E4 - Eric Chou at A10 Networks

George Barnes
Eric Chou

By George Barnes & Eric Chou

On the fourth episode of the Route to Networking, George Barnes, Co-Founder & Director here at Hamilton Barnes, sits down with Eric Chou, Principal Engineer at A10 Networks, to discuss where it all began, his achievements and why he is so passionate about the Network Engineering space.

Eric starts by telling George where exactly his journey began and to put it simply, it was by accident. He started out as an intern in California, which sparked his interest in Infrastructure. He graduated during the “.com bomb” when everyone in the Tech and Networking industry were losing their jobs left, right and centre. His logic in doing an internship in Infrastructure during that particular time was that, correct or not, he thought it was hard to offshore and outsource, so this is where he essentially got started.

Although Eric had a degree in Finance, his first internship was in Infrastructure. Many people must wonder how he managed to land that role. Eric did a Minor in CIS (Computer Information Systems), alongside his degree in Finance, which got his foot in the door within that field.

Fast forward to 15-20 years later, he found his current position in 2016 at A10 through a friend that was working there and has never looked back. Alongside work life, Eric is an author and avid blog writer. His blog originally stemmed from his books as feedback, as a lot of feedback he got from his book “Mastering Python Network”, was telling him that there were “gaps in the book”. Mastering Python Network was meant to be, in Eric’s words, “breath first” but got a lot of comments saying there was a lot to be desired, so the blog was created to fill in those gaps.

How does a man who has been in the industry since the early 2000s keep up to date with the evolution of tech? and his answer is simple, he finds interesting problems to solve.

“I look at the business and try to find a business problem relevant to the decision-makers. From there you work backwards and ask how it relates to technology and networking”

With over 20 years of experience and a wide range of knowledge of the Network Engineering industry, there are still things Eric finds as his “weak spots”, Eric tells George what technology areas he is researching currently. Eric is always on the lookout for innovative technologies, one of them being Kubernetes. He describes this as one of his “weaker spots”.  Eric has built container-based technologies and deployed them but has not been heavily involved in Kubernetes and describes it as a “different beast”.

With a long history in Network Engineering and a bright future, the next steps for Eric Chou are to simply take more ownership, take control of the creative process, taking direction on what technology he wants to study and what problems he wants to solve.

*Attention to all Network Engineers who want to get into automation and don’t know where to begin* Eric gives his best advice for traditional Network Engineers working at an Enterprise who want to get into automation… well what are you waiting for? Listen here: