Getting Educated: Meet the IETF Edu Team

By: Mirjam Kühne

Date: July 1, 2014

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Most people have heard of, or perhaps even attended, the tutorials that take place the Sunday before each IETF meeting. But few know that it is the all-volunteer IETF Edu Team that decides which tutorials are provided and how they are organised. Following is a sneak peek at the team behind the tutorials.

The goals of the IETF Edu Team are stated in its charter:

The Education (EDU) Team manages the internal educational activities of the IETF with the goal of improving the effectiveness of IETF operations. We strive to improve the effectiveness of IETF leaders and participants by offering training sessions and educational materials that clarify their roles and responsibilities and prepare them to be more effective in their roles.

To fulfill the goals of the charter, the team offers two types of tutorials:

  1. Process-oriented tutorials, such as newcomers tutorials, tutorials on how to use IETF tools, and tutorials on how to write an RFC.
  2. Technical tutorials, such as tutorials on those technical topics widely relevant for IETF participants, including privacy, security, routing, and wireless.

Specifically, the team aims for topics on which specialist knowledge might affect the work of multiple different working groups.

Anyone may suggest a tutorial. The IETF chair and IESG members propose tutorials when they feel there is a need for certain topics. In addition, tutorials that have not been presented in a long time and may be useful for new participants are often presented a second time.

The Edu Team recently began offering area-overview tutorials designed to both educate newcomers about the scope and activities of certain areas and offer long-standing participants updates on areas they don’t actively follow. So far, the following area-overview tutorials have been organized. The team plans to continue these tutorials at IETF 91 in Honolulu and beyond. Check the agenda pages for topics.

  • IETF 88–Introduction to the Real-Time Applications and Infrastructure Area (RAI)
  • IETF 89–Introduction to the Applications Area (APP)
  • IETF 90–Introduction to the Operations Area (OPS)

Tutorials are presented by IETF participants who are experts in their fields, and they are free to registered IETF attendees. As dictated by its charter to “present topics that assist IETF participants in building better protocols,” the Edu Team does not provide general technical tutorials. All tutorials specifically focus on what IETF participants need to know in order to build better protocols.

At each IETF meeting, the Edu Team also organises an informational lunch where working group (WG) chairs can discuss topics of mutual interest. WG chairs are invited to suggest topics for forthcoming sessions.

The Edu Team is now considering whether or not to take on other projects, such as the mentoring programme, additional training for WG chairs, and review of IETF website content. It is actively seeking new, energetic members who are interested in helping with these activities. If you have feedback for the team or are interested in joining it, please contact [email protected] or speak to any of its members during the next IETF meeting.

A list of tutorials slated for the next IETF meeting are included on the registration pages and on the meeting agenda. Slides and recordings from recent tutorials can be found at

The Edu Team

Cochairs: Mirjam Kuehne and Radia Perlman

Members: Jari Arkko, Scott Bradner, Brian Carpenter, Avri Doria, Russ Housley, Thomas Narten, Alice Russo, Margaret Wasserman.