Member Spotlight: Chris O'Rourke

Blog Post created by hausmus Employee on Jul 26, 2017

Our newest member under the spotlight is: Chris O'Rourke. Chris is a Network System Architect handling large scale design at Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), but if you ask his family, they think he just yells at Visio and Excel. Chris has been a member since February, is a regular in our What Is and I Love Acronyms challenges, and currently the leader in our 2017 I Love Acronyms Leaderboard


Get to know Chris a little more in his survey below and leave a comment to share common interests (such as NFV, video games, pugs, or your feelings on Molex connectors) or ask him questions to learn more about his role at BPA and approach to past projects.

Chris O’Rourke
1. What is your current role? How did you get started in the industry?
My current role is Network System Architect handling large scale design on behalf of Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). I started way back in the era before dotcom became a buzzword doing minor IT work and information analysis.


2. What are your favorite sources of information to do your job?
I’m a regular reader of the Ciena Community forums as well as ‘light reading’ site for Carrier Ethernet guru access. I couldn’t call myself an engineer without mentioning Slashdot of course My current favorite repo of knowledge is reddit’s networking subreddit.


3. What projects or initiatives are you looking forward to working on this year, or you're most proud of accomplishing in the past?
One of my all time favorite clients, projects, and companies from my past would be helping architect the Timbuk2 retail network (juggling multiple countries PCI compliance requirements was tedious but immensely informative and a lot of fun). This year though I’m most excited for the energization and testing of networks here at BPA.

4. If we ask your family and friends, what would they say you do at work?
Mostly yelling at Visio and Excel ;) I’m lucky enough to be married to a developer who used to be a network engineer so frequently the understanding she gives is immensely useful when I’m scratching my head at a convergence calculation. My sons are both pretty fascinated by the differences in workloads versus my days in the private sector and both have suggested my job involves “coloring on network maps and that each color means something different but that it’s a lot like traffic conducting”.

5. What are some of the topics that you’re most interested in discussing in the community?
NFV and SDN. While I’ve always loved Ethernet I’ve not always been a fan of adding new racks to my data centers or other facilities. Between the two we’re finally seeing technology bringing us closer to the ideal: self-healing, self-growing adaptable networks.


6. What should Ciena Community members ask you about?
Ask me about video games, percussion (GO SANTA CLARA VANGUARD!!), my pug, or even my irreverent sense of humor or my rational hatred of Molex connectors. I’m a relatively open book.


7. What else would you like people to know about you?
I’m a big fan of the “Scotty” method of IT and networking: Always have a solution before identifying a problem to colleagues and never underestimate your time requirements for completing a project. Better to overestimate and look like a hero than underestimate and look clueless. (I suppose this sort of outs me as a Trekkie but my heart belongs to SG-1).


Connect and following Chris on his profile: Chris O'Rourke