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Mark Feit

Title: Principal Software Engineer
Division: Network Services
Areas of Responsibility: perfSONAR product architecture and development
Years in Advanced Technology: 25+

Mark Feit has made a career of bringing innovative and sometimes unusual solutions to thorny problems in environments ranging from embedded to enterprise. He has done pioneering work on systems for remote collaboration, mobile telephone geolocation, operations support, data retrieval and digital signal processing. Mark’s introduction to networking came at UUNET during the high-growth years of the dot-com boom, first as the lead maintainer and operator of its trouble ticketing systems and then as the driving force behind one of the world’s first scalable network management systems. At Internet2 since 2015, he has been working on architectural improvements to ready the perfSONAR suite of performance tools for its next decade of service.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Old Dominion University with a specialization in system software. When not at work, he is an avid photographer, motorcyclist and musician.

How did you get involved in the field of advanced networking/technology?

I’ve always had an interest in computers, driven by the fiction I was exposed to growing up in the 1970s and the fact that my father was in the data processing business. A BASIC program in an eighth-grade mathematics textbook spurred more interest, and I found myself hooked after having the opportunity to run it and then make my own changes. That led to computing as a hobby, some part-time jobs working for truly excellent mentors, a degree, and the career that followed.

What is your biggest challenge as a Principal Software Engineer?

For me, it’s keeping up with the exponential growth in the quantity and sophistication of available tools and software libraries. Systems have evolved over the last few decades from relatively simple to highly complex, and these days if you need some foundational bit of technology, odds are very good someone has built it and you don’t have to re-invent that wheel.

What is your favorite part of being a Principal Software Engineer?

I’ve always described myself as someone who makes machinery do tricks and have always relished the moment when a new piece of work does what I intended for the first time. Those moments are doubly special when the system has some interface to the physical world.