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Hi, I'm Paul Kirby

I like development. I like operations. I like them better together. Like chocolate and peanut butter. Or salt and vinegar. I’m a DevOps professional with a passion for continuous improvement and automation.

View My Resume

About Me

I started my career in operations, originally intending on becoming a sysadmin, but I couldn’t keep away the itch to code that I’ve had since I was ten, so I moved into development. I very rapidly realized that these two disciplines didn’t need to be separate – and in fact, shouldn’t be. Since then I’ve dedicated myself to blending system administration and development to create a tasty peanut butter cup of agility and business value through automation, continuous improvement and mentorship.

  • Mentorship 90%
  • Development 80%
  • Automation 99%
  • System Administration 70%
  • Business Happiness 90%

How About Some Specifics?

Cloud

AWS is my area of expertise. I have production experience with EC2, RDS, S3, Route53, VPC, Cloudfront, CloudFormation and SNS. Creating scalable, fault-tolerant infrastructure that is simple to work with is an obsession of mine. I attended AWS re:Invent 2014 and am currently studying to take the Certified SysOps Administrator certification.

Leadership

I’ve been a long time advocate for best practices and helping other developers to implement them. I’ve brought teams from a purely manual testing world to a full Continuous Delivery pipeline through mentorship and guided experimentation.

System Administration

I like to play in Ubuntu and CoreOS, and have experience in production with Amazon Linux and Windows Server 2008. vim is my editor of choice. I prefer the command line to GUIs any day of the week.
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Development

I started off in the .NET world, but have been moving away in the past few years onto open-source platforms. I enjoy web front-end development with AngularJS and scripting with Python. I solve back-end problems with Go. Polyglot solutions where each language capitalizes on its strengths are my ideal working environment.

Configuration Management

I  Salt, Consul, Vagrant, and Packer. I’ve been exposed to Chef, Puppet, and Ansible as well. Infrastructure as code is a personal mantra. Good configuration management is the chocolate shell on the peanut butter cup: bland without the development peanut butter, but intrinsic to keeping it from leaking everywhere and making a mess.

Automation

“Automate or die” is my motto. If I can make something happen in one button click, I will. No developer should have to think about how to deploy their app, it should just happen, so they can get back to doing what they love. Automation is the difference between a peanut butter cup that comes out of the wrapper clean, and one that leaves behind a chocolatey mess.

Learning

A day where I don’t learn something is a waste of a day, in my opinion. I’m always on the lookout for new methods, new technology, and new ideas. Continuous improvement takes you from normal-sized peanut butter cups to those king-sized ones. Way better. Mmm.
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Driving Change

When it’s best for the business, you won’t see me being shy about introducing change in a controller manner. I drive ideas forward with clearly communicated strategies and backup plans, including detailed analyses of all available options. My passion for delivering business value keeps projects from stagnating.

Analytics and Monitoring

I enjoy enabling lean build-measure-learn cycles via analytics and creating self-healing systems via monitoring. DataDog, Loggly and Keen.IO are my specialties, but I’ve worked with others. Quantitative metrics make me happy.

My Other Interests

The Outdoors

In the winter, I enjoy cross-country and downhill skiing. You’ll find me out at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park or Sunshine most weekends when the conditions are good.

In the summer, I hike. A lot. I am a connoisseur of ultralight backpacking. I’ve done the West Coast Trail, the La Cloche Sillhouette, and have plans to hike the John Muir Trail in a few years.

 

Drumming

I’ve played the electronic drums for a little over a year now. I particularly like playing funk.

Want to have a jam session? I’m in!

Gaming

A little bit of PC gaming on the side. I’m a fan of role playing games with extensive story lines like Dragon Age and turn-based strategy games like Civilization V.

Like what you see?

Interested in chatting about what I can do to help your business?

Just want me to stop talking about peanut butter cups because it’s 2pm and you’re hungry?

Contact Me