Regional experts gather to share experiences and trade skills
Grenada played host to the latest gathering of Caribbean techies and computer network engineers this past week, staging the fourth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG).
The weeklong event drew over 100 participants from across the region and around the world to the tiny Eastern Caribbean island nation for a series of presentations and hands-on technical workshops.
CaribNOG coordinator Bevil Wooding described the group as a “unique forum for regional network technicians and technology professionals to share experiences and build practical skills.” He explained that one of the main goals of the volunteer-based group was “to build a regional community of technical experts capable of designing, building and supporting the technology infrastructure needed to take the region into the future.”
Brent McIntosh, a senior network engineer at Columbus Communications, spoke in glowing terms about his first time experience at CaribNOG.
“This has been an excellent forum for highlighting important technical issues such as network security, Internet exchange points and IP network design. The sessions have been extremely relevant to the issues we face on a daily basis as network managers and computer specialists. I was also glad to see that most of the experts are drawn from right here in the Caribbean.”
Clair Craig, a doctoral researcher and an IT services manager at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus was also quick to praise the presenters. Craig said, “The high quality of the technical content presented was a major highlight of this CaribNOG meeting. But what struck me even more was the willingness of the presenters to share their knowledge and experiences. Every network engineer in the Caribbean should be part of this CaribNOG experience.”
CaribNOG program lead, Jamaican-born Stephen Lee, indicated that CaribNOG “participants typically include engineering and network administration personnel from ISPs, Universities, private sector and government.” Lee, CEO of the network services firm, ArkiTechs Inc., added, “Participating researchers also present summaries of their work for feedback from the technical community.”
CaribNOG events are also being supported by a number of international Internet development organisations, including the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC) and US-based Packet Clearing House (PCH).
The next CaribNOG meeting is scheduled for Barbados from the April 24 to 26, 2013.