All the talk of software-defined networking and automation in the industry has generated some high angst among network engineers, who wonder if SDN will put them out of work. At Interop Las Vegas (run by UBM Tech, InformationWeek's parent company), a panel addressed this anxiety and the future of networking pros in a session with a tongue-in-cheek title, "Will SDN Make Me Homeless?"
While the panel of networking experts didn't see SDN as gloom and doom for networking engineers, they agreed that it will require an expansion of skills and a shift to becoming more of an IT generalist.
Networking pros are used to following a specific vendor's certification path to jumpstart their careers, but with SDN there's no such path, said Ethan Banks. Without knowing where the industry is going long term with SDN platforms, network engineers need to broaden their skills beyond networking, he said.
For example, learn service chaining or take a virtual firewall and set it up at the edge of your network. Work with the virtualization and storage teams in your organization, Banks advised.
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