Typical 24: Keiron Shepherd, F5 Networks
Human Resources

Typical 24: Keiron Shepherd, F5 Networks

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…

 

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Name: Keiron Shepherd

Job title: Senior, Security Systems Engineer (UK & I)

Company: F5 Networks

Location: London, UK

Years’ experience: 22 years

 

  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    My office these days is my phone and laptop, sometimes the first call of the day is walking the dog, sometimes it’s on the train heading in to the City for a meeting. 
  2. Is your job varied?
    Very, it’s the reason my job is so interesting. It’s rare that each day is the same. 
  3. Is your job creative?
    I would say so, but that depends on how you define creative. Part of my job is solving problems for our customers and I find this triggers a logical thought process along with some creative thinking. 
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    Well the majority changes on a daily and weekly basis, but my job can involve anything from public speaking, providing technical comment for journalists, security research and work in the lab to building proof of concepts for customers. 
  5. Do you personalise your desk?
    If by my desk you mean my laptop, then I am afraid it’s a pretty standard MacBook. Maybe the odd geek sticker here and there... smile
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    In a way, yes. Perhaps not the artistic way but certainly in a problem-solving way. 
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I always try and spend the first 15 minutes of my day in front of my laptop to learn something new. This could be through a news article, YouTube video or even a quick dip into an online training course. 
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    My work always involves my colleagues, though not always face to face. The complex nature of our business means in order to succeed, it has to be a team effort.  
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    On average it’s about 10-12 hours, but the beauty of my job is the flexibility. Being field-based means if there is some downtime, I can quickly tend to other tasks. Ultimately, we work to get the job done, if that means all night in front of the screen then needs must. 
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    I usually spend a big chunk of time on email, because it’s where most of my requests for calls, meetings or information comes from. Again, this varies week to week – I may spend a full week on a customer site to work on a technical proof of concept – but will spend the evening filtering out email responses to stay in check.  
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    I never used to use it, however since joining F5, it has opened my eyes to the power of social media in the workplace.  Twitter and LinkedIn are probably my top hits for work-related comment. 
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    I am an engineer at heart, so the fact that I still get to play with new technology everyday makes the geek in me smile. 
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts in between meetings as I find this a great way to catch up on tech news and the ever-changing world of security. Nevertheless, Spotify is never far away and I have pretty eclectic taste, from rock to techno. 
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    I live in the Cambridgeshire countryside, so if I am working from home then this is usually my time to grab the dog and go for a run. If I am in the City then it’s a great time to grab lunch with a colleague. 
  15. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
    Yes, I’m always happy to grab a pint with work colleagues.   
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Indeed, there is always something you want to get rid of – if I say what it is my boss might just hand over more so I’m keeping quiet! 
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    Trying desperately to clear my inbox. It has never happened… 
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    In the winter months, it’s usually a glass of wine and some family time. In the summer, I will take advantage of the long evenings and head out on my bike. 
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening? 
    Usually I do, though it’s not a good habit! 
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    When you are field-based as I am, home is like another office. 
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    You are never going to be able to learn everything so just pick a couple of areas and focus. Oh, and discover audiobooks earlier, they save a lot of time! 
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    Before I joined the IT industry, I was a solider in HM Forces. At times, I miss the physical aspect of the job, so would quite like to try something more active such as a fireman or coastguard. 
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    Apple MacBook 
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    A mixture of personal devices and company assets.

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