Today (yesterday, actually, but that's not a work day) marks five years working at F5 Networks. This is the first job in my 17-year career I've made it past the four year mark, having spent the majority of my early years chasing the start-up dreams before settling in to building lasting skills and relationships. Sometimes I jumped for the money, but more often I moved on for the opportunities to learn new things. The thing about my move to F5 is I had a great job at my previous company, I just saw an opportunity that was just too good to pass up.
Two aspects of the opportunity to work for F5 sold me immediately:
First, I knew I would be working directly with the DevCentral Superheroes. I shared about working with great people a few months ago, but in just discussing the current team, I left out Colin Walker and Don MacVittie, who took me under their wings and taught me the ins/outs of this whole community thing. We've had a few other great contributors come through the DevCentral team over the years, all of whom I've learned from. I'm so grateful for the culture F5 fosters: crazy talented people with no egos. That's hard to find.
Secondly, it was F5 Networks! They of BIG-IP fame. And I have been a BIG-IP fanboy since my first exposure in 2002 working for the DoD. With the introduction of TMOS in 2004, I began to discover a burgeoning love for the layers of the OSI stack that existed above my comfort zone as a network engineer. iRules architect and DevCentral community member UnRuleY blew my mind with a few tricks in binary that hooked me for good. Here came this product platform that would enable me to forever be learning new things.
These last five years I've had the privilege of building some really cool solutions, speaking at user groups and conferences, and traveling a decent part of the globe carrying the F5 story forward. Some personal highlights:
I'm not a spotlight guy, so jumping into the reality series we did on WebAccelerator right out of the gate in the winter of '09 was overwhelming but also challenging and stretched my comfort zone quite a bit.
8 days, 7 events, 22,000 miles. Alone. Welcome to the club, Jason!
Standing up the MVP program and the first two MVP summits. Incredible experiences. Can't wait for the next one!
Teaching the iRules classes at Agility with "THE" Colin Walker and Joe Pruitt.
Designing, testing, and building the cloud environment where DevCentral has lived these last 18 months.
Much thanks to Jeff Browning and F5 Networks for taking a chance on me. It's been a great ride, and I'm very much looking forward to the next five years of hard work and innovation here at F5.