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Hello! I'm Blake Swopes, former sysadmin and manager.

Blake Swopes's Bio:

Blake Swopes is a Southern California native who used to work in linux systems administration for mid to large scale internet based companies prior to becoming disabled. 

Blake Swopes's Experience:

  • Manager, Site Reliability Engineering at ReachLocal

    Responsibilites: o Build out the new Site Reliability Engineering team to provide follow-the-sun coverage of the production environment. o Process owner for Change and Incident Management. o Quarterly audits for SOX.

  • Manager, Application Operations at ReachLocal

    Responsibilities: o Managed a team of 2-6 systems administrators responsible for the production website and a diverse array of back-end applications. LAMP, Perl, Java, etc. o Quarterly audit for SOX compliance. Accomplishments: o Contributed code changes that cut our production errors by over 12k per week. o Defined list of operational requirements to be met prior to any production release.

  • Manager, Application Operations at

    Responsibilities: o Managed a team of 2-4 systems administrators responsible for the production website and more than a eighteen active pre-release environments. Apache, Weblogic 8.x/10.x, Webcrossing (WebX), FAST, Day CQ4, SOLR, Oracle Coherence. Accomplishments: o In my first year as manager, my team performed more than 15 major code releases to production. We also completed more than 389 change tickets and resolved over 540 incidents of varying priority. No release dates slipped as a result of my team. o In my first year as manager, my team built out 4 separate proof of concept environments, 6 new prerelease environments and 2 new production environments using an entirely new architecture. o In my first year as manager, my team supported more than 7 major enterprise projects and a dozen smaller operations driven projects. o Suggested changes to our front-end to allow better qualification of releases during a production rollout and performance monitoring comparisons of cached vs uncached content.

  • Senior Systems Administrator at

    Responsibilities: o Lead a team of 3-5 systems administrators responsible for the production website and more than a dozen active pre-release environments. Apache, Weblogic 8.x/10.x, Webcrossing (WebX), FAST. o Reviewed and advised on all Test and Production rollout plans, maintained rollout plan template. o Represented Application Operations on the Change Advisory Board, reviewing all high risk changes at Edmunds.

  • Systems Administrator at

    Responsibilities: o Worked with QA and Developers to help identify bottlenecks in the virtual infrastructure, making on-the-fly changes to tune the environment for the stage of the development lifecycle. o Start and stop weblogic nodes. Deploy new code releases to app and web tiers. Enable/Disable servers on the load balancer (F5 BigIP). Monitor performance of caching (Akamai, NetCache), web, app, and database tiers. Accomplishments: o Virtual Infrastructure Rebuild - Worked with a team of 2-5 to upgrade VMware ESX server to Virtual Infrastructure 3, configured to support LDAP authentication, installed Virtual Center, redesigned the network layout to ensure all systems were identical, attached to iSCSI storage to support VMotion, configured DRS settings and set rules to keep servers separated in the environment. Upgraded VMware tools on more than 60 virtual machines. Set kernel options in guest operating system to better work with the virtual clock. Updated DHCP and kickstart profiles to reflect new MAC addresses on virtual hardware, following the upgrade to 3.0. Performed these tasks with minimal downtime, in support of a major site release. o "Infrastructure Operations Player of the Week", June 25, 2007 - Weekly award nominated by and voted on by a group of Infrastructure Operations managers.

  • UNIX Administrator at /

    Responsibilities: o With a team of 3-4, responsible for approximately 400 UNIX systems including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, Debian, and VMware ESX/VI3. Create ftp accounts, dns entries, log rotation, cron jobs. Create and modify vservers (vips) on Netscaler; migrate vips from bigip in preparation for datacenter move. Create qtrees and cifs shares on NetApp filers, manually kick off snapmirror updates. Installation and maintenance of Vmware ESX Server 2.5.x and Virtual Infrastructure 3 with VirtualCenter, and PlateSpin PowerConvert to virtualize existing physical servers. Web server acceleration using NetApp NetCache appliances. Responsible for Tier 1 web applications including,, and all virtual tours. o Real-time monitoring and trending of production systems and appliances using distributed Nagios 2 (over 2000 service checks) and Cacti. Escalation via email and text messages. Retired What's-up Gold. Moved checks from SiteScope to Nagios to free up licenses. o Primary Release Engineer for, backup for Homefair. Pushed code changes out to production, staging and QA application servers (ATG Dynamo). Helped revise operational push process, eliminating unnecessary steps. Developed bash scripts to automate the process. Developed apache rewrite rules as needed.

