Meet Richard Hay: Senior Science Editor at

Written by Richard Hay

Meet Richard Hay. He’s covering science and other edgy topics for us here at He also has a day job as a staff engineer in networking testing at Google …

Who am I? By day, I’m a staff engineer in network testing at Google. The rest of the time, I’m covering science and other edgy topics for

But let me back up. I am a military brat — a Texas Aggie who once marched on the field in front of the 85,000 (my trumpet voice is on 2 CDs that have sold 75,000 copies)

I consider myself to be a geek.

I am a network engineer’s network engineer. You name it and I have probably tested it. Ethernet, Infiniband, Troidal Mesh, TCP/IP, IPv6, Multicast, ATM, X.25, Frame Relay, ISDN, Priority Queuing, Buffer characterization, NICs, firewalls, load balancers, routers, switches and even hubs. Now I apply that experience to work at Google. What a ride.

I was at George Mason when Vint Cerf spoke about the way the World Wide Web changed his life. I remember reading Christian Huitema’s Routing in the Internet on a bench in Old Town Alexandria in front of City Hall. In it, he tells a great anecdote about TCP being like a man who, as a boy, had his father ask him to climb a tree and get an apple from a narrow weak branch and promised to protect him if he fell. When the branch breaks, the father watches him fall and break his leg, after which his father scornfully says:  “You see son? That is why you can never trust anyone but yourself.

I was the 25th person in the world to get a Juniper Certification in the Spring of 2001. I recall Quinn Nguyen at UUNet saying, “but you don’t even have a Juniper router to practice with.” I told him that did make it harder. After all, I failed the test the first time with a 48 out of 100 in fact.

I got into Linux in 1994. That helped me become a sysadmin as my first real job in 1995 after graduate school. Had a spat with the VP and I edited DNS so his machine resolved to “buttmunch.” I thought this would never be known, but dang that Windows95 and the Exchange POP3 client, which asks the server for the hostname to be appended to outgoing emails. And yet somehow I didn’t get fired.

My mother is Chilean from Santiago and speaks 5 languages. My brother is a West Point graduate and Major in the Army (he has been to Iraq and Afghanistan about a dozen times since 2003)

I have always considered myself to be a storyteller. Thank you, Gina, for asking me to share my thoughts about this and that from time to time. Science is my passion and I have a blast covering that for

As I said, I work at Google — I have a Google issued Galaxy Nexus (GSM) and T-Mobile is my carrier — but due to journalistic ethics here, I won’t be covering Google for you without the right disclosures.

As for freeware, I enjoy android backgammon, ConnectBot, and Google Chrome. (Disclosure: Richard Hay is an employee at Google : ) ED)

My favorite shell app is SecureCRT, with versions for Ubuntu, Mac, and Windows. What’s yours?

It takes all kinds. Email me and let me know the sort of stuff you’d like me to cover here on I’m and +Richard Hay on Google +