The ten commandments of networking


Earlier this year, I posted a quasi-zen tweet (@vegaskid1973) in jest which seemed to tickle the fancy of a few of you based on replies and retweets and so I thought I’d use the rare free ten minutes I find myself with to flesh out the idea, which I light-heartedly present here as the ten commandments of networking:

  1. You shall not trust a Visio diagram, lest you bring the customer site down
  2. You shall not covet a colleague’s serial cable. Get your own and hands off mine!
  3. You will backup and protect your configs like they were your first-born
  4. You shall not bear false witness against a network incident. Unless explaining it to management
  5. You shall have no other gods, but feel free to revere unicorns
  6. You shall not murder a good TCP joke unless you are sure they will get it
  7. You shall write the customer SLA/contract in such general terms so as never to breach it
  8. Remember the 7th layer of the OSI model. On it you shall not do any work, leave that to the devs
  9. You shall not commit config until you are confident your CV/resume is up to date
  10. Whilst you may be vendor agnostic, you must believe in intelligent design


Please add your own suggestions in the comments below.

Till the next time.

Top IT podcasts


I thought it would be valuable to some readers if I collated a list of the top IT podcasts in one place and gave a brief description of each of them. Who am I kidding? This list will also be helpful to me as I get older and start forgetting more and more things. Some of these shows were new to me so I went on a marathon session before reviewing.


  • Packet Pushers – this was the first networking podcast I started listening to and its still my favourite. It is hosted by Greg Ferro and Ethan Banks, both who have been in the industry long enough to know a thing or two. Topics cover protocols, hardware, design, security, certification, a little bit of SDN, etc. There have been a few attempts at other podcast streams under the Packet Pushers banner. The Priority Queue is used to deep dive on niche topics and Healthy Paranoia is an excellent security focused podcast hosted by Michele Chubirka. There was a Wrath of the Data Center show that was based around the CCIE Data Center certification hosted by Tony Bourke but it withered away after only a couple of shows. There is a growing blogger community too and also a forum. PP has further presence on IRC, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Apart from the mostly great content, the thing that really works for me is how Ethan and Greg compliment each other so well. Add in Michele’s insane approach to introducing her show and in depth knowledge and it adds up to a fun learning experience. Expect a new show about once a week
  • No Strings Attached – love wireless? Then look no further. Hosts include Sam Clements, Jennifer Huber, Blake Krone and George Stefanick. The show is relatively new, hitting the airwaves in January 2012. This is obviously a more specialised show than some of the others but, already at show 19, they are still producing great content at about a show every 2-3 weeks. Topics include hardware from different vendors, software and the ever evolving 802.11 standards
  • Class C Block – this is the newest of the shows listed here, only producing it’s first show in September 2012. Since then the hosts, CJ Infantino and Matthew Stone, have produced a show roughly every 2-3 weeks, although it has sadly ground to a halt. Topics cover IPv6, studying, design, and MPLS. Give them your support by getting over there and having a listen and if you like, drop them a comment. There is nothing like positive feedback and high consumption figures to motivate more content. I found this podcast quite refreshing for the most part. You can sense the guys wanting to learn themselves as much as feed back to the community. Just a shame it ran out of steam
  • Risky Business – another more specialised and award winning show, this time focusing on security. This is the longest running show featured here having been born in February 2007 and produces a show every 1-2 weeks. Don’t feel overawed by the 200+ shows, go back up to six months and start from there, dipping in to any older shows that take your fancy
  • Social – a resource rich website, it focuses on what is for me, the most intriguing aspect to Information Security. The show itself started in October 2009 and is produced about once a month. Topics have included pretexting, NLP, penetration testing and Kevin Mitnick. The main host, Chris Hadnagy is excellent and he has a number of  supporting panelists, such as Dave Kennedy, who all offer something different to make this one of my favourites. The quality of the guests always impresses
  • Arrested DevOps – This is one of my favourite more recent podcasts with a good line up of industry folk and content. The show notes are always top notch with full transcriptions too. Some of the topics include hiring in IT and dealing with failure


Have I missed your favourite? If so, add it in the comments below with a brief synopsis as I have above. Try at least a couple from each of those listed above and let the hosts know what you think.

Till the next time.