Charlie Cooper, Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Charlie Cooper

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Network Engineer and Developer

San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
October 26, 2023

A senior network engineer, Charlie boasts expertise in voice, route/switch, and Palo Alto firewalls. With rich experience in telcos like Timeplex and Metaswitch and enterprises like early Airbnb, Argo AI, and Astra Rockets, he's adept at crafting robust network infrastructures. Charlie thrives in fast-paced settings, excelling in planning, implementing, and maintaining infrastructures. His troubleshooting skills are exceptional, particularly in managing internal and external expectations.


Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, Aruba, Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure, Wireless
Argo AI
Palo Alto Networks, Nexus, Catalyst, Silver Peak, Opengear, Infoblox...
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Infoblox, CUCM/CUBE VoIP...




Preferred Environment

Command-line Interface (CLI), MacOS, Linux

The most amazing...

...project I've worked on was building the original Airbnb international partner contact centers using eBay equipment and freeware.

Work Experience

Senior Network Engineer

2022 - 2023
  • Activated all telco circuits during major network reconfiguration.
  • Migrated them from a single onsite data center to a hybrid cloud.
  • Provided network redundancy and stability to a remote rocket engine test site.
  • Established a new manufacturing site using Juniper, Palo Alto, and Aruba MC wireless systems.
Technologies: Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, Aruba, Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure, Wireless

Senior Network Engineer

2020 - 2022
Argo AI
  • Formulated standardized design protocols for Argo AI's colocation facilities, offices, and terminals.
  • Brought the Palo Alto office up to standard by implementing the Cisco Nexus 9,000 and 3,000 Series, Cisco Catalyst 9,000, Silver Peak, Opengear, and Infoblox solutions.
  • Migrated Equinix shared cabinets to private cages using Nexus, Silver Peak, Palo Alto, Opengear, AWS Direct Connects, GCP Dedicated Interconnects, and EIP.
  • Developed YAML files for Ansible playbooks and implemented a push configuration feature to Cisco devices, transitioning from a traditional command-line interface (CLI) to infrastructure-as-code (IaC) practice.
  • Activated carrier and cloud provider circuits and established Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) peerings.
  • Configured Anyconnect for the Domain Name System (DNS) and Network Time Protocol (NTP) settings.
  • Built a highly restricted internet-of-things (IoT) development network.
  • Implemented quality-of-service (QoS) measures to regulate traffic between AWS and GCP environments.
  • Enabled a message authentication code (MAC) for Extreme Access Point (AP) clients using PacketFence.
  • Implemented Radius authentication across the entire network for all Cisco devices.
Technologies: Palo Alto Networks, Nexus, Catalyst, Silver Peak, Opengear, Infoblox, AWS Direct Connect, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Cisco, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Telecommunications, Internet of Things (IoT), YAML, Ansible, EIP, Firewalls, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM)

Senior Network Engineer

2018 - 2020
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
  • Deployed six new data centers utilizing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), Palo Alto firewalls, and Infoblox.
  • Completed level-2 migration from two legacy-hosted data centers to the 1st new data center.
  • Supported the transition from legacy voice systems to CUCM/CUBE VoIP.
  • Deployed Silver Peak SD-WAN solutions for remote office locations.
  • Implemented F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (F5 LTM) and Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) infrastructure across all six data centers.
Technologies: Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Infoblox, CUCM/CUBE VoIP, F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (F5 LTM), Silver Peak, Firewalls

Contract Network Engineer

2015 - 2018
  • Oversaw the migration of the legacy SIP PartnerNet call center to the new global network backbone.
  • Configured and maintained Cisco CUBE back-to-back session border controller (SBC).
  • Coordinated with Palo Alto REs to ensure security while providing optimum SIP network resiliency.
  • Configured and troubleshot Kamailio SIP server and FreeSWITCH media server.
  • Resolved issues in US Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) networking.
  • Designed Cisco 4451 interconnect and demarcation point (demarc) router template tailored for Call Center partners.
  • Migrated Call Center partners from the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to SIP call delivery.
  • Coordinated MACs to global Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) backbone with telcos.
  • Identified and resolved tier 3 SIP and networking issues.
Technologies: Kamailio, SIP, Palo Alto Networks, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Cisco, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Firewalls

Customer Service and Interop Test Engineer

2004 - 2012
  • Oversaw technical partnerships with key collaborators, such as Adtran, Zhone, Calix, and Occam, ensuring Interop certifications and adherence to best practice guidelines.
  • Provided partners with SIP, Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), and H.248 call flow expertise and Metaswitch training.
  • Certified vendor Interop with Cisco CUCM/CUBE VoIP.
  • Provided level 3 technical support for customer Interop issues with accredited equipment.
  • Planned and implemented class 4/5 replacement, cap-and-grow, and greenfield softswitch deployments for indicators of compromise (IOCs) and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).
  • Handled the provisioning, cutover, and troubleshooting of existing Test Data Manager (TDM) services, including SS7, TCAP, ISUP, GR303, MF, and ISDN, migrating them from legacy class 5s to Metaswitch softswitches.
  • Provided specialized expertise in routers, firewalls, and session border controllers (SBCs) to support telcos new to VoIP services.
  • Planned and executed customer migrations to VoIP with service providers.
Technologies: SIP, Telecommunications, CUCM/CUBE VoIP, Cisco


2002 - 2004
Kaiser Permanente
  • Designed, engineered, configured, and implemented Cisco switches and routers, including wireless, for a large national healthcare provider, Kaiser Permanente.
  • Managed cable and data vendors during field deployments.
  • Developed standards and documentation for all Cisco IOS, configuration, and inventory control procedures.
Technologies: Cisco, Wireless, Catalyst, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

From Start-up Environment to Enterprise

Due to my accomplishments at Airbnb during its hyper-growth mode, I was invited to join an autonomous vehicle startup after it secured funding from an established car manufacturer. When I joined, the East Coast had a headquarters and testing facility with two cabinets in a shared colocation cage. On the West Coast, there was a remote office and testing facility, also with two cabinets in a shared colocation cage.

Within two years, we transitioned from shared cages to having our own ten-cabinet cage at both colocation sites and set up a similar cage in Europe. I led the migration on the West Coast and a backup on the East Coast. This included all aspects of route/switch, SD-WAN, Palo Alto firewalls, as well as connectivity to AWS and GCP. It was a collaborative effort in Europe, with us starting to utilize Ansible for provisioning. I created the office network standards, remediated the West Coast office, and was involved in the team developing and implementing the vehicle test site standards.
1977 - 1980

Bachelor's Degree in German

Seattle University - Seattle, WA, United States

APRIL 2013 - APRIL 2023

Cisco Certified Network Professional Voice


APRIL 2011 - APRIL 2023

Cisco Certified Network Professional



Kamailio, Ansible


Nexus, MacOS, Linux, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), iOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS)





Industry Expertise



Command-line Interface (CLI), Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), CUCM/CUBE VoIP, Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure, Silver Peak, AWS Direct Connect, Juniper, Aruba, Wireless, Opengear, Infoblox, Internet of Things (IoT), F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (F5 LTM), SIP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), EIP, German, Cisco Nexus and Catalyst, Aruba/Silver Peak SD-WAN, Quality of Service (QoS), Firewalls, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM)

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