Looking for a Tier 1 ISP Mentor for career advice.

David Radcliffe david at davidradcliffe.org
Thu Dec 1 18:26:56 UTC 2011

I keep running into cases where people do not know how to adequately use my 
talents so the compensation is too light...

Or they require relocation, even though the nature of the job is virtual 
(hands on not really required).

At least it is nice to see some folks out there who do need people like me.

Over the years I've been a (very good) coder, sysadmin, DBA, network engineer, 
etc. with strong Cisco and some Juniper (of course a couple days self training 
and I am pretty strong on anything).

I'm not a job hopper so I have to either really hate my position or get an 
offer too good to refuse, for me to change companies.

For me the "too good" includes things like telecommute (I am well set up for 
that), good salary/package (have that now..the salary part anyway), limited 
paperwork a plus (we pay you salary, you provide results...no pointy haired 
bosses here), a company who's motto is not "Panic! Because planning is just 
too much effort."

I guess my advice is:

Don't miss out on someone who might be your star employee just to keep doing 
things the old way.  Telecommuting can be very effective with the proper 
management tools.  Obviously, working from home is not for everyone so the 
employee needs to be dedicated to the process.

The best technical people can be quirky.  I once had a guy on my team who 
customers thought was rude so I had to handle sites where people had met him 
before.  I recognized he was desperately shy and did not deal with people 
well.  He was a very talented technician so rather than loose him I was able 
to redeploy his abilities to projects not involving humans.  Worked out well.

For me it's lists.  I do way better when I have lists I can check off.  I make 
lists for everything and get a warm feeling when I check off an items.  I like 
the word "check" because it brings up a picture in my head of a list with 
check marks.  Freaky, huh?

On Thursday, December 01, 2011 10:52:39 AM Mark Stevens wrote:
> It takes me years to find such people and when I do, I try very hard to
> keep them! I have 3 key people that fit the "soft" attribute criteria
> Randal mentioned, but with a premium skill set in their specific
> function. Good luck with your task Leigh!
> Mark Stevens
> On 12/1/2011 10:21 AM, Leigh Porter wrote:
> > I am looking for just such a person now. Good Juniper, some Cisco and
> > Sysadmin experience with an ISP background..
> > 
> > I expect it will be immensely difficult to find somebody. What makes it
> > even more frustrating is that just such a person was not all that long
> > ago made redundant!
> > 
> > So if anybody is looking for something to do around London...
> > 
> > --
> > Leigh
> > 
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: randal k [mailto:nanog at data102.com]
> >> Sent: 01 December 2011 15:19
> >> To: Bill Stewart
> >> Cc: nanog at nanog.org
> >> Subject: Re: Looking for a Tier 1 ISP Mentor for career advice.
> >> 
> >> This is a huge point. We've had a LOT of trouble finding good network
> >> engineers who have all of the previously mentioned "soft" attributes -
> >> attitude, team player, can write, can speak, can run a small project -
> >> and
> >> are more than just Cisco pimps. I cannot explain how frustrating it is
> >> to
> >> meet a newly minted CCNP who has zero Linux experience, can't script
> >> anything, can't setup a syslog server, doesn't understand AD much less
> >> LDAP, etc. Imagine, an employee who can help themselves 90% of the time
> >> ...
> >> 
> >> Finding the diamond that has strong niche skill, networking, with a
> >> broad&
> >> just-deep-enough sysadmin background has been very, very hard. I cannot
> >> emphasize enough the importance of cross-training. Immensely valuable.
> >> 
> >> Randal
> >> 
> >> On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 4:39 PM, Bill Stewart<nonobvious at gmail.com>
> >> 
> >> wrote:
> >>>   And yeah, sometimes it means that you need to go
> >>> 
> >>> learn technologies like Active Directory
> >>> 
> >>   [snip]
> >>> 
> >>> In addition to learning scripting languages
> >> 
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> > 
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David Radcliffe
Network Engineer/Linux Specialist
david at davidradcliffe.org

Nothing ever gets solved better with panic.
If you do not know the answer, it is probably "42."

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