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  • By Vinayak Hegde

ISOC Fellowship to the IETF - Past Fellows Speak

Internet Society runs several initiatives to increase participation of under-represented communities in the IETF. One of the initiatives is the ISOC fellowship to the IETF. Several people from the Indian IETF community have benefited from the ISOC fellowships. The ISOC fellowship is a competitive process where several hundred people apply for a chance to attend an IETF meeting (held thrice a year across different continents). The ISOC fellowship pays for the travel, accommodation and IETF meeting registration fees along with a small stipend to cover incidental expenses. Several Indian contributors have contributed several drafts and RFCs across different areas an participated in IETF meetings thanks to this fellowship. The fellowship selects currently 6 first-time fellows and 6 returning fellows (from the fellowship alumni). Applications are now open to the next IETF meeting in Prague in July 2017. Apply here.

Vinayak Hegde is an independent consultant having previously worked for Akamai and Inmobi. His area of expertise is application protocols (HTTP,DNS) and network perfomance and measurement. This is what he had to say about the IETF fellowship.

"Thanks to the ISOC fellowship, I was able to meet people like Vint Cerf (who wrote the initial version of the TCP/IP stack) and Radia Perlman (who wrote some of the bridging protocols). It was quite inspirational for me. I have written and presented several drafts (hopefully a couple of them will be RFCs) in the network measurement space. I have also presented a Sunday tutorial at the IETF on performance measurement. Thanks to the mentoring of my IETF mentor, I also became part of the PMOL directorate that reviews drafts for performance considerations. I am also helping with the mentoring of new participants to the IETF and that is my way of giving back to the community."

Abhijan Bhattarcharyya works with TCS in Kolkata and has been an active participant at IETF meetings for past several years. His area of expertise is Internet of Things (IoT). This is what he had to say

"Attending IETF and submitting a draft was an overwhelming experience. My journey was a kind of lone journey as I lacked any circle of community of experts in IETF. I was a starter. Soon after submitting the draft I realised how important it is to attend the physical meetings to pursue the progress of the draft by presenting it and by speaking to people in the WG. Thanks to ISOC fellowships that I could manage my travel to physical IETF meetings at crucial times. Finally I could get my RFC out - the maiden RFC for my organisation." Abhijan is the author of RFC 7967.

Harish Chowdhary from NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India) has expertise in DNS and Email internationalisation. Harish's experience in his own words-

"I have received the prestigious ISOC Fellowship award to attend the IETF 97, Seoul, South Korea as First Time fellow.The whole experience is really useful for me as it has given me a great opportunity to contribute to IETF activities directly in the form of my two sessions, namely - DNSBUNDLED BoF and Deployment Issues of Internationalized E-mails – Bar BoF."

Mohit Batra from NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India) has expertise in DNS and Email internationalisation. Mohit's experience in his own words-

"IETF-95 at Buenos Aires in April 2016 was a meeting of many firsts for me - first IETF meeting, first ISOC fellowship, and first visit to the Americas. I had also attended ICANN meetings earlier twice, and I felt at home during my first IETF meeting because of having a technical background. Having said that, however it can't be stressed enough that Internet policy and technology go hand-in-hand, and fully complement each other. Each of Internet organizations (ICANN, IETF/ISOC, IGF, RIR's, xNOG's etc.) have their place in the Internet ecosystem, and respective roles to play. Now having attended ICANN and IETF meetings multiple times, I can understand and co-relate the policy and technology issues and discussions around them in realtime. Thanks to ISOC, I have received ISOC "returning" fellowship to participate at IETF-98 @ Chicago in March 2017, and it is just the push I wanted to take forward my "Internet Research Labs" draft with IETF leadership and Internet community at large, by being physically present at the IETF-98 meeting. ISOC fellowship has really proved to be a boon for me. The link for "Internet Research Labs" draft is: here. Overall IETF fellowship was an experience of a lifetime, and truly worth it !!"

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