[AusNOG] Starting green at 23. What does the industry want from me?

Darren Moss Darren.Moss at cloud365.com.au
Wed Mar 15 12:18:00 EST 2017

Sounds like you have called out the Elephant in the room.


From: AusNOG [mailto:ausnog-bounces at lists.ausnog.net] On Behalf Of Matthew Keen
Sent: Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:13 PM
To: David Hooton
Cc: ausnog at ausnog.net
Subject: Re: [AusNOG] Starting green at 23. What does the industry want from me?

Lets not forget AirTrunk being built in Sydney either... (website doesn't seem to hold news, but from LinkedIn their announcement was a YouTube video.)

Plenty of Data Centres still being built.

On 15 March 2017 at 11:09, David Hooton <david.hooton at ordnance.co<mailto:david.hooton at ordnance.co>> wrote:
Hey Paul,

I'd advise against networking as a potential career path. 1) No one's building data centres, except the cloud providers, who operate at massive scale where most of the provisioning work is automated.

I’m not sure how a lack of new data centres causes a lack of networking jobs, even given the rise of cloud providers managing a large proportion of Enterprise infrastructure. My experience is quite the opposite, enterprises moving to the cloud are creating a significant demand for network engineers with solid enterprise skills and a few new tricks that aren’t so common in traditional Enterprise networks as the edges of the network begin to blur and customers begin to integrate further and further into their vendors own networks.

Regardless of this, I beg to differ with you on the lack of new data centres being built:
  - https://www.nextdc.com/news/nextdc-secures-site-second-melbourne-data-centre
  - https://www.nextdc.com/news/nextdc-secures-site-second-brisbane-data-centre

2) Software defined networking/networking as a service again, means we're seeing fewer jobs in the market. So it would be a poor choice moving into a market that's consolidating, the work available will go to those with experience, and most of those in work in the networking industry will be moving into other industries over the next 10 years.

I feel like this is an extremely pessimistic way to look at things. While the type of work that network engineers perform is changing, there is a very real and clear need for more engineers especially young engineers who are passionate about learning and don’t have a “this is how its always been done” approach to their work. Software based networking is just another tool in the box of tricks engineers can use, its not a tombstone on a profession but it is an opportunity for old dogs to potentially learn a few new tricks.

Rory - 10 points for having the courage to introduce yourself and to ask a question that most would be too proud to ask.

As far as what you can do to make yourself employable goes, while learning to code and do the cool devops stuff is certainly popular these days, I would still suggest that no matter how good of a coder you become if you don’t get networks and networking you’re just going to become a not very good network engineer who can write not very useful code. Code and automation is only useful if the engineering it automates is sound.

My advice is to get really really good at networking. Build networks, break them, work out how to fix them and why they broke, repeat. Once you know how to diagnose and solve problems you’re immediately employable even if you don’t have devops skills. And finally getting ahead in life is very rarely based on what you know, its usually personal referrals that open doors - so start trying to meet/network with engineers who do what you want to do. Go to industry events and introduce yourself, if you’re as enthusiastic as your email indicates, it won’t take long before someone takes you under their wing!

Finally - I’ve dropped you an email off list, we have some tools that may help you in the building & breaking phase of your journey :)

Kind Regards,

David Hooton
Founder | Ordnance
Cloud Scale, Carrier Grade
P: +61415850000<tel:0415%20850%20000> T: @dave_hooton W: ordnance.co<http://ordnance.co>

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