My Journey

nwkautomaniac – Est. 2011

My journey into network automation started in 2011 when I was working at Juniper Network in the Junos Core software engineering team.  I had a hybrid role of open-source software developer and solution architect with the purpose of working with Sales team to win business in highly competitive and complex sales opportunities leveraging Junos automation technologies.  You may know me best as the originator of PyEz.

My “Ah Ha!” moment came in 2012 when I was asked to make Puppet run on a Junos switch, and my response was “What is Puppet?”.  I shortly realized the potential impact of Infrastructure as Code and similar DevOps concepts on the networking industry.  I set my sights on working exclusively in this field and have never looked back.  From my 2013 post Bridging the Two Worlds: IT and Networking:

We all know that managing networks is complex, hard, costly, and requires highly trained engineers. This post is going to talk about managing networks in a whole new way. The concepts in it will change your life. They changed mine.

What follows are highlights from my journey going back through time.  I look forward to sharing new entries as I continue on my journey …


In April of 2019 I joined Major League Baseball as member of the Network Engineering team.  This was my first job at a “customer” after spending 20 years at network vendors.  I wrote a blog “Why Hire a Software Engineer in the Networking Team?” after about 6 months reflecting on how companies can benefit from embedding someone like me in a traditional network engineering team.

NANOG77 – 2019-Oct: I presented a two hour tutorial on “Is the Network Ready for Use?” showcasing the use of pytest, a Python testing framework.  This is the system that I used to validate a new network we were building for our MLB NYC flagship office.  The slides are on SlideShare, and the video on YouTube.  I also created a Github repo with a full working demonstration.

NFD21 – 2010-Oct: I was a Network Field Day delegate for the first time!  I had a blast meeting the other delegates and participating in the event.  I was most active in the NetworkToCode and Forward Networks presentations.  I wrote only one blog about NetworkToCode, on Medium.  I had planned to write a few more.  You can see me ask some questions of NetworkToCode in videos found here.  I had a lot of questions for the Forward Networks team, which you can find on the videos here.

CiscoLive US – 2019-June:  My first time attending a Cisco Live event!  The DevNet area was unbelievable.  I was a panelist on the topic of “Becoming a NetDevOps Engineer – A Discussion with the Community“.  You can find the video on YouTube.

InterOp19 – 2019-May:  I presented on how we are using a Slack ChatOps system to create a self-service portal. The video is on YouTube.  Since this time I’ve continued to enhance the ChatOps system at MLB, and it is a huge part of our network automation portfolio.  Since then I’ve created an open-source project that is effectively a Slack/Python chatops framework, on