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Achieving the Seemingly Impossible. An Interview with Extreme Heroes, Quree Bajracharya and Santosh Maharjan

Mitch Reyes Program Manager, Channel Published 8 Apr 2021

Here at Extreme Networks we treat the technical engineers of our Partners like true Heroes! Extreme Heroes is a community of certified experts who drive Extreme technology within our most esteemed partnerships. The program aims to recognize, reward, engage and enable a global network of tech specialists who are passionate about networking technologies and wish to share that passion with others.

Our guests are a living proof that with love, dedication, and hard work, you can climb the highest of mountains. This is 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. When it comes to work, it’s been quite long since we talked with our colleagues face-to-face. However, as far as productivity is concerned, we have seen an increase 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 meetings or work. So, I look after our baby and he works when needed. Working from home has given us this flexibility, so in a way, it’s been a blessing in disguise. In addition to that, we also have 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 help you connect?

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 networking 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.

Which one of you was the first to become an Extreme enthusiast? How did it happen?

Santosh: NetNordic is an Extreme Networks Black Diamond Partner.  Since we are actively working with Extreme products, we need to become very familiar with them. This has required a number of certification courses. By taking all of the required courses, we were both on our way to becoming Extreme Heroes, which we both achieved.  Eventually, both of us became Extreme Heroes.

You mentioned earlier that you have 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 to acquire in-depth knowledge about Extreme product features and to solve many complex problems for our customers. We often use it to simulate customer issues and find the correct solutions.

Quree: One of the features that we both like a lot is the Extreme Management Center 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 Extreme Management Center has made zero-touch provisioning very smooth and powerful.

Not long ago, the entire world heard about the brave Nepali sherpas who were the first to reach K2’s summit in winter. I know you’re not climbing K2 but what would you say has been the most challenging project in your career? How did you handle it?

Quree: Sherpas are our national heroes. Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to climb Mount Everest, was also a sherpa. For us, they are a symbol of dedication. We can learn from them how hard work and dedication can help us accomplish complex tasks, even when they seem impossible.

Santosh: One of the most challenging projects in my career was to replace Identity Engine with ExtremeControl for one of our customers. I was still very new to ExtremeControl. I took the ECS NAC course, installed ExtremeControl in our lab, and started to play around with it. I created a lab environment that simulated the customer’s network and tested the configuration for a while. I should mention that GTAC engineers have always helped me a lot whenever I get stuck.

Quree: I don’t think I’ve ever tackled a more challenging project. Whenever I have a problem, I ask Santosh for help.  He is my mentor.

Have there been any projects that you have been able to work together on?

Santosh: We are both involved in all of our projects. 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 celebrating the Dashain festival in traditional Newari attire.
Santosh, Quree, and little Luniva celebrating the Dashain festival in traditional Newari attire.

What quality do you value the most in each other – both as professional colleagues and life partners?

Santosh: Quree is hardworking and, always strives to learn new things. That is what I like the most about her, professionally. And personally, Quree is a very active, supportive, and understanding 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. He is always encouraging me to challenge myself and learn new things from every project. He loves challenges and 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 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, someday?

Quree: I think it’s too early to tell. She is only one year old. 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 both feel like heroes sometimes?

Santosh: We are recognized as Extreme Heroes through certifications. Both of us have also acquired the 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, 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.

Check out other Hero blogs, here.

If you are an Extreme partner and would like to become an Extreme Hero, click here to learn more.

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