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.
DevCentral MVP Kees van den Bos is our Featured Member for July 2020! Let's learn more about Kees!
DevCentral: First, please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it’s important.
Kees: I am a freelance Security Engineer/Consultant working for several different customers in the Netherlands. I started freelancing in 2013 and have been working mostly with F5/BIG-IP. I also became a F5 Partner. This helps me when engaging customers or selling LAB VE and normal licenses (to both individuals or companies).
Started my IT career as a network (read windows) administrator and worked my way up to become a more security focused engineer/consultant. In my free time I like to go caving or canyoning. I started caving when I was 14 and over the years I visited caves in France, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Croatia and Greece. In 3 of those caves the bottom was at 1125 Meters, 1270 meters and 1355 meters (and I have been at the bottom). During holiday’s we go canyoning with the family, it is a great outdoor sport for all ages.
DevCentral: You are a very active contributor in the DevCentral community. What keeps you involved?
Kees: Like in my daily work I like to help people with their “issues”. DevCentral is a great platform to share and help solving issues. I must admit that I was a big fan of the old platform/forum. Now I try to help the DC team by giving my input on what I see/miss within the current platform. But I must admit, it is getting better and better.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Kees: For the last 10 years I have been working with firewall’s, networking (routing and switching), virtualization, proxies (forward and reverse), wireless, remote access, authentication, but as a freelancer mainly on BIG-IP LTM, ASM, APM, GTM/LC, AFM. But the other knowledge helps me in my day to day job.
DevCentral: You are the Owner of kees4IP . 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?
Kees: My day would normally start with driving to a client, now with Corona it's different. I start the day behind my laptop reading emails or chat conversations. Most of my clients allow me to work from home. Within a week I try to reserve one day where I can work for different customers during the day. (help them with small issues). The other 4 days I work for one or two clients full time.
My strong support for F5 solutions was by accident, the second project I work on was a migration from Alteon to BIG-IP and from then on I mostly worked with BIG-IP (with some help of the Benelux F5 sales/tech team).
In the evening or weekend I write quotations for new project or licenses/devices and invoices. But it is very important to take time off with the family. So I reserve a minimum of 5 weeks per year for holidays.
DevCentral: Do you have any F5 Certifications? If so, why are these important to you and how have they helped with your career?
Kees: I am 401 CSE security and certified trainer for LTM, ASM and APM. Being certified helps me in getting new customer contacts, but I think that working posture and customer approach are just as important as certifications. They help me building strong relationships with my customers. Being certified in 401 also helps being a certified trainer.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest customer challenges and how the DevCentral community helped.
It's not my biggest challenge but as the BIG-IP is a HTTP proxy it is nice to be able to read the HTTP headers that are traversing the box.
There is a very nice iRule that I found on DC (made by I think Hoolio (Aaron Hooley) that helps me a lot when troubleshooting client HTTP issues (rewriting, etc).
Link to the iRule on my webpage: https://www.kees4ip.nl/?Knowledge___HTTP_LOGGING_IRULE
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?
Kees: I never had a real dream career. My uncle was working at the Delft University and was a “computer” expert. During holidays I spent a lot of time with my uncle and aunt and they had an old teletype connected to a small microprocessor. I was playing mastermind all day. So for me it was almost natural to become an IT expert.
Thanks Kees! We really appreciate your willingness to share.
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