Hi, I'm Don MacVittie, the newest member of the DevCentral Team, thought I'd kick off my blog with some info about me and why I chose F5. Because I know that'll be the burning question, right after the "what's for lunch?" discussion.

I am a developer by trade, though my career has taken me through Enterprise AppDev, Enterprise Architecture, Embedded Development (primarily Cell Phones), IT Management, Tech Publishing, and my first love - COTS Software development. I've worked in Insurance, Utilities, Telecom, an ISP, and Tax software.

My most recent gig was as a Technology Editor with Network Computing Magazine, covering Storage, Servers, and Security. But after a while, a geek gets tired of free chachki and 100% flex time. No wait, that's not it... After a while a geek gets tired of not being involved with the technologies for more than a few months at a time. So I went out shopping for a job.

Hilariously, I did not apply at F5 - because Lori had just come here. But fate has a way of working out, and in the course of my job search (near the end of it actually), I found out F5 might be interested.

That wiped most other companies out of my list. Why? Well first is solid product. F5 makes mistakes (in the end, it's complex code running on those boxes), but not as many as most companies, and they get fixed quickly. Short version: Our Dev Team rocks. Second is environment. I'm a big fan of never being asked to do something that might be shady. F5 has always been pretty good about that, and it's obvious when you deal with them. Third, this team has some brains on it. People who get it. That's important to me too, I want people who know more than me about different topics to work with. Finally, they wanted to make me a Strategic Architect. Heck, I've been a Development Architect (tax software), a Product Architect (cell phones), and an Enterprise Architect (Insurance)... But a Strategic Architect? How cool is that? 

I was offered similar jobs, but with wayyy less cool titles. And yeah, that matters. Lori's secret dream is to one day be a Theoretical Logician. Yeah, I don't know either, but it sounds cool.

So what exactly will I be doing? Well, for the short term, I'll be trying to sponge off of the uber-brains of Joe and Colin. Long term, I'll be doing "stuff". Including trying to offer some help with making DevCentral more useful to you. It's a great start, hopefully I can offer some advice to make it more accessible. If not, I guess I'll just provide comic relief. Or do the Architecture bit, and help to show how you can use iRules and iControl in different ways.

And finally, I think it's good to have a clue about what a person does with their free time to figure out "who they are" when you're dealing with them. So here you go. I game a lot - table top wargames and RPGs, some online wargames, I've always played with tech stuff, and have a ton of embedded development kits in a pile in my basement in the "get to this one day" category. And Lori and I write together. Depends on how busy we are with other things, but we've found time for four books (not counting the WPF one she wrote on her own). Add to that three kids, and yeah, that's about it. Frankly, like most techno-geeks, I run out of time before I run out of things I'd like to try. I wrote a 16-bit linker once, because few people have done it. But I only needed it to write the assembler that I haven't finished yet.

So you'll see me around. I'd say "I'll be the odd one", but you'd have to meet the team to understand that I'm pretty normal here.

Imbibing: Mountain Dew and some nasty sparkling water. Any port in a storm.

Don.