Bruce and Pu
Bruce Blacklaws
Founder, App Evolved | Full stack web application developer | Platform engineer
I create apps in PHP and JavaScript. I have a big interest in startups and building scalable web applications
Books I've read
Why Buddhism Is True Buddhism for Beginners Letter to a Christian Nation How to Win Friends and Influence People Siddhartha
I'm always open to new opportunities
Preferably Remote |
Cape Town |
Bangkok, Chiang Mai
In industry since August 2008
Senior DevOps Engineer
PayFast, September 2020 - Present (2 years, 3 months)

Enterprise DevOps engineering at huge scale

The applications I have built are being routinely used by people in the highest positions at the company. I spend a lot of time building useful tools that automate routine tasks and improve the overall efficiency of the team

Some of my apps have been integrated into by other developers and the feedback I get from them is good

Promoted to senior within the first six months' of my employment

tech stack
Software Developer
Updraft Software, June 2019 - July 2020 (1 year, 2 months)

Full stack web application development

Worked on a monolithic PHP application that places a big emphasis on server-side rendering and the relational database maintains application state. The application uses parameterised SQL statements and adopts classical inheritance

Pulled in Google custom map marker data and presented the data on a single instance of Google Maps (using the JavaScript API) and I made the data relevant to the users physical location

Ended up bumping into quite a few core PHP and JavaScript libraries that I improved on because there were such obvious issues here

tech stack
DevOps Engineer
Ringier One Africa Media, August 2018 - March 2019 (8 months)

Enterprise DevOps engineering

Worked on the infrastructure as code and configuration management that supports the backend infrastructure for a variety of online job boards/classifieds and reduced the technical footprint on the backend infrastructure by replacing bloated software with custom, fine-tuned apps

Developed a Node.js app that would update a CloudFormation stack with the home users dynamic IPv4 address. This removed the need for manually changing security groups and ElasticSearch access policies. The app is hosted in AWS Lambda behind API Gateway

Given six weeks to analyse an app's backend and port it into Terraform. Completed the project in one week and automated the entire process by writing additional shell scripts that parsed and imported a fairly large MongoDB dataset, authorised the Azure CLI tools, instantiated cron tasks and invoked the .NET apps compilation process in Kudu. All that needed to be done is run a single command and the entire environment is provisioned automatically, requiring zero human interaction, within minutes

tech stack
Linux Systems Engineer
Aware Corporation, April 2015 - October 2017 (2 years, 7 months)

DevOps engineering

Built a proof of concept web application that facilitated the deployment process for a few of our apps and I made changes to the underlying system that enabled it to perform deployments from our git repositories and not just from subversion

Overhauled customer AWS stacks and started working on a series of automation tools that would practically automate all of the AWS management tasks that Aware performed

tech stack
Remote Linux Systems Administrator
35 East, April 2016 - June 2016 (3 months)

Backend web application development

Worked during my time at Aware Corporation and spent around two hours' an evening on the projects. Built utility web applications in PHP and designed relational database schemas and performed data parsing and importing

tech stack
Systems Engineer
Indaba Mobile, June 2013 - February 2015 (1 year, 9 months)

DevOps engineering

Built the BETA website and build uploader that the iOS and Android developers used to upload and version ad hoc builds. This app really simplified the process of getting new builds to QA and to a few customers

Routinely deployed the customer app backends into AWS and built support for high user connection concurrency into each stack using horizontal scaling and application load balancing techniques

Performed Java web application archive deployments along with assisting the Java developers in debugging issues and automated a lot of the routine sysadmin tasks using PHP and BASH

tech stack