** I initially posted this over at PacketPushers – Send them your love. **
Here ye. Here ye. Gather around now. I have a proposal for my fellow network engineers. Imagine a world where we could engineer without delay in management. Envisage an enterprise where every project need not be managed – especially by someone twice removed with a degree in Crop Management! Paint an image in your mind of autonomous flows, management packages that actually help not hinder, and Cloudtoad* running free among the unicorns and rainbows, at one with the packets.
Well, the truth is that there may not be a future as amazing as I pictured, and some of you may have nightmares about our dear, bearded, wise sage of networking running wild and free. But for all of the silliness, there is actually something achievable. Something that is obtainable – hell, even actionable this instant.
noun syn er gy
- The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects
By definition, that word sounds like a joke. Especially in our industry that is bogged in procedure. I believe that an open mind is needed. We need to adjust our thinking. Our enemy goes by many names. Project managers, ITIL, and Gantt charts are a few. Yet they are but a single face to a foe which has thousands. We stand and face an adversary that is as vast as an ocean and can slow the fastest moving process to glacial speeds: adversity to change. We need combine our skills and produce something greater together than we can alone. We need synergy amongst the network engineering fraternity. We might just break a few myths about ourselves too! ^
“Surely you jest, Anthony. Nothing can defeat this,” you might say. Well, we can. Just as global warming is winning the fight for legitimacy, we can band together as a legitimate driving force. Help a fellow network engineer or implementor. Provide the information required to allow interconnectivity. Don’t be defensive. Don’t demand a Spanish Inquisition when someone makes a mistake. Ask if they need help. Don’t be condescending. Share knowledge. Blog. Tweet. Answer a forum question. We are of one breed. We are a multi-skilled and very well-equipped army. By keeping an open mind when discussing ideas, we can leap into greater things. Take criticism or be prepared to defend a design. Even if you out-skill or out-cert another engineer, it doesn’t mean their opinion is invalid. They are your brothers. They are your sisters. We are a family of engineers. Forego race, background, religion or skill-set in the equation.
Combined, we can speed up change. As the old adage goes, “Two heads are better than one.” We can progress and meet deadlines – deliver new technologies to harness the power of the future. Let’s deliver together the world of tomorrow, today. OTV, IPv6, SDN, TRILL, LISP – you name it. We can configure and deliver. Even if it is multi-partner, day-to-day business, this way of thinking still applies. Let us just work together united against all that seek to hinder. Grab your fellow engineer and hunt those naysayers to change. #
* Cloudtoad for me is an industry leader, and is depicted frolicking with unicorns as reward for such a coveted position!
^ Disclaimer: Myths may not be broken.
# Be aggressive in your pursuit of the naysayers to change but respect local laws. =)