Sam Bashton, Developer in Sydney, Australia
Sam is available for hire
Hire Sam

Sam Bashton

Verified Expert  in Engineering

DevOps Developer

Location
Sydney, Australia
Toptal Member Since
September 5, 2022

Sam has more than 15 years of cloud computing experience across a wide range of verticals, from high-growth startups to established enterprises. He excels at building a cloud infrastructure that empowers developers and increases their efficiency while ensuring secure environments. Automation is at the core of everything Sam does, as he always tries to build reliable, repeatable solutions that enhance organizational productivity and minimize or eliminate drudgery.

Portfolio

IAG
Akamai, CDKTF, Terraform
Qantas
Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Transit Gateway, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB...
Bashton Ltd
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Puppet, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB...

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud

The most amazing...

...thing I've built was a development lifecycle platform for a major international airline with radical improvements in developer productivity.

Work Experience

Principal Consultant

2022 - 2022
IAG
  • Collaborated on a three-month engagement to build automation for Akamai.
  • Migrated Akamai environment from 'clickops' web UI management to full infrastructure-as-code.
  • Utilized Terraform CDKTF built using TypeScript, and the deployments were managed via GitHub Actions.
Technologies: Akamai, CDKTF, Terraform

Cloud Lead

2018 - 2022
Qantas
  • Built a complete cloud-native development lifecycle platform that allowed developers to leverage the power of AWS while ensuring security.
  • Designed and led the implementation of a petabyte-scale data lake solution.
  • Re-engineered AWS networking from a virtual private cloud (VPC) peering connection to utilize AWS Transit Gateway, removing hard limits on AWS growth and simplifying connectivity.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Transit Gateway, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, Data Lake Design, AWS Lake Formation, MySQL, Serverless, Python, Go, CI/CD Pipelines, AWS CloudFormation, Development, DevOps, Cloud, Networking, AWS IAM, Docker, APIs, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon CloudWatch, JavaScript, Node.js, Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Load Balancers, Architecture, Cloud Computing, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), ETL, Linux, High-availability Systems, AWS CodePipeline, Git, Security, DevSecOps, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Containerization, Scripting, Automated Testing, Amazon RDS, Team Leadership, Autoscaling, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon EBS, High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR), Automation, Bash, GitHub, Jira, HashiCorp, Cloud Security, Amazon Route 53, TCP/IP, Agile DevOps

Founder

2004 - 2018
Bashton Ltd
  • Built a consultancy firm from zero employees to over one hundred. It initially started as a company focused on open-source software, but I pivoted it to focus on cloud computing from 2010 onwards.
  • Provided consultancy and managed support for cloud computing environments across AWS and Google Cloud.
  • Led the company to a successful exit via acquisition by Claranet Group, an internationally-managed service provider.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Puppet, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, MySQL, Serverless, Python, Go, CI/CD Pipelines, AWS CloudFormation, Development, DevOps, Cloud, Networking, AWS IAM, Ansible, Docker, SDKs, APIs, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon CloudWatch, Apache Kafka, IT Support, JavaScript, Node.js, Kibana, Vagrant, Zabbix, GitLab CI/CD, Kubernetes, Amazon EKS, Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Load Balancers, VPN, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), Architecture, Cloud Computing, Linux Administration, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Infrastructure as Code (IaC), SQL, Linux, High-availability Systems, AWS CodePipeline, Git, Security, Cloud Migration, DevSecOps, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Helm, Containerization, Scripting, Azure, Automated Testing, Amazon RDS, PostgreSQL, GitLab, Team Leadership, Training, Autoscaling, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon EBS, High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR), Automation, Mentorship, Technical Writing, Consulting, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon API Gateway, Bash, AWS Fargate, CircleCI, GitHub, Management, Jira, Cloud Security, Amazon Route 53, Web Application Firewall (WAF), TCP/IP, OpenVPN, Linux Network Stack, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Agile DevOps, MongoDB, Cluster Management

