Robert Gornall aka KHobbits

Systems Infrastructure/Automation Engineer.


The first programming language I picked up was QBasic, followed quickly by mIRC Scripting, TCL and PHP.

Studied Java Object Oriented programming in University. Lead Developer for (Java based) Essentials Minecraft Plugin.

Have since picked up a bit of JavaScript, Bash, Ruby, and Golang along the way.

I try to make sure I put aside some time each month to dust off my IDE, and write something that will make my life easier.


My first DevOps experience was setting up the CI/CD pipelines in Jenkins, and later TeamCity, back in the early Minecraft days.

Been running CI/CD infrastructure every day since.

Manage Self hosted GitLab, complete with Gitlab CI’s Kubernetes runners for agile development.

Wore the Architecture and Security hat’s while embedded in internal Development teams.

Open Source & Community

Managed a global open source project and community based around Minecraft plugins.

Contributor to open source projects, with code, documentation, and support.

Co-Organizer of the Docker.London social Meetup.

Help out at events like DevOpsDays London and previously managed teams of volunteers at Insomnia Gaming Festival.


Been hosting websites for over 20 years, starting from a shell box, then VPS, and now Public Cloud.

Over 10 years Experience working with AWS, on small, medium and large deployments.

Over 5 years Experience working with GCP, on render farm deployments.

Over 2 years Experience building out Hyperconverged Infrastructure based around Nutanix.


I find doing on Prem correctly can be just as interesting as the cloud.

Managing over a hundred racks split across multiple datacentres in London.

This means choosing the right hardware, the right software, and right networking to make it all work without having to keep a body on site to press the reset button.

Trying my best to build out geographic resilience.


The hardest challenge is often not building out the infrastructure but allowing other people to use it.

From training people on how to use what you build, or providing self service tools to enable autonomy.

A good system should be able to handle some misconfiguration from users without imploding, and have both training wheels and safeguards as standard.


I prefer to solve a problem once.

Clouds can have bad days.

This means finding the right tooling, and writing infrastructure that is designed to prevent midnight calls from PagerDuty.

Docker, Kubernetes, Flux, Terraform, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Foreman, scripting and too many things written in YAML.

Currently diving into network automation.


I studied CCNA back in University.

At home in the CLI of switches like: Mellanox, HP Aruba, Juniper.

Managed a global deployment of Checkpoint Firewalls.

Designed and maintained the core network infrastructure, and security posture required for global operations at a media company.

Deployed Spine and Leaf into the Data Centre.


If it’s not patched, it’s not secure.

If there is internet, it’s vulnerable.

Designing and maintaining infrastructure allowing us to work with unreleased product material from big brand clients.

Building out networks with no internet, but still allowing for data exchange.

Principle of least privilege needs to be applied from account level permissions to firewall rules.

If you bump into me on the Tube, you’ll probably catch me reading something fantastical about Wizards, Dragons or some twisted fantasy future.

You may have guessed from the talk about Minecraft, I’m a gamer, but tend to enjoy story driven games, rather than multiplayer, although you can sometimes find me grinding out a season of Destiny.

If you bump into me in a pub, I’ll likely have an IPA in hand, or a glass of whisky, after breaking the seal.

I still get out and about in the London Meetup scene, so you might catch me anywhere someone is talking about the next big thing in Kubernetes.