  • Consultant at

    Responsibilities: o Linux/Windows Systems/Network Administration - System installations by hand or using Red Hat's Kickstart or Norton Ghost. System maintenance, log monitoring, server and database backups. Responding to trouble-tickets and phone or email requests for service, 24/7/365. Responsible for 35 RedHat or Gentoo Linux servers throughout the US. o PHP Programming / LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) Development o Desktop Support - Build, repair, and replace systems. Virus and spyware removal. Accomplishments: o Assisted in a network redesign at an architectural firm, which increased security and reliability, while remaining transparent to the end users; moved services provided by three out of date Windows NT systems to a single Red Hat Linux server, implemented virus checking on the mail and file server, installed SofaWare (A CheckPoint company) VPN/Firewall appliance and configured client software. o Presented a list of suggestions for improvement to a client, including risk management issues that could have saved them from flood damage to their servers and downtime due to accidental database deletion, both of which happened within a week of the presentation.

  • PHP Programmer / UNIX Administrator at The Debt Professionals

    Responsibilities: o Linux/Windows Systems/Network Administration - System installations by hand or using Red Hat's Kickstart or Norton Ghost. System maintenance, log monitoring, server and database backups. Responding to trouble-tickets and phone or email requests for service, 24/7/365. o PHP Programming / LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) Development

  • Systems Administrator at Robinson Computer Service

    Responsibilities: o General administration/troubleshooting of Linux/FreeBSD servers. Developed several bourne shell scripts for administrative functions. o Designed, Built, and Hardened Red Hat Linux-based DNS, mail and web servers. Maintained existing FreeBSD server. o Developed Perl/CGI/MySQL web-based User and Product Management software in conjunction with existing proprietary libraries. Assisted in the development of a PHP/SQL keyword based search feature for client sites.

  • IT Administrator at ISE Research

    Responsibilities: o Development, hardening, and maintenance of 5 production servers (Red Hat Linux, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Server) running a variety of services, and over 30 workstations (Win 98, 2000, XP, Mac OS9). Evaluate need for upgrades, new systems. Maintained the PBX, added new lines when necessary. o Worked with management and user groups to develop a strong, yet minimally invasive, security policy. Performed a series of security audits, including testing for weak passwords, evaluating and rewriting existing custom administrative scripts, as well as local and network vulnerability scans. Designed and implemented network-wide backup procedure. Implemented a Network Intrusion Detection System (Snort). Accomplishments: o Developed 17MB Linux distribution (linux from scratch) for use on an embedded Remote Diagnostics Unit (RDU). o Project lead on a computer interface to a power inverter; the purpose of the interface was to serve as a marketing demo at SFO Airport, informing the public about the Solar Array powering Terminal 1. o Designed integrated web-based (PHP/MySQL) daily task list and time sheet for the company intranet.

  • Lead Technical Support Representative at CNM Network

    Responsibilities: o Lead a team of up to five other techs, in order to provide prompt and accurate technical support on multiple platforms. Handled customer requests for a supervisor. Advised new Technical Support Representatives on Customer Service, troubleshooting, and network configurations specific to CNM Network. o Provided technical support to Internet dial-up customers for Windows (9x, NT, 3.1), Macintosh, and Linux systems. Support was provided via telephone, Internet relay chat (IRC), and electronic mail. Accomplishments: o Assisted engineers in the design and testing of multi-platform marketing CD. o Assisted in the design of a Technical Support Skills Exam to assess training needs of current and future Technical Support Representatives. o Designed Frequently Asked Questions pages for Eudora Light and Dial-Up Networking for Windows 9x Systems.

  • Cadet I at Ventura County Sheriff's Department

    Parking enforcement, directed traffic at accidents, abandoned vehicle enforcement, processed field interview cards, transported evidence.

Blake Swopes's Education:

  • University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Moorpark College

    Concentration: Philosophy, Liberal Arts
  • Thousand Oaks High School

Blake Swopes's Interests & Activities:

Netflix, Hulu and playing console video games.

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