Imposter syndrome is the topic du jour for blogs and podcasts, so I’m almost reluctant to write about it. However, I want to share something I realized about myself that breaks from the conversation at large about this popular subject.
I believe continual professional development is absolutely necessary for workers in the IT industry, and for a network engineer like myself, blogs and podcasts have helped with my own professional development as much as formal training courses.
Below is a list of the technology-related podcasts that have been my go-to when driving the many miles I travel per month. Most are networking-related, but some cover information on security, cloud, virtualization, etc.
There are more out there, but these are the handful I always seem to gravitate to. I’d love to get your recommendations for podcasts I should be listening to, so please let me know in the comments.
I got very interested in intent based networking a few years ago when the term was relatively unknown. However, in the last year or so the term has been adopted by a variety of networking vendors and applied to technologies that I believe have very little to do with intent based networking.
The term has become part of the current marketing narrative leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many engineers and technical individuals. However, I believe it’s very important to consider that intent based networking is not simply the use of a new buzzword by networking vendors. IBN stands on its own as a new networking paradigm, despite it being hijacked by marketing teams.
As much as I love to call out a vendor on marketing nonsense, Ramesh Prabagaran, Director of Product Management at Cisco, made some compelling marketing statements about SD-WAN at Networking Field Day 19. In particular he said:
Recently I was in the midst of setting up a simple two node Cisco ISE 188.8.131.528 cluster and got to the stage when I registered the secondary node through the GUI of the primary. At that point, things wouldn’t work.
I’ve been an active part of the networking community on social media for only a few years. Before that I was a passive consumer of tweets, blogs, and videos. A previous manager inspired me to be more active, and very quickly after engaging directly with bloggers, podcasters, and engineers, the value of being an active participant became very clear to me.
I spent about a year completely focused on network security, and one thing I learned was that spending all my time focused on securing the perimeter to the neglect of intra-LAN traffic was a recipe for disaster.
Most of the traffic in our data centers is east-west, with only a small fraction actually being northbound out to the rest of the world. The cost of massive firewall appliance clusters operating at line-rate is astronomical, and it doesn’t make sense to punt traffic all over the place if there’s a better way.
Servers, especially Linux servers, have been managed programmatically for years. Today, it goes almost without saying that a decent IT department is running Chef, Ansible, or some other tool to manage their servers as pools of resources.
What strikes me as odd is that this didn’t catch on in the network side of the house. Of course, there are always exceptions. A look at networking forums from years ago will showcase a few ambitious engineers arguing over using Expect or Perl scripts to manage their switches, but this was the exception in the networking industry, not the norm.
At Networking Field Day 17, several vendors that have long embraced network programmability turned their gaze from the data center to enterprise networking, and it seems as if networking may be finally ready to catch up to what we’ve been doing with servers for decades.
When I was a new high school English teacher I sat through a class on grammar my department chair taught to her 7th graders explaining a preposition is a word that describes anywhere a mouse can go. I’ve never forgotten that.
A few years later I changed careers to IT and found some very helpful mnemonic devices and acronyms that helped me remember various aspects of networking.
Here are a few that I used over the years: