The Pie Problem: Growth and Ratios

29 June 2015 | Comments Off on The Pie Problem: Growth and Ratios

Why does it seem life goes faster as you get older? There are several reasons, of course — a primary one being it always seems there’s more you need to do and less you want to do, as you get older and take on responsibilities. I know that the last 17 years, since my first…

Network scale is more than size

24 June 2015 | Comments Off on Network scale is more than size

“Judge me by my size, do you?” I’ve had several discussions with people over the years about the concept of scale in the world of network engineering. Most often, when network engineers think of a “large scale network,” they used to mention large service providers. Now they tend to think of some large cloud provider.…

Why I Support Certifications

22 June 2015 | Comments Off on Why I Support Certifications

I’m betting that I could take my certifications off my resume and still have a fair chance at finding a job. It’s a guess, of course, and I’ve never tried any sort of an experiment towards finding out, but the point is this: at some point in your career, certifications should become just one more…

Explain-a-holic (Communicate Clearly)

15 June 2015 | Comments Off on Explain-a-holic (Communicate Clearly)

But just a couple of days ago, I was talking to someone about managing expectations in the IT world. How do you convince someone else to buy into a project? How do you get them to back your idea, rather than inventing their own? While the question itself is interesting, I’m going to leave my…

Architect or Designer?

8 June 2015 | Comments Off on Architect or Designer?

Are you an architect or designer? What’s the difference? A reader asked this last week in email — my (probably) less than perfect response. First, we have to dispense with this objection — network people aren’t “architects” in the first place. Nor are they “engineers.” Okay, so… A challenge: what else would you call someone…

Resume Building

3 June 2015 |

It’s a discussion in meeting rooms, boardrooms, hotel conference rooms, and post-conference cocktail parties: Why isn’t IT working? Ask anyone in a corporate or government job and you’ll get an earful. As I was writing this book, I’d occasionally throw the question out to friends, clients, and beleaguered airplane seatmates. The responses come fast and…

The right tool for the job

1 June 2015 | Comments Off on The right tool for the job

This last weekend I set a toilet, replaced five faucets, and put together the beginnings of a workbench. No, I’ve not resorted to working in “the trades,” to make a living — I’ve been slowly but surely finishing and refashioning our “country house” to better accommodate the time we spend “in the country.” One of…

Waste Not a Moment (Time Management)

26 May 2015 | Comments Off on Waste Not a Moment (Time Management)

One of the legends surrounding people who get a lot done is they simply don’t sleep. It’s long been said that I have some number of clones who do part of my work, or perhaps that if you ask different clones the same question, you’ll get different answers. This has, of course, been verified scientifically……

Data Can’t Lie?

20 May 2015 | Comments Off on Data Can’t Lie?

A statistician is someone who can put their head in a hot oven, and their feet in a bucket of ice, and say, “on the average, I feel fine.” Before we move completely into a world where people are counseled, “use the data, Luke,” disregarding their own beliefs and feelings, we need to have a…

Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

18 May 2015 | Comments Off on Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

Many years ago, I worked for a manager who had two signs on his desk. The first was a pencil with the words, “Pencil 2.0” printed above them. The rest of the sign went on to explain how the pencil had undo (the eraser), was renewable (it can be sharpened), etc. The second sign was…