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Participating in the IETF Hackathon from Mauritius
- Loganaden Velvindron
7 Dec 2017
Hackers.mu is a developer group based in Mauritius made up of a wide range of people from different backgrounds: high school students, university students, professional engineers, and advisors to the minister of ICT.
We participated remotely in the IETF Hackathons held in conjunction with IETF 98 and IETF 99 in the Automatic Multicast Tunneling (AMT) and Human Rights Protocol Considerations (HRPC) projects, respectively. After hearing about the recent changes happening in the TLS Working Group, we decided to work on TLS implementations for IETF Hackathon held just before IETF 100. We packed our laptops and headed to Pereybere, which is found in the north of the Island.
We stayed at a very comfortable location with proper A/C. We deployed our network, and connectivity was provided via a 3G mobile dongle. A big thank you to the TLS champions who were very helpful and considerable on Instant Messaging. After we showed them our initial code, they directed us to a bunch of servers that we could use to test. Also, it was very helpful to work alongside the people actually implementing the next iteration of the TLS draft. We were able to see how they were changing the implementation to work around problematic middleboxes. We learned a lot.
We had 8 people from Mauritius and 1 Mauritian from Denmark: Codarren Velvindron, Nitin Mutkawoa, Pirabarlen Cheenaramen (working from .dk), Nigel Yong, Sheik Meeran
Ashmith Kifah, Muzaffar Auhammud, Yasir Auleear and Yashvi Paupiah. We worked on the following Open Source software: wget, curl, monit, ftimes, aria2c, stunnel nagios plugins and hitch. Our project presentation slides are available here. A few of our members woke up every morning and went for a 30 minute swim in the morning before going back to the Hackathon room. The beach was less than 5 minutes from our Hackathon venue.
Overall, it was a fun IETF 100 Hackathon, and we really enjoyed how intensive it was. Along the way, we learned a lot about TLS internals, and the subtle details of the different implementations. Also, we would like to thank the hardworking people behind the remote participation infrastructure. They have done an amazing job! We were able to watch live from Mauritius the IETF Hackathon awards session. The TLS team won a prize for best remote participation!
We are looking forward to participating in the next IETF Hackathon scheduled for 17-18 March 2018, just before the IETF 101 meeting in London.