James Hale

Infrastructure Security Engineer | Photo Nerd
based in Washington, D.C.


About Me

automation engineer with a focus on security, infrastructure and cloud platforms

- I'm James.

- I'm a tech and photo nerd and I love putting things together to make cool stuff. Almost as much as I like taking them apart.

- I'm a Massachusetts native, a graduate of The University of Massachusetts Amherst and a D.C. transplant.

- I love my Red Sox, but also have a place in my heart for the Nats.

My Specialities

Cloud Engineering

Designing, implementing and securing public & private cloud/IaaS platforms, including: AWS, OpenStack, and VMware

Infrastructure Architecture

Hardware and virtualized provisioning & capacity planning


Configuration management, Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery


Information and Operational Security, Risk management, Business continuity planning and incident response

Skills & technologies

Cloud Platforms
- Amazon Web Services
- Google Cloud Platform
- Azure
- OpenStack
- Digital Ocean
Infrastructure Orchestration
- Terraform
- CloudFormation
- Docker
- Kubernetes
- Mesos
Configuration Management & Logging
- Ansible
- Puppet
- SaltStack
- Chef
- Splunk
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery
- Jenkins
- TravisCI
- Gitlab
- Nessus
- nmap
- Kali
- Metasploit
- Snort

Education & jobs

November 2016 - Present Senior Automation Engineer
Team Lead, Security Automation Engineering
Blackboard, Washington, D.C.

- Lead a team of automation engineers to identify platform vulnerabilities, help design and engineer security solutions.

- Identify and remediate gaps in various compliance frameworks, including FedRAMP, FISMA, and ISO 27001.

- Research, design, develop, document and implement solutions for fault tolerance, performance, capacity, and configuration management for various data center operations.

- Design, develop and implement documentation or tools to facilitate Technical Support team responsibilities.

- Identify and drive opportunities to improve automation for deployment, management, and tooling, using Python, Ruby and Groovy, among other languages.

- Support and improve a highly available and fault tolerant SaaS offering.

January 2015 - November 2016 Senior Infrastructure Engineer The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.

- Implemented ephemeral, long-lived and immutable infrastructure as code, using AWS CloudFormation and internally-built solutions

- Maintained infrastructure resources in an auditable and repeatable fashion using configuration management platforms and version control systems

- Was responsible for designing and implementing robust network and security architectures

- Helped to maintain a strong information security posture for data in transit and data at rest

- Provided expertise to software developers on AWS foundational services, such as EC2 (incl. EBS, ASG, ELB), VPC/Direct Connect, Route53, S3, IAM/KMS, RDS, SNS, SQS, SES, and CloudWatch

- Contributed to internal software projects, centered around the orchestration of infrastructure resources and the continuous deployment of containerized applications to test and production environments
December 2011 - January 2015 Unix Systems Engineer The Washington Post , Washington, D.C.

- Managed physical and cloud-based infrastructure for the print, mobile, and web properties of Washington Post Media

- Supported content management systems and applications utilizing Apache, Nginx, Tomcat, and dynamic Java applications deployed on Glassfish or WebLogic application servers.

- Maintained Unix production, stage, and test environments, utilizing RedHat 5/6/7, CentOS 5/6/7, Solaris 9 & 10, AIX 5.3, HP-UX and Mac OS X Server

- Performed code deployments for development teams

- Carried out system maintenance and upgrades as needed, including backups and restorations

- Participated in 24x7 on-call rotation

- Assisted with a major datacenter relocation
September 2010 - December 2011 Client Systems Engineer Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, Arlington, VA

- Developed and maintained Windows and Mac desktop images, software deployments, and application patching while also identifying and resolving desktop security issues.

- Provided technical expertise to assist with implementation of desktop technologies: Windows and Mac desktops and laptops and their operating systems, desktop applications, management systems, and tools

- Created and supported desktop management related technical policies and procedures; helped to create and maintain related documentation.

- Administered and assisted in deploying LANDesk environments and Symantec Endpoint Protection for a client base of 3000+ machines.

- Deployed regularly scheduled and out of band security/OS patches and updates via LANDesk and other mechanisms.

- Co-developed an asset management system to track physical assets via barcode scanning devices.
July 2009 - September 2010 Systems Support Analyst Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, Arlington, VA

- Actively monitored an extensive production environment for washingtonpost.com and other high-traffic Post properties

- Acted as a liaison between coworkers and the development and infrastructure technology teams

- Provisioned, integrated, diagnosed, and maintained PC and Macintosh clients in an Active Directory environment
2004 - 2009 B.S. Computer Science University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Language skills


Hobbies & Interests

  • Technology
  • Photography
  • Cycling
  • Motorsports

Certifications and Degrees


Bachelor of Science - Computer Science
Sept 2009. University of Massachusetts Amherst
... ...

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional
Sept 2017