Common operational misconceptions

-Hammer- bhmccie at
Fri Feb 17 15:46:13 UTC 2012

Well said. An American tragedy.


"I was a normal American nerd"
-Jack Herer

On 2/17/2012 9:01 AM, Brandt, Ralph wrote:
> Hammer, you are at least 75% right.  You will get flamed and in most
> cases, the 35 year age is close to right.
> But then in Programming where I spent most of my IT time since Feb 1963,
> few current programmers have skills that they need to be really
> successful.  Same thing.
> It is the fault of the educational system like one school district here
> that teaches Alice, VB and then two days of C++ to High School Kids.
> Heck, they will fiddle with Alice on their own.  They need some exposure
> to one of the SQL's and how to build some tables, maybe a good script
> language, some command line on SQL+ and unix or PostgresSQL and linux if
> the school can't afford the unix licenses.
> The fun and games is more important than the substance and it goes into
> the colleges in spades.
> BTW, I am a school board member who votes 1:8 often on things.... But
> let me give you a perspective, one of the board members called Golf an
> "Essential Life Skill."  Maybe, but how about balancing a checkbook...
> Ralph Brandt
> Communications Engineer
> HP Enterprise Services
> Telephone +1 717.506.0802
> FAX +1 717.506.4358
> Email Ralph.Brandt at
> 5095 Ritter Rd
> Mechanicsburg PA 17055
> -----Original Message-----
> From: -Hammer- [mailto:bhmccie at]
> Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:52 AM
> To: nanog at
> Subject: Re: Common operational misconceptions
> Let me simplify that. If you are over 35 you know how to troubleshoot.
> Yes, I'm going to get flamed. Yes, there are exceptions in both
> directions.
> -Hammer-
> "I was a normal American nerd"
> -Jack Herer
> On 2/17/2012 8:29 AM, Leo Bicknell wrote:
>> In a message written on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 08:50:11PM -1000, Paul
> Graydon wrote:
>>> At the same time, it's shocking how many network people I come across
>>> with no real grasp of even what OSI means by each layer, even if it's
>>> only in theory.  Just having a grasp of that makes all the world of
>>> difference when it comes to troubleshooting.  Start at layer 1 and
> work
>>> upwards (unless you're able to make appropriate intuitive leaps.) Is
> it
>>> physically connected? Are the link lights flashing? Can traffic route
> to
>>> it, etc. etc.
>> I wouldn't call it a "misconception", but I want to echo Paul's
>> comment.  I would venture over 90% of the engineers I work with
>> have no idea how to troubleshoot properly.  Thinking back to my own
>> education, I don't recall anyone in highschool or college attempting
>> to teach troubleshooting skills.  Most classes teach you how to
>> build things, not deal with them when they are broken.
>> The basic skills are probably obvious to someone who might design
>> course material if they sat down and thought about how to teach
>> troubleshooting.  However, there is one area that may not be obvious.
>> There's also a group management problem.  Many times troubleshooting
>> is done with multiple folks on the phone (say, customer, ISP and
>> vendor).  Not only do you have to know how to troubleshoot, but how
>> to get everyone on the same page so every possible cause isn't
>> tested 3 times.
>> I think all college level courses should include a "break/fix"
>> exercise/module after learning how to build something, and much of
> that
>> should be done in a group enviornment.

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