Hello, I'm Tarak Blah.

Senior DevOps. , Developer. , IT-Consultant.

Tarak Blah

IT-Consultant. Senior DevOps. Developer.

I am 41 years old and work as a Senior DevOps and IT-Consultant at Testfabrik Consulting + Solutions AG in Saarbrücken, Germany.

I was born in Munich, Germany, to a german mother and a tunisian father. My family moved to Tunisia where I lived until I was 7. We then returned to Germany (because of the school system).

My father, who was an electrical engineer, introduced me to the world of computers when I was around 9.

A couple of years later I simply turned a life-long passion into my profession.

Technologies

Find below an overview of the different technologies I have used throughout the past:

Cloud Management

Virtualization

Operating Systems

I managed private clouds based on VMware vCloud Director and Amazon AWS cloud.

Due to the nature of the projects I was involved I provided assistance and development support to access the cloud's API's via their REST interfaces to be able to dynamically deploy infrastructure resources.

Since virtualization was made available I used it on several occasion in its different operational usages, from installation on workstation or as vserver use on dedicated root servers to early forms of network based virtualization.

The virtualization software I have used include XEN, KVM, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, VMware vSphere, VirtualBox, Vagrant, Packer and Docker.

Since I started using computers I have experimented with all sorts of operating systems. During my work I installed and managed countless systems and their OS, including:

Windows Desktop and Server variants since Windows 95, Mac OS X (10.4 - 10.11), Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, SuSE and occasionally Sun.

Backend Management

Scaling and High-Availability

Security

Every project I was working in ran on several forms of backends I managed.

These included relational databases as MySQL, PostgreSQL and NoSQL-backends as RabbitMQ, Redis and Elasticsearch.

I gained experience of every aspect of backend management including clustering, upgrading, maintenance, tuning, scaling and backup.

Most web-application based projects I worked on needed to be able to grow and run reliably.

Scaling, clustering, failover and redundancy where always part of my considerations when building infrastructures for projects.

All these requirements needed to be applied on different parts of the components of a web project's infrastructure such as databases, logging systems, monitoring, VPN's, etc.

Awareness of security-related issues has always been expected during my work.

In my first job I had to setup firewall rules, IPSEC tunnels and enable traffic shapping. Even with, at that time, little or no help I managed to set up everything as expected.

Later on the set of experience I acquired ranged from firewall setup, VPN management, PKI maintenance to SPAM- and Anti-Virus- protection for mail-servers and of course monitoring system setup and usage.

Development

Here is an overview of my development knowledge:

Continous Deployment

Continous Integration

Coding

In my most recent job I learned how to automate most aspects of cloud-based infrastructure deployment methods.

Using Chef as configuration management framework and developing project-internal tools or libraries for deployment to different cloud platforms I have a deep insight in the complex processes of deployment automization.

Setting up and maintaining CI-systems (Jenkins, Teamcity) is one aspect, assistance in the development of test cycle and cloud-based environments is another aspect of my involvement regarding continous integration.

The latter has become my main focus allowing the dynamic setup and tear-down of infrastructures for testing every aspect of a project, including the maintenance of server images for deployment of operating systems and their needed variant.

I started coding HTML by curiosity. This evolved into object-orientated programming in Ruby, Python, Shell, Powershell, Java and Scala.

I also know quite a bit about Frontend-Development, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3.

Besides occasional web-design as for this page, I like to program using the Django-Framework or contribute to the Chef-community by submitting Pull-Requets.

During my work I mainly write toolchains for continous deployment.

Agile Development

Methodologies

Testing

Working in professional environments I took part in both Scrum- and Kanban-based Agile processes.

Code-Reviews, bug-fixing and using Scrum- or Kanban-Boards are part of my daily work.

I try to apply Test-driven or even Behavior-driven development whereever I can.

Especially using such methodologies while writting devops-code ensures that such code stays slim, elegant and readable while just doing what it is supposed to do, thus reducing complexity.

I tru to be able to test every thing as much as possible, from unit- to integration-tests for software or even infrastructure resources.

I feel that having a good test coverage gives me a high confidence in the code I have written.

I can write tests on both Ruby and Python.

Projects

These are my main projects on GitHub:

tarak / django-password-policies

rspec-cloud / rspec-cloud-aws

Django unicode-aware password policies.

View on Github

Rspec tests of Amazon AWS cloud resources.

View on Github

tarak / django-change-email

rspec-cloud / rspec-cloud-vcloud

A Django application to enable users to change their e-mail address.

View on Github

Rspec tests of VMware vCloud resources.

View on Github

tarak / chef-aws-provisioner

tarak / dotfiles

Asynchronous provisioning of Amazon AWS cloud resources.

View on Github

My personal dotfiles repository.

View on Github

My Resume

This is a newest-first list of my occupations:

Now
09/2015

DevOps Consultant

Testfabrik AG, Saarbrücken, Germany

09/2014

Senior DevOps

Testfabrik AG, Saarbrücken, Germany

09/2013

DevOps

Testfabrik AG, Saarbrücken, Germany

2011

Support Specialist

SellByTell GmbH, Berlin, Germany

2008

Senior-Systemadministrator

Neofonie GmbH, Berlin, Germany

2007

Linux-Systemadministrator

Lieblinx GmbH, Berlin, Germany

2003

IT Freelacer

Germany

2002

Security Analyst, Security Engineer

Symantec Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, Germany

2001

Linux-Systemadministrator

Icangetyou.com AG, Berlin, Germany

Contact Me

Want to get in touch?

You can reach me via Email or my social profiles: