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 engaged folks. DevCentral Member and 2022 MVP Scott Campbell is our Featured Member for March! Let's catch up with Scott!
DevCentral: First, please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it is important.
Scott: I am labelled a Senior Network Analyst and work at the lovely campus of the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC, Canada. I’ve been in my current role for 17 years and working with F5 LTM for at least 15 years. I enjoy working with our different teams and finding solutions to providing services to our students and staff. I seem to be good at grasping the bigger picture and how all the pieces can work together.
Outside of work I enjoy working on and around my house, spending time with my family and friends, and for the last couple years, quilting. I enjoy creating and working with my hands which is why I am often renovating, gardening, canning, baking, sewing, quilting etc.
DevCentral: You’ve been an active contributor in the DevCentral community. What keeps you involved?
Scott: DevCentral is full of many wonderful people and a vast amount of knowledge. I have used the forum archives often when looking for examples of how to implement a solution or how others would write an irule to address a problem. The irule/TCL documentation was my main resource on learning TCL over the years and expanding our set of irules.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Scott: Too many years ago I received my bachelors in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Victoria. In my current position I am the network SME for DNS, DHCP, Cisco Telephony, F5 LTM/ASM/APM and a suite of perl tools. Almost 25 years as a senior administrator/analyst with a lot of programming, scripting and just making things work.
Through the F5 User Groups, I have given a number of presentations about different aspects of the University’s F5 and different solutions we have been able to provide with the F5 technologies. Sharing with other local users is a good way to connect with others in your F5 community.
DevCentral: You are a Senior Network Analyst at the University of Victoria. 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?
Scott: I start early in the day which allows me to do any out of business hours changes first, APM policy work, ASM transitions and larger irule or LTM policy changes. The rest of my day is full of different project work, troubleshooting issues that arise and planning any future development or project work that would benefit the University.
The pandemic has oddly provided a number of very good opportunities for me to learn and expand my F5 knowledge. With the almost complete forced evacuation of campus back in 2020, our whole systems team was tasked with making the “UVic-from-home” experience as secure and easy as possible for our staff and students. We moved a number of our student computer labs behind F5 APM as well as a multi-entry point APM policy for staff and RDP sessions. APM is now also being used for many MFA implementations for staff to access protected resources. Through mutual agreement I continued to work on campus full time throughout the pandemic which gave me a very quiet environment and allowed me to focus on the large amount of work to be done.
DevCentral: Do you have any F5 Certifications? If so, why are these important to you and how have they helped with your career?
Scott: Yes, I just renewed my 301b since I didn’t take time during the last two years to move forward from there. I would like to get a 400 level certification before I have to renew my 301b again. I believe they are a good representation that you know a breadth of information for that level.
Studying for 201 certification brought me in contact with Philip Jönsson as he was finishing up production of “F5 Networks - TMOS Administration Study Guide” (with Steven Iveson). I ended up proofreading the entire book for him and connecting with him on a personal level. We got to meet in person the following year at F5 Agility and had some good discussions on our F5 experiences.
I was also invited to F5 headquarters in Seattle to take part in a 101 Item Development Workshop where a group of us went through all the 101 certification questions and verified their validity and created new questions for the certification database with an updated blueprint. This was also an amazing opportunity to be involved with F5 and learn the development and backend of the certification process.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest Customer challenges and how the community helped in that situation.
Scott: The first larger challenge where I needed help (and connected with DevCentral) was when we originally put MS Exchange behind the F5 many many years ago. The F5/MS white paper was really good but the DevCentral forms filled in a number of gaps since our installation did not match the white paper installation and some customizations were required to make it work with our environment. Other people had modified monitors and modified the persistence irule to better lockdown different aspects of Exchange. DevCentral also gave me tips on how to see the traffic that was not behaving as expected and how to manipulate it with different policies and configuration.
DevCentral: Finally, 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?
Scott: I think my first dream job was wanting to run a gas (O2, H) station on Mars, at least 100 years before my time it seems. Other than that I love making things work and putting things together. I have been in this position for 17 years and still really enjoy engaging with others and putting together a configuration of certs, irules, policies and pools to make their applications secure and available. The university environment is constantly changing, upgrading and looking forward to seeing how to make the staff and student experience better, which is a great thing to feel a part of.
As for F5, I have found many ways to engage with the company and other customers and hope to find some new ways in the future.
---Thanks Scott! We really appreciate your willingness to share with the DevCentral Community. Stay connected with Scott on social media: