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Tag: SoftSkills

Effectiveness – Network Truths, Principles and Fallacies

Effectiveness – Network Truths, Principles and Fallacies

I gave a 13-minute talk to the Irish Network Operators Group (INOG) recently. In this 13-minute video I argue that you can become more effective, and happier, by standing back and reflecting on how you work, leveraging existing truths, fallacies and principles. I introduce The twelve networking truths and the 8 Fallacies of Distributed Computing. I then describe a handful of my own learnings and fancy terms like Chestertons Fence and the Gordian Knot. Check out the video folks, I’d love your feedback.

Network config backups – just the beginning

Network config backups – just the beginning

An emergency switch replacement can ruin your day. However, having network config backups is not enough. Restoring full service may not be as easy as just copying the running configuration from your RANCID CVS repo, or your colleagues hard drive. Restoring the ‘identity’ of your original switch is a multi-step and somewhat complicated process.

Planning projects instead of burning benjamins

Planning projects instead of burning benjamins

Engineers are often unstuck by poor planning and get hit with large financial penalties as a result. Projects can become mired in delays and complications due to unforeseen costs and expenses. There are some unavoidable bumps in the road, but most could be foreseen and eliminated in advance. I want to share a few tips based on some experiences I’ve had over the years.

Career – Zen and the art of network maintenance

Career – Zen and the art of network maintenance

Getting Zen ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance‘ by Robert Pirsig is a modern classic.  When I first read this book I didn’t quite get the zen I was looking for. But then again maybe I was trying too hard which isn’t very zen-like.  It is a wonderful book and although I missed many of the metaphors I gleaned some solid advice on how to enjoy my work. I think Pirsig’s motorcycle maintenance tips can help us in our…

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Spiral & mastery learning

Spiral & mastery learning

 Spiral Learning I recently attended a curriculum night for my eldest son who is starting 2nd grade.  The teacher talked about a learning method known as ‘spiral learning’ and that the kids would continue to cycle through a range of topics in each subject, revisiting each topic at a deeper level later in the year.   I had never heard of ‘spiral learning’ before.   After a few passed I realised that I use the ‘spiral learning’ approach all the…

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Be judged or be ignored

Be judged or be ignored

Photo By Lestat (Jan Mehlich) under Creative Commons Being judged is tough but valuable I have wanted to start a network engineering blog for quite some time.  I had a long list of  reasons as to why I hadn’t started yet. I wasn’t sure what my colleagues would think.  Did I have enough material? Could I afford the time?  Then I read a post from Seth Godin a few weeks back that really hit home.

Career – Effectiveness and trust

Career – Effectiveness and trust

As a network engineer, you take pride in your hard earned skills, and so you should.  You’ve learned how to design networks. You’ve learned how to install, upgrade and configure routers.  You’ve figured out how to sniff out and fix faults.  If you study your craft and hone your technical skills then you deserve to be rewarded.  However, unless you can work with the people and process in an organization, you won’t get the career success you deserve. Getting Started…

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