Welcome!

Hi everyone. My name is Jeff and my interests are in software engineering, DevOps, cloud architecture, big-data, and natural language processing. I have earned many cloud and data certifications. I am a 2021 AWS Community Builder.

In high school I created one of the first software development companies in West Virginia.

I am available for cloud, data, and NLP consulting. The best way to get in touch with me is through LinkedIn.

Recent Blog Posts

  • “Let’s Build Something!” with Mike Chambers - I was recently invited to be a guest on Mike Chambers‘ (an AWS Hero) show! On this episode Mike wired together the final pieces to make his machine learning model in SageMaker available through API Gateway endpoint and a static website in S3. He did the coding live and it worked great! The small web […]
  • S3 Bucket Policy for VPC Flow Logs - If you are making a CloudFormation template and including an S3 bucket for logs you are probably setting a bucket policy. Here’s a hard to find problem. Let’s say you are configuring VPC flog logs and CloudTrail logs to go to the same logs bucket. Makes sense right? So to make that happen you make […]
  • Mountaineer Emerging Technologies Group - I would like to invite everyone interested in emerging technologies such as AI/ML, Kubernetes and containers, cloud, NLP, and others to join the Mountaineer Emerging Technologies Group meetup. This group was created primarily for technology professionals in the northern WV area it is open to anyone. If you are interested in presenting a topic pleas get in […]
  • AWS Config Conformance Packs: When TRUE is not true - In this post I want to share a problem I encountered with an AWS Config Conformance Pack in hopes it can help someone else some time. The Conformance Packs are sets of AWS Config rules to help you meet compliance with various regulations. They are available on GitHub. You can clone that repository and use […]
  • Factory Restoring the AWS DeepRacer - In a previous post I wrote about how to do a factory restore on the AWS DeepLens camera. Today we’re going to do the AWS DeepRacer! Luckily, the process is really the same. You just want to download the DeepRacer files instead of the DeepLens files. You can get the files from the AWS guide. […]
  • Free AWS Office Hours - Today I am introducing AWS “Office Hours.” Looking back at the past 10 years there have been lots of people who had an impact on me. Some of them probably have no idea but I don’t think I would have the experience today if it weren’t for their help and assistance over the years. Finding […]
  • Terraform or CloudFormation? - After the recent HashiTalks 2021 event it brought up an old debate in my mind and often in the minds of companies I work with. When to use Terraform and when to use CloudFormation? (You can read about my HashiTalks 2021 presentation.) As someone who has nearly lived exclusively in the AWS universe for the […]
  • HashiTalks 2021 - For HashiTalks 2021 I was able to present a Terraform project that managed the training and serving of NLP models. Built in AWS and using ECS, S3, DynamoDB, SQS, Lambda, and EventBridge, the project provides a way to do automated containerized NLP model training. You can queue a model for training by describing the model […]
  • Preparing for AWS Certifications - Currently I have 11 AWS certifications. I took my first AWS certification exam back in 2014. Since then I’ve re-certified and taken well more exams than the 11 certifications shows. I get asked a lot how do you prepare for the exams? What study materials do you use? So I thought I’d try to share […]
  • So long, Elasticsearch - The open source community has been rocked by a couple of big changes recently. One of those events was when MongoDB announced a change to their licensing. Initially released under the AGPL, MongoDB changed to their own Server Side License. Why? Because MongoDB was being sold as a product by some cloud providers without contributing […]
  • AWS DeepLens Factory Restore - When getting started with an AWS DeepLens camera it can be helpful to restore the camera to its factory settings, especially if you get a second hand one. Luckily, this is a pretty easy thing to do. The instructions are documented by AWS at Restoring Your AWS DeepLens Device to Factory Settings. I will walk […]
  • I am a 2021 AWS Community Builder for Machine Learning - I was selected as a 2021 AWS Community Builder for machine learning! The AWS Community Builders program selects participants to help share AWS knowledge and resources to the community through engagements such as blog posts, code, and videos. I was selected for machine learning so you can expect to see some upcoming machine learning on […]
  • The Fallacy of Avoiding Cloud Vendor Lock-In - I have worked with many companies to help them either migrate to the cloud or develop new cloud applications for over 10 years. A very common requirement is that the designed architecture avoid using any cloud vendor specific technologies or services. The rationale is usually that although we are running our application on vendor X […]
  • Querqy Chorus - For the past couple of months I have attended occasional presentations about Chrous, an open source stack for search, created by Querqy. The presentations have focused on the stack components of Apache Solr, SMUI (Search Management UI), the search relevancy tool Quepid, among others. There is a decent amount of search-related open source projects out […]
  • Hello, world! - My 2021 resolution (one of them) is to blog more. I have never been much of a post author even though through my life and career I have benefited greatly from the posts of others. Not only does writing help others, it also helps the author form their thoughts and become more knowledgeable about the […]
  • Some First Steps for a New NiFi Cluster - After installing Apache NiFi there are a few steps you might want to take before making your cluster available for prime time. None of these steps are required so make sure they are appropriate for your use-case before implementing them. Lowering NiFi’s Log File Retention Properties By default, Apache NiFi’s nifi-app.log files are capped at […]
  • A Tool for Every Data Engineer’s Toolbox - Collecting data from edge devices in manufacturing, processing medical records from electronic health systems, and analyzing text all sound like very different problems each requiring unique solutions. While that certainly is true there are some commonalities between each of these tasks. Each task requires a scalable method of data ingestion, predictable performance, and capabilities for […]
  • Monitoring Apache NiFi’s Log with AWS CloudWatch - It’s inevitable that at some point while running Apache NiFi on a single node or as a cluster you will want to see what’s in NiFi’s log and maybe even be alerted when certain logged events are found. Maybe you are debugging your own processor or just looking for more insight into your data flow. […]
  • Monitoring Apache NiFi with Datadog - One of the most common requirements when using Apache NiFi is a means to adequately monitor the NiFi cluster. Insights into a NiFi cluster’s use of memory, disk space, CPU, and NiFi-level metrics are crucial to operating and optimizing data flows. NiFi’s Reporting Tasks provide the capability to publish metrics to external services. Datadog is […]
  • Apache NiFi’s MergeContent Processor - The MergeContent processor in Apache NiFi is one of the most useful processors but can also be one of the biggest sources of confusion. The processor (you guessed it!) merges flowfiles together based on a merge strategy. The processor’s purpose is straightforward but its properties can be tricky. In this post we describe how it […]