When Worlds Collide

My entire adult life I’ve been a programmer. I had my first paid programming job at age 16 and I’ve made a living slinging C code, with a specialty in Network Security, ever since. The last 10 of those years have been at F5 Networks, where I’ve worked on SSL, authentication, and device security.

Why Security? My programming world collided with the world of open protocols. When I first started reading Internet protocol specifications (RFCs) in the 90’s, it was clear that security was completely absent: if you were on the network, you were trusted. “This will never scale,” I told myself, and I’ve been a network security programmer since that day.

Until now.

My network security world has collided with Marketing. I’ve found that I enjoy the positive evangelism more than the defensive programming of network security. So when a position for a Technical Marketing Manager (TMM) appeared in our marketing organization I applied for it and crossed my fingers that I’d be accepted. I interviewed with the other Technical Marketing Managers, including Lori MacVittie, who I had assumed was actually a team of people (she’s not, she’s just one very productive, insightful visionary). Hooray, I was accepted!

I’m leaving behind the job of building the tangible product for a new position that builds the intangible product in the mind of the customer and the market—similar work, different skills. Over the next however-many years I’ll get to evangelize the security of the TMOS platform. I’ll be traveling to see customers, trade shows and users groups, so we may get to meet face to face!

When that happens, you can quiz me about the inner workings of any of these TMOS platform security features that I had the privilege of helping to build.


· FIPS 140

· Appliance Mode [White Paper]

· Secure Vault [White Paper]

· TMOS Device Authentication

· Kerberos

· Key Management

· Protocol Transition

· Client Certificate Authentication

· Administrative Domains (Roles)

· Secure Development Life Cycle

Okay, okay, I realize that looks like something I pulled from my resume, but the point is that F5 Network’s team of Technical Marketing Managers is heavy on the technical aspect, and I want to fit in.

I’m very excited about this new role and there’s so much to talk about because this is an amazing and exciting time not just for F5 Networks but for anyone in the network security industry. Social issues like the Occupy Wall Street movements and the Anonymous hackers are overlapping with network security. Mobile clients are proliferating and accessing not just datacenters and corporate networks but also public and private clouds (who even thought there’d be private clouds 20 years ago?) The world of application delivery has collided with network security and BIG-IP is right there on the front lines. It’s an exciting time to be documenting how these worlds are colliding and together we’re going to explore the network security solar system they’re all part of.

Published Dec 07, 2011
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