Michael Leer-Hipple

Experienced Professional with expertise in Team Leadership, DevOps, and System Reliability


A Seasoned Engineer with over a decade of experience in designing, operating, and leading teams to deploy applications for businesses of varied sizes. Expertise in Cloud Strategy, Cloud Security, and Kubernetes, employing modern practices like Agile, DevOps, Reliability, and Chaos Engineering to deliver scalable, robust systems that are efficient and pleasurable to use and maintain.

Work Experience

Managing Consultant

Gremlin LTD | 2018 - Present

Gremlin is an IT consultancy providing engineering resources to achieve a wide array of client requirements, specilising in AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, Linux and Windows based solutions.

Senior Developer

Working with BigBear.ai, as a Senior Developer, I developed advanced OS deployment methods using PXE and Ansible on Linux systems to provision critical equipment essential for national security. I redesigned backup solutions to integrate seamlessly with the underlying platform, ensuring robust data lifecycle management. Additionally, I improved platform installation processes to produce consistent and reproducible build artifacts, enhancing system reliability. I also led the migration to GitHub, implementing GitHub Actions for CI/CD pipelines, which streamlined our development workflows and improved overall productivity.

Principal Cloud Engineer

Working with Aer Lingus, as a Principal Cloud Engineer, I performed a migration of the Contact Centre to Salesforce and Amazon Connect, leveraging AWS services for enhanced scalability and reliability. I developed and implemented voice-driven menu systems with AWS Lambda and Amazon Lex, enabling natural language processing to route callers to the appropriate queues. To reduce technical debt, I utilized cloud-based automation tools such as Terraform and AWS CloudFormation, creating Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for more efficient and repeatable deployments while incorporating deployments that has been provisioned manually. Additionally, I utilise Python to automate tasks, further enhancing the efficiency of cloud resource management and deployment processes. I also designed and deployed self-service systems for callers using SMS and WhatsApp, integrating services such as AWS SNS and AWS PinPoint to provide flexible customer service options.

Senior DevOps Engineer

Working with Kennek, as a Senior DevOps Engineer, I created CI/CD processes using GitHub Actions to streamline the development pipeline. I designed a Kubernetes-based deployment architecture utilizing GitOps, ensuring minimal manual intervention. Additionally, I developed tooling around Kubernetes, including Operators and Custom Resources, to enhance functionality and automation. I also implemented a secure AWS account hierarchy, allowing engineers greater permissions within lower environments while ensuring production and sensitive accounts were restricted. This included processes for elevating access as needed through Azure Privileged Identity Management, ensuring robust security and compliance. My work involved extensive use of Linux, Node.js, and Python to develop and manage these systems.

  • GitHub Actions
  • Kubernetes
  • Developer tooling
  • AWS Architecting

Staff Platform Engineer

Working with Fnality, as a Staff Platform Engineer, I efficiently conducted comprehensive security audits and managed complex Kubernetes clusters, demonstrating a deep understanding of systems security and container orchestration. I designed and developed public key infrastructure, significantly enhancing the overall security architecture. Additionally, I showcased leadership by promoting knowledge sharing and providing training for both technical and non-technical team members, fostering a collaborative and continuous learning environment.

  • Security Auditing
  • Kubernetes
  • Public Key Infrastructure
  • Mentoring and Training

Lead DevOps Engineer

At Vive, as a Lead DevOps Engineer, I spearheaded the creation and implementation of secure, cloud-native architectures and developed internal security tools to bolster the organization’s cybersecurity posture. I pioneered the use of automated systems to enable GitOps capabilities for Kubernetes and AWS, showcasing my expertise in modern DevOps practices. I directed and coordinated diverse DevOps and DevSecOps teams, fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. Additionally, I optimized cloud costs and redesigned Spring-based microservices to enhance system performance. By creating custom resources for Kubernetes, I demonstrated my technical proficiency in container orchestration. Furthermore, I developed a proxy-based solution to manage and control egress from AWS, ensuring secure and efficient cloud operations.

  • Secure AWS Architecture
  • Development of internal security tooling
  • Implementation of automated systems providing GitOps capabilities for Kubernetes and AWS
  • Management of DevOps and DevSecOps teams
  • Cost Optimisation
  • Architecting Spring based microservices
  • Development of custom resources for kubernetes
  • Design of a Proxy based solution allowing controlled egress from AWS
  • Team Leadership

DevOps Engineer

Working with WorldPay, as a DevOps Engineer, I collaborated with data teams to build a data lake, concentrating on the essential infrastructure and security measures. My primary focus was to ensure secure, role-based access to sensitive data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

  • Upgrade of existing terraform to latest version and syntax
  • Design and develop secure cloud policies, conforming principals of least priviledge
  • Creation of Kubernetes clusters with role-based access to resources
  • Development of GitOps based deployments
  • Design of a Proxy based solution allowing controlled egress from AWS

Site Reliability Engineer

As a Site Reliability Engineer at Mention Me, my key responsibilities revolved around modernizing our legacy cloud infrastructure to a more secure and efficient setup using infrastructure as code principles. I spearheaded the creation of a Kubernetes environment, demonstrating a strong command of container orchestration. In addition to these tasks, I was responsible for upgrading Elasticsearch, which I successfully accomplished with minimal system downtime. This role required a strong focus on system reliability, performance, and security, all of which were central to my tasks and responsibilities.

  • Migration of existing cloud-based infrastructure to a more secure architecture.
  • ElasticSearch upgrade from legacy EOL version to latest stable release with minimal downtime.
  • Design a Kubernetes based deployment pipeline to increase development velocity.

Head of DevOps

As the Head of DevOps at CallSign, my responsibilities encompassed establishing a robust DevOps and SRE function within the organization. A significant part of my role involved defining the operational model for these new teams, ensuring that their structure and function aligned with the company’s broader objectives. I was also responsible for the hiring process for these teams, identifying and recruiting the right talent to drive our technology goals forward. Furthermore, I played a crucial role in devising the company’s cloud usage strategy, creating guidelines and practices that optimized efficiency and met business needs. This role required strong leadership, strategic planning, and a deep understanding of DevOps and reliability practices.

  • Leadership
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Cloud Strategy

Senior Software Engineer (SE3) | Site Reliability Engineer

In my role as a Senior Software Engineer and Site Reliability Engineer at Ocado, my responsibilities were multifaceted and dynamic. I was entrusted with the task of building a team of Site Reliability Engineers, assembling a group of skilled individuals who were adept at ensuring the reliability and resilience of our software products. A significant part of my work involved implementing Chaos principles, which helped us anticipate, mitigate, and effectively deal with potential disruptions. Working with geographically dispersed engineering teams was another critical aspect of my role, requiring effective communication and coordination to ensure seamless collaboration. In addition, I was instrumental in creating a Product Maturity Program, which was designed to ensure that products entering production were secure and resilient, meeting our high standards for quality and performance.

  • Creation of Site Reliability function
  • Product Maturity Strategy

Principle Engineer | Site Reliability Engineer

Crownpeak | April 2016 - April 2018

As a Principal Engineer at Crownpeak, I successfully implemented DevOps and SRE principles globally, led the re-architecture of our SaaS platforms for enhanced security and scalability, and developed internal tools to increase development velocity. I also led a global engineering team, delivered innovative cloud solutions, and provided expert M&A advisory, all while promoting the design and implementation of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), containerization, and configuration management systems.

  • Cloud Architecture
  • Creation of internal and external solutions to exceed customer expectations
  • Practice area / Team leadership
  • Design and Implementation of IaaS, Containerisation and Configuration Management
  • Development of GitOps based deployment systems
  • Design and Development of ChatOps systems

Senior Linux Engineer | DevOps Engineer

Rackspace | July 2012 - April 2016

As a Senior Windows and Linux Systems Engineer at Rackspace, I played a pivotal role in the OpenStack team, where I was deeply involved in cloud architecture and automation. In addition to providing support to both internal and external customers, I actively participated in the mentorship of junior engineers and non-technical employees, fostering an environment of continuous learning and growth. My responsibilities also included the development of automation tools for use on customer servers, further enhancing our service efficiency. I also designed and implemented internal tooling to meet internal requirements, demonstrating my ability to create custom solutions for specific needs. A key component of my role involved developing automated systems to reduce manual labor, signifying my commitment to efficiency and optimization.

  • Cloud Architecture
  • Mentorship
  • Python Development
  • NodeJS Development
  • Automation design



Open Source

Tool that uses AWS EC2 API to generate an SSH config.


Open Source

Ansible role to deploy Nebula a scalable overlay networking solution.