Tim Retout

Solutions Architect with a development/operations background, and over ten years of industry experience in a range of growing SMEs.


  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  • Google Cloud Certified - Professional Cloud Architect
  • TOGAF® 9 Certified
  • BCS Certificate in Enterprise & Solution Architecture (Intermediate)
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional
  • Google Cloud Certified - Professional Cloud Developer
  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
  • AWS Certified Security - Specialty
  • Google Cloud Certified - Professional Cloud Security Engineer
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
IT Service Management
  • ITIL® Foundation Certified


Principal Consultant

PA Consulting · London, UK

Helping clients deliver secure solutions in the cloud.

October 2019 - Present

Solutions Architect

CV-Library · Bedford, UK

Technical leadership role for four development teams, with around 20 developers and testers.

April 2015 - October 2019

Software Development Manager

CV-Library · Fleet, UK

Line manager for 10 developers and testers, managing the quality and performance of the teams.

April 2012 - April 2015

Software Architect

Smoothwall · Southampton, UK

Technical lead for the four Scrum project teams (16 developers and testers), responsible for the technical direction of the company, and architectural decisions.

April 2011 - April 2012

Software Developer

Smoothwall · Southampton, UK

Specification, design and development of complex software systems. Establishment and documentation of customer requirements, including user telephone interviews and site visits.

August 2009 - April 2011

Technical Engineer

credativ · Rugby, UK

Third-line support and systems administration across a wide range of open source software installations, often demanding learning new technologies quickly.

September 2007 - August 2009


PCC Member

St. Andrew's Church, Bedford

Charity trustee; responsible for financial affairs of the parish.

April 2019 - Present

Charity Trustee

Brickhill Community Centre Association

Governance of the charity running the local community centre.

July 2019 - Present

Parish Councillor

Brickhill Parish Council

Elected local government representative for residents of Brickhill East ward.

November 2015 - Present

Debian Developer


Maintaining and bug-fixing various software packages.

December 2009 - Present

Blog Posts


Life comes at you fast. Since changing jobs three months ago, I have earned several cloud-related certifications, and started an assignment as a cloud security architect with a large financial services client. Consulting is quite different to ordinary employment; a great deal of emphasis is placed on making connections, and building a personal brand. I’m enjoying the variety of work, and the opportunity to develop my skills. My focus this year is on learning; I intend to spend more time reading and writing, especially as a way to distill and clarify my ideas. …(more)

January 2, 2020

PA Consulting

In early October, I will be saying goodbye to my colleagues at CV-Library after 7.5 years, and joining PA Consulting in London as a Principal Consultant. Over the course of my time at CV-Library I have got married, had a child, and moved from Southampton to Bedford. I am happy to have played a part in the growth of CV-Library as a leading recruitment brand in the UK, especially helping to make the site more reliable - I can tell more than a few war stories. …(more)

September 4, 2019

My Free Software Activities for Jan/Feb 2019

I have done a small amount of free software work! However, I’m going to cheat and list it since the start of the year. Social groups First, the fun stuff: I organised the first two meetings of the Bedford Linux User Group. Fire engines were observed on both occasions, but this was pure coincidence. I sent pull requests adding a fancy map to the new lug.org.uk site. I need to follow up to make that mobile-friendly… apt security I sent PRs to whydoesaptnotusehttps. …(more)

February 28, 2019

Blog Migration

This evening I’ve migrated my blog to Hugo, and made it look a bit prettier. I apologise if I’ve broken any links - in particular, I don’t think listings of blog posts in a particular day or month are working. …(more)

February 27, 2019

Tokenizing IT jobs

One size does not fit all when it comes to building search applications - it is important to think about the business domain and user expectations. Here's a classic example from recruitment search (a domain which has absorbed six years of my life already...) - imagine you are a candidate searching for IT jobs on your favourite job board. Recall how a full-text index works as implemented in Solr or Elasticsearch - the job posting documents are treated as a bag of words (i. …(more)

May 29, 2018

Jenkins milestone steps do not work yet

Public Service Announcement for anyone relying on Jenkins for continuous deployment - the milestone step plugin as of version 1.3.1 will not function correctly if you could have more than two builds running at once - older builds could get deployed after newer builds. See JENKINS-46097. A possible workaround is to add an initial milestone at the start of the pipeline, which will then allow builds to be killed early. (Builds are only killed early once they have passed their first milestone. …(more)

August 14, 2017

Packet.net arm64 servers

Packet.net offer an ARMv8 server with 96 cores for $0.50/hour. I signed up and tried building Libreoffice to see what would happen. Debian isn't officially supported there yet, but they offer Ubuntu, which suffices for testing the hardware. Final build time: around 12 hours, compared to 2hr 55m on the official arm64 buildd. Most of the Libreoffice build appeared to consist of "touch /some/file" repeated endlessly - I have a suspicion that the I/O performance might be low on this server (although I have no further evidence to offer for this). …(more)

April 25, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Apparently I failed to write a blog entry in all of 2016, and almost all of 2015. Probably says something profound about the rise of social media, or perhaps I was just very busy. I bet my writing has suffered. I have spent the last few days tidying up and clearing out clothes, bits of paper, and wires. I think there's light at the end of the tunnel. …(more)

January 1, 2017

CPAN PR Challenge - January - IO-Digest

I signed up to the CPAN Pull Request Challenge - apparently I'm entrant 170 of a few hundred. My assigned dist for January was IO-Digest - this seems a fairly stable module. To get the ball rolling, I fixed the README, but this was somehow unsatisfying. :) To follow-up, I added Travis-CI support, with a view to validating the other open pull request - but that one looks likely to be a platform-specific problem. …(more)

January 17, 2015

Docker London Meetup - January 2015

Last week, I visited London for the January Docker meetup, which was the first time I'd attended this group. It was a talk-oriented format, with around 200 attendees packed into Shoreditch Village Hall; free pizza and beer was provided thanks to the sponsors, which was awesome (and makes logistics easier when you're travelling there from work). There were three talks. First, Andrew Martin from British Gas spoke about how they use Docker for testing and continuous deployment of their Node. …(more)

January 15, 2015
Nifty tech tag lists from Wouter Beeftink