Saturday, December 13, 2014

OpenDaylight Intern Spotlight: Evan Zeller [feedly]

OpenDaylight Intern Spotlight: Evan Zeller
// OpenDaylight blogs

OpenDaylight accepted seven student interns for the summer of 2014 to work in the community and receive hands-on development experience in SDN. Each intern worked closely with an active OpenDaylight developer as their mentor on a project that suited interest and community need.

This blog series aims to showcase the interns chosen and the projects they actively worked on, the mentors who aided in their professional development and the overall experience of working in an open source community to create a common platform for SDN and NFV.

About Evan Zeller
I'm a senior in Computer Science (graduating this month!) at the University of Kentucky. I love the community that I've stumbled across in OpenDaylight and SDN. I'm also a gamer. And if you ever want to discuss Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire I'm your go to guy.


Who was your mentor?

Colin Dixon


How did you hear about OpenDaylight?

The CS department at the University of Kentucky announced they were looking for some student interns to put some hours into this SDN project. I had taken some Cisco intro courses in high school so with that background I thought I might be a good candidate. I watched some talks online and got the position, where I met Brent Salisbury. From there I started meeting more developers in the community and the rest is history.


Best thing you've learned so far?

I'm really enjoying learning YANG models and how the MD-SAL works.


What do you find interesting about SDN?

I mentioned I have a little bit of networking background, but I haven't been a sys admin. I haven't worked in a data center or been a network engineer. I feel like I get to come into this world with no expectations, and that's really cool, I can see things for what they are. Of course now I'm a bit tainted, but when I got started it was almost like "wait, this isn't already widely adopted!?"


Which OpenDaylight projects are you currently working on? Any cool things to share?

I worked with Colin Dixon and another intern, AndrĂ© Martins, on a better host tracker. We worked closely with the Layer 2 switch guys since our goals align in a lot of places. I enjoy working on this kind of low level thing since it feels close to everyone's end goal – getting packets from one place to another. It's like getting your hands dirty under the hood or in the garden, except for programmers.

Who is your mentor and what was the experience like?
Working with Colin is awesome. I think everyone can agree on that one.

What would be your dream job?

Gee, I think, like every other CS student out there, I would love to work at Google. But anywhere the community is half as nice as the OpenDaylight community I would be happy.


What's your advice to other aspiring developers out there?

Try not to spend much time in decision mode. Jump into the editor, go crazy, and build something.


What gets you jazzed to write code?

Music usually helps me focus, I like a lot of alternative from the 90s, but lately I've been listening to Sigur Ros, Alt-J, and Junip. I love hanging out in IRC, browsing StackOverflow, or helping others out over at



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