IETF 116 was yet another eventful meeting. This was the first meeting of the year 2023 held from 25th March to 31st March. This meeting had a total of 993 onsite participants and 583 online participants. It was indeed a great opportunity to socialize for those craving the in-person IETF experience lately. The IETF proceedings are available on the website and it can be seen that it was a very fruitful meeting. The next IETF meeting is in San Francisco and is scheduled from the 22nd to the 28th of July. Registration for IETF 117 is open and although the early bird registrations have ended, a fee waiver is still available for remote participants.
Some of our IIESoc folks had a chance to attend IETF 116 in person. Let’s see what they have to say about this IETF.
Dhruv Dhody, who recently became an IAB member had a unique experience even though they have attended numerous IETF meetings so far. They say that ”This was my first IETF as an IAB member, who is also on the IESG (as a liaison from IAB) and suddenly the number of meetings that I need to attend during the week increased exponentially. It has been extremely interesting (and humbling) to learn about other areas of IETF that I had not paid attention to before. “. We asked Dhruv their opinion on the areas he would like to suggest to a newcomer and Dhruv thinks that “Matching the existing interests and expertise of the new participant to the IETF work is a better approach but in case someone is actively looking, I point them to the new BoFs, WGs, and RGs, as it is much easier to contribute to new work compared to groups with a long complicated history. There are some very interesting BoFs and new WGs/RGs in this IETF. The side activities colocated with IETF such as Hackathons, HotRFC, and side meetings could also be a great way to build ideas and teams that can bring work into the IETF. ”
We asked Dhruv to further tell us about the sessions they found most interesting and to throw some light on what’s changing at IETF considering that they are a long-time participant. Dhruv adds that “The first WG meeting of CATS was interesting. This work started off as a CAN BoF and the WG has started to nail down the problem statement, use cases and gap analysis. Compute metric modeling and its distribution is an interesting problem that has a potential to have an impact on our networks in the realm of edge computing. BPF BoF was very interesting. It was great to see new folks from the OS community come to IETF and use our process to standardize. The IETF needs to be open to new work that is important to our industry. It was also great to see many BPF related hackathon projects. The openness of the IETF, welcoming of new participants is a good change to see at the IETF.”
We had an interesting discussion with Nalini Elkins about this IETF and she thinks that one can attend remotely and still get a great deal of benefit, especially if you know the people. Having said that, she thinks that much of the benefit of IETF is the face-to-face interaction especially in “hallway” conversations which carry on the discussions at the working groups. Further, she added that It is good to go to the BoFs as that is new work. Smaller working groups such as IPPM are easier for newcomers to get into. Nalini found the BoFs (eBPF, Structured email and vcon) most interesting.
Nalini feels that these days people are more respectful and less confrontational than before. This should be a motivation to get started with your IETF journey if you found it to be a little intimidating before. I certainly feel relieved to hear this and would be more open to walking into an IETF meeting now.
One of our recent board members, Priyanka Sinha attended IETF for the first time and had a much expected overwhelming experience. Priyanka says,
“It was my very first IETF meeting in person. Thanks so much for the IRTF diversity travel grant and the support of IIESoc and INTC. I participated in a lot of sessions and the hackathon and had several hallway conversations over things both new and decades old.
As a first-time IETF attendee, I knew beforehand that I would participate in RASP RG and Hackathon and v6ops that matched my interest and expertise. At the IETF, meeting people, and having conversations, I found many more sessions relevant to attend and participate in. For example, it was nice to know that AI/ML was gaining traction in networking deployment. Also, sustainability, inclusion and human rights are very much a focus. I found the Hackathon and IRTF open a session not to miss. The VCON BoF, RASP RG meeting and side meeting, IAB open, DNS BoF, v6ops, 6lo I found very interesting, especially as a first-time attendee.”
It is definitely awe-inspiring to see how even long-time attendees learn something new with every IETF. It is never too late to get involved and start contributing. Remote participation with fee waivers is always a good option if you cannot make it in person or are running low on funds. We have people attending IETF regularly so feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for a way in or are just curious about what the in-person IETF experience is like.
The next IETF meeting is in San Francisco from July 22 to July 28. Registration and fee waiver are open now so hurry up and register for IETF 117 now.
Hope to see you in coming IETF meetings, till then stay tuned for more updates.