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Anybody can participate in the IETF (Was: Why is IPv6 broken?)

On 07/10/2011 12:45 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:
> While this is true, there are a couple of factors that make it more difficult
> than it would appear on the surface.
> Number one: Participating effectively in IETF is a rather time-consuming
> process. While a lot of engineers and developers may have IETF effort
> as a primary part of their job function and/or get their employer to let
> them spend time on it, operators are often too busy keeping what they
> already have running and it can be _VERY_ difficult to get management
> to support the idea of investing time in things like IETF which are not
> seen by management as having direct operational impact. NANOG
> is about the limit of their vision on such things and even that is not
> well supported in a lot of organizations.
Vendors make up the vast bulk of attendance at ietf. And vendors are
there for one reason: to make stuff that you'll be paying  for.  So you
pay for it at ietf time, or you pay for it at deployment time. Either way,
you'll be paying.

> Number two: While anyone can participate, approaching IETF as an
> operator requires a rather thick skin, or, at least it did the last couple
> of times I attempted to participate. I've watched a few times where
> operators were shouted down by purists and religion over basic
> real-world operational concerns. It seems to be a relatively routine
> practice and does not lead to operators wanting to come back to
> an environment where they feel unwelcome.

If you're trying to imply that operators get singled out, that's
not been my experience. You definitely need to have a thick skin
given egos and there's definitely a large pool of professional
ietf finger waggers, but their holier than thou attitude is spread
to all in their path, from what I've seen. I won't speak for every
working group, but the ones i've been involved with have been
pretty receptive to operator input.