Programmers with network engineering skills

Keegan Holley keegan.holley at
Tue Feb 28 16:43:47 UTC 2012

+1 on both.  Senior network guys learn programming/scripting as a way to
automate configuration and deal with large amounts of data.  It's an
enhancement for us and most network people are willing to expand their
programming skills given the time.  On the other hand there are way too
many jobs where programmers can just be programmers for many of them to be
interested in expanding their networking skills even if they have prior
experience.  If they become interested in the "hardware" world they usually
go toward systems administrator and OS's.  Some of them are big enough
geeks to want to learn both or all three, but those are few and far
between.  It's very likely that such programmers frequent this list so
hopefully I won't get flamed for posting this.  EIther way it's just
semantics, but it is generally easier to find a network guy that wants to
learn how to program or get better at it than to find a programmer who is
dying to learn about networking.  Not sure if I agree with the opinion
about generalists.  There are alot of people who view technology as both a
job and a hobby and become experts in what pays their bills and then slowly
learn something about everything via osmosis.  There are alot of people
that never saw a book or trade rag they didn't like.

2012/2/27 Owen DeLong <owen at>

> I think you're more likely to find a network engineer with (possibly
> limited)
> programming skills.
> That's certainly where I would categorize myself.
> Owen
> On Feb 27, 2012, at 12:02 PM, Brandt, Ralph wrote:
> > Generalists are hard to come by these days. They are people who learn
> > less and less about more and more till they know nothing about
> > everything. People today are specializing in the left and right halves
> > of the bytes....  They learn more and more about less and less till they
> > know everything about nothing.  And BTW, they are worthless unless you
> > have five of them working on a problem because none of them know enough
> > to fix it.  Worse, you can replace the word five with fifty and it may
> > be still true.
> >
> > I know of three of these, all gainfully employed at this time and could
> > each find at least a couple jobs if they wanted.  I am one, my son is
> > two and a guy we worked with is the third.
> >
> > At one time (40 years ago) the mantra in IS was train for expertise, now
> > it is hire for it.  Somewhere there has to be a happy medium.  I suggest
> > this, find a good coder, not a mediocre who writes shit code but a good
> > one who can think and learn and when you talk about branching out with
> > his skill set he or she lights up.  His first thing on site is take the
> > A+ networking course.
> >
> > No, I do not sell the courses.  But I have seen this kind of approach
> > work when nothing else was.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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: A. Pishdadi [mailto:apishdadi at]
> > Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:27 PM
> > To: NANOG
> > Subject: Programmers with network engineering skills
> >
> > Hello All,
> >
> > i have been looking for quite some time now a descent coder (c,php) who
> > has
> > a descent amount of system admin / netadmin experience. Doesn't
> > necessarily
> > need to be an expert at network engineering but being acclimated in
> > understanding the basic fundamentals of networking. Understanding basic
> > routing concepts, how to diagnose using tcpdump / pcap, understanding
> > subnetting and how bgp works (not necessarily setting up bgp). I've
> > posted
> > job listings on the likes of dice and monster and have not found any
> > good
> > canidates, most of them ASP / Java guys.
> >
> > If anyone can point me to a site they might recommend for job postings
> > or
> > know of any consulting firms that might provide these services that
> > would
> > be greatly appreciated.

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