Back Again at ITS | #2

May 25th, 2018

So far, my experiences with this internship program have been excellent, and comparable to that of last year.

The department projects I have been working on are quite different than that of last years’, which has given me the opportunity to work with new technologies and develop new skills. Firstly, I have been learning Ansible, which is a open source software that automates software provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment. Along with Ansible, I’ve also been learning how to use Docker, as well as LXC (Linux Containers). These are both containerization platforms, which is a technology similar to virtualization.

Since I’m still working on the perfSONAR project team like last year, I’ve been working on writing Ansible scripts to automate the installation and deployment of a perfSONAR equipped Docker container. The use case for this is if a researcher wanted to test a network with perfSONAR, but did not have knowledge of the install process or not want to deal with it, he would be able to use the Ansible script to have a fresh instance up and running in Docker, at the mere press of a button. These technologies have been interesting to learn, and I think I will be doing more with them in the future.

For the rest of the internship program, we have pitched our cohort project ideas, and those will be chosen soon. The group I have joined is one focused on user data privacy, particularly involving university students. We plan to design a dashboard prototype, in which students would be able to control the flow of their data at the university, choosing what is collected, and being able to opt out of some data collection practices. It’s something I’m quite passionate about, so I look forward to working on this project.

Lastly, something I failed to mention in the first blog entry is that I have been paired up with a mentor, just like I did last year. His name is Kunal Bansal, a database developer from India. We’ve gone out for lunch a few times, and he’s helped to establish a few goals over the summer which I’ll strive to reach. The largest of those is to increase confidence in public speaking, so I’ll be working on that wherever possible.

2 thoughts on “Back Again at ITS | #2

  • August 24, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Ryan, I’m so glad to hear that your experience has been great! It’s definitely valuable to get to work on different things than last year so that you can really expand your skills. It sounds like you have really enjoyed learning about Ansible and Docker and hope to do more work with them in the future–that’s so valuable to know! You can use this experience and interest to pursue similar work in the future.

    Your idea about a dashboard for student data privacy is really cool! I work in IT at the university, so I know how important this is. Best of luck and I hope your project is chosen!

    Having a mentor to guide you through your experience this summer and help you set and achieve your goals is so valuable to having a good experience. I can tell that you two are already developing a good rapport and working together. It sounds like public speaking is a big focus of yours this summer–what opportunities have you identified to work on this skill?


  • September 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Yep, Ansible and Docker have been quite interesting to learn about, and I can even see some potential applications for them in my personal life.

    I’m glad you think so! Privacy is something I consider to be quite important, and it seems that a lot of students my age tend to easily give it up for the sake of convenience. Through this project, I hope to be able to help change that to some degree.

    To work on this skill, the learner’s series was quite helpful (which you’ve heard about by now), as well as some other small presentations throughout the summer.


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