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Re: common time-management mistake: rack & stack
From: Owen DeLong <owen () delong com>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 09:55:04 -0800

On Feb 16, 2012, at 11:29 PM, Jeff Wheeler wrote:

Randy's P-Touch thread brings up an issue I think is worth some
discussion.  I have noticed that a lot of very well-paid, sometimes
well-qualified, networking folks spend some of their time on "rack &
stack" tasks, which I feel is a very unwise use of time and talent.

Imagine if the CFO of a bank spent a big chunk of his time filling up ATMs.
Flying a sharp router jockey around to far-flung POPs to install gear
is just as foolish.

Not only does the router jockey cost a lot more to employ than a CCNA,
but if your senior-level talent is wasting time in airports and IBXes,
that is time they can't be doing things CCNAs can't.

I was once advising a client on a transit purchasing decision, and a
fairly-large, now-defunct tier-2 ISP was being considered.  We needed
a few questions about their IPv6 plans answered before we were
comfortable.  The CTO of that org was the only guy who was able to
answer these questions.  After waiting four days for him to return our
message, he reached out to us from an airplane phone, telling us that
he had been busy racking new routers in several east-coast cities (his
office was not east-coast) and that's why he hadn't got back to us

As you might imagine, the client quickly realized that they didn't
want to deal with a vendor whose CTO spent his time doing rack & stack
instead of engineering his network or engaging with customers.  If he
had simply said he was on vacation, we would never have known how
poorly the senior people at that ISP managed their time.

With apologies to Randy, let the CCNAs fight with label makers.
Jeff S Wheeler <jsw () inconcepts biz>
Sr Network Operator  /  Innovative Network Concepts

With all due respect, Jeff, I think you are missing several factors that come into the human equation beyond merely the 
most efficient use of a particular person's time.

I would go stark-raving bonkers trapped in a cubicle doing only things that CCNAs can't if I didn't get the occasional 
break to go out and play with real hardware in the field. Most of the well-paid well-qualified networking folks I know 
are the same way. 

I also think that when we spend too many consecutive weeks/months/years behind a desk without going out in the real 
world, we become progressively more detached from the operational reality where our designs have to operate.

On the surface, it might seem an inefficient use of financial/human resources, but, I think that there is value to time 
in the field that doesn't necessarily show up directly on the balance sheet.

Admittedly, in my current position, I'm no longer in an operational role for the most part, but, I'm even more out in 
the field and spending more time in airports.


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