common time-management mistake: rack & stack

Randy Bush randy at
Fri Feb 17 17:17:03 UTC 2012

would have been good to know to whom you were replying, not in To: or in
pre-quote text.

>> I have noticed that a lot of very well-paid, sometimes
>> well-qualified, networking folks spend some of their time on "rack &
>> stack" tasks, which I feel is a very unwise use of time and talent.
> It's not a waste, it's therapeutic, breaks the monotony of a desk
> job, you get a bit of exercise. Doing something mindless can help
> clear your thoughts, engineering yoga.
>> Imagine if the CFO of a bank spent a big chunk of his time filling up
>> ATMs.
> That'd be a good idea, it's too easy to become remote from reality.
> obviously you need the right balance - s/big//

i configure routers, admin servers, and occasionally rack and stack in
my own research racks [0].  aside from giving me a base in reality
instead of all research papers and power point (a major benefit), it's
like housework or doing the dishes, shut up and do your part.

it's also damned useful to maintain layer zero skills.  once upon a
time, when i was playing at vp eng, a london routing hub was supposed to
be turned up.  the equipment sat in co-lo receiving for weeks, and no
respose from the london techs (i am sure they had ccnas, whetever the
hell that is).  so i grabbed my toolkit and got on a plane and walked
into redbus and started turning it all up.  the local techs appeared
pretty damed quickly and started doing their jobs.  of course, a few
weeks later they were told to get jobs elsewhere.

maintain your skills, you may need them again some day.



[0] - deep thanks to (in alpha order) cisco, equinix, google, juniper,
      nsf, and others for contributions.

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