There are different types of network engineers in the world today – those who struggle to “cover the minimums” in their environment, and those who always seem to be on top of things before users or management are even aware that there’s a problem.
Here are 5 traits that networking rock stars all seem to possess, in no particular order:
1. Confidence – You wouldn’t want to be seen by a doctor who lacked self-confidence. Network engineers need to also exude confidence. This trait shouldn’t expand into full bravado, but having quiet confidence means you know what you know, and you also know what you don’t know. For the things you don’t know, you don’t just say, “I don’t know” without also saying: “I will look into this and report back to you”. Then you find out and add knowledge to your toolbag for the next time.
2. Network Awareness – You know what’s happening in, on, and around the network at a truly deep level. This means if any interface in your network starts to drop or buffer packets, you are aware of the problem and can immediately implement a fix, ideally before users are affected.
3. Comprehension – You can “read the tea leaves” of the network to understand what’s really happening there. This means you have honed all skills in interpreting clues, efficient root-cause analysis (RCA) and troubleshooting. (Hint: You could be using a tool such as TotalView for comprehension and RCA.)
4. Process-Oriented – You don’t just shoot arrows in the dark at problems. You know to follow a sound troubleshooting methodology process and solve problems correctly, the first time. You interpret the clues efficiently, unjumbling and analyzing them, coming to sound conclusions. Learn the 7 steps of troubleshooting in our Troubleshooting Webinar.
5. Patience – Be patient with people. You’re dealing with users (and sometimes management) who might think that they know what the problem is. Sometimes, they actually do know what’s going on. For example they have found a good article on Google about it, written just this week. Other times the users are just anxious, talkative or staring at you while their computer is down, as they don’t have much else to do during downtime. Being patient with them is always required, as they grade your performance. I have seen competent engineers who are flippant to their user community get passed over for bonuses and promotions to less skilled engineers due entirely to their bedside manner.
Network troubleshooting problems can be prevented if the right information is brought to bear about your network's performance and configuration.
Review our white paper or contact us with questions about how PathSolutions TotalView can make network troubleshooting easier.