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Network Engineering: Do I REALLY Need to Learn to Code?

We’re moving further and further into the DevOps culture in the enterprise. People that have been around for years are clinging to their skills and telling their coworkers that they aren’t ready to forget everything they’ve learned throughout their careers. In the meantime, the new blood rising in the field is embracing the capabilities offered by leaning how to integrate programming languages into their daily work routines.

The battle between the old guard and the new wave is constant in any field of work. New entrants don’t remember a time when an API was something silly that Microsoft used in Windows. Old veterans don’t want to think about a day when all the skills they’ve worked to perfect are no longer relevant. Of course, those old timers forget a day when they first came into the market and scoffed at the idea of token ring or Arcnet and championed the new TCP/IP networking stack.

Matt Schmitz has a great outlook on this whole discussion on his blog. I’m not going to spoil his conclusion but his points are the kind of analysis that help both sides of this discussion understand where the other is coming from. Here’s a great excerpt from his thoughts:

It seems like these debates continue because everyone comes from different backgrounds & has different experiences. Some people work in companies that would never entertain the idea of custom code, where others may find their team being pushed to become more agile & learn Python to automate tasks. Neither approach is wrong, but of course our human instinct is that we have to assert that everyone else must be wrong, since their view doesn’t match ours. The world is never a one-size-fits-all for every situation, yet for some reason we’re all inclined to think it is.

Make sure you check out the rest of Matt’s blog for some amazing insights on the topic: Network Engineering: Do I REALLY Need to Learn to Code?

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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