How our young colleagues are being educated....

Grant Ridder shortdudey123 at
Fri Dec 26 02:13:01 UTC 2014

I used Stallings a couple years ago.  Cisco is not the basis of
networking.  It is the basis for TCP/IP.


On Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 6:21 PM, Miles Fidelman <mfidelman at>

> Cisco as the basis of networking material? Does nobody use Comer,
> Stallings, or Tannenbaum as basic texts anymore?
> Miles Fidelman
> Mike Jones wrote:
>> I am a university student that has just completed the first term of
>> the first year of a Computer Systems and Networks course. Apart from a
>> really out of place MATH module that did trig but not binary, it has
>> been reasonably well run so far. The binary is covered in a different
>> module, just not maths. The worst part of the course is actually the
>> core networking module, which is based on Cisco material. The cisco
>> material is HORRIBLE! those awkward "book" page things with the stupid
>> higherarchical menu. As for the content.. a scalable network is one
>> you can add hosts to, so what's a non-scalable network? will the
>> building collapse if i plug my laptop in?
>> As I have been following NANOG for years I do notice a lot of mistakes
>> or "over-simplifications" that show a clear distinction between the
>> theory in the university books and the reality on nanog, and
>> demonstrate the lecturers lack of real world exposure. As a simple
>> example, in IPv4 the goal is to conserve IP addresses therefore on
>> point to point links you use a /30 which only wastes 50% of the
>> address space. In the real world - /31's? but a /31 is impossible I
>> hear the lecturers say...
>> The entire campus is not only IPv4-only, but on the wifi network they
>> actually assign globally routable addresses, then block protocol 41,
>> so windows configures broken 6to4! Working IPv6 connectivity would at
>> least expose students to it a little and let them play with it...
>> Amoung the things I have heard so far: MAC Addresses are unique, IP
>> fragments should be blocked for security reasons, and the OSI model
>> only has 7 layers to worry about. All theoretically correct. All
>> wrong.
>> - Mike Jones
>> On 22 December 2014 at 09:13, Javier J <javier at>
>> wrote:
>>> Dear NANOG Members,
>>> It has come to my attention, that higher learning institutions in North
>>> America are doing our young future colleagues a disservice.
>>> I recently ran into a student of Southern New Hampshire University
>>> enrolled
>>> in the Networking/Telecom Management course and was shocked by what I
>>> learned.
>>> Not only are they skimming over new technologies such as BGP, MPLS and
>>> the
>>> fundamentals of TCP/IP that run the internet and the networks of the
>>> world,
>>> they were focusing on ATM , Frame Relay and other technologies that are
>>> on
>>> their way out the door and will probably be extinct by the time this
>>> student graduates. They are teaching classful routing and skimming over
>>> CIDR. Is this indicative of the state of our education system as a whole?
>>> How is it this student doesn't know about OSPF and has never heard of
>>> RIP?
>>> If your network hardware is so old you need a crossover cable, it's time
>>> to
>>> upgrade. In this case, it’s time to upgrade our education system.
>>> I didn't write this email on the sole experience of my conversation with
>>> one student, I wrote this email because I have noticed a pattern emerging
>>> over the years with other university students at other schools across the
>>> country. It’s just the countless times I have crossed paths with a young
>>> IT
>>> professional and was literally in shock listening to the things they were
>>> being taught. Teaching old technologies instead of teaching what is
>>> currently being used benefits no one. Teaching classful and skipping CIDR
>>> is another thing that really gets my blood boiling.
>>> Are colleges teaching what an RFC is? Are colleges teaching what IPv6 is?
>>> What about unicast and multicast? I confirmed with one student half way
>>> through their studies that they were not properly taught how DNS works,
>>> and
>>> had no clue what the term “root servers” meant.
>>> Am I crazy? Am I ranting? Doesn't this need to be addressed? …..and if
>>> not
>>> by us, then by whom? How can we fix this?
> --
> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
> In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

More information about the NANOG mailing list