Ernest studied electrical engineering at Rice University during the years the Web was born. Upon graduation in 1993 he went to work for FedEx corporate IT in Memphis, Tennessee, where he learned UNIX system administration, programming, and architecture in a number of groups. Eventually he became Webmaster for fedex.com, and co-wrote the first international version of their online shipping software.
In 1998 Ernest moved to Towery Publishing, a small publishing company getting into the Internet game. He headed up the team creating a line of Java-based Web sites serving cities across the US, and eventually got drafted into running the company’s IT as well, conducting a successful ERP implementation. Sadly, Towery went out of business as the Internet bubble burst in 2001.
Ernest moved back to his home state of Texas to take a job managing the Web Systems team at National Instruments in 2002. There, he built up a skilled team and architected six years of expansion of the ni.com Web site, focusing on high uptime, continuous operations, application performance management, system development process, and Web security.
In 2008, Ernest moved into the LabVIEW R&D group at NI, where he was the Web systems architect for its cloud-based SaaS products. He designed Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure-based systems using model driven automation and, with an integrated DevOps team, delivered four SaaS products to market in as many years.
In 2012 Ernest moved to SaaS provider Bazaarvoice to be their Manager of Release Engineering. He migrated their product delivery from a ten-week release cycle to a one-week release cycle. Then he led their operations team’s transformation into a DevOps model. Eventually he managed the engineering teams working on PRR (Product Ratings and Reviews), Bazaarvoice’s primary revenue generating product, which is installed into BV customers’ websites and serves 1.2B hits a day and over 400M unique users a month from sites like Best Buy, Walmart and Macy’s as those retailers and brands use the service to conduct authentic and transparent conversations with their consumers. He transformed the team into four 10-person agile teams composed of both employees and outsourcers, and under his leadership the team continued to move more of the system into the cloud and continue to scale to meet the challenge of growth (especially yearly Black Friday traffic peaks).
In 2014 Ernest became a product manager at CopperEgg, an Austin-based SaaS monitoring company, which was acquired by Idera. Currently he serves as APM Product Manager and works on the CopperEgg, up.time, and Precise product lines.
Ernest is active in the DevOps movement, helped found the Austin chapter of OWASP, and organizes both CloudAustin and the Agile Austin DevOps SIG. He is also an organizer for the annual DevOpsDays Austin conference.
Ernest resides with his daughter, Aoife, in Round Rock, Texas.