Consultant

2014 - 2015
ITV
  • Designed and built the common platform, a method for ITV to utilize AWS in a standardized way across the enterprise.
  • Built infrastructure for the first common platform customer, ITV Hub, a TV streaming platform with millions of users in the UK.
  • Developed infrastructure for partner media sharing using serverless technologies, introducing significant cost savings and reducing onboarding time for partners from months to minutes.
Technologies: AWS CloudFormation, MySQL, Serverless, Python, CI/CD Pipelines, Puppet, Development, DevOps, Cloud, AWS IAM, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jenkins, APIs, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon CloudWatch, Kibana, AWS Lambda, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Load Balancers, Architecture, Cloud Computing, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Linux, High-availability Systems, Git, Security, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Scripting, Automated Testing, Amazon RDS, Autoscaling, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon EBS, High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR), Automation, GitHub, Cloud Security, Amazon Route 53, TCP/IP, Agile DevOps

Akamai Automation with CDK for Terraform

Leading a team of three, I built all necessary code to allow the customer, a large insurance company, to manage their Akamai CDN via CDK for Terraform.

This involved writing CDKTF constructs to make managing Akamai via Terraform simpler and a full CI/CD pipeline for automated testing and deployment of changes through relevant environments (dev, test, production).
The CI/CD pipeline was built using GitHub actions.

In addition, I wrote code that utilized the Akamai API to convert existing 'clickops' created properties to the newly built infrastructure-as-code platform.

AWS IDS Implementation for an International Airline

The security team at an international airline was concerned that no intrusion detection system (IDS) was in place for network traffic within or exiting AWS.
They considered extremely expensive IDS 'devices' for capturing all VPC traffic.

I wrote reports and presented them to senior stakeholders to help them understand their requirements could be met and even exceeded by using AWS GuardDuty, a solution available at a fraction of the cost of the IDS solution they were considering.

I oversaw implementing GuardDuty across the estate of several hundred AWS accounts, creating automation to ensure that newly created accounts were automatically enrolled in GuardDuty. The automation I created also ensured that SoC and those in charge of the infrastructure findings were related to were altered.

Automation was performed via a combination of AWS CloudFormation StackSets and AWS Lambda, with functions written in Go.

Qantas AWS Network Refactoring

When I joined Qantas, they used a peering configuration to provide interconnectivity between their various VPCs. Also, they attached AWS Direct Connect to individual VPCs manually. This was error-prone because of the manual steps involved, and it restricted their AWS growth because of rigid limitations on AWS peering.

I designed and implemented a move to AWS Transit Gateway. This removed bottlenecks, relieving the immediate pain point. The implementation provided automation for newly created accounts, utilizing AWS Lambda and AWS CloudFormation to connect new accounts appropriately without requiring any human interaction.

Transit Gateway additionally provided a path for multi-cloud adoption, with Google Cloud and Azure peering providing significant extra flexibility for the organization.

AWS Cost Optimization for International Airline

Qantas was hit particularly hard by COVID-19 because Australia imposed a strict quota on the number of international arrivals for almost two years.

Working with another team member in charge of shutting down unused and right-sizing AWS instances, I focused on less obvious methods for finding cost savings.

I was able to find several million dollars annually in additional savings, over and above those from more traditional cost optimization techniques.
I did this by utilizing Python and Boto3 to interrogate several hundred AWS accounts and devising innovative strategies to save costs.

These included:

• Finding and removing unused RDS and RDS Aurora instances.
• Aligning AWS RDS and RDS Aurora instance type used across accounts and teams, enabling significantly higher reserved instance coverage.
• Finding and removing unused EBS volumes.
• Converting provisioned IOPS EBS volumes to gp3 volumes, which provided the same performance at a much lower cost.
• Converting gp2 volumes to gp3 volumes
• Finding and removing unused ELBs.

All of these strategies were implemented in a fully automated manner, with no more than 60 seconds of downtime for any individual change.

LUSH Google Cloud Migration

https://cloud.google.com/customers/lush
A UK cosmetics producer and retailer, LUSH, needed to migrate away from their AWS eCommerce environment, which had significant availability problems.

