A New Automation Chapter Begins

Two years ago, while I worked as a network engineer/consultant, I felt strongly that the industry was ripe for change. In February 2015 I jumped feet-first into the world of network automation by going back to my roots in software development, combining those skills with the lessons I learned from 3 years of network engineering.

Principles of Automation

Automation is an increasingly interesting topic in pretty much every technology discipline these days. There’s lots of talk about tooling, practices, skill set evolution, and more - but little conversation about fundamentals. What little is published by those actually practicing automation, usually takes the form of source code or technical whitepapers. While these are obviously valuable, they don’t usually cover some of the fundamental basics that could prove useful to the reader who wishes to perform similar things in their own organization, but may have different technical requirements.

ToDD Has Moved!

ToDD has been out in the wild for 6 months, and in that time I’ve been really pleased with it’s growth and adoption. Considering this was just a personal side-project, I’ve been blown away by what it’s doing for my own learning experiences as well as for the network automation pipelines of the various folks that pop onto the slack channel asking questions.

The Importance of the Network Software Supply Chain

At Networking Field Day 12, we heard from a number of vendors that offered solutions to some common enterprise network problems, from management, to security, and more.

CS101: Algorithms

First in this series is the subject of Algorithms. This topic is very interesting to me because when I first strived to understand what exactly they were, I was expecting something a lot more complicated than what they turned out to be. I think, shamefully, that Hollywood may have had an influence on this, as the term “algorithm” is one of many terms abused by “cyber” movies and the like, portrayed to be some sort of ultimate cyber weapon in the war against Ellingson Mineral Company.

New Series: CS 101

Historically, my background is far closer to the systems side of things, but as I’ve picked up software development experience over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate the fundamentals of computer science that others in my shoes may not have been exposed to. That said, I have been working on a pseudo-formal blog series on computer science fundamentals.

Introducing HTTP Testing in ToDD

Now that ToDD has been in the public arena for two months, one of the things I’m happiest about is the fact that testing in ToDD is totally flexible. Thanks to the concept of testlets, ToDD doesn’t have an opinion on the specifics of your tests - all of that logic is contained within the testlet.

Interop Vegas 2016

I’m happy to be given the opportunity to speak once more at Interop Vegas in 2016. No workshop for me this year, but I will be putting on three individual talks, all focusing on topics that have been very near and dear to me over the past year.

Next-Generation Network Telemetry

Late last year, I was pleased to be part of a special Tech Field Day event focused on network analytics. We had a day full of presentations from folks like Netflix, Google, and some goofball with a wrinkly jacket - all focused on what the next-generation networks will look like with respect to analytics.

The Power of Test-Driven Network Automation

Over the past few years, I’ve seen (and contributed to) a rise of real network engineers taking on the new and sometimes challenging world of network automation. Every time I check in on Jason Edelman’s Network Automation Slack channel, I’m very happy to see the sheer number of folks asking questions, trying to get the the concepts and tools of network automation working in their own environment.