I Think I Can… I Think I Can…

What I Do

Published August 30, 2012 - 2 Comments

Have you ever wondered just what it is that I do?  Yeah… me too.  It’s funny sometimes, when people say “what do you do?” and I really have no idea how to explain it to them.  So I asked my co-worker what he tells people…

“I tell people that I build network circuits for business customers”

While that’s true, it’s probably hard for people to visualize.  So I went looking online for the simplest representation of what it is that I do.  Believe it or not, this diagram is waaaay simpler than a lot of them…

There are a multitude of different ways to pass network traffic between computers.  Most people using a computer really don’t care how or why it works… only that it DOES work… and that it gets resolved quickly in the event that it does not.  But as much as we’d love to believe that magical data fairies carry the information from one computer to another on their backs… sadly, that is not the case.

Computer networks are gigantic beasts comprised of a mesh of new and old technologies, and the hardware and software that drives them.  Thankfully there are people way smarter than I am who truly understand the nuts and bolts of this stuff, and can lay out tasks for the rest of us in a simple-ish manner to follow.  So I don’t have to build the path from one customer location to the next… I only have to interpret what is given to me, and build PART of that path from Point A to Point B.  And assuming that everyone along the path has done their part properly… the customer can happily play network Hearts with a buddy at the office across the street… or across the globe.

I know that probably doesn’t really answer the question of what it is that I do… I’m still learning that as I go along… but it’s a lot more than what I was doing at the previous job… with better hours… tons more responsibility… and yes.. less money (go figure that one out).

In fact, now when I make a mistake (and there have been more than a few) people notice!  Try typing ROUTE and listen to the snickers of the engineer who told you to type ROOT…  (that won’t make any sense to you unless you have some sort of UNIX background) …. or spending 15 mins remotely installing a configuration on a new router… only to forget to save your work before rebooting the router and having it come back up with nothing on it…

Yup!  That’s what I do.  🙂