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My Best Lifestyle Interview Question. And Why.

What the best question to ask your future employer in a job interview ?

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Activist Customer or Citizen Analyst

Just because I share my opinion publicly doesn’t make me an analyst. I’d rather be known as an Activist Customer than a Citizen Analyst since there is widespread perception that industry analysts are biased or easily influenced.

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100 Percent Utilisation and Overcommitting Yourself

100% utilisation means that you are a traffic jam in the workflow. Don’t overcommit yourself.

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Musing: Working for Companies in Financial Trouble

Your employer is having financial problems. There is a lot of pressure to do “more with less”, to pull together and “do the deals”, close the sales before end of quarter. But really, what do you owe your employer in the modern era ? What is best for you ? This situation is one where the modern paradigm of fail fast, fail often and fail early applies.

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Response: Getting the most out of HAProxy (The Passing of Network Load Balancing)

Network engineers should know by now that hardware load balancers are not a long term career option. In addition to virtual appliances and Open vSwitch (included in VMware NSX) replacing them, there are a number of application load balancers like HAProxy that make them obsolete. Here is Twilio taking about their implementation: This is the […]

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◎ How Many Standards Are There in Networking ?

Let me ask you a question about IETF and standards. How many do you think there are ? Many thousands or a few thousands ? Maybe a few hundred ? Today there are more than 7000 RFCs. RFC is short “Request for Comments” but less than 96 RFCs are actually fully approved standards.

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◎ Home Office Furniture – Chair, Lights & Audio Are Vital

It’s becoming more acceptable for people to work from home. I’m finding that it’s even expected that working at home will be more productive than being in an office (what a turnaround that is!).Now that I think about it, my last three employers over the last eighteen months did not offer me a desk at all (I sat at whatever desk was free or a hot desk area).

Which leads to thoughts of what sort of furnishing should a home office have ? Plus Ethan & I have been discussing the topic in the last month or so.

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The Only Constant is Change. Fundamentals are the Exception

Lots of discussion lately about how SDN will change the future of networking and questions in my inbox from people who are early in their careers. They are facing decisions from the choices that are open to them that will impact their careers for the next few years and certifications are the best choice, will […]

Worklife: Delivering the Design, Management Competency & Agile Projects

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Response: The Tech Interview – Your Resource For Finding And Keeping Meaningful Work in Tech

Two people who I completely respect have setup a blog specifically to discuss careers in technology. Paul Stewart & John Harrington are both network veterans and committed to helping people. Please tell everyone about it. The Tech Interview is a site dedicated to the career aspects of technology. There are unique challenges for individuals in […]

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Screencast: Knowledge Management in Technology – Part 3

Network Engineers have to manage a lot of information. Products, technologies, textbooks, study notes and research material as well as new protocols and features. Just simple tasks like keeping product manuals handy for 40 or 50 products is a real problem. How do you keep the information organised, referenced, accessible and useful ? Your employer […]

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Screencast: Knowledge Management in Technology – Part 2

Network Engineers have to manage a lot of information. Products, technologies, textbooks, study notes and research material as well as new protocols and features. Just simple tasks like keeping product manuals handy for 40 or 50 products is a real problem. How do you keep the information organised, referenced, accessible and useful ? Your employer […]

My 2013 Intentions

Thought for My Day: My Intentions for 2013

I’m not the sort of person who sets myself goals because I believe that settings goals is practicing failure. I would prefer to think of my life as a work in progress or a continuous cycle of improvement. Just because I’m doing something well today doesn’t mean I can’t do it better tomorrow, or be ready for a new opportunity.

Your thinking & attitudes should never be limited by a milestone or goals. That sets a stage for u proposition nderachievement or limited horizons. If you are focussed on a goal, you could miss a better opportunity. Total focus might achieve short term goals like a certification or an exam result but life isn’t a short term.

For example, whatever goals I might have set for Packet Pushers Podcast, I could never have imagined that we would exceed a 1 million downloads in 2012. I mean, Packet Pushers podcasts are downloaded on average 2000 times a day! Hard to imagine or plan for that.

I aim to achieve excellence every day and at everything. There isn’t a single goal I could set to achieve that.

OK, that sounds like I’m a tosspot, but hey, that’s what I do so I’ll own it.

Here is a Mind Map that I put together to consider what my “resolutions” are for the new year. These are ‘things’ that I need to work on, attitudes I need to change, rules to judge life choices by, and create a good outlook on life.

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Screencast: Knowledge Management in Technology – Part 1

Network Engineers have to manage a lot of information. Products, technologies, textbooks, study notes and research material as well as new protocols and features. Just simple tasks like keeping product manuals handy for 40 or 50 products is a real problem. How do you keep the information organised, referenced, accessible and useful ?

This three part screencast is about how I manage all the “inputs” so I don’t feel lost in information after many, many people asked.

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Getting Less Interruptions and More Time By Not Answering the Phone

I have a problem with interruptions as distractions. I spend a lot of time concentrating on writing and researching and concentration breaks are the worst thing for me. I rarely recover when it happens.

My primary source of interruptions was phone calls. I used to have many many phone calls asking for assistance, advice and input until I realised I wasn’t doing real work. In fact, I spent most of my time doing someone elses work. Then I would spend more of my time doing my work. That’s wasn’t fair to me or my family.

My solution to this problem was simple but it took sometime to work it out. It’s really simple and anyone can do it but it takes learning a new skill.

Thought for My Day – Networking Childhood

When I was a young man, it strikes me that everything seemed like it possible. I could be anything, I could do anything. As an adult, I’ve made choices and have deep commitments that prevent me me being able to do “anything”. I can only choose from the available options. What’s left in my power […]

You don’t have to hit the ball out of the park to have a home run

When planning your career you need to make several path choices. And everyday work is part of taking a single step down that path. Somedays you just need to get the job finished to be a success. You don’t have to be excellent and awesome every single day. In fact, sometimes it’s preferable to finish […]

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My Knowledge Management Process with PDF Files – Part 2

I’ve been asked a few times about how I organise my PDF files and keep track of documents. This post looks at my workflow for capturing, storing, tagging and organising my Knowledge Management system. This is Part 2

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My Knowledge Management Process with PDF Files – Part 1

A few times I’ve mentioned about how I manage collections of PDF documents, Text files and the accreted detritus of a Network Engineer. Since a number of people have asked me to talk in more detail about how I organise this and what methods I use, here is some rough description of how I perform knowledge management.

PacketPushers- Ethan Banks: Why Salespeople Sell To Others In Your Organization But Not You

Ethan Banks does it again. This exactly describes what happens to me when I’m discussing technology with a vendor. Whether it’s as a #TechFieldDay delegate, or as a customer it’s I’m always reworking my mental picture of how a a design change could impact a system.

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