Lindsay Hill automation, networking, product management

Culture Shifts and Work Travel Learnings

I’ve seen a few Twitter threads recently about learning to live with the sudden plenty of working for tech companies. If you didn’t grow up that way, the adjustment takes time. It made me think about a few things I’ve learnt about corporate travel, and mistakes I’ve made along the way. People who grew in the corporate world instinctively know stuff I had to learn. Here’s some of the mistakes, and learnings:

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Cloud Not Just Someone Else's Computer

Cloud computing is a lot more than “someone else’s computer” and it annoys the hell out of me when people keep trotting out this tired old excuse. There is much more to service delivery than compute power. You do yourself and your customers a disservice if you don’t do your research.

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Ansible for Extreme Devices

Here’s something I’ve been working on recently: Ansible modules for Extreme SLX switches & routers. Ansible is a popular automation framework, and with good reason: it has a low barrier to entry. Time to usefulness is short. But you need device-specific modules to work with networking devices. Finally we have some modules for SLX. Read on for how to use them.

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

It takes a village to raise a child. Or so the old saying goes. Creating a product is the same. It takes more than small group of developers (or parents) to raise a product. There’s a lot more to creating a product than writing an application. Don’t mistake a feature or application for a product.

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Using Telegraf, InfluxDB and Grafana to Monitor Network Statistics

Two years ago I wrote about how to use InfluxDB & Grafana for better visualization of network statistics. I still loathe MRTG graphs, but configuring InfluxSNMP was a bit of a pain. Luckily it’s now much easier to collect SNMP data using Telegraf. InfluxDB and Grafana have also improved a lot. Read on for details about to monitor network interface statistics using Telegraf, InfluxDB and Grafana.

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Extreme Transition At Last

It is now almost 12 months since the first announcement that Broadcom was to acquire Brocade, and sell off the IP parts of the business. It took another 6 months to get confirmation that Extreme Networks would be buying my business unit (SRA).

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Sorry, Network Jobs Are Changing

There’s a lot of angst in the networking community about programming, SDN, automation, and what it means for networking careers. Plenty of people will tell you don’t worry about it, focus on the fundamentals, there’s plenty of work, you will be fine.

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Everything Has a Cost

Everything comes at a cost: steak dinners & pre-sales engineering has to get paid for somehow. That should be obvious to most. Feature requests also come at a cost, both upfront, and ongoing. Those ongoing costs are not always understood.

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Recruiters: Must Try Harder

Right now, it’s an employee’s market in the Bay Area. Technology firms are growing, and they’re always trying to hire more people. So I regularly receive emails from recruiters. This is not to brag, it’s just the way things are right now, based upon the economy, my background, my current location, and my age. I’m lucky.

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The Difference Between Proper Devs and Me

I spend a lot of time poking around with code, and I can figure out most integration challenges, and simple code fixes. But I do not call myself a developer. I know, we can argue about what constitutes a developer, but I don’t really want to get into that. I’d just like to highlight something that showed the difference between the futzing about that I do, and the way a senior developer thinks about problems.

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