E32 - Bram Peeters at GÉANT

James Dean
Bram Peeters

By James Dean & Bram Peeters

During this episode of The Route to Networking, Director of Telecoms, James Dean, was joined by Bram Peeters, the CTO at GÉANT. He talks through where it all began, how he oversees managing multiple teams and some of the technologies that are sparking his interest at the moment.

When he was around 15/16 years old, his brother was at university and where he was first introduced to the Internet. His brother gave him a book based on the internet and it sparked a massive interest in him from that point forward and he just knew that it was going to change the world.

He did a Technical Engineering course and at that time his brother said if you want to continue in this field, but you do not want to carry on through education, go and join a research group of a large company.

He graduated in 2000 in Networking with a specialisation in Photonics. He moved to a research lab as a Research Engineer but was made redundant shortly after. This led to him relocating to the Netherlands with a company called SurfNet. After a couple of years, the manager left, and they were looking for someone to take over the team so ended up managing the Network Services team for 8 years. After his 10 years at SurfNet, he moved to Nokia as a Senior Network Manager.

The largest change he has seen over the span of 20 years is the development of the internet in society. There has been a huge shift in open technology and open thinking with the internet being an open environment and how easy it has become to access things.

Now in his current position, he is managing multiple teams, which is something he has had to work on over time. People are complicated and life is not always straightforward. He grew up in Belgium where there was a lot of youth work and it set the foundation on how to deal with people and has taken that and implemented it into his job. Just taking that general interest and talking to people goes a long way.

More on GÉANT…

At GÉANT they interconnect Europe’s national research and education networks with the high bandwidth, high speed, and highly resilient pan-Europe backbone. They currently provide network services to 30 different countries and are doing a rollout of a completely fibre-based network across Europe.

There is a lot of hype around Quantum Networking, and he’s interested to see what’s there but at the same time says it’s still quite some time away from being in the field as a production technology but will make a tremendous impact on our future, nonetheless.

If anyone has recently come into the industry, Bram suggests ensuring you keep up to date with the tech that you actively learn in your industry. The tech industry is expected to grow at a rate of 15% per year up to 2030, so it will be imperative to make sure you stay on top of your skill set. Tech is constantly changing, so it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest trends in your field. One way to stay ahead of the pack is by making connections and learning from other people.

On this topic, he also shares the top skills one needs to have to succeed in the industry, so if you are considering it, he gives some great tips… Make sure you tune in now!