Robbert Rijkse DevOps Engineer

About Me

Robbert Rijkse

Born in the Netherlands I now live in Toronto, Canada with my beatiful wife and son.

Electornics and Computers have been a life-long passion which started with programming small games and setting up my own websites. This has evolved over time to focus on the infrastructure operations with a real drive to automate as much as possible. OpenSource tools have allowed me to explore and learn both the operational side of things but also to see how the tools are built. Deploying the infrastructure in my own environment and troubleshooting all of the issues that you run into has caused me to develop a varied set of skills.

For my day job I work at XE.com where I am a "Cloud Engineer" responsible for the overall cloud infrastructure and DevOps processes. Working with the rest of the IT team I have used my knowledge and experience to build out a fully automated application deployment process using Terraform, Packer and Ansible. The projects I am working on now are focusing on integrating the deployment process, including full environment builds, into the development process. When a developer creates a feature branch for a service, their development enviornment is automatically provisioned in AWS so they can easily test and debug changes.

The Tech

DevOps requires the knowledge of both the Development and Operations tools that are in use across organizations. It has taken many years of experience, combined with a solid understanding of tools, to become a effective Senior DevOps practitioner. And sadly, there is no shortcut for experience.

Dev

Work with the Development teams to deploy new features and automate the deployment processes. My knowledge of the development processes, tools and languages ensure a close relationship with Development Teams. Right now using gitlab CI to create a continuous build and deployment toolset.

Ops

Build the tools and processes for the Operations teams to deliver a better deployment experience. Leveraging multiple cloud technologies to deliver secure and reliabe infrastructure. Right now I am building infrastructure on AWS using Terraform, Packer and Ansible.

Home Setup

Servers

The setup I have at home is always evolving. It started as a single old machine running Smoothwall. It has evolved over time to keep up with the latest technologies and is now a combination of cloud services and docker containers.

Leveraging cloud services has allowed me to increase the reliability of the services that I host while also giving me experience with a completely new set of tools.

Recently I moved all of the internally hosted services like Gitlab, Plex and NextCloud to run as RKT containers instead of virtual machines using the entire HashiCorp suite of tools (Consul, Nomad, Vault and Terraform).

I also moved all of my domains to use Cloudflare as the DNS provider, this makes it so much easier to manage DNS, and moved my email to use Gandi's service since I would rather spend my time setting up cool new things like Nomad and Vault than managing DNS and email servers.

I am always looking for new things to implement when I have spare time. The next thing on the list is home automation I have a few electronics projects that I should finish, like automated sprinklers and a weather station.

Projects

Automted Infrastructure Build

View on GitLab

Utilizing Ansible and Terraform to build out my own home setup. Ansible is used to configure the physical hosts, while Terraform is used to configure all of the services. I am using all of the major components in the HashiCorp suite to build and manage the services. Consul, Nomad and Vault are used to setup a distributed container environment with service discovery.