Jumping on the Rails of the Technical Train

I used to be technical, highly technical. You know the kind…more comfortable with CLI rather than GUI, limited use of CAPS at the beginning of sentences and proficient at configuring & troubleshooting a slew of devices from multiple vendors. But after a couple role changes over the years, my technical acumen has slightly diminished. Again, you probably know the drill that if you’re not tapping away at it daily, some of those skills dwindle. Plus, with new technology replacing the stuff you knew 10 years ago, it often feels like starting over.

But don’t fret! As with anything, you can regain some prowess and learn new tricks with a bit of training. Get on that bike and ride!

That’s what I’m going through now.

When I joined the DevCentral team, I quickly realized that our community is much smarter than I when it comes to the intricacies of our solutions. My initial reaction to many of the questions that get posted on DevCentral sound like the ‘Aaaaaahhhhhh, Ahhhhhh,’ from Bevis and Butthead. I have no idea. I’ll Alt-Tab to the AskF5 Knowledge Base to check if there is already an answer and often there is. But when it is a unique situation or something with iRules, I look blankly at the screen and wonder, ‘How can I help, when I don’t even know.’

One of the great things about working at F5 is that they allow us to take whatever training is needed to be proficient at our job. Over the last couple weeks I’ve been doing just that – initially digging in to F5’s free Web Based Training.

F5 has a number of educational programs to help you get acquainted, get fully trained or become a Certified Professional on F5 Solutions. From free online courses to instructor led classroom seminars to challenging your knowledge with a certification, F5 can help you, as it is helping me, understand the inner workings of BIG-IP. I began at F5 University with the Getting Started series and was able to get through a number of modules at my own pace. We have programs for both partners and customers and is a great way to learn the fundamentals of the BIG-IP system.

Next for me, will probably be some classroom training with hands on configuration and the entire DevCentral team will embark on a path to F5 Certification. Hear that Ken? We’re coming for ya!! We’re going to start a mini-study group using many of the resources available and chronicle our progress. The idea is that we’re like you – we know a lot already but want to get deeper in our understanding and for me, better at providing the details of our technical solutions.

Join us over the next bunch of months as we share our experiences of becoming an F5 Certified Professional.


Published Mar 14, 2016
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  • I have been a network and firewall engineer for the majority of my (now 20+ year) career. In the last year I have inherited enterprise level F5's and have successfully migrated nearly 200 sites to it now, and yet I have a ton yet to learn. I am still not sure where to start so if anyone has suggestions, I am open to them. I need/want to learn more about all the nuances between ssl ciphers, http headers and especially fixing vulnerabilities that our "wonderful" web inspect team finds in our sites. Any advice out there from others who've been sent down this new rabbit hole?
  • PSilva's avatar
    Ret. Employee
    Hi Mike~ Thanks for your note! One place I could recommend is joining the F5 Certified LinkedIn group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/85832 It is a very active community and I'm sure members could steer you in the right direction. Another resource is the Study guide for the 101 exam: https://www.f5.com/pdf/certification/exams/Certification_Study_Guide_101.pdf Whether you take the exam or not, it is a great resource to get you going on the fundamentals of application delivery and F5 solutions. ps