E134 - Miguel Barreiros at Arista Networks

James McNicholl
Miguel Barreiros

By James McNicholl & Miguel Barreiros

On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, we’re joined by our host and Head of Finance EMEA James McNicholl and special guest, Miguel Barreiros, Director of EMEA Systems Engineering at Arista Networks. During this episode, Miguel shares how he stumbled upon the Networking industry and his journey from the start to where he is today. They also discuss what he looks for when he’s hiring and the traits that will get you far in the industry, especially at Arista Networks.

Miguel's journey into the world of Networking was entirely unplanned. Originally from Portugal, he was initially interested in studying control and robotics in Lisbon. As he delved deeper into the world of gaming, he developed an interest in quality of service and related aspects of networking. While Miguel had no previous background in Networking, what set him apart was his drive to learn and grow in the industry. Despite entering the field accidentally, he approached every opportunity with a hunger for knowledge to succeed. It was this drive that set him on a path to success.

During his final year of university, he made a decision to take on an unpaid internship focused on machine learning and speech recognition. He emphasises the importance of never settling, even if it means leaving familiar territory behind which led him to join a service provider in Portugal. It was there that he knew Networking was what he wanted to do, and he had found the career he wanted to pursue.

Arista Networks

In 2018, he joined Arista Networks. He joined for a combination of reasons. The decision was made by the unique characteristics of the company, which allowed him to experience the best of two worlds. One reason was the company's reputation for being agile and flexible in its approach to networking solutions. Employees are encouraged to have a deep understanding of the technical aspects of networking, making sure that they are well-equipped to contribute effectively to their goals.

With technology changing all the time, keeping himself updated with the latest advancements is not just a professional responsibility; it is a personal choice. While understanding technology at a high level is essential, he also knows the value of getting your hands dirty. Also making sure that if you're going into meetings, ensure you're the technical expert in the room.


When it comes to hiring, he believes in giving everyone a fair chance. He values people who possess certain key qualities, which he considers essential for success in the networking industry. He looks for candidates who have a genuine passion for networking and a relentless drive to learn and grow. He believes that individuals with the right motivation and curiosity about the "why" behind networking principles are more likely to excel and adapt in this rapidly evolving field.

In the competitive job market, rejection can be disheartening. He encourages candidates to remain resilient and stay motivated. Understanding that setbacks and rejections are part of the process.


Miguel co-authored a book on quality of service because of his desire to give back to the networking community and share his knowledge and expertise with others. When he began his journey in the networking industry, he found numerous books that covered a wide range of topics, and these resources proved invaluable in helping him develop his understanding.

Tune in to the full episode on the 10/08/2023!