started work on this degree purely for fun during a brief time between jobs in 2011, and eventually finished in 2020. I doubt I'll ever change my career path but I enjoyed the learning aspect.Distance Learning assessed by coursework and supervised exams
Texas State Technical College
Further Education - Information Technology
Jan 1991 - Jan 1992
A year of courses including Cobol and Pascal programming, operating systems, etc.Sweetwater, Texas, USA
“You can talk with someone for years, every day, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever.... connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.” - C. JoyBell C.
Let's Keep In Touch
Email is ok to contact me on. My GPG/PGP public key is here and its fingerprint is: F21F 35DB 39C2 C7D9 3C9B 534C 43AD 361B AF83 FB7D. Alternatively, please use any social media method or, if you have my phone number, secure and encrypted messaging with Signal or Whatsapp is preferable.
Email addresschris @ funderburg.me
What's a Now Page?
"Now" pages are inspired by Derek Sivers. They attempt to answer the question: "What is this person focused on at this exact point in their life?" Whist all the masses of information above tell you what I've done, they don't tell you what I'm doing now, what I'm going to do, nor what's important to me. You can find hundreds of examples of these (including mine) on nownownow.com.
What am I doing now? (Nov 2021)
I'm currently living in Newbury, Berkshire, UK, married now for 27 years, my eldest daughter's long moved out with her partner, and my youngest daughter's still at home.
I've been running my own company, Cloud Cauldron, as a consultant cloud architect / devops engineer for more than four years now . My current contract is with Deko as a Senior DevOps Engineer working 80% from home with 1 day a week from London.
Two days after Christmas, we should be off on holiday to New York (for the third time), but you can't count on anything with COVID-19. Speaking of which the entire immeadiate family is now tripple jabbed - so that's a weight off our minds.
My Bachelor's degree from the Open University is finally complete!
I currently have all 3 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Associate Certifications (AWS Certified Developer, AWS Certified Solutions Architect, and AWS Certified Sysops Administrator. And I also gained both the Google Cloud Certified - Associate Cloud Engineer certification and Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals. My next target is to get the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification and the start on the professional versions of AWS and Google.
Aside from here in the deepest of winter, when I'm not working or gaming you can find me gardening at my allotment. This year I grew: tomatoes, plums, mint, lavender, potatoes, rhubarb, sweetcorn, onion, garlic, red white and yellow beetroot, a few flowers, peas, purple french climbing beans, and kale.