WG Chair Biographies

Database Working Group Chair Biographies

William Sylvester

William has over 25 years of experience as an executive of core Internet infrastructure, including working for Network Solutions/VeriSign on the InterNIC project. This project involved Internet numbering, domain names, and directory services and resulted in the creation of the Regional Internet Registries (RIR). Currently, William is Senior Vice-President of Addrex, Inc., the pioneer in the market for IPv4 number blocks. He has spent the past ten years collaborating with global communities to help the Internet to keep growing while we work on adopting IPv6.

William has served as the chair of the RIPE Accountability Task Force, helping to document, review, and publish the findings for the RIPE community's accountability post-IANA transition. Now, as the co-chair of the RIPE Database Working Group, William has led the working group forward, removing roadblocks that have existed for many years and undertaking initiatives to clean up the RIPE database.

Denis Walker

Denis Walker graduated in Physics (1977) and obtained his postgraduate diploma in (Internet) Software Technology (1998). He started as a Software Developer at Ferranti (1978). He worked on real time command and control systems for civil and military defence, and later moved on through several companies including ICL, HP, BT (X.25) and Computer Science departments at universities in Manchester and Liverpool. He spent a number of years as a freelance IT consultant. He made a fortune working as a consultant, invested it all in a side business renting out building equipment, went (technically not legally) bankrupt, and started again with nothing. During his years in IT, he has worked on machines of all sizes, from micros to minis to mainframes that you could walk inside of. Even “real” computers with flashing lights, spinning magnetic tapes and 5MB disk drives the size of a washing machine, all in air conditioned rooms.

Denis started working for the RIPE NCC in 2001 until 2015. Initially as a Software Engineer, then Technical Analyst, for the RIPE Database. Over the years he took a holistic view of the RIPE Database. Denis was involved in software design, development, testing for the RIPE Database and related services, plus policy implementation, legal, training, documentation, and support. He was involved in two major rewrites of the software in 2004 and 2012 and has written many articles for RIPE Labs on database issues. If it was related to the RIPE Database, he had a hand in it.

Now he is (semi) retired but still keeps up to date with all database developments and ideas. He likes to keep his finger in the pie. Denis was one of the early RIPE NCC Certified Professionals for the RIPE Database. He became co-chair for the Database Working Group in December 2016 and is still passionate about all things related to the RIPE Database.