Operation Bootstrap

Web Operations, Culture, Security & Startups.

About the Author

Hi There, my name is Aaron Nichols. I’ve been doing various technology related jobs for over 14 years and am glad to say that each year they get more and more challenging & I am continuing to learn. I really enjoy what I do, but I learn fast & like variety – so I’ve managed to hold a variety of different roles. Mostly though – my skills and passion fall into a few major areas:

  • Systems Engineering – This is what I love, building things and working with other folks to make them better. I am never content to understand how one box works – I need to understand how the system works together & how little things can have broad and cascading effects.

  • IT/Operations – This is my bread and butter, and what I keep coming back to. I love this work and I love being very close to where the action is. I mostly focus on System Administration, but I’m a competent Network administrator & can¬†occasionally¬†reboot windows machines.

  • InfoSec – This has always been a passion of mine and you’ll see that this blog started out when I was running the InfoSec program at a late-stage startup. I now focus on integrating Operations with Security – because that’s what smaller organizations need.

So why this blog? Because I think small organizations have special needs. They can’t hire a bunch of sysadmins, network admins, security guys and the like. Small organizations need generalists – but they also need to build for the future where possible. You step foot into an early stage startup and you are likely to see any number of “standards” implemented, strange workarounds, booby traps, etc. I want to help people avoid that – there are standards emerging that aren’t hard to implement if you do it early. There are also a ton of tools out there now to allow a single administrator to manage thousands of machines – but they have to invest a little work up front.

I want to help admins make security decisions for the right reasons – not just because they’ve heard it’s what you should do. Those IT guys who put the servers together are the feet on the street – they are making security decisions for organizations every single day and they need some help. They are doing the best with what they have – but I think we can do better.

Lastly – I want folks to communicate & share. We don’t need a committee to make decisions – but some degree of review & consensus is good. Get it good enough & move on – but raise your standard for “good enough” a notch.

Think about the next guy who has to come and figure out what you’ve done.

If you want to follow me on twitter – @anichols

If you want to look at my linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/anichols

If you want to try to chat, I can usually be found on irc.freenode.net as ‘adnichols’.

Sending bits to my browser is also an option via anichols at trumped dot org


What’s in a name? _Operation Bootstrap is what we’re trying to do – we’re trying to get Operations started right. BS in Operations in what we’re trying to get rid of – keep it to a minimum and focus on the task at hand. If you feel the way I do about doing this work, it’s not a job. You are putting your thumbprint on every change you make to the infrastructure, good or bad. OpsBS embodies the good and bad in that.