Stephen Attard, Developer in Haz-Zebbug, Malta
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Stephen Attard

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Systems Engineer Developer

Location
Haz-Zebbug, Malta
Toptal Member Since
December 4, 2019

​Stephen is passionate about open source technology with a focus on building code-defined test-driven developer tooling in AWS. He began his career as a network engineer and moved up the stack working on infrastructure, hardware, storage, provisioning, system administration, and automation. Stephen is an advocate of containers, Cloud, observability, self-service platforms, and solid security.

Portfolio

Triller
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon EKS, Kubernetes, GitLab CI/CD, Terraform...
Casumo Services, Ltd.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jenkins, Graphite, Grafana, Docker, Ansible...
Computime, Ltd.
VMware, Websense, Checkpoints, Cisco, Juniper

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Jenkins, GitOps, Containers, Linux

The most amazing...

...observability toolkit I've built supports a gaming platform defined and deployed in code and includes metrics, logging, and an audit trail using OSS.

Work Experience

Site Reliability Engineer

2021 - PRESENT
Triller
  • Defined and built centralized gitlab CI pipeline libraries, structuring and centralizing commonly used jobs across a group of similar deployments and cronjobs based on kubernetes. Centralized definitions for build and deploy using kaniko and Helm.
  • Created multiple pipeline library functions for microservices development and testing, including Dockerfile linting, container vulnerability testing, Python module packaging, release automation, and definition of Prometheus alerts.
  • Defined, built, and tested standardized infrastructure as code pipeline libraries based on Terraform modules and Terragrunt to build atomic, multi-AWS account architecture using GitLab CI/CD and IaC best practices.
  • Provisioned, migrated, and upgraded multiple EKS clusters, using Terraform modules, Terragrunt, and GitLab across a multi-account AWS setup.
  • Composed, defined, and tuned the tooling and infrastructure for load-testing using Locust, Helm, and Kubernetes for performance testing platform APIs.
  • Assisted developers during day-to-day operations, providing guidance and knowledge in the areas of GitLab pipeline development and testing and delivery and testing to EKS.
  • Deployed open source monitoring tooling to help identify and highlight recurring issues using the developer toolkit, including Nexus, Sentry, and Docker Hub.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon EKS, Kubernetes, GitLab CI/CD, Terraform, Terragrunt, Helm, Prometheus, Amazon EC2, Nexus

Senior System Engineer

2014 - 2021
Casumo Services, Ltd.
  • Architected, tuned, monitored, and maintained an on-premise IT infrastructure, building systems, monitoring tools and processes, re-writing open-source-based infrastructure to IaC, and scaling systems underneath the casino platform.
  • Identified performance bottlenecks, researched, and implemented tooling for scaling systems (log aggregation, service discovery, graphing, and trend analysis). Optimized VM provisioning for speed, security, agility, uptime, and re-usability.
  • Planned and defined strategies to cater to the requirements of Agile development teams and workflows, revolving around a continuously growing and expanding iGaming product suite. Planned projects from a technical and budgeting perspective.
  • Performed SRE duties, responded to incidents and technical service requests, assisted developers, evangelized best practices, and paired up on projects and building and demoing solutions. Translated technical documents to English.
  • Recruited and grew the operations team. Helped the bootstrapping of a security team. Pushed and assisted in reducing technical debt. Mentored and assisted where needed. Led the way towards a Git-based change management process.
  • Consulted and assisted in the decisions and architecture for distributed office networks, database migrations, monitoring systems, log aggregation and correlation, security tooling, compliance, domain management, and deployment strategies.
  • Assisted in building a new casino game provider platform entirely in AWS within regulatory requirements and supported tooling with a focus on agility, provisioning, security, and monitoring.
  • Re-visited, owned, migrated, and tuned a development, delivery, and integration tooling stack composed of ECR, Nexus, Docker, ECS, EC2, Packer, and CloudFormation.
  • Architected, designed, kicked off, and maintained a developer CI/CD toolkit focused on governance, standardization, and best practices using just-in-time provisioned EC2 instances for distributed teams and workloads, using Jenkins and EC2.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jenkins, Graphite, Grafana, Docker, Ansible, SaltStack, Storage, HP Servers, VMware

Network and IT Security Engineer

2007 - 2014
Computime, Ltd.
  • Worked within the networks and IT security teams while at university. Grew to the level of senior engineer, and became a reference point for peers and superiors alike, regarding architecture, pre-sales, and initiating and maintaining customer relationships.
  • Established as the primary contact for large customers and projects.
  • Worked and specialized in enterprise and data center networks, working on switches, routers, firewalls, security products.
  • Consulted with various clients, industries and sizes, performing audits and network overhaul projects, data center network setups, network perimeter re-design, and device and version upgrades.
Technologies: VMware, Websense, Checkpoints, Cisco, Juniper

Log Aggregation System

Developed a SaltStack-defined log aggregation system using Filebeat, Logstash, Elasticsearch, and Kibana.

Graphing Stack

Built and defined a deployable, versioned, application, platform, and product-specific dashboards for use by developers and business stakeholders. Based on Graphite, Prometheus, CloudWatch, and Grafana.

Migration from Docker to AWS ECR

Spearheaded and orchestrated a project involving the migration of over 500 container repos to a fully-managed, lifecycle, audit-trail-enabled, policy-managed, defined ECR. It supports artefacts built by over 80 developers and deployed using a variety of methods such as AWS ECS, EC2, SaltStack, Ansible, EC, Docker-compose, and Testcontainers.
2004 - 2008

Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunications and Computer Engineering

University of Malta - Malta

JUNE 2019 - JUNE 2022

AWS Certified Solutions Architect–Associate

AWS

Libraries/APIs

Terragrunt

Tools

Grafana, AWS CloudFormation, Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR), Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), GitHub, AWS ELB, SaltStack, Ansible, Elastic, Packer, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon EKS, GitLab CI/CD, Terraform, Helm, Jenkins, VMware, Websense, Docker Compose, Logstash

Paradigms

DevOps

Languages

Bash Script, Python 3, SQL

Platforms

Docker, Amazon EC2, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Linux, Kubernetes, Nexus

Storage

Amazon S3 (AWS S3), HP Servers

Other

Containers, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Systems Engineering, Monitoring, Cloudflare, Prometheus, Consul, IP Networks, DNS, Cloud, Storage, Graphite, Juniper, Cisco, Checkpoints, GitOps, Agile Sprints

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