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F5 Foray: Real World Challenges

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of posts from CBT Nuggets trainer Scott Morris about his experiences learning and working with F5. f5-blog-series_EMAIL

So… fast forward a little bit here and we actually have some things up and running. Well, believe me, it wasn’t without pain! And interestingly enough, it’s amazing that as you start to teach something and as you hear the words coming out of your mouth, you begin to realize that there’s more information that needs to be uncovered before the public can get a glimpse! Ahhh… the joys of teaching! Not that what we do is rehearsed, but we do often realize that things make no sense without more details.

By this point, I have actually released some of the first Nuggets for the F5 BIG-IP course! Great stuff! And what I started with was theory-based things, which were easier to do. I could draw on knowledge I already had and pick and choose the specifics for F5. The configuration ones, well, they were more problematic.

Not so much because I didn’t know what I was doing, because so far, I seem to be doing well. But more so because I am picky about real-world scenarios. And in order to actually build those up, one has to have an infrastructure in place. We don’t learn by configuring things in a vacuum (e.g. with no “real” stuff around). We learn by solving scenarios and coming up with details.

I had started by going through old consulting jobs I had done. Yes, I told you before that I didn’t have F5 experience, but I have worked with other load-balancers from other vendors. At the beginning level, they aren’t much different. But the funny thing I realized as I went through many different customer notes I had was that everyone had a very vanilla and straight-forward implementation. It was really going to be boring to teach that!

So… back to the drawing board (or whiteboard, anyway). Time to come up with a fictitious company that wants to do more convoluted things. Or at least will end up wanting to do “everything” that we can do with the basics of an F5 ADC! Interestingly enough, that’s what will make you all great engineers. When you can take the basic concepts that you learn, and extrapolate those concepts to integrate in a larger design.

The teaching part all starts with a storyline. And that storyline has to be both possible and plausible. Everyone should be able to look at it and say “Hey, that’s kind of like my network.” Whether you have a large implementation or a small one, the concepts don’t change much.

So, how well does it relate to you?

 

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