Sam McLeod

DevOps & Platform Engineering Lead

Advocate for DevOps culture and practices and cloud native architecture with a background in platform engineering, automation, highly available systems design and team leadership.

With 17+ years of engineering experience, I enjoy facilitating the transformation of traditional systems engineering teams and processes into modern product focused platform engineering teams with DevOps culture and practices.

“Easy things should be easy, and hard things should be possible.”


> DigIO

Platform Engineering Lead

Aug 2019 - Present

Working in Mantel Group’s DigIO brand as a Lead Platform Engineer working with a wide variety of clients consulting in the following areas:

  • Platform Engineering Team Leadership
  • DevOps Culture & Practices Transformation
  • CI/CD and Tooling Modernisation
  • Performance and Availability Engineering
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud (GCP) Platform Engineering
  • Cloud Automation (Terraform)
  • AWS CDK (Typescript)

Below are some of the project I’ve worked on.

DevOps & Platform Engineering Lead (Consulting)

Feb 2022 - Present

A hands-on engineering lead role, working with an iconic Australian brand building one of their first AWS projects - a robotics automation platform.

  • AWS CDK (Typescript) - Writing and maintaining L2 and L3 constructs, reusable packages, scaffolding etc…
  • AWS ECS (Elastic Container Service) - Building pipelines and infrastructure for containerised applications.
  • Github Actions (CI/CD) - Creating highly automated CI/CD workflows and custom Actions to support software and infrastructure development and delivery.

DevOps & Platform Engineering Lead (Consulting)

Feb 2021 - Dec 2021 (11 months)

Brought in initially for 3 months I worked across multiple teams to understand, assess and make recommendations on the organisations software development and platform engineering culture, tooling and processes.

  • Providing platform security and performance recommendations.
  • Provide recommendations for and promote de-siloing and DevOps culture working across multiple stakeholders and teams.
  • Assess and select modern SaaS CI/CD tooling to replace legacy on-prem products and investigating product alignment and capabilities.
  • Providing strategic engineering recommendations at a CIO level.
  • Running workshops across multiple teams to understand and collate common concerns, risks and areas for improvements especially between developers and platform engineering teams.
  • Worked with teams to help secure systems and mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Worked with multiple vendors on solution assessments and proof of concepts.

Engineer Experience and DevOps Culture Consultant (Consulting)

Mar 2020 - Aug 2020 (6 months)

Engaged to assess the developer / engineer experience, provide and implement recommendations on DevOps culture and platform engineering within a Platform Engineering team.

GCP Platform (Infrastructure) Design and Implementation (Consulting)

Mar 2020 - Aug 2020 (6 months)

Worked in a team to design and implement a new GCP platform to facilitate running microservices for high value financial payment transactions to replace services running in a legacy on-prem data centre.

  • Ran workshops with stakeholders to understand requirements and constraints.
  • Created CI/CD pipelines using GitHub and CloudBuild.
  • Created automation for the provisioning GKE (Kubernetes) clusters.
  • Worked with third parties to integrate networking, automation, and microservices with external projects.
  • Worked to help onboard junior team members to the automation pipeline.
  • Delivered a Cloud-Native MVP platform for microservice deployment and operation.

GCP Terraform Automation Evaluation (Consulting)

Jan 2020 - Mar 2020 (3 months) Engaged as part of a team to improve a large, legacy GCP automation (Terraform) codebase.

  • Ran workshops across stakeholders and engineers that use the codebase.

  • Collated findings from workshops to discover constraint trends and areas for improvements.

  • Inspected the current usage of Terraform and CI/CD pipelines.

  • Created a pack with a plan to implement recommendations to improve engineer workflow, CI/CD performance and code style improvements.

GitLab Cloud Native / Kubernetes Implementation (Consulting)

Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 (2 months)

Worked with a team to design and kick off implementation of GitLab for VCS, CI/CD and Testing on Kubernetes (EKS) for 300-2000 staff across Australia.

Cloud Migration Assessment (Consulting)

Oct 2019 - Oct 2019 (1 month)

  • Assessed in uplifting the client’s capability to move from on-prem hosting a to AWS.
  • Provided advice and recommendations on technology, tooling and training requirements.
  • Assisted with application integration solutions and architecture aligning with AWS best practices.
  • Created and delivered a pack on recommendations on moving from legacy ITIL and Waterfall processes and culture to adopt a more modern - DevOps and Agile workflow and culture.

