The Silo of Focus

How often, in our careers, are we told to focus on one thing at a time? I would guess I see some message about this, such as the image to the left in this post, at least once a week, if not once a day. In general, I agree with the sentiment. If you really…

Worth Learning: The Power Grid

Stop mulling over the latest (now dead) command line, and learn something useful. If you work in networking, you work with electricity. But how many people really know how the power grid works? Even though I have relatives and friends who’ve worked in the power industry all their lives, I’m still learning new things about…

Skipping the Hype Cycle

Sipping from the firehose is a big problem in the tech industries. Every time I turn around there’s yet another new technology to make everything better. If you can’t quote rule 11, you need to learn it by heart. Now. I’ll wait right here while you do the memorization thing. So — why the hype…

Big Data for Social Engineering

First, it integrates with corporate directories such as Active Directory and social media sites like LinkedIn to map the connections between employees, as well as important outside contacts. Bell calls this the “real org chart.” Hackers can use such information to choose people they ought to impersonate while trying to scam employees. From there, AVA…

Are Walled Gardens the Future of the ‘net?

From the very beginning, the walled garden has been the opposite of what those who work on and around the ‘net have wanted. The IETF, and the protocols it has developed over the years, have always been about free and open access to anyone who wants to learn networking, coding, or even just what the…

Liskov Substitution and Modularity in Network Design

Furthering the thoughts I’ve put into the forthcoming book on network complexity… One of the hardest things for designers to wrap their heads around is the concept of unintended consequences. One of the definitional points of complexity in any design is the problem of “push button on right side, weird thing happens over on the…

Engineering Lessons, IPv6 Edition

Yes, we really are going to reach a point where the RIRs will run out of IPv4 addresses. As this chart from Geoff’s blog shows — Why am I thinking about this? Because I ran across a really good article by Geoff Huston over at potaroo about the state of the IPv4 address pool at…

The Future of Network Engineering

Two different articles caught my attention this last week. They may not seem to be interrelated, but given my “pattern making mind,” I always seem to find connections. The first is an article from Network Computing discussing the future of network engineering skill sets. It’s a new day in enterprise technology, with Chuck Robbins at…

Engineering Sense

Why didn’t they ask Evans? For those who haven’t read the famous Agatha Christie novel, the entire point revolves around a man uttering these words just before dying. Who is Evans? What does this person know that can lead to the murderer of the man on the golf course? Bobby and Frankie, the heroes of…

Review: The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research Booth, Colomb, and Williamns Engineers don’t often think of themselves as researchers. After all, what does writing a bit of code, or building a network design, have to do with research? Isn’t research something academic type folks do when they’re writing really long, and really boring, papers that no-one ever reads?…