About Me

"Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Microsoft 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 women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, SuSE with its chivalry, Caldera that bordered the pastoral lands of SCO, OpenBSD with its shadow-guarded tombs, RedHat whose Sys Admins wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Ubuntu, 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, 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 work as the Senior Cloud Architect for a company called Cognito iQ where I specialise in Devops practices at scale such as deployment automation and continuous delivery, cloud migration, microservices architecture, devsecops, and advanced operational monitoring.

Outside work, among other things, I'm an allotment gardener, and I study with The Open University for a degree in Environmental Management and Technology.

I also volunteer as: a trustee and webmaster of The Druid Network, and as a trustee and IT Officer of PaganAid - both registered charities in English and Wales.

Chris Funderburg

Email: chris at funderburg.me

Relationship: Married with 2 adult daughters

Current Home: Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Nationality: American, with permanent UK Residency

My Skills

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” - Marianne Williamson

 

Broad Skills

 

Specific Skills and Technologies
























Experience

“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.

Cognito iQ

Fulltime - Senior Cloud Architect, Cloud Engineering

May 2011 - current (6+ 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, Observium

Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom   http://www.cognitoiq.com/

The Druid Network

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 former Drupal powered site and the new Wordpress powered public site and ELGG powered private user forum.

Technologies: Linux, MySQL, Apache, Nagios/Icinga

England and Wales   https://druidnetwork.org/

Nuance Inc

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/

Spinvox

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/Icinga

Maidenhead and Marlow, Berkshire, United Kingdom   http://www.spinvox.com/ (archived)

Carefone

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 Server

Isleworth, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Funderburg Limited

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

Chase Manhattan Bank

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

The United States Air Force

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

Education

“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

The Open University

BSc (honours) - Environmental Management and Technology
2011 - 2018 (expected)
Diploma of Higher Education in Environmental Management and Technology
2017
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences
2013

Modules:

  • 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)
  • 2017 - Renewable energy (T313)
  • 2017 - Environmental management 2 (T319)

I started work on this degree during a brief time between jobs in 2011 and haven't stopped since. I'm not entirely sure if I'll ever change my career path but I've a deep and abiding interest in the topic and I enjoy the learning aspect.

Distance Learning assessed by coursework and supervised exams

Texas State Technical College

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

Contact Me

“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 fingerprint is: D267 92C4 1341 4FE4 ADE5 4334 9DED 40D6 9D83 D1E9. Alternatively, please use any social media method or, if you have my phone number, secure and encrypted messaging with Signal or Whatsapp is preferable.

Now

click and drag from XKCD

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 / thinking / reading / writing now? (Mid October 2017)

I'm living and currently working in Newbury, Berkshire, UK, married now for 23 years, my eldest daughter moved out with her partner several months back, and my youngest daughter's still at home.

The time has come to leave my workplace and seek out new challenges. I've been here for 6.5 years and will very much miss the people at Cognito. I'll horribly miss working two blocks from home, cycling to work, and working from home on Fridays. To that end, I've provisionally accepted a new role in Swindon - about a 45 minute drive from home. The only problem is that I've been temporarily thwarted by work rules brought out in 2014 that demand I show a biometric form instead of the indefinite-leave-to-remain stamp in my expired passport. That's taking weeks and much money to sort out! Due to that, I've decided to gain UK citizenship as soon as I can gather the nearly £1300 required - then I'll never need to worry about changing immigration rules and regulations again.

My university degree continues to go well. I've just obtained a very wordy "Diploma of Higher Education in Environmental Management and Technology" and my final two modules, T313 - Renewable Energy and T319 - Environmental Management 2 have now started! This year should be my last unless I can find the cash to go for a masters degree.

I have a quest to gain all 3 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Associate Certifications. In late July I rocked up to the testing centre and gained the first two. So, I'm now an AWS Certified Developer and an AWS Certified Solutions Architect! I'll be doing the SysOps Administrator one at the end of October.

When I'm not working or studying you can find me gardening at my allotment. This year I'm growing: horseradish, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, onions, sweet peppers, courgettes, lavender, pears, potatoes, broad beans, runner beans, french beans, lettuce, peas, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, sweetcorn, parsnips, a few flowers, and many weeds!

I've also refreshed my photography hobby by buying a new Canon EOS D80 camera which I've VERY pleased with

We're just back from Rome! The missus and I went for a long weekend to celebrate her 50th birthday. Rome was very nice but we may need to go back to see a few more museums when the chance arises. We're already starting to think about next year's holiday back to New York.

As is my custom, I still regularly dip my toe into genealogy. I just set myself up a small area in WikiTree, and of course I still maintain tree.funderburg.me

Working through a list of technologies I by want to learn by doing projects on