My name is Alain Kelder, and I'm a giant dork. I was born in Tallinn, Estonia, left home at 18 to see the world, ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been living here ever since (seeing the world is still on the to do list).

After a few amateur kickboxing fights, I decided a career in sports wasn't for me and went to school in the U.S. Then while trying to balance full time school and full time work for a couple of years, got interested in computers, passed a few tests for an IT certification and got an entry level IT job. Quickly found that I loved everything about tech work and have been in the IT field since. I currently work as a Systems Engineer at Stanford.

When not hacking away at some technical problem, I enjoy spending time with the family, carving up the Stanford campus on a longboard, or wakeboarding in the Delta or on Lake Anderson.

Why this blog?

  • It's a place to keep technical notes.
    My memory sux (perhaps from taking too many punches to the head as an aspiring prize fighter in my youth). It's not as bad as the dude from Memento, but bad enough where I work something out and a month later don't remember what exactly I did and six months later might not remember that I did it at all. I get around this by taking copious notes, all of which I track in a VCS and some of which I publish here.
  • It's a way to give back.
    The Internet has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource for me. In the hope that my notes may be useful to someone else, as notes of so many others have been so helpful to me, I started publishing some of them online.
  • It's a form of shameless self promotion.View Alain Kelder's profile on LinkedIn
    Resumes are, at best, a snapshot of someone's work history. By format, one is limited to a concise list of carefully worded accomplishments and responsibilities, whereas here, I can write about what I work on and be as verbose as necessary to get the point across, or just blabber on endlessly, using an excessive number of gratuitously long words, about some technical distinction no one cares about, without frustrating a hiring manager who has dozens of resumes to look through and is not interested in my "essays".


Email is preferred. 🙂


% @brief    LaTeX Resume of Alain Kelder

\name{\Large Alain Kelder}

    % Contact Information
    \section{\mysidestyle Contact\\Information}

                                             \hfill email: cv@bbsmb.net   \vspace{0mm}\\\vspace{-4.5mm}%

    % Objective
    \section{\mysidestyle Objective}

    Full time, part time or contract based information technology projects

    % Qualifications
    \section{\mysidestyle Qualifications} 

$\star$ Extensive experience implementing and supporting Linux, Windows, NetWare based systems \vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{0mm}%
$\star$ Thoughtful, methodical and standards aware approach to technology implementation \vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{0mm}%
$\star$ Strong background in training, support and process documentation  \vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{0mm}%
$\star$ Excellent communication abilities with technical and non-technical staff alike \vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{-4.5mm}%

