Network Engineers: What is it about networking that makes you passionate?

dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
After reading this question on reddit:

It got me thinking about why I transitioned into the field. For me my first real memory of networking was getting some machines working with LAN games and that gave me a real buzz. Since then my curiosity has been connectivity from home LANs (SP kinda stuff) and Enterprise networks (R&S). I really like how networking provides somewhat of an information superhighway for global connectivity... Kinda like just a giant global LAN party.

What makes you passionate about it? share!


  • ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    TBH one day I was browsing youtube at night(after smoking trees) in about 2012 and had the question "how the hell does the internet work." from there I was pestering everyone around me on how it actually worked. Did a couple google searches, found a few forums such as this and find myself with a ccnp 5 years later.

    What really makes me passionate about networking is the connections and the architecture. Even on my rides to work now I ponder how can we create a freeway that keeps traffic to a minimum, I guess I've always had a penchant for logistics and freeways and how to make things move faster or more efficiently. networking scratches that itch without me having to go to school for 6 years and make comparable money to what im making now.
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 CCNP R/S, CCNA R/S, CCNA SEC, A+, NET+, SEC+, PROJECT+, LINUX+, LPIC-1, Palo ACE Posts: 117Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm sort of a jack of all trades at my current job. I deal with all the help desk tickets, computers, laptops, WAPs, everything on the network inside of the routers/firewalls, servers, VMWare, databases, etc. I'm really all over the place.

    So it's been fortunate that I've had a lot of exposure to a lot of different technologies. When I started 5 years ago, I didn't know more about networking that plugging a 5 port netgear switch into a comcast wireless router at home. When they set up the network here, they didn't really take advantage of VLAN tagging and trunking. Everything was very flat, and if several VLANs needed to be set up at another location, they had a switch for each.

    I was digging into the configuration one day, and I saw the mention of trunks and VLAN tagging. So I went online, read about it, and tried it out on the switch.

    That feeling I got when I suddenly had two separate VLANs worth of traffic flowing down the same link just felt really cool. Similar to when I set up my first etherchannel, or when I set up my first simple RIPv2 config between two routers in GNS3, or seeing my first full neighbor adjacency come up in OSPF. That's what led me to start getting my Cisco certifications and really pushing me towards networking rather than going down the VMWare or microsoft path.

    I just found all of it strangely satisfying and gratifying that I was able to get those sort of configurations working. It was both intimidating and motivating when I realized how much deeper the ocean of networking was than the little puddle I was playing in.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: July 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Both awesome replies. icon_thumright.gif
  • hooky13hooky13 Posts: 30Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The blinky lights lol icon_smile.gif
  • Node ManNode Man Posts: 668Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    My journey in life and technology is a long and twisted one, but one early moment i remember with clarity: I was about 13 years old in the mid 1980's and i remember logging into a BBS on my Commodore 64 and thinking that it was an amazing miracle.
  • MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Posts: 1,740Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have always had an interest in networking. From when I was around 12 years old my dad wanted to transfer files from one computer to another. This was before flash drives, and almost before re-writable CD's.

    So we did some research on our 14.1kbps connection, and come to find out you can connect two computers together for file sharing! We went to the local store, bought all the stuff, connected them together.... aaaaaaaand, it didn't work. I screwed something up. At this point, my dad went to bed and I stayed up just to complete the task. Eventually I got it figured out and I also learned A LOT.

    It was at that point that I realized that I wanted to work in some type of networking job. I did more and more research and found out you could actually do it for a living. Can you imagine? Fixing things that are broke?! I was just a mere boy at this point and didn't realize that for something to be broken, it didn't have to look broken on the surface.

    When I turned 15 I had already built several gaming PC's. Helped friends and family with networking problems. And here I am, over 20 years later, and I still love working on networks.
    2017 Certification Goals:
    CCNP R/S
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Posts: 973Member
    Dare I say I enjoy looking @ CLIs? lol back in a job many years ago I used to volunteer to do greps, reports n stuff lol.
    I'm not passionate about networking itself, I just like figuring and problem solving.
    Although right now I'm more on a JoA position, I still do network config.
  • --chris----chris-- Posts: 1,516Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    As long as I have been consumed by computers (~8 years old?) I have been obsessed with how they communicate. Living in the sticks, I didn't get internet until I was around 16 and even that was dial up.

    That curiosity spiked once I read my first networking cert guide (thanks Mr. Lammle). It went from curiosity to all consuming for about a year.

    I also really like being the guy who can help people when they have problems and "think its the network". Fire up wireshark, teach people some protocols and demonstrate communications then suggest "the problem lies over here...".

    In the past month I have helped fix at least three application/config issues that befuddled others simply by observing pcaps and saying "well this is what is actually happening, is this expected?".


    Also how networking dovetails into security is a big plus for me.

  • FreeguyFreeguy Posts: 23Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I love networking for several reasons.

    First, it's crazy complex. I've worked in some fields where there was a definite "skill" ceiling, where I kinda knew most of what I needed to know. I love continued learning.

    Second, it's modular. Knowledge builds upon knowledge builds upon knowledge. Years ago I filed away information about BGP and route reflectors to overcome iBGP limitations. Yesterday I read about using EVPN BGP with VXLAN and they use route reflectors in a different way. You can keep adding to your knowledge. I feel like I'm still in step one of a long learning journey.

    Third, it's the most "problem solving" specific field I've been involved with. There's not much in the way of GUIs or wizards here. You don't have to trust the manufacturer's white paper and call support anytime something goes off the rails. Got a problem? Pull up wireshark and figure it out!!
  • BobyBoby Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    i heard so much about the internet that I wanted to know how it works. That's how I got hooked into the network world
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I like that it seems to be a small part of IT. In that I mean there's really very few people in comparison to every other type of IT person. At least at every job I've had this has been the case. So basically it's mostly a modern day miracle stuff works in the eyes of most. Some people just think it actually is plug and play, but there's a lot to be done depending on what you want to accomplish. You can surf a website across the country and have it load in less than a second, which when you really think about it is just nuts.
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm not really passionate about it like I used to be but the reason I was is because of the how computers communicated with each other. Not just with wired but also with wireless. I didn't get that far into wireless but I plan on learning more about it later on along with how cell phone communications work.
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
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