Learn Programming or Perish(?)

I was honored to return to Packet Pushers for a discussion on programming skillsets in the networking industry. I verbalized some thoughts there, but even 60 minutes isn’t enough for a conversation like this.

2016 Recap and 2017 Goals

Yet another recap post to follow up on last year’s. 2015 was a big transition year for me, and last year I wanted to make sure I kept the momentum going.

Introduction to StackStorm

Earlier I wrote about some fundamental principles that I believe apply to any form of automation, whether it’s network automation, or even building a virtual factory.

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.