Professional Profile

A Senior Cloud Engineer and Full Stack Developer currently living in Murfreesboro, TN. My mission in life is to Receive, Restore, and Communicate Wholeness in myself and others. Problem solving is easily one of my favorite things to do. Whether it’s building applications, automating highly-available infrastructure, or tinkering with broken machinery, I love working to reach a solution.

I strive to understand all aspects of a given subject. This has driven me to learn all aspects of web development, be it front-end, back-end, or server administration. My extensive experience in writing software paired with my experience in designing and building infrastructure make me uniquely suited to most positions. I am able to not only write an application's software, but also the infrastructure needed to support the application, as well as the software needed to support the infrastructure itself.

I wouldn't be where I'm at today if it weren't for the people I've worked with along the way. The designers, project managers, team leads, and managers have all helped to shape who I am. It's why I enjoy teaching by speaking at conferences and offering feedback when I'm helping my teammates cross the finish line.

Strengths Finder

  • Relator
  • Learner
  • Intellection
  • Adaptability
  • Responsibility

Technical Accomplishments

  • I have extensive experience working with AWS services such as EC2, Auto Scaling, ECS, CodeBuild, CodePipeline, RDS MySQL, RDS Aurora, ElastiCache for Memcached, ElastiCache for Redis, SSM Parameter Store, AWS Certficate Manager, Application Load Balancer, Lambda, CloudFront, CloudWatch, S3, and others.
  • I have managed the migration from a CloudFormation/EC2 based infrastructure to a Terraform/ECS based infrastructure without the need for downtime (though with an edit lock on the database).
  • I have been responsible for diagnosing infrastructure failures as well as authoring Root Cause Analysis documents to be presented to clients.
  • I have written software to monitor ECS Deployments in order to prevent failing deployments from being attached to the Load Balancer. In addition, it detects when ECS is unable to provision containers on an instance and when containers are unable to start.
  • I have written multiple Lambda functions to facilitate the operation and monitoring of infrastructure.
  • I have written supporting Docker containers to manage building static assets locally and in production.
  • I have written a Go CLI tool to ingest the output of mysqldump and transform it to anonymize data.
  • I have written a small NodeJS package that assists me with ensuring certain Environment Variables are present on AWS Lambda functions.
  • I have written a Terraform module which makes it easy to package Lambda functions using Terraform without a manual build process.
  • I have written a NodeJS CLI tool for creating an aws_cloudformation_stack Terraform resource and populating its parameters. It was made to facilitate managing CloudFormation resources using Terraform.S
  • I have contributed to Terraform's AWS provider when I am able.

Technical Skills

AWS

Advanced, 5 years

Extensive experience hosting high-traffic applications (60M+ requests/mo) using CloudFormation and Terraform.

Terraform

Advanced, 5 years

Extensive user and author of modules. I have also contributed to Terraform upstream. Packer is also used for building server images.

Commandline

Advanced, 7 years

Power user. I live on the keyboard. Vim is my text-editor of choice and Bash scripts are my friend.

PHP

Advanced, 10 years

Well versed in functional and object-oriented programming. Experience with Zend, Phalcon, and WordPress.

NodeJS

Intermediate, 5 years

Extensive experience writing AWS Lambda functions as well as writing cli tools.

Frontend

Intermediate, 13 years

React/Redux, Meteor, Angular, and jQuery. Well versed in preprocessors: SASS, LESS, HAML, and Pug.

Git

Advanced, 7 years

Well versed in merging strategies and follow the git-flow model of branching.

Public Speaking

Advanced, 10 years

I've spoken at a number of conferences and my degree is in Public Speaking. I am very comfortable in front an audience. You can watch a few of my talks or view the slides.

Work Experience

Senior Cloud Engineer

March 2017 - Present

Human Made / Altis DXP

Primarily responsible for the design of the latest version of our Hosting infrastructure. Additionally responsible for day-to-day support and operational tasks. I have been spearheading the task of migrating from EC2/CloudFormation based environments to ECS/Terraform environments. I spend most of my time interacting with AWS services such as ECS, RDS, Lambda, and Cloudwatch, as well as software services like ZenDesk and GitHub.

Sole Proprietor

August 2009 - March 2017

Fight the Current

My personal business venture. I've been a Front End developer, Back End Developer, DevOps Engineer, Video Editor, Camera Operator, and Graphic Designer. Over the course of time I recognized that software development was my strength and altered course. Now I am working as a DevOps engineer working with tools like Vagrant, Ansible, and Hashicorp's Terraform and Packer, making sure all the things are automated and play well together.

Full Stack Developer

January 2015 - December 2015

Gateway Church - Table.org

My primary responsibility is migrating our manually-configured infrastructure over to AWS using Vagrant, Ansible, and Hashicorp's Terraform and Packer. I've built a statistics aggregator microservice using the Phalcon PHP framework, an internal support tool using AngularJS, and a dynamically-generated static dashboard using Rails. I have also been responsible for maintaining and extending a Zend Framework application.

Subcontractor/Development Partner

January 2013 - December 2014

Pressware.co

A partnership between Tom McFarlin and I developing custom solutions using WordPress. Built numerous solutions ranging from custom business directories to WordPress themes and plugins.

Education

B.A. in Media and Communication Studies

August 2006 - May 2010

Florida State University

I received a diverse education in Broadcasting, Advertising, and Mass Communications. I learned communication theory and gained hands on experience planning advertising and social marketing campaigns.

Contact

Tel: +1 (615) 974-0763
Email: nathaniel@fightthecurrent.org
@nathanielks everywhere