A Message to Future Engineers: Make Your Own Mistakes

May 4, 2020

Jaap Akkerhuis wants to see future generations of computer engineers make their own mistakes.  

A 2017 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Akkerhuis spent time with Carnegie Mellon University’s Information Technology Center, Mt. Xinu and Bell Laboratories before returning to the Netherlands in 1995 to join NLnet - the first Dutch Internet service provider. The research engineer has also served on ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee since its inception. 

In a recent interview, Akkerhuis said he enjoyed seeing new developments that he and his peers never dreamed of. He also encouraged the younger generation of developers to not get hung up with existing infrastructure and think outside the box when coming up with new systems. 

“Don’t get intimidated by us older guys,” he said. “Go on ahead and find a way to make things work. A ‘can do’ mentality should work – just go out and explore.”