About Josh Beard

See my now page for a summary of what I’m up to lately.

Personal

I’m a somewhat private and introverted person, especially online, so having a personal website isn’t something I expect to excel at. I’d prefer my name and “brand” be mostly professional and avoid particularly opinionated content, especially about politics, reglion, social issues, etc. There’s enough people putting that front and center and often in an antagonistic way that’s increasingly polarizing and divisive. I may try to write other content just to have something to call a website - casual stuff, technical, or artsy, even if no one is looking. It’s tradition and what has led me into my career.

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If you are looking at this and dig personal websites and that sort of thing, say hello! It’d be really cool to exchange a “postcard” of sorts with people in e-mail.

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I enjoy time with family, computers, outdoors (hiking, scenic drives), music (listening, watching, playing), food (mostly just eating), games (card, party, board), and all sorts of other stuff.

I consider Rapid City, South Dakota my home. I was born in and have family and roots in Northeasten Arkansas, with most of my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents generations around Southeast Missouri, and Tennessee. I hardly know anything about my family history or ancestry. I’ve lived in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota.

Professional Life

I was doing hobbyist stuff with servers and web apps in virtually all of my free time prior to getting a career doing it. I joined the Army and did some level of IT administration as part of my duties, but not so much traditional systems administration or development. I later worked for Apple doing support and loved any opportunity to use the UNIX underpinnings of their platform.

I got my real professional “foot in the door” of systems administration at a school district several years ago. At that point, I had already been running common services on Linux and FreeBSD for years for all sorts of things and had some coding experience - at least shell, PHP, and web stuff. In that role, I really honed my coding skills and gained experience with several types of services, particularly e-mail services, file services, LDAP, and HTTP. There, I learned Puppet, configuration management, version control, and lots of other things, which launched me into a new phase of my career - ‘DevOps’.

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These days I work in a “DevOps and Sysadmin” role - I provide and maintain the IT platform for dozens of applications and product teams as well as the build and deployment process for those applications and services, using automation and code.

I spend most of my day in a code editor and command-line, bouncing across several projects. The type of code I am typically working with is Terraform, Python, Ansible, Puppet, Shell, YAML and JSON, and an assortment of others on occassion. I work with AWS, Docker, and GitLab a lot. See my uses page for more information about what I use day-to-day.

See my resume for more details about my professional experience.

The Good ol’ Days

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I’ve been a computer hobbyist since I was a kid/teen in the mid-late 90’s, starting with our obsolete family computer bought from a garage sale, the next family computer, and several other outdated computers I collected from people back then.

I took an interest in Linux and Free and Open Source Software around 1999 and became particuarily interested in setting up and administering servers and websites. I’ve continued to use Linux every day, both professionally and as a hobbiest.

In the early 2000’s, I started using FreeBSD more and ran it for several years on my desktop and home servers, eventually using it professionally at one of my previous jobs.

I owe my career to Free and Open Source Software and the ecosystem built around Linux and UNIX.

Computers Over The Years

See the My Old Computers page

Home Servers

See my Home Lab page for information about my servers at home.

In Memory

🐓 A rooster in memory of my mom.