"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 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 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, 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 a systems administrator for a company called Prepay Solutions and I specialise in Devops practices at scale such as deployment automation and continuous delivery, cloud migration, microservices architecture, devsecops, and advanced operational monitoring and tooling.
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.
Fulltime - System Administrator / Cloud Engineering
Nov 2017 - current
An exciting new 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/
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 - 2018 (expected)
- 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
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 / thinking / reading / writing now? (December 2018)
I'm currently living in Newbury, Berkshire, UK, married now for 24 years, my eldest daughter's moved out with her partner, and my youngest daughter's still at home.
The missus and I just got back from New York city. I love NYC and everything about the place.
For the last year I've worked in Swindon for a company in the financial services industry - about a 45 minute drive from home. It's an ok job with good people but it's proved far more "classic" IT than Cloud based, so I might go contracting soon, looking for Cloud or DevOps work.
I'm on a massive drive to get fit and loose all my excess weight and I've lost about two stone (28lbs) in the past year.
My university degree continues to tick along. Last year I obtained a very wordy "Diploma of Higher Education in Environmental Management and Technology" and I'll start on my last two modules in October! With a bit of good luck, this coming year should be my last.
My quest to gain all 3 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Associate Certifications is complete! In July 2017 I rocked up to the testing centre and gained the first two, (AWS Certified Developer and an AWS Certified Solutions Architect) and in June 2018 this year I gained AWS Certified Sysops Administrator.
When I'm not working or studying you can find me gardening at my allotment. Due to this horribly hot and dry summer, the growing season is almost over! This year I've grown: tomatoes, mint, lemon balm, courgettes, lavender, potatoes, broad beans, french beans, rhubarb, sweetcorn, garlic, red and golden beetroot, bulb fennel, and a few flowers, and many weeds!