Brett Roy Pemberton

Address: Woodend, Victoria 3442
Phone: +61 411 253 078
Date of Birth: 06 September, 1978


I am a passionate Systems Engineer who has worked in a number of key situations, inclusive of a team, on my own and in a leadership role. In all instances, I have demonstrated an ability to work effectively and efficiently, assuming various tasks and responsibilities with vitality, enthusiasm and focus.

Employment History

September 2017 - Present: Slack, Melbourne, VIC - Staff Cloud Engineer

Slack is a collaboration hub with 12 million+ Daily Active Users

As a Cloud Engineer, I maintain and develop the tools and platforms to enable the other Engineers at Slack to operate at scale

Tools used: AWS, Google Compute, Kubernetes, Fastly, NS1, Terraform, Chef, Python

October 2013 - September 2017: MessageMedia, Melbourne, VIC - Senior Systems Engineer

MessageMedia is Australia’s largest and most experienced business SMS provider, sending over 50 million messages each month

As a Systems Engineer, I oversaw the daily operation of the SMS gateway, providing a reliable, 24x7 service to customers. This includes an on-call support role.

  • Ensuring that all servers are fully reproducible
  • Productionise and Deploy a Greenfield project to AWS
  • Deploy, monitor and maintain services
  • Monitor metrics, and alert on them

Tools used: Python, EC2, CloudFormation, S3, RDS, DynamoDB, ElastiCache, Redshift, Route53, Kinesis, SES, SNS, SQS, Lambda, DataDog, PagerDuty, Puppet, Bitbucket, Jenkins

April 2010 - October 2013 : Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI), Melbourne, VIC - Systems Administrator

VLSCI is a University of Melbourne and State Government funded facility to provide Supercomputing facilities to Life Science projects throughout the state.

As a Systems Administrator, I oversaw the daily operation of several Linux HPC clusters. My major achievements and detailed roles were:

Administering several large Linux clusters, including

  • A 1,088 core SGI Altix XE cluster
  • A 1,120 core and a 640 core IBM iDataplex cluster
  • A 65,536 core IBM Blue Gene/Q and a 8,196 core IBM Blue Gene/P

Administering infrastructure associated with providing services
Most service infrastructure was installed and configured at my own initiative, in response to gaps observed.

Tools used: Python, Proxmox, Galera, MariaDB, Puppet, Patchman, Icinga, Drupal, Foswiki, xCAT, Panasas, GPFS

2003 - 2012 : Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing, Melbourne, VIC - HPC Team Leader

VPAC is a non-profit organisation which provides High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities and support to its member universities, industry, and other organisations within Victoria and Australia.

As HPC Team Leader, I oversaw the daily operation of Linux HPC clusters, both internal and off-site. I installed, and mentored others in the processes of installing scientific software for our users. I monitored the system for hardware faults, and oversaw the reporting and repairs of these. I lead a team of 4 helping them perform these tasks and other. My major achievements and detailed roles were:

  • Administering several large Linux clusters, the largest being a 760 core Opteron cluster
  • Commissioned several large Linux clusters for third parties
  • Administered databases and user file systems

In addition to the above I also performed duties focused on overseeing a team of 4.

  • Ensured daily duties are carried out and team targets are achieved
  • Provided training, mentorship and new direction to staff
  • Ensured the efficient and timely delivery of information between business units and third party business partners
  • Developed efficient strategies to meet company objectives

Tools used: Python, Recluse, Torque, Moab, RT, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SVN, Apple Xserve RAID, IBM FAStT

2000 - 2003 (Full time) / 2003 - 2008 (Part time) : ToggleText, Sandringham, VIC - Systems Administrator and Programmer

ToggleText is a Translation and Linguistics company, specialising in translation of Asian languages, and Machine Language Translation (Creation of software for translating text between different languages).

As Systems Administrator, I oversaw a network of mostly Linux desktops and servers, local and remote, for the use of a small team of programmers. I commissioned a web presence for the company, including online translation services. As Programmer, I wrote C code to interface with the Prolog linguistic code of the translation system. My major achievements and detailed roles were:

  • Created user interfaces to a machine language translation system
  • Administered a mid size network of RedHat Linux workstations and servers
  • Administered a small size network of Windows 2000 workstations

Tools used: C, GTK, Guile, PHP, Apache, MySQL, Postgresql, Prolog, Autoconf/Automake, GDB, Aegis

1998-1999 : Western Power, Naval Base, WA - Thesis Work

Western Power is Western Australia’s Home and Commercial Electricity Provider

Designed and installed an alarm filtering system for the Power Station. Gained experience working and programming under VAX/VMS and OS/2.

Education History

Conference Talks

Training / Tutorial Attendance

  • ‘Systems Operation on AWS’, 2014
  • ‘Functional Programming Principles in Scala’, 2014
  • ‘Whamcloud Lustre Installation and Administration’, 2012
  • ‘AU310 - GPFS System Administration’, IBM 2010
  • ‘Introduction to Multicore Performance’, LCI 2009
  • ‘Introduction to CUDA’, LCI 2009
  • ‘Tuning for performance: A case study applied to Open MPI’, LCI 2008
  • ‘Parallel Performance Evaluation Tools for HPC Systems: TAU, PAPI, KOJAK and Vampir’, LCI 2007
  • ‘Exploration of Parallel File Systems at NCSA’, LCI 2007
  • ‘Advanced Cluster and Grid Management with Moab Cluster Suite’, LCI 2006
  • ‘HPC and MPI:Open MPI Tuning’, LCI 2006

July 2000: Graduated from Murdoch University, School of Engineering, with a Bachelor of Engineering (Software Engineering) and a Minor in Energy Studies.

1995: Graduated from Northam Senior High Northam, WA, as Dux of school, with awards in Physics and Calculus.

Contributions to Open Source projects in spare time:

  • Linux Kernel - Upgraded qlogicfas PCMCIA SCSI card to use new block I/O layer and new SCSI layer
  • Uptimed - Added autoconf/automake/getopt support, other bug fixes. RPM Maintainer
  • Hotkeys - Added Logitech iTouch support. Added onscreen display, using xosd
  • LinuxFromScratch - Tested and reported bugs concerned with this source based distribution. Gained in depth knowledge of how a Linux system is built from the ground up, and how the packages interact.
  • GNU Nano, Libhtmlparse, Acidlaunch - RPM Packaging
  • Xmlindent, Psi, Logjam - Various patches


  • I enjoy performing and listening to music, as well as reading, jogging, and craft beer.
  • I’m an active member of the Linux Users of Victoria

References available on request