Continuous Integration and Delivery Tooling Assessment (Consulting)

Sep 2019 - Oct 2019 (2 months) Working with a large enterprise client to explore options to improve or replace legacy CI/CD tooling.

  • Conducted workshops with business units to discover efficiency, issues, risks and tooling requirements.
  • Aligned requirements with industry standard measurements and researched the current tooling landscape to create capabilities scorecards.
  • Consulted with vendors around product capabilities and potential pricing.
  • Made formal recommendations on replacement CI/CD tooling and it’s benefits, risks and high level architecture.

DevOps Maturity Assessment (Consulting)

Aug 2019 - Sep 2019 (2 months)

  • Undertook a DevOps and cloud maturity assessment and provided recommendations.
  • Conducted workshops to discover the state of culture, process and tooling across the organisation.
  • Aligned findings to scientifically backed research behind high performing software delivery organisations.
  • Delivered a leadership and executive pack, detailing next steps to improve the software development and hosting capabilities within the organisation, further advance their Cloud adoption strategy, suggested roadmap with risks and opportunities for improvement.

> Infoxchange

Platform Engineering Team Lead & Platform Architect

Aug 2012 - Jan 2018 (7 years)

Built a team and brought DevOps culture and ways of working to the organisation.

Architecting and deploying scale out platforms for mission critical healthcare systems and confidential data platforms.

Creating and leading the optimisation and automation of large environments of compute, storage and application clusters for many hundreds of thousands of customers across Australia and serving the organisation as a trusted technical adviser for DevOps culture and across operational platform delivery.

Working closely with development and testing teams and technologies such as Kubernetes, Docker, Self Design Clustered Highly-Available Storage Clusters, Deep Monitoring, Test Driven Recovery, ElasticSearch / ELK Stack, RabbitMQ, Logstash, Docker, XenServer, Puppet, oVirt, KVM, Xen, Nginx, Git, GitLab Enterprise, PostgreSQL, Nessus, Metasploit, Burp Suite, High Performance Compute, Cloud & Hybrid Platform Technologies.

  • Team Leadership
  • DevOps Coordination & Mentorship
  • Private Cloud Architecture, Engineering & Operation
  • Platform and Distributed Systems Automation
  • Product Delivery & Performance Engineering
  • Storage Security & Encryption Design (LUKS, Puppet encryption technologies)
  • Continuous Integration & Delivery Systems (GitLab CI/CD, Custom Docker/LXC CI/CD)
  • High Performance Storage SAN Design & Architecture (DRBD, Pacemaker, Corosync, LIO)
  • Virtualisation Architecture & Engineering (KVM, Xen, XenServer, XCP-ng, oVirt)
  • Database Administration & Database Performance Engineering
  • Security Auditing & Automation
  • Tender Response & Delivery
  • Highly Available Clustered Storage Design & Architecture

> Sensis

Senior Platform Operations and Automation Engineer

Jan 2012 - Aug 2012 (8 months)

Working for Sensis (then part of Telstra) I was part of a senior team of platform engineers responsible for maintaining, deploying and improving a large scale environment working with systems such as Puppet, VMware, Nagios, Redhat, Solaris to provide a stable and scalable environment for Sensis web applications.

My role included working reactively on incidents as they occur, internal improvement projects, application deployments both in and out-of-hours.

> Second Generation Computing

Jan 2008 - Jan 2012 (4 years 1 month)

Self-employed part time, consulting to home and small business users for networking setup, small business server deployments, technical troubleshooting and repairs.

> Canterbury District Health Board (Te Whatu Ora Waitaha)

Linux / Unix Systems Operations Engineer

Nov 2007 - Jan 2012 (4 years 3 months)

System Engineer managing large scale deployments of Linux and Windows systems, network and stability engineering.

Primary systems:

  • Running and maintaining the primary patient management system for the greater South Island.
  • Canterbury Health Laboratories Delphic Servers.

Engineer and Administrator for a wide variety of Unix/Linux and Windows servers that ran a large number of electronic health and medical systems throughout the South Island of New Zealand.

> Dealsafe Ltd

Founder & Product Engineer

Jul 2010 - Aug 2011 (1 year 2 months)

Web Directory startup, online trades and company review directory platform.

> Doortech Ltd


Sep 2005 - Nov 2007 (2 years 3 months)

Working with electronic and mechanical security and safety systems.