No one can underestimate the importance of the network in business – apps, services, security, literally everything depends on it today. That is why it is not infrequent that network engineers turn up their noses in front of database admins or server admins. They may feel that other specialists depend on them and therefore they are more influential and powerful that other IT people and treat them with disrespect.
Boost to the next level
There is a pretty good chance that the situation will change: implementation of different technologies and methods of work call for a strong partnership of network engineers with other experts in IT field. New network operation toolsets tend to include techniques and methods that are used in server administration for a long time already. Also, the expectations of customers are constantly rising, time of accomplishment of certain procedures is diminishing, and technologies different from networking can fix problems that earlier on could be managed by network engineer only.
Of course, after that, a network engineer can start blaming admin that the problem was on the server side, not in networking, so it is not his fault that something didn’t work. However, in the depth of his heart, he will know that he is responsible for the network breakdown.
The future network engineer has to be a specialist in many fields apart from his own – for example, it will be necessary to get acquainted with the basics of programming. There is no need to dig deep into coding languages, but you will have to get a clear notion of the principles and algorithms used in programming.
Another important feature is an understanding of other’s problems. When you see an issue that is easy as ABC to you, or that is a result of superficial knowledge of the other specialist, try not to be too rude or defensive. On the one hand, such approach is understandable: no one will do your work for you while you help others. Plus, there is a possibility that people will get used to your help, so they won’t learn how to fix problems by themselves. Still, a bit of empathy would not be out of place. It is a feeling that allows engineers to find out the core of the problem and solve the problem within the shortest possible time. Try to look at the problem from someone else’s point of view and show what the person misses in the issue. This approach may help you to get an effective solution together with other specialists quicker and more efficient.
When network engineers feel more high-powered than others, it is simpler to argue other professionals into the needed point of view. In some situations it is reasonable: what’s the point to accept ideas on how to build networks from a specialist who is not an expert in networking. But with the development of technologies and approaches, it will be essential to prove that your ideas are worth attention – and for some engineers, it will be a challenge as they do not know how to persuade others instead of dictating their concepts. Polish your persuasion skills – this will help you to distinguish good and bad ideas, analyze data and make correct decisions. In the past there was no need to make decisions together with other IT experts; however, it is today’s reality.
Finally, arguably the most important feature of the future networking engineer is professionalism – it is a crucial point in any work.