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 MVP Tim Riker is our Featured Member for August! Let's catch up with Tim!
DevCentral: First, please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it is important.
Tim: I have been doing software development and systems administration for many years. I’ve spent many years doing Linux development from embedded systems using BusyBox and ucLinux to large computing clusters.
DevCentral: You’ve continued to be an active contributor in the DevCentral community. What keeps you involved?
Tim: When I started in my current position, there were 34 different BIG-IP nodes to administer and no central tool to view all of them. BigIPReport was a great solution for this. On report view that includes all the virtual servers, pools, nodes, data groups, etc. all searchable in one interface.
DevCentral has helped to find solid answers to real world issues. This has saved time and increased flexibility of our solutions.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Tim: I have a deep understanding of networking, systems, and software development. Development in everything from Linux kernel development in C, Android apps in Java, to web apps in PHP. I have also been a Linux user and proponent for almost 30 years.
DevCentral: How is the DevCentral MVP experience?
Tim: The contact with peers has been great. I’ve enjoyed working with Patrik and others in the DevCentral community. The wealth of information from the community on DevCentral has made working with F5 systems easier and more productive.
DevCentral: You are a Sr. Software Engineer and Linux Technologist. Can you describe your typical workday, how you manage work/life balance and how has the recent pandemic impacted your work?
Tim: As most of the systems I administer are remote anyway I am blessed in that my work has not been drastically impacted by the pandemic. I work remotely from home now instead of remotely from the office. Video conferencing tools have been very helpful in team communication. Agility being all online was somewhat of a disappointment last year, but the online sessions have been great.
DevCentral: Do you have any F5 Certifications? If so, why are these important to you and how have they helped with your career?
Tim: I don’t have any F5 Certifications, but I have attended F5 technical training in person and online.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest Customer challenges and how the community helped in that situation.
Tim: We have many different teams utilizing the F5s in our organization. Each of them has their own customers and needs. Granting such a large group read/write/admin access was difficult to manage. Using BigIPReport to expose current configuration and status to a large group has worked well. This has allowed us to limit read/write access and make change tickets more specific to the current configuration.
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?
Tim: I love solving problems and fixing things. There are so many opportunities to build solutions, and so little time. However, if money were not an issue, I’d be hiking, camping, boating, and other outdoor activities with family and friends, instead of spending as much time working with technology.
---Thanks Tim! We really appreciate your willingness to share with the DevCentral Community. Stay connected with Tim on social media: