How our young colleagues are being educated....

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at
Fri Dec 26 03:48:34 UTC 2014

Well... to be accurate, and just a tad pedantic, the basis for TCP/IP is:
"A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication," Vinton G. Cerf & 
Robert E. Kahn, IEEE Trans on Comms, Vol Com-22, No 5 May 1974

Miles Fidelman

Grant Ridder wrote:
> I used Stallings a couple years ago.  Cisco is not the basis of 
> networking.  It is the basis for TCP/IP.
> -Grant
> On Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 6:21 PM, Miles Fidelman 
> <mfidelman at <mailto:mfidelman at>> wrote:
>     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
>         <mailto: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

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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