I’ve been thinking about what to write for a while now.  I’m involved in some really cool projects right now, pervasive wifi in a theme park, using CMX with many zones at that same theme park and upgrading some public schools to newer equipment with full coverage wifi in the classrooms.  I think each of those would make a great post and I plan to touch on them soon, but this post will be on a comment that an intern made to me while we were upgrading a school recently.  “I can’t believe a Sr. Network Engineer is helping me cable a rack.”  I didn’t think much of it at the time but I did start thinking about it on the way home.

As many of you may know I’ve been working with Cisco gear and have worked exclusively in Networking for over 15 years.  I’ve worked in multiple industries from Manufacturing to Theme Parks to Tennis.  In that time I have worked in most of the areas of networking.  Wireless, Security, Routing & Switching and Access Control to name a few.  The shining exception to that is Voice, I’ll brick a call manager in a heartbeat, its best to ban me early and often from voice systems.  In that time I have always just done what needed to be done.  If there is a config that needs to be written or reviewed I’m happy to do it. If we’re all done and we have started cleaning up I’ll sweep up the mess we’ve made.  In our careers as network engineers we do it all.  Yes, as our skills mature many of us specialize, but we all started in pretty much the same place, with a shiny new CCNA and a more seasoned Network Engineer to keep us out of trouble.  I like that setup; when I was starting out I listened to stories of the horrors of Token Ring and that Gigabit Ethernet would save us all.  That same engineer taught me how to punch a cable down to a patch panel.  You can watch a million how to videos on YouTube, and sometimes it’s the only way available, but having someone actually show you is the best way to learn something.

So, I guess the point of this post is this; Sure, I’ll cable a rack with you if that’s what needs to be done at the moment.  I’ll help clean up the server room once we’re done with the upgrade.  It’s where I started out and I am certainly not too good for it now; I’ve developed a specialty and I love working in that field but, if there is work to be done, we do it.  I find one of the most rewarding parts of my job is when I can help a new engineer get started in this field, you get to pass on the lessons you have been taught and sometimes you wind up learning something in the process.  I think most of you that are reading this feel the same way, please feel free to let me know in the comments field below.

I promise my next post will be a geektastic deep dive into one of the projects I have been working on recently.  Thanks for stopping by!


William Maguire

Wireless Network Engineer