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(Effective) Habits of the Network Expert

14 October 2019 |

For any field of study, there are some mental habits that will make you an expert over time. Whether you are an infrastructure architect, a network designer, or a network reliability engineer, what are the habits of mind those involved in the building and operation of networks follow that mark out expertise?

Experts involve the user

Experts don’t just listen to the user, they involve the user. This means taking the time to teach the developer or application owner how their applications interact with the network, showing them how their applications either simplify or complicate the network, and the impact of these decisions on the overall network.

Experts think about data

Rather than applications. What does the data look like? How does the business use the data? Where does the data need to be, when does it need to be there, how often does it need to go, and what is the cost of moving it? What might be in the data that can be harmful? How can I protect the data while at rest and in flight?

Short Take: Customizing Your World

1 May 2019 | Comments Off on Short Take: Customizing Your World

Practical Simplification

22 April 2019 | Comments Off on Practical Simplification

Simplification is a constant theme not only here, and in my talks, but across the network engineering world right now. But what does this mean practically? Looking at a complex network, how do you begin simplifying? The first option is to abstract, abstract again, and abstract some more. But before diving into deep abstraction, remember…

Network Collective: The Value of Labs

17 January 2019 | Comments Off on Network Collective: The Value of Labs

The Network Collective: The Value of Labs

20 December 2018 | Comments Off on The Network Collective: The Value of Labs

Problems and Solutions

23 October 2018 | Comments Off on Problems and Solutions

Short Take: Time Management

18 September 2018 | Comments Off on Short Take: Time Management

Complexity Sells

9 July 2018 | Comments Off on Complexity Sells

According to Roman philosophers, simplicity is the hallmark of truth. And yet, networks have become ever more complex over time. Why is this? Because complexity sells. In this short take, I talk about why complexity sells, and some of the mental habits you can use to overcome our natural tendency to prefer the complex.

Growing and Selling

4 December 2017 | Comments Off on Growing and Selling

A lot of people say just to save money, and watch it grow. There is more to life than just growing, though—you need to figure out what to sell, as well.

Learning to Ask Questions

13 November 2017 | Comments Off on Learning to Ask Questions

One thing I’m often asked in email and in person is: why should I bother learning theory? After all, you don’t install SPF in your network; you install a router or switch, which you then configure OSPF or IS-IS on. The SPF algorithm is not exposed to the user, and does not seem to really…

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