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First Day

D. Ben Knoble on 18 Jun 2018 in Blog

Today was my first day with Nuage Networks, a software-defined networking company from Nokia. Here are some insights.

But first, a note about me, this summer, and what “til” stands for. If you want to skip the personal stuff, skip to Today I Learned.

What is going on?

Back in May, I applied, interviewed, and wrote some code for a DevOps/Infrastructure internship in Raleigh with Nuage Networks. I have since accepted their offer, moved in, and started work. Today was the beginning of my adventures with them.

So, that explains infra, intern, and work. As for til, I’ve decided to do a daily reflection on what I learned. Expect a post each evening about my challenges and successes, as well as a “Friday Feature” discussing internships in general.

Why this internship?

Simply put, Nuage was looking for someone with strong CLI/bash/python skills, they weren’t picky about school year the way so many other programs are, and it presented an excellent opportunity to learn more about networking technologies.

Since I first got into it, I’ve enjoyed every (frustrating) experience with the command line, and would love to learn more about networks in general, system administration, and of course the cloud and other computation technology. I have spun up Docker instances before, but that’s about it.

So for the first time, I will have direct access to learn about some of the core players in today’s highly-networked world.

Today I Learned

  1. First days can mean a lot of on-boarding tasks
  2. But they don’t have to
  3. Meetings are tough, but necessary
  4. Double and triple check call-times
  5. Ixia writes mind-numbing documentation

I (and the rest of the Infra team) was expecting to spend time getting my work laptop running, logging into email/time-reporting systems/Slack, and just generally getting up to speed with my workstation, the office, and that kind of thing.

Instead, I did everything I could without the work laptop or a dedicated office space: meeting my coworkers; touring the office space; attending meetings (cf. 3); tried and failed to do a virtual orientation (cf. 4); and learning hard.

Meetings: Tough, because they involve people I don’t know very well or whom I find difficult to understand (especially when the common vocabulary is all networking acronyms). Necessary, because they provide useful team information (Agile sprint planning), education (just what the heck is this current infra configuration project?), and background (“This is Ben. Ben, this is so-and-so.”).

I missed my orientation call this morning because it was bumped up (and I wasn’t notified). I missed the makeup this afternoon because I read 3:30 when it said 3:00. The second is completely my own fault.

Finally, one of our current builds includes an Ixia something-or-other. I spent the better part of the day reading technical documentation figuring out its pieces (both hardware and software) and what their configuration options were. I still don’t understand quite what is expected of our installation of it, beyond knowing that it is a traffic generator. However, it is the week-long project for me and the other intern.


1 day down, 8 weeks left!


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