This is going to be a busy week for the Tech Field Day family. They have delegates en-route to Tech Field Day 12 this morning, and Wednesday the crew for Network Field day 13 arrive. I can’t express how excited I am about going to Networking Field Day 13 this week. I haven’t been to an actual NFD event since NFD2, although I did get to go to the TFD9 event in Austin a couple years ago. I can’t wait to land in San Jose. For those new to this concept, Networking Field day is an event that is focused on bringing together IT product vendors and thought leaders in the industry to share information and opinions in a presentation and discussion format. Please be sure to read my disclaimer page on this topic. These events are streamed live, so if you want to listen in while we talk about the latest and greatest technologies from the vendors we’re meeting with, or if you just want to listen to us moan and groan at the occasional Gartner or NASCAR slides… you should tune in. On the menu for this week we have a number of exciting companies that I’d like to take a quick peek at before hand.
Today’s IT landscape if full of software defined marketecture, and lore of a dystopian future full of network engineers that do nothing but write code. But in reality, there are plenty of actual reasons you should be learning programming, or at least some basic scripting. For many network engineers programming is not new, we have all been hacking together shell, Perl and Python for a VERY long time. While the requirements in the future may change, today it is not necessary to become half network engineer half software engineer, but learning the basics now will keep you in the know. Learning the basics of logic and loop statements will not only help you speed up day to day tasks, but it will help you understand other languages as you expand your knowledge in the future. So, here are my top 10 reasons I think you need to learn scripting.
1: Automation can save you time
Writing a script for common / repetitive tasks can save you a staggering amount of time. Over the years I have written hundreds of scripts to aide in everything from Data Center VLAN/SVI management to banning/unbanning MAC addresses from multiple wireless lan controllers.
2: Scripts keep things consistent
When you want identical configuration across multiple devices, a script can ensure that happens every single time. Interface descriptions, VLAN names, or even things like keeping port-channel and vPC ids synced.
3: The knowledge is portable
As you continue to learn you will find more and more uses for the skills you pick up. To this day I still use the same “tricks” that I picked up 20 years ago to speed up tasks that I perform. From bash for loops to iterate through lists of data, to filtering with grep, or using cut or awk to segment it, I use these things nearly everyday to deal with whatever data I’m sorting through.
4: It’s not as difficult as you think
Many of the one off scripts that I write can be simplified into a single line. If you understand tools like grep, awk or sed, you’re already on the right path. If not, start exploring the tools that are built right into bash. (Which is available from MSFT for Windows 10 users)
5: If you don’t learn these skills, someone else will
These skills are not only valuable to you, but to your future employers. Our roles may or may not shift in the future, and we could end up in a situation where those without the proper skill set are left behind.
First, I want to apologize for not doing my job. Over the past couple years I’ve let this site become slightly stagnant. I won’t attempt to make excuses, but I will say that I’m in a much better place now. Hopefully inspiration will continue to strike, and I will continue to put pen to paper… or finger to keyboard?
Over the past couple weeks I’ve put a fair amount of time and monetary resources into RouterJockey. I’ve fixed quite a few CSS bugs, without hopefully creating more. I purchased an SSL certificate and moved the site to HTTPS, which helps me more than it really does you… but in doing so, I’ve also enabled SPDY 3.1. SPDY should help load times, but Nginx was already doing a pretty good job. Oh, in order to get SPDY up to 3.1 I was forced to migrate away from the Ubuntu repo for Nginx.. but that’s not a huge deal.
I’ve also spent some time redesigning the menu bar, adding new links, removing some useless ones, and writing an all new disclaimer. Please be sure to read and understand everything posted on that page before attempting to read any of my articles… /s
But seriously. I want to take the time to thank all of you for putting up with my stagnation, and for supporting my attempt at humor by selling t-shirts. I had planned on also putting some stickers on sale, but I cannot find a site like teespring for stickers. If you know of one, please let me know!
Ok maybe that title is a bit grandiose… But due to the great response I received Friday morning from the launch of the original PCAP shirt, and the IPv6 follow-up, I decided to create a few new designs and put everything into a store front. If the demand continues I will continue to publish new shirts, and keep up with relaunching original designs into their own campaigns. Not that I expect the demand for these shirts to continue long term, but you never know. Nevertheless I appreciate everyone’s support thus far.
But I need you! Yes… You! I need your ideas, and most importantly I need your feedback. So please, contact me on twitter and let me know what you think. If you like what you see, please share the url for the store.
Without further ado…
Some days I don’t know why I do things… But last night I was playing around with creating a PCAP meme when my friend Josh Kittle said he’d be interested in a t-shirt like that. I got to thinking about it and realized some network engineers out there also might enjoy something like this, so I fired up a campaign on teespring!
Let me know what you think, I may do other shirts in the future as this was fun to work on. If you have any ideas you don’t plan on using, let me know and I might work on developing them.
Oh, and since Jay Franklin had to have an IPv6 shirt… I also launched another version with an IPv6 packet capture, and the #IPv6 hashtag on the back.
Click one of the shirts to see them on teespring…