Act!

16 March 2015 |

Part 1: Getting Inside the Loop Part 2: Orientation Part 3: Decide! Once you’ve observed, oriented, and decided, it’s time to act. This might seem like a minor concept, but it’s actually really, really hard to act in a lot of situations. There are two elements here — the first is our willing suspension of…

Decide!

9 March 2015 | Comments Off on Decide!

Last week we talked about orienteering — using models and information to orient ourselves to what’s going on in the network. This is part of the OODA loop, which we talked about two weeks ago. This week, let’s look at the next step — decide. In fact: Decide! Now! How many hours have you spent…

Orientation

2 March 2015 |

Quick — can you OODA? Last week we talked about the general idea behind the OODA loop; this week we’ll cover one more step; next week we’ll cover the last two steps, and then, in the last post, we’ll review and wrap up. Orient is the second step: once you’ve made a set of observations,…

Getting Inside the Loop

23 February 2015 | Comments Off on Getting Inside the Loop

Metadata doesn’t just apply to data science or protocols — it applies to engineering life. Think about the concept of epistemology — the study of how we know what we know — or the concept of hermeneutics — the study of how we understand communication — and you can quickly see that stepping outside what…

A Neutral ‘Net?

16 February 2015 | Comments Off on A Neutral ‘Net?

This week I’m going to step off the beaten path for a moment and talk about ‘net neutrality. It appears we are about to enter a new phase in the life of the Internet — at least in the United States — as the FCC is out and about implying we should expect a ruling…

Friends May Come and Go…

9 February 2015 |

We overuse the word “friend” in our world—especially the technical world. We tend to call anyone we’ve ever met a friend. In this environment, friends come and go almost constantly, flowing through our lives like the leaves in a brisk fall wind. The depth to which Facebook and LinkedIn dive into our personal relationships—reminding us…

But Does it Work?

19 January 2015 |

When I was in the USAF, a long, long, time ago, there was a guy in my shop — Armand — who, no matter what we did around the shop, would ask, “but does it work?” For instance, when I was working on redoing the tool cabinet, with nice painted slots for each tool, he…

Leaky Abstractions

12 January 2015 | Comments Off on Leaky Abstractions

Much of our life, as engineers, is about building, manipulating, and using abstractions. For instance, C is nothing but an abstraction on top of the actual register set provided by a particular processor. HTML is nothing but an abstraction for formatting and display (a markup language), implemented in — well, C. There is a lot…

On Losing

5 January 2015 | Comments Off on On Losing

When I got off the phone, I knew I’d blown it. I’d gotten so wrapped up in the discussion on eVPNs that I might have crossed over that magical line between, “this is a really neat technology,” to, “this technology will solve world hunger.” It brought back to mind my first “real fight” in the…

Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 2)

29 December 2014 | Comments Off on Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 2)

Last time, we talked a little about making certain your presentation has a point — or a porpoise, as the case might be. This time I want to talk about a few other common mistakes I see network engineers make when building presentations, and actually presenting them. First, you put too much text on your…