To all of my Network Engineering folks out there – As you know, we (Network) are generally the first place that our fellow co-workers/colleagues come to when they have issues. Sometimes their issue is indeed truly a network (layer 2/3/4) issue but more often it is not. The best thing that you can do is to become knowledgeable about systems and applications outside of purely “network”. No matter what the issue is, you should be a resource in solving it, rather than pointing blame.

Solving issues is what we do, no matter if they are truly at the network layer or not. I had an issue recently in which my knowledge of WordPress helped to point the application owner in the correct direction to fix. What came in as a “firewall issue” was actually a WordPress configuration/database issue. 

I have heard something like this generically said (paraphrased) by some network engineers – “It isn’t a network issue and it is not my problem to fix the application or server”. This saying, though technically correct, is not the right attitude to have. 

By learning about the areas outside of pure networking and being able to help our colleagues with their own issues, we earn a tremendous amount of respect that leads to partnership with other teams and grows beyond just being a “network guy”. You will most certainly benefit and grow from having this attitude. IMO – This is how you truly become a “Senior Network Engineer”. This is what it is all about. Be a part of the solution and not the problem!