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By stretch | Friday, August 2, 2019 at 12:46 p.m. UTC
I was embarrassed to realize recently that it’s been well over two years since my last blog post. Life has a way of getting away from you, I suppose. But I’ve decided to try and reboot the blog, and hopefully get back to writing regularly. Let me kick things off my sharing what I’ve been up to recently.
After nearly five years working at DigitalOcean, I made the difficult decision to part ways with the company. In my time there, I was fortunate to work with an amazing team, and witness the truly amazing evolution of a startup company from niche player to major cloud provider. Most of all, I’m thankful to DigitalOcean for the opportunity my role provided in extending from traditional network engineering into development and automation. I’ll miss working with my DO team, but I’m excited to see where the future will take them.
Hello, Network to Code!
Just last month, I started at Network to Code, a small consulting company which specializes in network automation solutions and training. NTC was founded just a few years ago by Jason Edelman, but has quickly cemented its position as a leader in the network automation space. My new position affords me exposure to many different environments and challenges, and has reinvigorated a sense of discovery in me that I didn’t realize had been waning. I’m honored to be working among so many talented engineers at NTC, and I’m very excited for our future!
NetBox is growing out of control
Three years ago, NetBox was released as an open source project, following around 18 months of internal development at DigitalOcean. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to grow all that much: There were already plenty of established players in the IPAM/DCIM space. But I was taken aback at how quickly NetBox was being adopted. These past few years have introduced a barrage of new features and functionality, and there’s no sign of development slowing down any time soon.
My recent move from DigitalOcean to Network to Code has afforded me a better position from which to develop NetBox: Rather than being constrained to a single deployment, I now have exposure to various customer implementations, which lends a much richer context around how NetBox is being deployed in different use cases. I also have the pleasure to be working alongside a fellow NetBox maintainer and all-around brilliant guy, John Anderson.
It’s clear at this point, however, that we need more hands on deck to sustain NetBox’s current trajectory. I’d like to bring at least two more maintainers on board, but first we need to establish a semiformal schedule for meetings to take place. Look for more news on that front.
Rebooting the site
I’ve gotten to work revitalizing packetlife.net recently, so you might notice some changes. For starters, I’ve refreshed the ancient code base to bring it up to date with the release of Django and its related packages. I’d love to open source the code in the future, though I still have a good amount of cleanup left to do. (There’s been no shortage of facepalming as I review the old code, much of which was written back when I was first learning Python.)
I hope to get back to posting blog articles at a more regular cadence, with a shift in focus from general networking to network automation. I might also write on topics like professional development and personal finance occasionally. Maybe a little bit of home improvement (I've been working on finishing my basement). We’ll see how it goes.
Posted in Announcements
August 2, 2019 at 6:05 p.m. UTC
Great to see you back at blogging. I've also got to start adding new content.
I'm looking forward to your future articles
August 3, 2019 at 12:08 a.m. UTC
Welcome back! Looking forward to seeing your posts on NetBox and Network to Code!
August 3, 2019 at 1:00 a.m. UTC
Good to have you back! Congrats on your new role, I hope we will get to see more network automation related content in your blogs soon.
Thanks for spreading knowledge.
August 3, 2019 at 4:41 p.m. UTC
Good to have you back!!!
August 3, 2019 at 6:09 p.m. UTC
This is gr8 news. You articles are really helpful and easy to understand. Hope you keep writing consistently.
Please guide about how to start learning network automation for an old school network engineer.
August 6, 2019 at 5:42 a.m. UTC
You saved my packetlife so many times! Welcome back 🙂
August 6, 2019 at 1:49 p.m. UTC
Hi Stretch, long time fan here. I work for Cisco and have been an extremely longtime Linux fan and python junkie. If your ever looking for some Linux help, hit me up.
Check me out here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aarondouglasfrancis
August 6, 2019 at 9:16 p.m. UTC
Great to know you and the blog are back!
August 7, 2019 at 4:46 a.m. UTC
You were being missed... welcome back. I was regularly checking for any updates
August 12, 2019 at 1:43 p.m. UTC
Welcome back Stretch, you have been missed.
August 15, 2019 at 11:27 a.m. UTC
Great to see you resurrecting. Even though you had stopped blogging I would visit often just to check if you have written anything after that Google fiber post. Same random visit today & you are back !
I myself have found great motivation to write and experiment like you although I am just starting & your blog has always inspired me.
Good to hear that you have boarded the DevOps boat ..hoping to see some enlightening posts on this topic.
August 16, 2019 at 2:08 p.m. UTC
I've implemented Netbox two months ago, still, a lot of documentation left, but its been working great for myself and my team. Thanks and keep up the good work!
August 21, 2019 at 7:12 p.m. UTC
Great to see you back, I really enjoy your work!
September 10, 2019 at 4:21 p.m. UTC
Glad to see you're back!
Looking forward to a refresh of the Bookshelf!
September 20, 2019 at 1:09 p.m. UTC
I've only just discovered your site and I must say "Where have you been all this time?". You have a lot of really interesting, informative and valuable posts that are going to take me a while to digest. They are well written with excellent examples, clear and consice. I for one really appreciate the time it takes to prepare such a blog and thank you very much. I'm very much looking forward to your future posts.
October 9, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. UTC
Great to see you back, I've been a long time fan of your work. Excited to see what happens at NTC.
October 14, 2019 at 8:32 p.m. UTC
Glad to see this blog is back up and running. Good luck at the new gig!
October 30, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. UTC
Hey Stretch...I'm so glad you're posting again! I spent 10 years in the Air Force, started as a 2E2X1, and transferred to a 3D1X2 during a career field merger. I have used the information in your blog to build and enhance so many networks throughout my career. I have a question about employment...I transitioned out of the military, and landed a contract position with Cisco. I thought I had the dream job, but after 6 months, the funding for my position was no longer available. I have been searching for a few weeks to find something, but I can't seem to have any luck scoring an interview, or getting responses back from applications. I was wondering if you could share a little about your journey, employment wise, post military. Again, thank you for all of the information you have provided throughout your blog...I can sincerely say that I wouldn't have been able to get out of a few troubleshooting situations without your help!
December 5, 2019 at 6:46 p.m. UTC
Glad to see you're back man! Your blog has taken me through some interesting times in my career. I've checked in to your site on a regular basis over the last couple years and am very glad to see you're back! I look forward to what you have to share in the future!
February 5, 2020 at 10:43 a.m. UTC
Glad to see the blog back, one of my faves from way back! Glad things are going well for you!
April 16, 2020 at 7:08 p.m. UTC
Glad you are back I always go to this site for good sound network advice. Thanks.