Dameon Welch-Abernathy

CheckMates Member of the Month for May 2018: Aleksei Shelepov

Blog Post created by Dameon Welch-Abernathy Moderator on May 22, 2018

It's that time of the month, where we recognize great contributors to the CheckMates community. 

Put your virtual hands together for Member of the Month: Aleksei Shelepov!

While not an originator of many posts, he did generate some excellent discussion around In which cases would you use VSX? and has provided help to many CheckMates members on numerous threads!



Aleksei, tell us a little about yourself & what you do?

I am from Russia. During my last year at university, I started to work in systems integrator company (kudos to people in ICL), where I learned all the basics of networking and security. This was my first proper job, so I learned quite a lot about pros and cons of having a demanding but very interesting job. I had a lot of business trips all over Russia – for example, I spent almost a month in total somewhere in northern Siberia near a pipeline.

Then I decided I would like to work in an international company with foreign customers, because I like the idea of multi-cultural communications. So, now I work in Poland in Atos, which is a big international corporation. Here I try to actively push the idea of using Check Point products more for our purposes and try to help engineers to get more familiar with it and learn best practices. I participate in projects for EU customers and sometimes help firewall support teams.

Previously I worked with hardware directly – opening boxes with new appliances, mounting them into racks, installing clean image, neat cabling, raising a clean firewall to a production device, fix unexpected issues with own wit (and a bit of duct tape). This is what I miss sometimes now – everything is in datacenters far away.


Tell us a little about your experience with Check Point

In the beginning of my work path, I migrated and implemented quite a lot of appliances with Splat R75.30, but the special thing to Russia was the GOST encryption algorithm. It added some funny and painful hours of work to standard procedures. The oldest software version that I saw at that time was R65. Finding and changing the right text file was the main way in Splat to do some advanced configurations. Larger enterprise on my current job helped me to finally meet with R55, IP appliances and IPSO, and some other older things that I missed previously.

I feel comfortable working with Check Point products, it feels like a cozy couch. Most of my work knowledge relates to Check Point, I like new features and ideas that are implemented in new versions, I like how Check Point relies on partners and community. I intend to keep working with it further and more in-depth.


Do you have a unique deployment of a Check Point product?

I've seen some mind-boggling deployments that my colleagues were involved in. In my case everything is much simpler, just some big distributed deployments.


What do you use the CheckMates platform for?

CheckMates for me is like a useful hobby. Although it is a thing that is related to work, I participate in the community mostly out of interest and curiosity. It helps me to switch my mind a bit from my usual workflow. It feels good when I can provide advice. Sharing knowledge is great for everyone - information is the main resource nowadays.


What do you like to do for fun?

In most cases, I'm a homebody. I like to spend time at home with my wife, Maria, watching TV series and movies. I like to read random articles on different topics to learn more about the world. One of my interests and source of pleasant experiences in the last few years is traveling, but for now I'm just starting to understand how it all works.


If you could create any new technology right now, what would it be?

Teleportation sounds like a cool candidate for that, it would save a lot of time. But testing and fixing bugs would be a pretty risky task.


Anything else you'd like to let other CheckMates members know about?

Not all Russians are hackers.