We were given an insanely short timescale of 30 days, so I led a team of ten who managed to refactor and migrate the environment in just 22 days. The efforts were worthwhile as LUSH had their largest ever daily sale just one month later, with the new infrastructure providing 100% uptime throughout this period.

ITV Hub

https://youtu.be/HaZbA3uN3Zc?t=1650
A TV streaming service for ITV plc, the largest independent TV broadcaster in the UK. I architected and led the implementation of the AWS environment. This included a highly-available CI/CD solution that handles millions of concurrent viewers. The solution was featured in the opening keynote for the AWS Summit UK.

Migration to Kubernetes

https://www.claranet.co.uk/case-studies/oddschecker-makes-safe-bet-future-growth-claranet-cloud-migration
I led a team that successfully migrated Oddschecker from a traditional on-premise server environment to a fully containerized environment running on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and using Google Cloud SQL.

As well as doing design and hands-on work, I also provided training to upskill the in-house team to support the environment.

Conference Talk: Infrastructure as Code Using Terraform

https://www.slideshare.net/SamBashton/infrastructure-as-code-with-terraform
These are the slides from a conference talk given in 2015 that demonstrate my lengthy experience with Terraform.

The talk introduced infrastructure as code more generally and talked about the specifics of managing AWS via Terraform.

Fintech AWS Migration

https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/currencycloud/
I led a team migrating a major London fintech company from co-located data center hardware into AWS.

I refactored their environment into highly available autoscaling infrastructure and migrated from an active and passive MySQL configuration to Amazon Aurora.

The customer enjoyed significantly better uptime and 30% lower costs. Please see the AWS case study in the project URL for full details.

Languages

Go, Python, Bash, JavaScript, SQL, TypeScript

Tools

AWS CloudFormation, Puppet, Terraform, AWS IAM, Jenkins, Amazon CloudWatch, Vagrant, GitLab CI/CD, Amazon EKS, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Git, Boto 3, AWS ELB, Amazon EBS, GitLab, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), AWS Fargate, GitHub, AWS Key Management Service (KMS), HashiCorp, OpenVPN, Ansible, Kibana, VPN, Helm, Jira, Zabbix, CircleCI

Paradigms

DevOps, Automation, DevSecOps, Automated Testing, Management, Serverless Architecture, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Continuous Integration (CI), ETL

Platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Kubernetes, Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Linux, AWS IoT, Apache Kafka, Azure

Storage

Google Cloud, Data Lake Design, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, Google Cloud SQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), AWS Snowball, MongoDB, MySQL, Redshift, PostgreSQL

Other

Networking, Cloud, AWS DevOps, AWS Cloud Development, CDKTF, CI/CD Pipelines, Serverless, AWS Lake Formation, AWS Transit Gateway, High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR), SDKs, APIs, IT Support, Load Balancers, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), Architecture, Cloud Computing, Linux Administration, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), High-availability Systems, AWS CodePipeline, Security, Cloud Migration, Identity & Access Management (IAM), GitHub Actions, Containerization, Scripting, Amazon RDS, Containers, Container Orchestration, Team Leadership, Training, Consul, Autoscaling, Amazon GuardDuty, AWS Certified Solution Architect, Mentorship, Technical Writing, Consulting, Amazon API Gateway, Cloud Security, Amazon Route 53, Web Application Firewall (WAF), TCP/IP, Linux Network Stack, Transport Layer Security (TLS), Agile DevOps, AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Certified Developer, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Cluster Management, Development, Akamai, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

Libraries/APIs

Node.js

OCTOBER 2022 - OCTOBER 2025

AWS Certified Security — Specialty

Amazon Web Services

NOVEMBER 2017 - NOVEMBER 2023

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional

AWS

MAY 2017 - MAY 2023

AWS Certified Developer Associate

AWS

MAY 2017 - MAY 2023

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate

AWS

NOVEMBER 2016 - NOVEMBER 2023

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

Amazon Web Services

JUNE 2015 - MARCH 2023

AWS Solutions Architect Professional

Amazon Web Services

JANUARY 2015 - MARCH 2023

AWS Solutions Architect Associate

Amazon Web Services

Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.

1

Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.
2

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.
3

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring