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.
Jie Gao is a very active contributor on DevCentral since 2012 and has been on a roll recently answering questions about monitoring, URI redirects, SSL and many others. We're excited to name Jie as our Featured Member for June!
Let's learn a bit more about Jai.
DevCentral: please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it’s important.
Jie Gao: I am a system administrator in the University of Sydney and have been in the IT profession for over 20 years. I became an F5 administrator from "the other side" with a background in the open source, *nix system administration, system integration, Web application development, etc., some 7 years ago. I wanted to help bridge the great divide between networking and application through the use of F5. Upon reflection, I'm not sure I made much of a difference. 😞 Off work, I immerse myself listening to music on my Hi-Fi.
DC: You are very active contributor in the DevCentral community. What keeps you involved?
JG: Like many others here, I got on DevCentral initially to find a solution to a specific problem. I stayed on to learn more, to find out what more I can do and do better in my work. It is beneficial to know what issues other people are encountering, issues that might potentially affect my work later as well. If there is a software issue, then I could learn about it here early before it hits us, saving us from pulling our hairs out trying to figure out the puzzle. There are also solutions there that we could be asked to provide at work at the drop of a hat.
It feels good to be able to help people out. Sometimes it is even easier and more satisfying to help a total stranger than someone you already know. At the same time, it is also a good opportunity to learn how to answer a question properly - there are great minds and hands on DevCentral and I have learnt a great deal from them. I hope I have not provided too many incorrect/half-cooked answers! F5 staff tend to provide a complete, authoritative answer citing official documentation. Sometimes it might also be better to help people help themselves if they are not in a great hurry. Through answering questions, I have also learnt how to ask questions properly as well.
All said, DevCentral is an invaluable site of knowledge, solutions, and advice (and silly questions - including mine), where F5 administrators and solution designers, or really anyone, can find a quick answer to an F5-related issue in hand, or a pointer to a resource for further exploration. Great resource.
DC: Tell us a little about the areas of BIG-IP expertise you have.
JG: The University has been using the BIG-IP LTM/APM/GTM/ASM modules for various application services for many years, and I have been with it all along. However, I prefer to regard myself a generalist, although I spent most of my time on F5 at work. I like programming and code in a few languages, and I did my first Ruby script while answering a question about iControlREST on DevCentral. 🙂
DC: You are a Senior Network Designer at University of Sydney. Can you describe your typical workday and how you manage work/life balance?
JG: My typical workday starts with e-mail processing, browsing F5 Support's New Updates, and checking into DevCentral for a look, in that order. Home is wherever I am. All my hobbies/activities are suitably for a single soul. So I have got the balance holistically right. 😉
DC: Describe one of your biggest BIG-IP challenges and how DevCentral helped in that situation.
JG: A few years ago I had a challenge, probably not the biggest but nonetheless an interesting one, to host a DNS split-view for a part of the organization as a matter of emergency. I found some useful code examples as well as relevant documentation on DevCentral and did it all in an iRule!
DC: Lastly, if you weren’t an IT admin – what would be your dream job? Or better, when you were a kid – what did you want to be when you grew up?
JG: The very first dream I recall I had as a toddler was to be a proud driver of a red-milky colored bus that thrummed through the center of Beijing. I have since had many other dreams, but I never did realize my first one.