Hey Reddit! Iā€™m Radia Perlman (u/rjp2022Redmond) and I designed the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) that made today's Internet possible. My idea was to make network routing easier to manage, which was important in making networks to be used by real people, not just computer science researchers.

Today the people from Hidden Heroes and I will be answering your questions! You can also read my story on Hidden Heroes: https://hiddenheroes.netguru.com/radia-perlman


Proof: Here's my proof!

Comments: 124 • Responses: 3  • Date: 

nopester2411 karma

firstly, thank you. then.. what was the biggest challenge in developing the STP successfully?

rjp2022Redmond56 karma

There actually were no challenges. My manager thought it was going to be a really hard thing, but it turned out to be really simple, once I realized the "obvious" solution. He proposed the problem to me late on a Friday, before disappearing on vacation for a week. This was before cellphones, or people reading email on vacation. That Friday night I realized just how to do it. Monday and Tuesday I wrote the spec, in enough details that the implementers got it working quickly without asking me a single question. But I couldn't concentrate on anything else because I had to show off to my manager, and he was going to be gone until Monday. So Wednesday-Friday I worked on the poem, which is the abstract of the paper in which I published the algorithm. The poem is called Algorhyme (easily found on the Internet). So, given how much time I spent on various aspects, I'd have to say the hardest thing was the poem, since I spent more time on that than on inventing the algorithms or writing the spec.

nopester2415 karma

that's amazing. well I do hope you realize your work has. had a global impact and the fact that you solved the problem the same day you received it is nothing short of epic. well done! I'm gonna hunt down that poem and check it out

Hidden_Heroes16 karma

Thank you for your kind words! We put Radia's poem in her story on Hidden Heroes: https://hiddenheroes.netguru.com/radia-perlman šŸ™‚

Jizzapherina1 karma

I've bookmarked your site! Really nice writing. What I especially like about Radia's story is that you captured her warmness and wit, not just listing her technical prowess.

Hidden_Heroes2 karma

Thank you for the feedback! All the stories are written by Steven Johnson, best selling author of books about innovation. He perfectly captured all the profiles of the Hidden Heroes.

Hidden_Heroes10 karma

Hi everyone, you can still ask your questions to Radia! šŸ‘‹