Kaon Thana- The New York Times- Episode 149

Kaon  Thana

By Kaon Thana

On this episode of The Route to Networking Podcast, our host James Dean chats to Kaon Thana, Network Engineer at The New York Times. 

 Kaon’s journey in the networking space began during his undergraduate degree where he studied computer science in New York City. Whilst studying he landed his first tech role at a local ISP, laying the groundwork for a career in networking. In between classes, he would venture out to troubleshoot networks for residents, hotels, and businesses, relishing the constant feedback loop that came with resolving network issues. For him, the process of identifying, fixing and solving an issue created positive reinforcement in his eagerness to learn, pushing his curiosity further.  

“You definitely learn something every step of the way”. 

After graduation, Thana transitioned into full-time employment, spending six years at the ISP which solidified his practical skills in networking. He went on to work with a webcasting conferencing company and then to a large financial institution, expanding his skill sets to new environments. Kaon points out that as long as you are confident in your technical skills, you can work almost anywhere in any industry. The main differences will come in adapting your soft skills, adapting your communication, and navigating new interpersonal relationships. 


Kaon faced the ultimate test of his skillset in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a devastating event that caused chaos on the East Coast. Thana was confronted with unprecedented challenges with large parts of the city without power. The logistics of reaching certain locations became a nightmare, requiring intense troubleshooting to re-establish connectivity. Nevertheless, it was during these difficult times that Kaon's confidence in his abilities grew stronger. He looks back on overcoming these adversities as a source of newfound confidence, reinforcing his belief that anyone navigating through such turbulent circumstances can handle anything.


When asked about his advice to up-and-coming technology professionals Kaon shares a few words of wisdom. Don’t get discouraged when it comes to getting into the best school or most prestigious programme. Kaon shares that he works with any number of amazing professionals, and he has no idea where they went to school. Instead, focus on developing your learning wherever you find yourself. Be an active learner, ask questions, break things (within reason) and practice lab at home. He points out that building a steady foundation in networking will create the building blocks for many careers in other niches of technology like cybersecurity or DevOps. 

Looking ahead

Kaon points out that the role of a traditional networking engineer isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Even with the rise of new technologies, the role of the traditional network engineer is still in high demand. Large organizations are slow to adopt new technologies, and there is a growing need for skilled professionals who can maintain and troubleshoot complex network infrastructures.

Kaon thrives on sharing his experiences speaking at conferences and podcasts. He's a passionate speaker who is eager to share insights that could be useful for others, and he's also interested in mentorship opportunities. To further develop his expertise, Kaon continues to seek out challenging experiences that push him out of his comfort zone.

Listen to the full episode out now! 🎧