   % Professional Experience
    \section{\mysidestyle Professional\\Experience}

    \textbf{Stanford Law School} - Stanford, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Senior Systems Engineer} \hfill \textbf{September 2009 -- present}\\\vspace{-4mm}%
        \item Researched, proposed, implemented and maintained a research infrastructure consisting of dozens of physical and virtual machines, mixed SAS and iSCSI SANs scalable to a couple hundred terabytes and beyond for under \$50K by reusing existing hardware and using FOSS.
        \item Developed macros to download and parsing scripts to process large amounts of data from a variety of online sources to aid empirical research efforts.
        \item Researched, proposed and currently implementing a distributed, redundant and scalable web infrastructure using BigIP load balancers, Varnish front ends, Apache back ends, replicated MySQL DBs.
        \item Investigated break in attempts and implemented security counter measures to protect Law School systems from attack.
        \item System Administrator for all of School's Linux systems including web, database, streaming media, Samba, NFS, etc.
        \item Technical Advisor for faculty research support, including gathering research objectives and database requirements and developing, implementing and supporting solutions to meet those requirements. 
        \item Technical Advisor to internal groups for various initiatives, providing evaluation and analysis of IT products and services for the Law School.
        \item Project Manager to establish strategy, scope, and to manage life cycle for IT projects.
        \item Developed web based applications (mostly using the Drupal and WordPress)
        \item Developed and maintained a detailed understanding of the Law School and University IT services and products and integrate them where possible into local applications.
        \item Researched and identified new products, platforms, tools, and processes to enhance current services or to deliver new services.
        \item Created and maintained technical infrastructure documentation.
    \textbf{Stanford Law School} - Stanford, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Systems Engineer Contractor} \hfill \textbf{September 2008 -- September 2009}\\\vspace{-4mm}%
        \item Managed existing Linux (RHEL, CentOS, Ubuntu) Apache web and MySQL database servers and setup new systems.
        \item Worked with IT management to reduce complexity and TCO by standardizing on a single Linux distribution. Debian Stable was deemed the best fit for the organization after considering other options like RHEL.
        \item Implemented system service availability and trend monitoring using Mon, Munin and Monit.
        \item Wrote shell scripts to automate a wide variety of tasks
        \item Implemented a secondary backup system for Linux hosts using rsnapshot.
        \item Implemented a storage area network for existing IBM blade chassis using IBM direct attached storage for high availability, reasonably high performance and very moderate cost (compared to traditional FC or iSCSI SANs).
        \item Implemented a virtualization infrastructure using open source Xen, later converting over to the free Citrix XenServer (for a nice GUI, easier provisioning of Windows VMs and the option of commercial support).
        \item Setup systems to provide revision control functionality using Subversion + Apache

    \textbf{BigBrain SMB, Inc} - Livermore, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Principal Consultant} \hfill \textbf{April 2006 -- September 2009}\\\vspace{-4mm}%
        \item Tested and implemented a wide variety of software projects, replacing commonly used closed source proprietary applications with best of breed open source alternatives.
        \item Performed server consolidation using leading virtualization technology to optimize hardware utilization and significantly improve server provisioning times. Leveraged virtualization on the desktop to provide developers and end users with flexible and platform agnostic computing environments.
        \item Configured and managed LAMP servers to host a wide variety of web applications. Employed best practices to maximize Apache and MySQL performance at the application, OS and hardware level. Familiar with   MySQL replication architectures, various Apache / MySQL load balancing and high availability techniques.
        \item Configured and managed fully featured and standards compliant email servers (redundant MX, anti-spam gateways, resilient IMAP message stores). Migrated existing environments.
        \item Configured and managed primary and secondary internal and external DNS servers using Bind9.
        \item Setup and managed MIT Kerberos authentication servers for multiple realms and configured application servers such as Postfix and Cyrus IMAP to use Kerberos for authentication.
        \item Configured and managed edge and host based *nix firewalls and routers. Wrote firewall and NAT rules, bandwidth management rules and implemented bandwidth monitoring tools.
        \item Performed basic system security assessments through review of known best practices compliance and through hands on penetration testing.
        \item Performed standard system administration tasks such as system updates and patches, system performance tuning, development of data retention policies, implementation of backup procedures, log analysis,  troubleshooting of problems and writing automation scripts.
        \item Setup and managed IT infrastructure elements including data center cabinets, wired and wireless networks, servers, routers, managed switches, desktops, laptops, PDA devices, UPSs, PDUs.

    \textbf{mBlox} - Sunnyvale, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Client Migration Engineer Contractor} \hfill \textbf{July 2007 -- February 2008}\\
Leveraging a variety of commercial and open source tools, assisted the company with testing, certification and migration of clients to a new SMS (short message service) application platform.\\\vspace{-4mm}%

