For me participating in IETF 97 was something similar to participate in a rock fest with all the rock starts from 60-s to nowadays being there and with an unrestricted access to the backstage :) where you can talk to each of those great persons and they are happy to help you in making own band. We even named them IETF RockStars on one of ISOC meetings :)
IETF meeting was place where I had an opportunity to meet people who have developed internet for the past 30 years, people who fathered technologies and solutions that we use in our daily life and without them it would be very complicated to imagine our lives.
IETF meeting is one of the very few places where you can just meet people sitting in an informal environment and discussing some very technical aspects of technologies that will become fundamental parts of internet in couple years. I had an opportunity to see and participate in a couple of such tech talks that was just amazing experience. Knowing that things you discuss in a working group meetings later can be found in one of RFCs gives a great feeling and a new wave of enthusiasm for participating in the IETF work.
Also this meeting gave me an opportunity to meet representatives from other TLDs (there were multiple gTLD, ccTLD and IDN ccTLD representatives) with whom we had very interesting talks about running TLD and sharing experience. Especially interesting for me was meeting other IDN ccTLD representatives whose zones were launched long before ours. As running a ccTLD and IDN is not only technical work and includes location of specific cultural or administrative elements, make each ccTLD deployment unique, it is very interesting to learn from other IDNs’ experience and we will use that in our further plans for .გე zone.
Yet the only concern that I have about IETF is that we take only very few things from IETF and community and our involvement in IETF’s work is quite limited. But I guess in time our involvement will grow. Even with the IETF terms any participant in IETF meetings who has participated in less than 5 events still is a newcomer. But the current IETF work implies 2 RFCs that are directly connected to ccTLD/DNS and our work, and we will be involved in this RFC writing process (both RFCs are at an early development stage)
Now briefly about the follow up on this meeting. At IETF talks, I have met some RIPE representatives, and with them I plan to deploy a DNS Root Server in Georgia in next couple of weeks. Also, I will start communication with other root server hosts to discuss potential deployment of more root servers in Georgia.
I have also met some engineers running Internet Exchange points all over the globe, and we discussed IX deployment strategies. I heard a lot about their experience in running IX. I got contact of person in ISOC whose field is IX and access to some tools, best practices and deployment strategies from ISOC.
And last but maybe the most important outcome of this IETF meeting is an opportunity to hold a series of meetings here in Georgia with graduate and undergraduate students organized by one of Georgian Universities with which I had some project before. And the first meeting in this series will be dedicated to IETF and in general how Internet is managed and developed.
In conclusion, the IETF meeting gave me a huge wave of enthusiasm and the will to participate in further IETF work and become part of a great community.