Q&A with NANOG 65 & ARIN 36 Postel Fellows

By Jennifer Bly - Public Affairs Specialist, ARIN

Every year, the Postel Scholarship Program provides funding for network operators from developing nations to attend back-to-back NANOG and ARIN meetings. The scholarship honors the life and work of Jon Postel, a significant contributor to the development of Internet standards and protocols. This year’s winners were Omar Eissa from Egypt and Razan Abdalla from Sudan and they were both kind enough to answer some questions about their time at the recent NANOG 65 and ARIN 36 meetings.

Omar Eissa from Egypt

Briefly introduce yourself

My name is Omar Eissa. I am a master student at RWTH, Aachen, Germany. I am specialised in field of Networks security. Before that, I have been working as an IP Problem Expert at Orange Business Services, Egypt. I have worked on improving security features of covert channel protocols and I have some professional certificates in field networks’ routing.

What have you liked about the NANOG and ARIN meetings?

People at NANOG and ARIN were too friendly. Everyone shared their experience; I met different people from different backgrounds. I met people from 4 different continents. There were entrepreneurs, who introduced new companies into the market and became pioneers in their field. I saw young people who introduced new tools to be used by the community to improve the networks’ future. They were community, like family where everyone is meeting, having fun, sharing personal experience, talking about technical stuff and discussing their vision for an improved, better version of computer networks. I liked how lots of these people were modest, shared knowledge and happily helped you if they could. I had the chance to affect the future of the Internet by hearing about new policies, discussing them with their creators, and seeing how others refuted them. I had also the chance to vote on them.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

That there is a big community where I belong and this community is welcoming, sharing knowledge, refuting and helping improve any new idea for the sake of a better future. The most valuable thing for me is the experience of meeting all of those people and enlarging my network on both social and technical levels.

How will you use what you’ve learned back home?

NANOG and ARIN just inspire. I will work on developing and improving some ideas provided in the meetings to improve my community and maybe one day, I can give a presentation at NANOG or discuss one of the policies at ARIN.

Would you recommend others to come to the NANOG and ARIN meetings? And why?

Yes, I do recommend attending the meetings to have a broader view about field of networks, how different entities work, their latest achievements and to get real life experiences of people working at such entities.

 

Razan Abdalla from Sudan

Briefly introduce yourself

My name is Razan Abdalla. I am from Sudan. I graduated from University of Khartoum with a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences. I have completed my masters in networks and computer architecture. I was fascinated about networks during a course on the semi final year. I believe this area is well worth delving into.

What have you liked about the NANOG and ARIN meetings?

My impressions about NANOG 65 and ARIN 36 meetings are that the atmosphere is lively and dynamic. I met great people. They were friendly and open and supportive. The general session topics were powerful and brilliantly delivered. I fully enjoyed the one week event.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

The most valuable thing firstly was meeting people who are corporate leaders in the network industry and learning from experts and building up relationships with peers. Secondly amongst all those men, there were a few women paving their way through the industry. Seeing successful women was very inspiring. They encouraged me to pursue and continue in the same field.

How will you use what you’ve learned back home?

NANOG and ARIN have opened my eyes to new insights, and I am looking forward to participate in our local events in Sudan (SdNog). I would recommend NANOG meetings as a shiny opportunity that all the networking society should seize to get exposure and to meet with experts sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Would you recommend others to come to the NANOG and ARIN meetings? And why?

Absolutely, I recommend others to attend NANOG and ARIN. It’s a rewarding experience worth a try and extremely valuable.

 

Congrats to Omar and Razan! If you are interested in applying for the next Postel Scholarship more information is available on NANOG’s website. Engineers (Network Builders), Operational and Infrastructure Support Personnel, along with Educators and Trainers are all invited to apply. By early summer 2016, the application process will open again for the fall NANOG and ARIN meetings in Dallas, Texas scheduled for October 2016.

 

POST WRITTEN BY:

Jennifer Bly

Public Affairs Specialist, ARIN