SDN Throwdown: Juniper and Comcast to Host University Competition
Feb 22, 2016
In 2016, the challenge to land top university talent is tougher than ever. Companies from coast to coast need to get creative in order to attract potential employees early on.
On February 22-29, Juniper Networks® OpenLab and Comcast will host a SDN Throwdown to find the next generation of networking talent. During the program, students will learn about software-defined network technology through a “hackathon-like” SDN workshop and software competition. What better way to complement a computer science education than by working on (and presenting) real-world challenges?
This is OpenLab’s sixth hackathon and our third with Comcast over the last few years. And this is the biggest program yet – this year 10 student teams from eight universities are participating in the event, including two schools and student teams from the Netherlands sponsored by Juniper partner Infradata. The program from Juniper and Comcast has grown tremendously – overall we have engaged with 15 universities and a total of close to 90 students to date.
The hackathon approach is a recipe for innovation and creativity, helping Juniper and Comcast approach and solve some of the most complex challenges in networking. But it doesn’t stop there – we want to change the way that the programmers and engineers of tomorrow learn. By working together with respected universities in the U.S. and abroad, we’re arming the next generation with the skills they need and supplementing the knowledge that they acquire in the classroom.
The industry’s shift to SDN requires a unique set of programming and networking skills. Competing students will use Juniper’s SDN WAN Controller, NorthStar, to develop applications for network optimization. They will learn about SDN by doing, gaining valuable insights into the market opportunity and how SDN impacts network architecture, services and operations.
The effort to bridge our employee needs with top education programs is a win-win for Juniper, Comcast and the students. Our recruiting teams will join the students while they’re on-site at OpenLab, both assessing top university talent and building tighter relationships with these schools. A panel of judges from Juniper, Comcast and third parties will select the winning team on February 29.
We hope that when these network engineers, architects and visionaries graduate, they’ll already have hands-on experience solving today’s network challenges. Further, they’ll enter the community with ideas on how to solve these challenges – something that benefits us all.