Alex Tijhuis is a Red Education f5 instructor who lives in Dunblane in Scotland. Born in the Netherlands, he has lived in Finland and South Africa, before moving to the UK ‘by accident’ with his South African-born wife and business partner. Over fifteen years and two children later, he is still there, and speaks English, Dutch, Afrikaans and German.
“Who doesn’t love playing with trains?”
Passionate about technology, Alex began his career in Utrecht in the Netherlands working in train safety and communication systems. He enjoyed ‘playing with real-life trains’ after a few years he found himself yearning for a more dynamic industry. “No one is trying to build the most advanced trains,” said Alex. “In the train world, if something works, it can stay the same for decades. Trains just need to run, and run safely,’ he said.
In the search for a faster-moving industry, Alex turned to his other great passion – computers and networking. He retrained himself in the basics of networking and started to work his way up, moving through roles in help desk support, cloud infrastructure, and pre- and post-sales.
With more seniority, however, came more involvement in sales and management and less in the technical work that Alex’s true passion. It was time to take a leap of faith and leave the corporate world to become independent.
A passion for technology
When asked what he enjoys doing outside of work, Alex describes himself as being ‘quite sad’ as what he really enjoys is ‘networks, computers and messing about with new technologies’, happy that he has made a career out of the hobby he loves.
Since moving to Scotland, however, his whole family is taking advantage of the beautiful highland landscape with a new-found interest in orienteering. ‘We don’t really know the area yet so it’s the perfect way for us to get to discover new places. I don’t see the point in just running, but orienteering is about problem-solving and discovery, and the who family gets out in the fresh air to enjoy it,” he said.
The f5 fanboy
In his training and consulting work, Alex describes how his focus is almost exclusively on f5 . He says the reason is not just that he is ‘a ridiculous f5 fanboy’ but also that the product is so broad in scope, that he feels he would be spread too thin and less of an expert if he worked with other technologies.
His expertise in f5 is such that he is listed as one of 20 MVPs worldwide – the leading global experts – by the f5 Community DevCentral . DevCentral is the main source of documentation and problem-solving for f5, which does not have the same extensive documentation as some of the more dominant technologies.
Learning and teaching
‘I love learning new things and, by extension, teaching other people and learning new things from them,’ says Alex. He enjoys working at a high level with f5, helping people from all sorts of organisations worldwide, from major banking organisations to websites or even governments from across the planet.
To sum himself up, Alex says that he is never happier than when he is ‘talking about the technology playing with the technology, hearing what is being done with the technology, hearing what new technology is coming out’.
What the students say
“Alex was very good. One of the best trainers, in my experience”
“Very good instructor. Knowledgeable and engaging”
“Instructor was very knowledgeable and was able deliver his point across quite clearly. He is also very patient and was eager to help us to the best of his knowledge”
“Alex was enthusiastic and very helpful. Would strongly recommend Alex!”
“Alex was very good at explaining everything and helped everyone with any issues surrounding labs etc. Clearly knew exactly what he was talking about and did it in a professional and amicable manner.”
Alex’s certifications include:
Administrator, BIG-IP (F5-CA, BIG-IP)
Technical Specialist, BIG-IP LTM (F5-CTS, BIG-IP LTM)
Technical Specialist, BIG-IP DNS (F5-CTS, BIG-IP DNS)
Technical Specialist, BIG-IP APM (F5-CTS, BIG-IP APM)
Technical Specialist, BIG-IP ASM (F5-CTS, BIG-IP ASM)
Solution Expert, Security (F5-CSE, Security)
Technical Professional, Sales (F5-CTP, Sales)
Solution Expert, Cloud (F5-CSE, Cloud)
Alex is certified to deliver the following:
– Administering BigIP
– Configuring LTM
– Configuring Advanced WAF
– Setting up Advanced WAF
– Configuring BigIQ
– Configuring BigIP DNS (Formerly GTM)
– Configuring APM
– Developing iRules for BigIP
– Configuring SSLO
– Troubleshooting BigIP
– Automating BigIP with Ansible
– Automating BigIP with AS3
– Configuring AFM
– Securing Apps with F5 Solutions
– Configuring BigIP on VIPRION
– NGINX Core
– NGINX Caching
– NGINX Load Balancing
Learn more about our f5 training here.