Mike Julian headshot

Hi folks, I’m Mike. I’m the CEO at The Duckbill Group, a consultancy that fixes the horrifying AWS bill while keeping you entertained through our newsletters and podcasts. I previously worked as an Operations Engineer/DevOps Engineer/Site Reliability Engineer. I do quite a few other things as well, which you can read about below.

Outside of clients and other work-related projects, I’m a wine and beer aficionado, having acquired my WSET Level 2 certification in Dec 2016 and Certified Beer Server certification in July 2017. I enjoy working on old cars (latest project: restoring a 1984 BMW 3 series) and traveling.

I’m originally from Knoxville, TN, though I spent many years in Phoenix, AZ and San Francisco, CA. I currently reside in Portland, OR.

Current Work

The Duckbill Group

(February 2019 -- Current)

We fix the horrifying AWS bill while keeping you entertained through our online publications, such as Last Week in AWS, Screaming in the Cloud, Monitoring Weekly, and Real World DevOps. Business partner to Corey Quinn.


Monitoring Weekly

Founder & Editor-in-Chief
(March 2017 -- Current)

A curated weekly email newsletter for all-things-monitoring. Stay up to date on monitoring without spending oodles on conferences and travel.

Real World DevOps Podcast

Real World DevOps

(Jan 2019 -- Current)

A DevOps podcast about the messy, behind-the-curtains realities of running systems at scale. No idealism here--just actual, on-the-ground stories from people in the muck.


Freelance Camp

(March 2017 -- Current)

A community of freelancers and consultants. Never feel alone again.


Felding Co

Advisor & Investor
(October 2017 -- Current)

Casual menswear shop carrying high-end heritage brands. Retail store in Knoxville, TN.

Practical Monitoring

O'Reilly Media, November 2017

Do you have a nagging feeling that your monitoring needs improvement, but you just aren’t sure where to start or how to do it? Are you plagued by constant, meaningless alerts? Does your monitoring system routinely miss real problems? This is the book for you.

Previous Work

Looking for employment history? Check my LinkedIn.



(March 2012 -- February 2015)

The largest system administration meetup in East Tennessee and the largest LOPSA chapter ever at 50-60 attendees every month.


League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA)

Board of Directors
(June 2013 -- May 2014)

The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) is a nonprofit corporation with members throughout the world. The mission is to advance the practice of system administration; to support, recognize, educate, and encourage its practitioners; and to serve the public through education and outreach on system administration issues.


Last Week in AWS

(March 2017 -- January 2018)

A weekly roundup of news from Amazon's cloud ecosystem - sprinkled with snark.


The Quinn Advisory Group

(October 2016 -- January 2018)

Fix your horrifying AWS bills.


SF Metrics Meetup

Co-organizer (speaker selection)
(April 2017 -- April 2018)

The oldest San Francisco-based monitoring meetup. I co-organize the meetup.


Aster Labs

(October 2015 -- February 2019)

Sometimes you just need a little help. Leveraging my expertise in monitoring and observability, I help companies build better monitoring for their apps and infrastructure.