Networking with Khan!

You are on Facebook. You are always-on on Whatsapp. You transfer money instantly using your Internet Banking account. You buy latest mobile phone on Flipkart and latest fashion on Amazon. You take online-classes or watch videos on YouTube too. Am I right? Well! Have you ever thought upon the amount of engineering effort required to bring these services to you? Have you ever wondered how the packet from a server in US reaches you in the first place? Or have you ever pondered upon how your ISP keeps track of the amount of data you use?

If you ask me to define "Computer Science & Engineering" in three words, I would say "Compute-Storage-Network". Networking is an important component of today's computing environment. In fact, I would say the most important component among the three. Imagine an ATM which has just lost it's connectivity from the network. It has lots of money in it. But it's of no use to anyone now. It's just a brick. Not only in the engineering space, in today's world of connected things, networking plays a vital & inevitable role in everybody's life too. From parking lots at your basement to insulin pumps in healthcare centres rely on computer networks for their proper functioning.

Networking, from it's ARPANET days to today's Software Defined face, has evolved much rapidly over past three decades. It is one of the fields of computer science which poses "real engineering problems" to solve. It is a field which provides you an opportunity to work with variety of systems (RG, IP-DSLAM, Pizza Box/ToR Switch, Chassis, ICM/IOM, Firewall, Traffic Monitor, AAA nodes, Load Balancers, etc). It is a field which has opportunities for virtually everyone - be it a electronics guy, a system programmer or an application programmer.

This is an initiative to cultivate interest on "computer networks" among students and to prepare them to mold better career in the field of communication. Are you ready to taste the networking flavor?

What the course is all about?

This course is designed as a foundation course on Computer Networks. This course is aimed at providing a good head-start to undergraduate students on their networking journey. This course is designed to span across one/two days. Considering the strict timeline, only things which are important & practical are included in the syllabus. A lot of ground work has been done and contents of various online/offline courses on "computer networks" have been analyzed before framing this course. Some courses focuses more on L1/L2 and less on higher layers. Some focuses more on theoretical aspects than on practical. Some view the network from Internet Service Provider's (ISP) perspective which I afraid suitable for a networking newbie. Some other take students through a Network Administrator's standpoint and focuses more on "How to configure the network?" rather than "How computer networks work?". This course focuses only on necessary and important functions of each layer and yet tries to give a big picture of computer networks.

Who are the targeted audience?

This course will serve as a solid foundation for any undergraduate student (in the field of computers/communication) who is planning to explore the world of computer networks.


  • Introduction - Motivation (importance of Computer Networks) - ISO/OSI model - TCP/IP model
  • L1 (Ethernet-PHY) - different ways of synchronizing clock - use of preamble & SFD
  • L2 (Ethernet-MAC) - responsibilities - half/full duplexity - collision detection - addressing - reliability - HUB - SWITCH - VLAN -xSTP
  • L3 (IPv4) - addressing - routing - Distance Vector Routing (Bellman-Ford Algorithm, RIP) - ARP - Link State Routing (OSPF) - ROUTER - BGP
  • L4 (TCP) - connection setup & tear-down - sequence numbers & acknowledgment - multiplexing - window-size (AIMD algorithm; saw-tooth behavior)
  • L5/L6/L7 (HTTP) - presentation & application functions - GET/PUT/POST methods - client-server demo with packet capture & dissection

How the course is designed?

If you look at the syllabus, at surface, it may not differ much from typical "Computer Networks" course. But the way this course is designed makes all the difference. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Keeping this in mind, this course is designed with a need-driven approach. At the start of the course we take students back to late 1970s and discuss various possible ways by which we can make two digital boxes (computers) communicate with each other. Storytelling is an excellent way of conveying our thoughts to others. In this course we take two characters - Bob & Alice who want to talk to each other with their computers and we spin the story around them. Initially, both Bob & Alice are in the same room with their computers. Then we move them to different rooms and deal with the new challenges. Then we move them to different buildings and then finally to different networks managed autonomously by different entities. I believe this approach will not only make the course interesting but also make the students understand & appreciate the necessity & importance of various techniques & protocols developed at different points in time during the evolution of computer networks.

The Two Flavors

  1. Networking Distilled - 1-Day programme (Theory + Demos)
  2. Network Primer - 2 Days programme (Theory + Demos + Hands-On)

Instructor Profile

Instructor Photo

Bakshi Gulam Md. Khan
The Naive Networking Guy.

The instructor has lived and breathed networking for 5 years. He has wide range of experience on various networking nodes ranging from IP-DSLAMs at Local/Branch offices to Pizza Boxes, Chassis, Server Appliances that power today's Data Centres. He has a keen interest in the new paradigm of computer networks called "Software Defined Networking (SDN)" and has research experience on bringing application-awareness to modern routing systems. He holds a Masters degree in Software Engineering from BITS, Pilani and is passionate about teaching.


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