Staying ahead in the world of global networking means continuous learning and creating connections. This February, NetActuate infrastructure engineer Nathan Wilson joined the larger networking community at NANOG 90 (North America Network Operators Group) in Charlotte to learn, compete, and grow NetActuate’s network.

Day One: Hackathon and Peering Forum

Nathan enjoyed a combination of fun, learning, and networking opportunities. From diving into the nuts and bolts of Arista EOS, ContainerLab, and VXLAN to meeting with industry vendors at the LINX Superbowl party, the day was certainly busy!

Among the highlights were deep dives into traffic engineering, discussions with DE-CIX regarding IX expansion prospects, and the running the NetActuate table at the peering forum, securing a new peer in the process.

Before the official start of NANOG, Nathan participated in a hackathon event hosted by NANOG, tackling troubleshooting scenarios. Nathan got a fourth-place finish by solving tough challenges, such as resolving BGP routing glitches, mastering VXLAN setups, and avoiding hypothetical Big Game Day streaming crises.

The day concluded with a Superbowl party courtesy of LINX, where Nathan enjoyed connecting with in-person, human peers.

Day Two: Keynotes and Technical Learning

Day two began with a NANOG Newcomers Orientation, highlighting the organization’s rich history and its role in shaping the networking landscape.

From keynote addresses by luminaries like Rob Shakir from Google, talking about the evolution of OpenConfig, to Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC, discussing the shifting tides of BGP, every session he attended was filled with rich content and opportunities to learn.

The day ended with a tutorial on traffic engineering by Nokia. Nathan appreciated the chance to get a greater understanding of critical network concepts and the importance of proactive network management strategies.

Reflecting on the Experience

Overall, Nathan, Kate, and Data Center Dog had a great experience at NANOG. The organizers continually put on insightful, useful programming for the network community, and we can’t wait to attend the next one.