An essential part of NANOG conferences, hackathons are not only fun and engaging, they serve as a platform to build community and foster greater networking knowledge. NANOG Hackathons are also educational at their core, and directly support the most critical aspects of our mission. Held the Sunday before each of our tri-annual meetings, past hackathon themes have included BGP Security, Traffic Engineering, Streaming Telemetry, and Active Monitoring.
We recently spoke to one of the members of the NANOG 76 winning team, Vibhum Chandorkar — a student at the University of Colorado Boulder, who's studying Telecommunication Engineering with specialization in Network Engineering — about the skills and expertise his team brought to the project, and what he learned throughout the process that he couldn't have at school alone.
How did you learn about the NANOG 76 Hackathon?
I came across the NANOG 76 Hackathon via seniors in my program, who had participated in the Hackthon at previous NANOG conferences, and through our professors who encouraged us to participate as well.
Tell us about your team's winning project:
The project was 'Active Monitoring,' where we had to send probe packets through the different paths of the given network infrastructure, from point A to point B. If faults were detected in any of the paths, necessary actions had to be taken. To successfully complete the hack, we made use of tools such as NetworkX, ExaBGP, Scapy, FreshDesk, and Python.
Who were your teammates, and what particular skills and expertise did they bring to your group that helped make your project such a successful hack?
My teammates were Animesh Gupta, Apurva Bhiwapurkar, Ameya Korgaonkar, and Jose Dahlson Irenish Kumar. The whole hack had many topics integrated along with a time constraint. Since all of us are doing network automation in our coursework, we divided the tasks according to each team member's comfort zone, and divided the tools required for the hack according to each person's strengths, and then integrated them at the end. For example, one of our team members was good at creating a presentation, while another was good at presenting it to a group. The whole hack was a success as a result of this teamwork, and time management.
What was the best part of your NANOG 76 Hackathon experience?
Getting exposure to different programming tools, and implementing them in a network monitoring environment. This hackathon also provided a good opportunity to express the ideas for the hack in front of industry professionals.
What did you learned as a result of participating in the NANOG Hackathon, that you might not have learned in school?
Being a university student, my projects are divided into different topics and implemented in a small-scale environment. The NANOG hackathon provided a good platform to integrate multiple aspects of network automation, and implement that in a scalable environment. Along with learning a variety of new things from my own team members, I also learned a lot from the other groups and the professionals who conducted the hackathon.
Are you planning to participate in another NANOG Hackathon?
I do plan to attend another NANOG conference and participate in the Hackathon in the future — it's a great platform to learn and interact with industry-leading expertise.
Miss the hack in DC? Watch the recap given by Vibhum and the NANOG 76 winning team on the TeamNANOG YouTube channel.