DevCentral's Featured Member for November - Austin Geraci
Our Featured Member series is a way for us to show appreciation and highlight active contributors in our community. Communities thrive on interaction and our Featured Series gives you some insight on some of our most active folks.
You might remember him from the DC Connects A Certification Journey Episode, DevCentral member Austin Geraci is our Featured Member for November 2020!
Let's learn more about Austin!
DevCentral: Please explain to the DevCentral Community a little about yourself, what you do and why it is important.
Austin: Hi folks – I’m Austin Geraci, CTO at WorldTech IT which is an F5 Gold & GUARDIAN (at the highest level) partner company. I’m proud to say we’re the leading provider of third-party professional services for F5 solutions – including NGINX and SHAPE Security. We’re the only company to exclusively focus on F5 products the way we do. Though we also specialize in some complementary products like Ansible and Terraform, it’s all around F5. We are not your typical VAR, though we sell a ton of F5, we lead with our engineering expertise.
DevCentral: You’ve continued to be an active contributor in the DevCentral community over the years. What keeps you involved?
Austin: The community F5 has built, and of course the technology. These days I don’t have nearly as much time to participate publicly, but F5 has been very gracious to give me the opportunity to help out behind the scenes – and I’ve been very happy to. F5 has afforded me some great opportunities in life, and I try to give back whenever I can. Believing in the technology has been easy, F5 is always one step ahead, offering the best of the best around application delivery, security, and authentication. I was super pleased to see the acquisitions of NGINX and SHAPE – two technologies I’ve been a big believer in.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Austin: I was lucky enough to be exposed to computers at a very young age. When I was 10 years old my father bought a 486 dx2 66 from Gateway for his real estate business, and the rest is history. I started to learn Borland’s C++ and BASIC, but information was a lot harder to come by back then, so it was manuals and the library until I discovered Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) about a year or so after. That opened up a whole new world, and shortly after the Internet and IRC followed (which introduced me to my first taste of operating systems outside of DOS). As I got older, I gravitated more towards the network side and web applications. My F5 journey started off with LTM & GTM, and AFM / APM / ASM following soon after.
DevCentral: You are the CTO at WorldTech IT . Can you describe your typical workday, how you manage work/life balance and the strong support of F5 solutions?
How has the recent pandemic impacted your work?
Austin: My wife is a saint 😉 Work-life balance is tough sometimes because I’m so dedicated to the cause, but I try to be good about “turning it off” when its time, tomorrow is another day.
I’ve also been blessed (and cursed) with being a “super sleeper” — I typically only need 3-5 hours of sleep to feel 100%. I get a lot of my heads-down work complete in the morning before the emails, meetings, and calls start flying in.
Above all, I couldn’t do anything I do without the great team working alongside me. Without all the rock stars we work with I would be hard-pressed to be where I am. Speaking of which... if you’re an F5 rock star and dream of only working with F5 solutions all day, every day, with a company that is focused on engineering – hit me up, as I also run our recruiting efforts, and we are hiring!! Though we sell a ton of F5 products, we’re not “salesy” or a sales-focused organization, which allows us to always do the right thing for our customers and engineers. We’re focused on career development and constantly advancing our internal knowledge base – also the bennies are great.
As far as the Pandemic – Fortunately, we’ve been “ok” overall, I think that’s largely due to the fact that WorldTech IT was poised for some massive growth this year, so we’ve been able to maintain and grow – albeit at a slower pace. We have an office in Austin TX, and I really enjoyed going into the office – it provided a good “on/off” switch, so working from home took some adjusting. Luckily, I have an awesome wife and a couple of really cute Shiba-Inus. 😉
DevCentral: Do you have any F5 Certifications? If so, why are these important to you and how have they helped with your career?
Austin: I currently have the 402 F5-CSE, Cloud certification valid – certs have been a big part of my F5 and personal growth. Certs force you to fill the knowledge gaps you have, I learned that when I originally passed CCNA as a 20-nothing year old Austin. I’m a big believer in the new F5 cert program, Ken has done some great work taking the program to the next level (including test integrity).
As a 40-year-old Austin who’s not pushing the buttons anymore... my focus is more on our roadmap, and customer / partner relationships.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest customer challenges and how the community helped in that situation. (Does not necessarily have to be DevCentral)
Austin: I can’t think of any single challenge in particular, but in general the community has helped me approach technical problems from different angles. All our brains work differently, and the way we formulate solutions is largely shaped by our past experiences. Taking the time to look at how others approach problems has most definitely expanded my perception and the way I approach problems.
DevCentral: Lastly, if you weren’t doing what you’re doing – what would be your dream career? Or better, when you were a kid – what did you want to be when you grew up?
Austin: Musician for sure, I grew up singing and playing guitar. I still play and have hopes of getting a hit song out there before I get too old and tired 😉
---Thanks Austin! We really appreciate your willingness to share with the DC Community. To stay connected with Austin on other social media channels: