If you haven’t heard, the networking community is awesome. I’ve made some great friends, developed strong new relationships, and I’ve had the incredible luxury to bounce ideas off some seriously talented people. However, whether it’s through various Slack groups, Google hangouts, or private email chains, it’s all been relatively private. Not much makes its way onto Twitter, and not as much as I’d like makes it into blog posts.
Recently I had a conversation with my friend, Jordan Martin, about how we’d love to see these technical conversations brought into the public square. This is something we’ve both been thinking about lately, so the timing was right to start something new.
It started a few weeks ago as I was following a group chat when one of these great discussions unfolded before my very eyes like some bit of high theater. These were some of the best engineers I know, and they spoke their lines with wit and technical eloquence.
As I followed the group chat, I felt like I was sitting in a networking bootcamp, and I made the comment that I wished others could experience it as well. Jordan mentioned he wanted to start a project to bring these discussions to the public square, so this was music to my ears.
A few minutes later Eyvonne Sharp added her voice to the growing triumvirate of nerdness. She had some deep technical topics she wanted to explore as well as some serious thoughts on the networking profession as a whole.
Within five minutes of Jordan mentioning he wanted to start something new, we were putting the pieces together. Later that day, we had Network Collective.
Since we were already on the same page, the idea developed quickly. We wanted something organic and community-driven. I don’t mean organic in the sense that we wanted to wing it every time we hit the record button, but in the sense that we wanted to have engineers discuss technical topics without a net. Jordan suggested we go with a video-first format, and the roundtable idea was floated to maximize community involvement.
We believe a video roundtable format will, by virtue of having a group of participants, facilitate a dynamic discussion and the opportunity for ideas to be explored with a variety of perspectives.
If you haven’t seen the introductory video Jordan published a few days ago, please view it here. Our goal is to get all levels of network engineers working in the trenches to come together and share war stories, discuss design ideas, and debate technical solutions.
We’re not really interested in discussing new vendor products or industry news because there are already some amazing podcasts that do a fantastic job with that. Instead, we want to focus on small group technical discussions.
I’m excited. It’s a group of five or six people which means the conversation is less predictable. It’s video which means everyone will see me fumbling with my notes as I pretend I know what I’m talking about. It’s live which means there’s no safety net.
Who knows what’s coming down the road. For now, though, we’re full speed ahead with bringing to the public forum a community-driven, video roundtable podcast with a technical focus by engineers and for engineers.
Please visit thenetworkcollective.com if you’re interested in participating, and please check out our first live stream on Tuesday, April 11 at 7pm EDT. We’re going to try to publish something every couple weeks or so starting with next Tuesday when we’ll be discussing our best networking blunders and the lessons we learned from them.