My next big thing

Originally posted on Linked In


  • Founding a new startup, Gladly, where we are exploring a fresh take on favours
  • Stepping back at AC3 into a Strategic Advisory role

At the start of this month, I stepped back from my role as Head of Product and Technology at AC3.

My Bulletproof/AC3 story kicked off in late December of 2000 when I joined @Anthony Woodward as a co-founder of Bulletproof. It has been a 21-year journey with many key milestones and pivots that I am extremely proud of along the way:

  • Managed Linux Gateways
  • Managed Cisco
  • Windows and Linux Shared and Dedicated Web hosting
  • Australia’s first VMware Public Cloud (Not that we knew what a Public Cloud was back then)
  • Managed AWS and Azure
  • Listing on the ASX as BPF
  • Acquisitions – Infoplex, Cloud House, Pantha Corp
  • Being acquired by AC3

I want to thank Anthony for taking the jump all those years ago, it has been a phenomenal journey that I wouldn’t trade in a heartbeat.

The last four years at AC3 have been a transforming experience for me. @Simon Xistouris has been an exceptional leader who has helped me level up. I want to thank Simon for welcoming me into the AC3 family with open arms. There is so much of the ethos, values and approach that I will take with me into all future endeavours. I am going to miss working daily with the AC3 team, in particular the executive team of Steph, James, Claudia, Bogdan and Harry. They are an amazing group of individuals and AC3 will continue to do amazing things under their stewardship. I’m glad to be able to stick around in an advisory capacity.

For my next big adventure, I’m launching a new startup with @Chris Johnson as my co-founder. We are exploring a fresh take on favours and launching the favour economy. We’ve put in significant work over the last 6 months and are looking to launch in February. You can get a sneak peek at

P.S. We are fundraising at the moment, if you are interested please reach out to me.

Devops Down Under 2010

I’ll be at Devops Down Under this weekend. This should be an amazing weekend, filled with talks which aim to help bridge the Developer and Sysadmin divide.

I’ll be giving a presentation entitiled Commit early, Deploy often. I’ll be talking about using package management to empower developers to deploy applications locally just as they would in production. This also means sysadmins can deploy using the exact same environment.

There are still a few tickets left, so if you are in Sydney this weekend and are either a developer or a sysadmin then make sure you come along.

Disclaimer: I’m also sponsoring the event.

Linux Australia Elections, Last chance to vote!

If you haven’t done so, please go and vote in the Linux Australia elections. If you aren’t a member then just join first, membership is free.

I’m running for the position of Treasurer, but you don’t need to vote for me since I’m running unopposed.

I’m running on a common platform with a group of other like minded individuals. You can find the details of the platform here.

The main reason I’m running is I believe that Linux Australia can achieve so much more than it does today. Linux Australia should not simply be a conduit for

I want to help turn Linux Australia into an organisation that is relevant to all of us. It should be an organisation that not only fosters and supports the community but also represents the community.

We should offer supportive services to our members, spread the FOSS message through the community as well as actively lobby government for the things we believe in.

Most importantly it is essential that we all become involved. The community is nothing without people to move it forwards. So I would encourage you to vote for

President James Turnbull
Vice President Lindsay Holmwood
Secretary Peter Lieverdink
Treasurer John Ferlito

Ordinary Committee Members
Alice Boxhall
Elspeth Thorne

Once you have finished voting, go and join the mailing lists and get involved.

Adding multiple database support to Cucumber

The Vqmetrics application needs to connect to two different databases. The first holds the videos, authors and their relevant statistics, while the second database holds the users, monitors and trackers.

We do this by specifying two databases in config/database.yml.

  database: vqmetrics_devel
  < <: *login_dev_local

vqdata_development: &VQDATA_TEST
  database: vqdata_devel
  <<: *login_dev_local

So by default the vqmetrics_devel database will be used. When we need to specify a model where we need to connect to the vqdata_devel database we use

class Video < ActiveRecord::Base
  establish_connection "vqdata_#{RAILS_ENV}"

and for migrations that need to connect to this database we do the following.

class InitialSetup < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def self.connection

This setup works really well. However recently I moved this application to using Cucumber for testing. Tests worked fine the first time they are run but not the second time.

I discovered that the transaction on the second database where not being rolled back as they should be. Cucumber only sets up the first database for roll back by using


where it should be rolling them all back by looping through {|pool| pool.connection}

I’ve filed a bug at lighthouseapp.