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. This month, for the first time, we are doing something different; Featuring an F5er! Why? Because Buu just joined the DevCentral Team and we are excited to have him!! F5 DevCentral Solution Architect Buu Lam is our Featured Member for October! Let's catch up with Buu!
DevCentral: First, please explain to the DC community a little about yourself, what you do and why it is important.
Buu: I’m the newest member of the DevCentral team, joining as one of the Community Evangelists! I will be joining Jason Rahm and John Wagnon on our video efforts so you’ll be “seeing” a lot of me. I’ve always considered this one of the most important roles at F5, as strong community is a big part of why we have customers that continue to trust our solutions.
DevCentral: Tell us a little about the technical expertise you have.
Buu: I’m a bit of a mixed bag in that I started my career in network engineering, added security skills and more recently, have been finding myself drawn to cloud.
DevCentral: How do you see yourself contributing to the Community in your new role?
Buu: First of all, the DevCentral team is always very busy and I’m happy to share some of that load. But apart from that, I’ll be focusing on Edge Computing which encompasses a lot of the exciting new solutions happening at F5. In addition, I’m looking to really amplify what we do in video so that the community gets the most engaging content possible from us.
(At The Edge w/ Buu Lam, the first Tuesday of each month, at 9:30AM Pacific)
DevCentral: You used to be a Sr. Solutions Engineer at F5. Can you describe your typical workday and how you manage work/life balance? How has the pandemic impacted your work?
Buu: A Solutions Engineer is one of the most interesting roles at F5 and within the industry. While you need to be technically savvy, you also need to have strong communication skills in order to hear what customers are saying and then convey how F5 can help them out. A lot of my days would be meeting with our clients and listening to their challenges. Sometimes those would be specific, or sometimes they would be abstract business problems. From there, we work through determining what F5 can do to help. Since we’re a swiss army knife, we can usually help with a lot! That’s pretty high level but if anyone is ever interested in applying to be an F5 Solutions Engineer, feel free to reach out.
Work/life balance can be a challenge in that role. People may need me at any time and I’m always inclined to help as much as I can. I have to be very intentional about giving room for my personal life, whether it be going out for walks on a lunch break to clear my head, or trying not to constantly check my phone when I’m with my family. I’m not always winning in this category but I’ll keep trying.
The pandemic really affected my work in that I am usually face to face with my customers and all of a sudden we stopped meeting with them. I created a YouTube channel and turned to communicating over video, whether edited videos or live streams, in order to keep a sense of connection with everyone. I got a lot of feedback from people saying they appreciated it and it allowed me to get a bit creative which is not often part of IT.
DevCentral: Describe one of your biggest customer challenges and how the community helped in that situation.
Buu: This is not a specific challenge but what I’ve loved seeing with the community is the willingness to share. I had several users locally that were willing to share stories and how-to knowledge by getting up and presenting at our User Group events. These were always well received and it really showed the essence of community, in my opinion.
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?
Buu: When I was a kid, I recall I wanted to be a video game tester. However, as I grew up and met people that were video game testers, it turns out it’s not the fun job that I thought it would be. I’m also not very good at video games so I would probably get fired right away anyways.
--- Welcome Buu! We really appreciate your willingness to share with our people, the DevCentral Community. Stay connected with Buu on social media: