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.
First time DevCentral MVP Lionel Deval is our Featured Member for March! Let's learn more about Lionel!
DevCentral: First, please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it is important.
Lionel: Hi folks! My name is Lionel Deval and I work as a Security Engineer for ITS Services (ITS Group). I live in France and I have been passionate about security and F5 technologies for the past few years.
I started my IT career as a network administrator in the financial sector. After 10 years in the network world, I was going round in circles and I needed a new challenge. Therefore I decided to take a turn in my career by moving into security and F5 solutions.
In the DC community, I try to help members as much as possible in the Q&A section, hopefully one day, I will bring my own contribution to the Code Share section, but as for now I just use the available resources.
When I am not working, I enjoy hanging around with my ice hockey team and my family. I also like brewing beer and playing online poker during the weekend.
DevCentral: You’ve continued to be an active contributor in the DevCentral community. What keeps you involved?
Lionel: DevCentral is a real treasure; the amount of information, knowledge and solutions someone can find there is huge! It is a place of mutual help and sharing and one of the biggest active vendor’s communities that I know of.
I really like the quote "Knowledge is nothing if it’s not shared". It means a lot to me, I think that in any learning process it is important to give back some of the knowledge acquired because it is very instructive and rewarding.
For all those reasons, I like to participate and help the members of this community.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Lionel: Over the years, I have successfully implemented and deployed different types of F5 BIG-IP, hardware or VE platforms with BIG-IP modules likes LTM, ASM, APM and DNS Service for our customers. I also have expertise in BIG-IQ.
I was trained on all these modules, so I can say that I am quite comfortable with them but my favorite BIG-IP product is ASM, due to my security specialization.
DevCentral: You are a Security Engineer at ItsGroup. 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?
Lionel: As a security engineer and technical specialist of F5 technologies, I assist customers in building and developing their projects based on F5 security solutions to secure their applications and infrastructure.
My days are very interesting, the advantage with F5 solutions is that you cannot get bored of this technology, I learn new thing every single day.
My typical working day is split between manage my emails, attending project and architecture meetings, and troubleshooting. Obviously, I also regularly take a look at DevCentral to see what is happening there, and when time allows, I try to keep myself informed on the latest features offered by F5 by participating in the various webinars.
The pandemic has somewhat transformed the way we work, we now work remotely and I have had to set up a workspace at home.
I consider myself happy and aware of how lucky I am, continued working during lockdown and I can therefore look to the future with serenity, which is not the case for everyone.
Initially maintaining a work-life balance was a bit complicated, but I soon realized that I have to discipline myself and manage my working rhythm to avoid spilling over into family life.
DevCentral: Do you have any F5 Certifications? If so, why are these important to you and how have they helped with your career?
Lionel: Yes, I am an F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator. I have to pass the F5 301a at the end of March and plan to keep on with the certification race to try and get the Holy Grail F5-CSE Security!
F5 Certifications provide a high level of expertise, they provide global knowledge on F5 solutions, and on how to offer the best product choices and solutions according to the customer’s needs. They are therefore essential to me in order to provide evidence of my skills to our clients.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest Customer challenges and how the community helped in that situation.
Lionel: My biggest Customer challenge was to build an F5 solutions WAF with two levels of analysis, and afterwards migrate with my team about fifteen applications from an old WAF solution to this new one in a fairly short time.
During this project, DevCentral has been a great help to receive feedback, tips, and advice from ASM users on how to achieve the best 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?
Lionel: When I was a kid, Indiana Jones fascinated me, I dreamed of being an archaeologist, going on adventures, travelling and discovering treasures. Today, when I see the projects that I work on sometimes, the time I spend searching or digging for solutions or root cause, I tell myself that the dream and the vision that I had as a kid are not very far after all 😉
---Thanks Lionel! We really appreciate your willingness to share with the DevCentral Community. Stay connected with Lionel and ITS Services on social media: