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National Engineers Week is upon us, and in today’s live episode of Up To Speed, Raquel and Jenn celebrated the hard-working Verizon engineers who build, enhance and scale our award-winning network. But that hardly scratches the surface of what our talented engineers do: they’re also pioneers in fields ranging from artificial intelligence, quantum communications, and even AR and VR experiences.
Our Global Network and Technology group has over 47,000 employees located in the United States, APAC and EMEA regions, and GN&T has several activities planned to celebrate National Engineers Week, including volunteer events and building competitions.
Recently, Senior Vice President of Technology and Product Development Srini Kalapala spoke to eight engineers on his team and asked what inspired them to pursue engineering.
Tuan Nguyen said his excellent math grades led to his teachers encouraging him to pursue engineering. Srilakshmi Reddy Valisammagari’s “love for programming” fueled her. Andrew Le said that he liked to take toys apart as a child, and that a keystone project he worked on as a V Teamer was Verizon’s presence at Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl 55 in Tampa. Srilakshmi is doing NASH cloud management.
When it comes to keeping their skills sharp, Tuan said that “Verizon provides plenty of development courses,” including Verizon learning. Srilakshmi agrees that the Verizon learning portal has “everything you need.”
Emerging Technology Solutions V Teamer Christoph Zehentner enjoys reading source books, and Andrew loves the knowledge sharing that comes from working with excellent colleagues at Verizon.
LastSunday marked the 65th year of the Daytona 500 race at the Daytona International Speedway. Fans enjoyed ultra-fast WiFi provided by Verizon at the gates, concourses, suites and across the entire mile-long grandstands. And the best part? It was free.
This exciting — and massive — project took Verizon 12 months to build and required installing over 450,000 feet of cables.
Our Small Business Digital Ready platform equips small businesses with the skills to thrive in our digital world. Verizon recently partnered with Community Alliance, a Bay Area-based nonprofit helping underrepresented entrepreneurs with individualized programming and comprehensive support.
Director of NorCal Small Business Sales Vince Entac said that, “businesses, in order to stay competitive, need to offer product sets that meet the customers where they want to be met.”
Myeshia Jefferson, a grant winner and founder of Beauty Makes Cents, credits Verizon for being able to “provide a wonderful platform for me to do my financial projections” and receive mentorship and consulting. Founder of Tallios Coffee and Tea Olton Rensch agrees, saying that marketing was an area he needed help that Verizon was able to provide.
Women in Tech event
Last Thursday, Chief Technology Ambassador Nicki Palmer sat down with several Verizon Women In Tech, including Kadie Gavan, Cydney Shields Ferrell and Garima Garg to talk about career growth, opportunities and innovation.
This was the first episode of our new Women’s History Month series on Verizon’s Linkedin page. The goal of this series is to help break down barriers to propel women into tech careers, and once in careers to help them succeed.
If you missed it, you can re-watch it on Verizon’s LinkedIn page. And to learn more about our Verizon Women engineers, take a look at this article highlighting the stories of women in different stages and roles in their engineering careers.
Black History Month
Join BOLD on February 22nd, at 11a.m. ET, for a conversation about Core Engineering and Operations with Phyllis J Randall, Chair-At-Large of Loudoun County, VA, and Jacques Gilbert, Mayor of Apex, NC. This conversation will be moderated by Ken Jarvis, Director of Network Operations.
Plus, join the Verizon Public Policy Team on Thursday, February 23rd at 3 p.m. ET to celebrate Black History Month and the 60th anniversary of The March on Washington.
The event will feature historians, changemakers and civil rights leaders reflecting on the impact of this historic day and how this pivotal moment in our nation’s history remains relevant today.
BOLD Employee Resource Group
And speaking of Black History Month, Raquel highlighted the many V Teamers who have shared photos wearing their BOLD t-shirts this month as we continue celebrating Black History Month.
If you want to purchase a shirt, $5 from the sale of BOLD t-shirts and sweatshirts will be donated to the Williams Franklin Foundation, which provides academic scholarships, career networking and mentoring opportunities to HBCU students with extreme financial need.
A conversation with Wes Sobbott
To close out today’s episode, Raquel sat down for a conversation with Wes Sobbott, Chief Network Security Officer.
Wes started by thanking his entire team for their “tireless work” to secure the Verizon network.
Wes believes that winning in 2023 is dependent on three key things: focusing on cyber resiliency, so that no matter what incident happens, our network is up and available for customers. Second, that security is not a thing— it’s a set of processes, and we need layers of control in place for our network and to broaden and deepen our coverage. Thirdly, we want to automate and simplify the experience for our peers, partners and customers, making us “easy to do business with.”
One specific area of focus for Wes’ team is routing security. All customers use the public IP network, and we’ve been working to “put additional controls into the public internet,” and as a result, Verizon has been asked to join a group called Manners, a global initiative to improve the security of the internet.
When it comes to keeping customers safe, Wes stated that “Verizon is a critical national infrastructure. As a result, “security for us is an enabler of that — enabling network reliability, network performance” and keeping customers’ data and experience secure. Wes believes “we have to earn our customers’ trust every day through security.
While we have to accept that security incidents will happen, V Teamers can play a part in keeping our network secure. Our famous Data Breach Investigation Report has revealed that “threat actors are continuing to exploit basic controls.” Wes cited that 82% of security breaches have a level of human involvement, and in the last three months, threat actors have exploited LinkedIn and other public platforms to find ways to target individuals. Wes said that comprehensive security elements like Duo have allowed us at Verizon to bolster our security, and Wes encourages people to enable two-factor authentication in their everyday lives to protect themselves.
To close out, Wes gave three suggestions for V Teamers to do their part to keep Verizon’s experience secure: not clicking on the phish, using strong passwords, and patching your systems quickly and regularly.
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