Category: Career

  • Solarwinds Geek Speak

    I’m sharing some articles I wrote on the Solarwinds Geek Speak blog.  I recommend you start with the 80/20 rule below post below before reading through the rest. The 80-20 Rule of Analysis and Optimisation Start with Continuous Improvement, then do DevOps The pain of network variation – part 1 The pain of network variation…

  • Include the why

    I recently stumbled upon an interesting speech from 1984 by Charlie Munger of Bershire Hathaway fame. Charlie is Warren Buffet’s right-hand-man, and a straight talking genius in his own right. It’s a fairly long speech and Charlie has a few very interesting things to say, but one particular section on ‘explaining the why’ really struck…

  • Thoughts on leaving Amazon

    Hi All, I left Amazon in late 2015 to become an independent contractor. I took a contract working for a small managed service provider, which was closer to my home and offered a more family friendly schedule. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I knew that I was going to miss some really cool colleagues,…

  • 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…

  • Career – The network rockstar and the checklist

    We’re in the midst of a networking boom at the moment and new technologies are being released at a rapid pace.  So much so that network engineers need a suite of knowledge management tools to navigate the daily deluge of articles, documents, twikis and notes. That said, how much of your day-to-day activities are markedly…

  • Career – But I'm doing you a favour

    Network engineering can be really frustrating sometimes.  Sometimes the root cause is technology, sometimes it’s broken process or poor systems.  Mostly, the frustrations stem from interaction with humanoids, otherwise known as people.

  • Design – Pushing for true network requirements

    All too often we engineers end up blindly actioning tasks without questioning the true requirements driving the request.  Even if you are ‘efficient’ at deployment, doing the wrong task well is not ‘effectiveness’. Picture the scene when a project manager walks into your workspace.  “Hey junior-engineer-I’ve-never-seen-before, I need to you to install a 3750E-48TS in…

  • 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.…

  • 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?…

  • Your vendor has a BATNA, where's yours?

    Part of our job as engineers is to provide the best solution to our customer whilst minimizing cost.  I’m not saying we should always choose the solution with the lowest price tag, but cost should always be considered when evaluating your design.   It is pretty likely, however, that your company will be a single-vendor shop.…