You don’t see a married couple working at the same company every day, let alone joining the Extreme Hero program. Our today’s guests are a living proof that with love, dedication and hard work, you can climb the highest of mountains. Hear the story of Quree Bajracharya and Santosh Maharjan, our Extreme Heroes from NetNordic Norway!
Namaste, friends! 🙏 How is life treating you these days? We imagine doing home office as a couple and taking care of a baby during lockdown can be quite challenging. So how are you doing?
Santosh: Namaste! First and foremost, we are very thankful for this interview. Of course, life is not normal yet. Our social life has been dramatically influenced by the pandemic, we cannot even meet with our friends who are living just a few hundred meters away from us. And when it comes to work, it’s been quite long since we talked with our colleagues face-to-face. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the communication is mostly restricted to a handful of people. However, as far as the productivity is concerned, we would say it has increased while working from home.
Quree: Right now Santosh is on paternity leave and he is working one day a week, except for some rare occasions when he needs to attend some meetings or work besides his scheduled leave. So, I look after our baby and he works when needed. Home office has given us this flexibility, so in a way it’s been a blessing in disguise. In addition to that, we also have a direct access to our lab. Since Santosh has a limited work schedule and I’m taking time off on his working days, looking after our little Luniva has not been that challenging.
How did you first meet? Did working in the network industry actually… help you connect? 😉
Quree: We saw each other for the first time at our friend’s apartment…
Santosh: Quree had a flatmate who was also our mutual friend. One day she invited me over for dinner and I had a chance to chat with Quree for the first time. At first glance I was impressed with her sporty attitude. At the time, Quree was not actively working in the network industry. However, it wasn’t long before we found out that we share a lot of the same interests and passions.
Quree: Like Santosh said, we first met through a mutual friend and we felt a connection from the very beginning. And yes, I do think that working in the same industry eventually helped us connect even more.
Santosh and Quree, our Extreme Hero power couple from Norway!
Which one of you was the first to become an Extreme enthusiast? How did it all come to be?
Santosh: NetNordic is the Black Diamond Partner of Extreme Networks. So, our journey with Extreme started through our company’s portfolio. Since we are actively working with Extreme products, we need to be familiar with them and master their functionalities. This has naturally led us to take up a number of certification courses. Eventually, both of us became Extreme Heroes.
Quree: I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks for coming up with all these special programs for us, Heroes! 🙏
You mentioned earlier that you have quite an Extreme lab of your own at home. Found any new and exciting features lately? Tell us some more about it!
Santosh: That’s correct, we do have an Extreme lab at home and we’re extremely proud to have it! It has helped us a lot to acquire in-depth knowledge about Extreme products’ features and solve many complex problems. We often use it to simulate customers’ issues and find the correct solutions.
Quree: One of the features that we both like a lot is the XMC workflow. It’s not necessarily a new feature, but when we discuss Extreme features, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. We believe that workflow in XMC has made zero touch provisioning very smooth and powerful.
Speaking of features… Did you have a chance to join Extreme TechTalks 5.0? Any particular session caught your attention? Excited about any of the product updates?
Santosh: I’m still on paternity leave, so unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to join the live event. I have, however, gone through the recorded version. And I must say that the ‘Universal Hardware’ concept for both switching and wireless access points is marvelous! 😊 We already had ‘universal hardware’ for switching, an equipment that could boot as a VSP model or an EXOS model. Now we’ll get our hands on the ‘universal hardware’ wireless access points with three different personas to choose from: Distributed, Centralized, and Cloud single APs. That’s awesome!
Quree: I was fortunate enough to attend Extreme TechTalks 5.0. Manoah’s presentation on the cloud-managed networking was particularly interesting for me. ExtremeCloud IQ is undoubtedly the most powerful tool Extreme has ever developed, and also surely the best in the networking industry so far. It also turns out to be a universal management tool. I am also looking forward to get my hands on Extreme’s new ‘universal hardware’. 😊
Mountains hold a special place in the hearts of all Nepalese.
Not long ago, the entire world heard about Sherpas – the group of brave Nepali climbers who were the first to reach K2’s summit in winter. And what was the most challenging project in your career? How did you solve it?
Quree: Sherpas are our national heroes. Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to step on the top of the world, Mount Everest, was also a Sherpa. For us, they are the symbol of dedication. We can learn from them how hard work and dedication can help us accomplish complex task, even when they seem impossible to overcome.
Santosh: One of the most challenging projects in my career was to replace Identity Engine with Extreme Control for one of our customers. I was still very new to the Extreme NAC. I took up the ECS NAC course, installed Extreme NAC in our lab and started to play around with it. I created a lab to simulate the customer’s network and tested the configuration for a while. I should mention GTAC engineers here. They always help me a lot whenever I get stuck.
Quree: I don’t think I’ve ever tackled a project so challenging that would be worth mentioning here. Whenever I have a problem, I ask Santosh for help. 😄 He is like a mentor for me!
Have there been any projects that you were actually able to work together on?
Santosh: We are both involved in all of our projects, in a more or less direct way. We always discuss our daily tasks with each other, so we are always aware of what the other one’s busy with and help each other whenever needed.
Quree: That’s right. For many people it seems a bit unusual to see a married couple working at the same company. But to be honest, we don’t have any issues with that and neither does NetNordic. Actually, it has made our lives easier as we can complement each other in our day-to-day work. In fact, we have become more productive!
Santosh, Quree and little Luniva – the whole family celebrating Dashain festival in traditional Newari attire.
What quality do you value the most in each other – both as a professional colleague and a life partner?
Santosh: Quree is a hardworking girl, always striving to learn new things. That is what I like the most about her, professionally. And personally, Quree is very active, supportive and understandable woman. She has made my life very easy. Not only do we work together, we’re also gym buddies. As I mentioned earlier, our interests match quite a lot. 😉
Quree: Santosh is very professional when it comes to working with him. He is always encouraging me to challenge myself and learn new things from every project. He loves challenges and he loves troubleshooting. One of his best qualities is patience. I believe that in order to work in the networking industry, one must be very patient and handle the customer issues effectively. He is great at both. And as a life partner, he is very understanding and encouraging. Life becomes easy when you have someone who is so understanding and supportive!
Will your sweet little daughter Luniva become an engineer too, some day?
Quree: I think it’s too early to tell. She is only one year old, after all… 😄 But in any case, we’re excited to see how she grows up. Of course, we would love to see her as an engineer one day, but she has to be interested in it.
Santosh: We want Luniva to be happy with whatever decision she makes, that is all that matters!
Do you feel like a heroes sometimes? 🙂
Santosh: We are recognized as Extreme Heroes through certifications. Both of us have also acquired Extreme Black Belt. We are very thankful to our company NetNordic for supporting us in this journey. Do we feel like Heroes? We keep asking ourselves this question. We are working hard continuously to prove ourselves as such. At the end of the day, it is our customers and our company who get to decide if we’re the real heroes.
Quree: The feedback we are getting so far is very positive. When it comes to self-development and expanding your knowledge, you know the sky is the limit! We will keep on learning new things and giving our best to provide value for both our company and our dear customers.