After a few months at Merit Network, I have considerably broadened my view of all the possible careers a Computer Science graduate has available. These include research, software engineering, enterprise security, systems development and many other areas. One particular career that I knew very little about before this internship was that of a Network Operator. As an internet service provider, Network Operators are integral members of Merit Network staff. Without this specific ‘flavor’ of Computer Scientist, neither Merit, nor the internet as a whole could function smoothly and, usually, with out any hiccups or outages. Network operators often work for large, infrastructural corporations that manage the ‘plumbing’ of the internet; companies like Cisco, Cloudflare, Comcast, AT&T and many others. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work with a few of the operators at Merit on a project to evaluate and determine the accuracy of several important internet routing databases. I was even invited to participate in the NANOG (North American Network Operator’s Group) College Immersion Program this coming February. The program takes undergraduate students and immerses them in a week-long conference dedicated to internet engineering and other hot-topics related to network science. The invitation as well as working on the most recent project at Merit Network has made me seriously consider whether or not a career as a Network Operator would be the right choice for me. Thankfully I still have a while to think on it, but it is an option that I never would have considered before this internship.
- Week 3 – Halfway There
- My Internship “Graduation” #6