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 Automation Episode, DevCentral member Sebastian Maniak is our Featured Member for August 2020! Let's learn more about Sebby!
DevCentral: First, please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it is important.
Sebastian: I am an entrepreneur/consultant. I focus on business and technology services aimed at helping Customers, Technology Manufacturers and Resellers succeed in deploying and securing their applications and infrastructure. I have been working with F5 products since 2006 deploying and PXE booting BIG3DNS Version 4.x. Since then I have delayed many versions and modules across the world for different Enterprises, Resellers and Financial institutions.
In my free time I focus on family and health. I enjoy spending my free time with my kids and wife on the beach, a nice hike or hitting my local Cross-fit gym to throw some weight around.
DevCentral: You’ve been an active contributor in the DevCentral community over the years. What keeps you involved?
Sebastian: I use the DevCentral community almost daily to look up iRules, bugs, and fixes... etc. but to be honest I spend a lot of time on the F5 cloud slack channel. I am really grateful for the amazing F5 community and the relationships I have built with the SE’s around the world.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Sebastian: I started as a Network engineer focusing on routing/switch, that moved into security and application delivery and now I focus my time on moving customers to embrace infrastructure as code. I have been focusing and following F5 technologies for almost 14+ years, deploying, fixing, patching and migrating applications onto all the F5 modules.
DevCentral: You are an F5 Solutions Lead with Lyrical Security ? 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?
Sebastian: I have recently joined forces with the great team at Lyrical Security to help focus on Strategic Partnerships, business development and building out the best F5 practice in Canada. I am looking forward to start building more content and code to share with the community under the new Lyrical Security brand.
My typical day starts off with a workout, I wake up early (5:30ish) to hit a morning Cross-fit class, ride on my Peloton Bike or Rowing machine for a good sweat to get the day going. If my kids are still sleeping ( 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son).. I try to answer some customers' emails and requests, to get ahead for the day.
My typical work week/day varies depending on my customers needs and schedules.. Some weeks/days we are building and upgrading various F5s on-prem or in the cloud, other weeks/days we are troubleshooting odd issues. In my free time, I focus on learning, I have a couple hours scheduled in my work day to focus on improving my skills and learning something new. Ex. Last week I attended Eric Chen Consul+F5 webinar.. So this week I spent some time building out my own lab to understand how it all works.
Covid19 impact on work/life balance hasn’t changed from my perspective, I have worked remotely for the past 10 years. The biggest adjustment was having my kids with me all day and managing my customers and their activities. I believe we have built a good routine now.
DevCentral: Do you have any F5 Certifications? If so, why are these important to you and how have they helped with your career?
Sebastian: Currently my certs are expired.. But I do believe that certs are important to get a fundamental understanding of a technology. At the beginning of my career they have helped me get established in the community and build trust with customers and resellers to use me as their F5 subject matter expert.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest Customer challenges and how the community helped in that situation.
Sebastian: I have used DevCentral and F5 Slack community to solve many challenges, from iRules to APM Variables settings, cipher best practices, ansible playbooks...etc But back in 2014 or 15.. I was starting to play-around with Ansible and read an article by Joe King and Mark from WWT. His article described an ansible guide to onboard an F5 BIG-IP. With a simple playbook and a CSV that described the entire f5 config (NTP, VLANS, SYNC, SELFIP, Device Groups, VIPS, Pool Members...etc) I was able to provision many F5 Devices and VIPs in minutes, it changed the way I approached my engagements. I pivoted my path to focus more on automation and orchestration. Game change for me. I also had the opportunity to connect with Joe and Mark through webex to discuss their playbook and help me optimize my setup. I am really grateful that the community shares code and helps each other solve 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?
Sebastian: That’s a hard question, because I can't imagine doing anything else. I work with many different organizations, different people on different issues. It's fun jumping into a situation to solve an issue.
But if i really had to dig deep … a Power Ranger! for sure, It would be awesome to save lives and drive the cool vehicles they had.
---Thanks Sebastian! We really appreciate your willingness to share.To stay connected with Sebastian on other social media channels: