Nibbles & Bits

NANOG 89: Conference Recap

by | November 17, 2023

A Few Highlights from NANOG 89

The North American Network Operators’ Group held its latest event in San Diego, CA from October 16 – 18, 2023. As with every NANOG gathering, the 89th version featured many notable names in the industry and plenty of important topics were discussed. If you were unable to attend, the summary below will catch you up on some of the key happenings, and video replays are available on YouTube if you’d like to dive deeper. 

Top-Notch Keynote Speakers

One of the consistent themes that is seen across the many NANOG events is the presence of excellent keynote speakers from some of the most prominent companies and organizations in this industry. If for no other reason, NANOG conferences are worth your attention simply for the wisdom and insight that can be picked up during the keynote addresses. 

NANOG 89 carried on this tradition proudly, with two great keynote speakers –

  • John Curran, CEO of ARIN. A familiar name to most in the networking industry, Curran spoke on the evolution of the internet and the role it plays in society as a whole. Internet coordination is often confused with governance, and this presentation drew a clear line between the two, as well as touching on other important matters. 
  • Anshul Sadana, COO of Arista Networks. This keynote was presented in a fireside chat format, along with Elizabeth Drolet, producer of NANOG. An enjoyable discussion that shed light on both personal and professional matters, this talk also focused on the many changes that are taking place and how professionals can adapt and thrive. 

Connections Formed at Women’s Mixer

It’s notoriously difficult for women to build careers in the tech industry. While the landscape certainly looks better than what it did a generation ago, there is still a long way to go – which is why every little opportunity for women to grow and make connections in this business is important. 

At NANOG 89, one such opportunity was presented in the form of the Women In Tech Mixer on Monday evening. This casual event gave the women in attendance at the NANOG 89 conference a chance to get to know one another, form valuable relationships, and share ideas. One social event won’t change everything for women in the networking industry, but the connections made at these kinds of gatherings have the potential to last for years and transform the careers of many women. 

Large group of women gathered in front of a projector, smiling for the camera at NANOG 89's Women in Tech event.

Women in Tech @ NANOG 89. Source: NANOG

Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Lunch

As with the Women’s Mixer, the Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Lunch was another event at NANOG 89 aimed at leveling the playing field and offering more opportunities to everyone with the skills and experience needed to play a role in this industry. A presentation was given by Joy Canonigo, and the discussion was focused on three key questions –

  • Where do you see opportunities to expand your network?
  • Think about a time you felt included/excluded; how did this impact your perspective and what inclusive practice will you start as a result?
  • Why is it important that we focus on DE&I, and what are the benefits?

These kinds of events are one of the primary reasons to take the step of traveling to a NANOG conference to attend for yourself. Sure, you can follow along online and watch some of the replays in the videos that are captured, but you’ll miss out on the opportunity to actively engage with others in the community if you aren’t at the event in person. 

NANOG 90 is On Deck

Given the popularity, and importance, of these NANOG events, the spotlight always shifts quickly to the next one as soon as the current gathering has concluded. In this case, the next event is going to be NANOG 90, which will be held in Charlotte, NC on February 12 – 14, 2024. Whether you plan to attend or keep an eye on the proceedings from afar, be sure to mark those dates on your calendar. 

For more conference recaps, check out the 6connect blog.

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