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Getting started in the IETF

Welcome to the IETF!

We recommend that everyone who wants to get started with the IETF reads our Introduction to the IETF as this succinctly covers the basics of what we are, who we are, what we do and how we do it.

Once you have a basic understanding of the IETF and an idea how you would like to get involved, we recommend that you the following guides, depending on how you would like to start:

  • If you are interested in reading or implementing existing RFCs then About RFCs explains the basics of the RFC Series.
  • If you want to get involved in some work that is already in progress in the IETF, read the Guide to IETF Working Groups. This explains what a working group is, how to participate and how Working Groups operate. As almost all of the work of the IETF takes place in Working Groups, this is key reading for anyone who wishes to participate in the IETF.
  • If you have some work that you want to bring to the IETF, then we recommend that you read Bringing new work to the IETF. This goes into detail on the various paths to follow.
  • If you are considering participating in an IETF meeting the we recommend reading the Guide to IETF Meetings. This is also a useful reference for those who are still unfamiliar with certain aspects of the IETF.

Of course, you can always jump straight in and subscribe to a Mailing List.

If you want to see the IETF in action, then see our YouTube Channel, which has over 4000 recordings of IETF working sessions, generally published within hours of a session finishing.