    \textbf{County of San Mateo} - Redwood City, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Systems Engineer} \hfill \textbf{April 2002 -- November 2006}\\\vspace{-4mm}%
        \item Provided 2nd and 3rd tier support and served as escalation point for local administrators of various County departments for Linux, Windows, Netware systems, Directory (eDirectory, Active Directory), Email (GroupWise) and other application related issues.
        \item Managed Windows NT4, 2000 and XP based desktops and laptops, built new desktop images, deployed using various imaging techniques such as Ghost, Zenworks.
        \item Customized application packages with InstallShield and delivered to PCs using VBscript, KixTart, Zenworks.
        \item Developed procedures and scripts to standardize server, desktop and application deployment.
        \item Built, deployed, managed servers ranging from Windows NT4 to 2003, Linux (SLES and OpenSUSE), NetWare 5.1 to 6.5 and Novell OES on bare metal and as VMware virtual machines.
        \item Evaluated, tested, deployed proprietary and open source based systems (PDA calendar and email synchronization, high volume fax broadcasting, Spam/Virus scanning, patch deployment, etc).
        \item Wrote Windows and Novell login scripts and a variety of custom scripts (inventory scripts to extract information from PCs via WMI, scripts to install software, etc) .
        \item Produced support and project management documentation and procedures.
        \item Led a small team of engineers to provide operational support to the Health Services department and collaborated with the second team to provide support to the Medical Center (about 2,000 users total). Managed the flow of support requests, assigned specific support responsibilities, evaluated trends in recurring support requests and implemented system wide solutions (automated if possible) to recurring problems.

    \textbf{Goodwill Industries} - San Francisco, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{IT Support Associate} \hfill \textbf{September 2000 -- April 2002}\\
Under the general supervision of the IT Director, provided desktop and network support for approximately 200 users in four networked offices and 16 retail locations in three counties in a mixed Novell NetWare 5 and Windows 2000 environment.\\\vspace{-3.5mm}%
        \item Provided 1st, 2nd, 3rd tier support with escalation to the IT Director.
        \item Installed and maintained Windows, NetWare, Linux servers.
        \item Monitored 3Com managed network switches and routers.
        \item Performed system backups, restores using Veritas BackupExec.
        \item Administered and troubleshot NetWare Directory Services.
        \item Managed 150 desktops, software/hardware/patch deployments. 

    \textbf{Federal Reserve Bank} - San Francisco, CA \vspace{1.5mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Operations Specialist IV} \hfill \textbf{January 1996 -- September 2002}\\\vspace{-4mm}%
        \item Performed in a variety of functions in the Receiving, Adjustments and Reconcilement units of the Payments Services department.
        \item Evaluated and helped certify new software packages developed by in-house programmers as well as Unisys and IBM.
        \item Provided application support. 

    % Education
    \section{\mysidestyle Education}

    \textbf{Misc certifications}\vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{ITIL} \hfill \textbf{November 2010}\vspace{-4mm}\\\vspace{-1mm}%
        \item Passed ITIL V3 Foundation Exam
    \textsl{MCP} \hfill \textbf{May 2000 -- September 2000}\vspace{-4mm}\\\vspace{-1mm}%
        \item Passed 70-058: Networking Essentials
        \item Passed 70-073: Implementing and Supporting Windows NT Workstation 4.0 
        \item Passed 70-067: Implementing and Supporting Windows NT Server 4.0
        \item Passed 70-068: Implementing and Supporting Windows NT Server 4.0 in the Enterprise
        \item Passed 70-210: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Pro

    \textbf{Various Academic Institutions} - USA and Estonia \vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Associate Degree} \hfill \textbf{September 1991 -- May 1997}\vspace{-4mm}\\\vspace{-1mm}%
        \item 40 units of Economics and Computer Science courses at Skyline and City College 
        \item 24 units of International Relations courses at San Francisco State University 
        \item 15 units of Japanese language courses at UC Berkeley 
        \item Equivalent of 24 units of History and Philosophy courses at the Tallinn Baccalaureate School

    \textbf{52nd Secondary School} - Tallinn, Estonia \vspace{1mm}\\\vspace{1mm}%
    \textsl{Secondary Education Diploma} \hfill \textbf{June 1991}\vspace{-4mm}\\\vspace{-1mm}%
        \item 9 years compulsory study, 2 years elective college preparation



alain kelder at stanford