Common operational misconceptions

-Hammer- bhmccie at
Fri Feb 17 20:48:58 UTC 2012

I couldn't argue with any of that. Again, there are exceptions on either 


"I was a normal American nerd"
-Jack Herer

On 2/17/2012 2:40 PM, Ray Soucy wrote:
> Maybe ;-)
> I don't think it's an age thing, though.
> The number of people who have a real interest in technology, and how
> things work "under the hood" hasn't changed much.  I know people 10
> years younger than me who can keep up with the best of us, and people
> 10 years older who are complete failures at technology.  People like
> us have always been a fairly small number.
> What has changed, though, is that there are a lot more young people
> who think they have technology skills; perhaps as a side effect of
> growing up in a world where the Internet has always been there.
> Naturally, we have a lot of people filling IT spots that aren't
> qualified and lack the basic knowledge of how complex systems are
> built.   To troubleshoot effectively, you need to be able to break
> down systems into their components and isolate the problem; and a lot
> of people just don't have the background to be able to do that because
> they never cared to do so.  It's just a paycheck to them.
> Those of us in my age group were lucky enough to be around for the
> transition from dial-up BBS, to dial-up Internet, to broadband.  As a
> networking geek I don't think I could ask for a better year to be
> born, really.  It's always been exciting.
> These days I'm playing with DWDM and a state wide R&E network in a
> state that established dark fiber as a public utility; doesn't get
> much better than that.
> I'd say the future is pretty bright. ;-)
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM, -Hammer-<bhmccie at>  wrote:
>> Still buzzing over that cheap auto insurance eh? :) Wait till people stop
>> carding you.....
>> -Hammer-
>> "I was a normal American nerd"
>> -Jack Herer
>> On 2/17/2012 1:42 PM, Ray Soucy wrote:
>>> As someone who was born in 1984 I respectfully disagree. ;-)
>>> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 9:52 AM, -Hammer-<bhmccie at>    wrote:
>>>> 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.

More information about the NANOG mailing list