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what is the hardest parts of being a computer network architect


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Gaurav’s Answer

In my opinion, hardest part is on when you have outages or maintenance, networking is so critical component to a business, all the planned changes needs to be done only during non-business hours, so you might need to sacrifice few weekends .. When you have an unplanned outage, there is tremendous pressure if the outage is related to network or security because the impact of network outage us usually widespread.

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Bradley’s Answer

In the mid 1990s I had the chance to work for Cisco Systems near San Jose CA as the internet was booming. I had network experience but they needed a certification, which they offered free. It required learning details of the network protocols, and menu setup options in major Cisco equipment and alot more. It just was not interesting enough at the time. Folks that did do it made alot of money. bonuses of $20,000 were common. Interviewed at another major network OEM, one had to know the network internals as one recruiter put it: "ethernet details, TCP-IP and all that sort of rubbish".

So the hardest part in my opinion is having the interest to learn routing paradigms, details of internals, how IPv4 and v6 work, about HTTP behavior and security and alot more. I know how the circuit board works, how the processor(s) move data and how to test them; I can fix network problems and its fun but to be the network engineer you have to have an interest in it, I think; If not? learning will be hard.

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Srinivas’s Answer

Hi Milton,

When you are in a role like Computer Network Architect, you need to reinvent yourself and stay updated with the new technologies and changing needs of the industry. You have to set aside some time everyday to keep upskilling. At times, this can be challenging to manage with your day to day work.

The other challenging part could be the work hours. Many a times, you might need to collaborate with teams in different times zones and this can have an impact on your work life balance. You might also need to attend calls/support windows in odd hours.

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Nicholas’s Answer

Depending on what your interests are I would say the hardest part out of it is the networking portion; there is a lot that goes into networking and for me most of it is enjoyable, except the networking and setting up of the networks. Another thing that I find hard as I go for my degree in computer and network security is the business aspect of it. I am sure in a work setting it wouldn't be as bad, but during class having to write up a paper going into the in-depths of creating a network out of nothing but a building layout in a short time frame is pretty hectic, plus I hate writing. But if you enjoy writing up plans, there really isn't much that can stand in your way. The more you dive into the huge world of IT the better off you will be you can start implementing things like VM's and things of that nature.

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Tobias C.’s Answer

I found that learning became really dry and non-interactive at some point. I started happily with the CCNA and noticed quickly with the CCNP that there is a lot of stuff that simply needs memorisation like BGP protocol details, headers etc. and I assume it's becoming even worse going up the path to CCIE. Which is why I ultimately changed my career path later on. So you really need to be into the technology down to the details and willing to comprehend and memorise a lot. Otherwise it we become quite boring soon.

Also, when SHTF (Google it if you don't know this acronym) - which happens quite often in this department - there is a lot of pressure and time is of the essence. Some people cannot handle this pressure and will burn out get frustrated soon.

On the bright-side tho, it's a well respected, high income role with a good perspective if done passionately.

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Ananya’s Answer

Hi Milton,

Great Question! While I do list out the hardest parts of being a network architect or a network engineer in general, do not let it derail you from your target of becoming a network architect. It is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs out there.

One of the hardest part of being a network architect is having to work on days when your peers or family members have a holiday. You may have to sacrifice certain family functions/ reunions,etc in favor of fixing a customer outage. You will probably have a messed sleep schedule as most of the maintenance and upgrade activities happen during the night.

Another challenging but also a rewarding part of being a network architect is that the network and networking technologies are changing very frequently. You will have to be on your toes and keep on learning the new things to keep yourself relevant in the industry and also to move forward.

All in all, you will be responsible for maintaining one of the basic needs of the digital millennia, which though stressful at times, it will be a great journey.

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Hardik’s Answer

To become Computer network Architecture you should be learn more and more about networking & its basic fundaments and you should try to clear the certification before collage like CCNA and once you are in the networking filed try to get more dip into networking problems & its solutions .Then you may try to work on CCIE so you will be learn more and more about the Networking to become Network Architect.

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Gill’s Answer

Picking the right course (and term of the course) Lots of computer science degrees are obsolete in the real world before the term of the course if finished.
Look at the actual companies that you aspire to work for and see if they have work place apprenticeships as an alternative

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Raju’s Answer

Hardest part of being network architect is to work on your own area of expertise. Trust me, Today networking industry has evolved to great that its noting like was before 5-7 years. Hence what previously was your area of expertise & mostly importantly interest is going out from market. Hence getting into the right company which provide you constant training for career development & getting what your really want to work on while you are on job is challenging /exciting at the same time. Not to mention, you might have to change several jobs to reach to network architect & do lots of certifications to prove your worth in the market.

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venkatachalam’s Answer

First and foremost is to understand the problem. Architecture is tailored to the problem you are trying to solve. So, a through understanding is a must.
Second, in a real life situation you will be constrained some what with what is already there. Some times it is necessary to come up with a solution that uses what is already there. This involves both time and expense. As an engineer, it is necessary to keep an eye on these. The solution has to fit the situation. It is not always possible to throw every thing and start fresh even though the new solution is attractive.
Third, security of the network. Even if the current problem is solved, an insecure solution causes more damage. Generally you need to check and see how it can be compromised and how to prevent it

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RAVI’s Answer

Hardest part is learning, gaining knowledge and keeping up to date. Better understanding you have about technology, you can create a good architecture from get go and have less hardship supporting it. More knowledge you have, the better and quicker you can resolve issues.

Just like any other job, things keep changing and we need to keep learning. Most employers as well as jobs do allow time for learning and retraining.

Every job has its sweet spot as well as a bitter spot. Do not be discouraged by bitter spots. Just learn

RAVI recommends the following next steps:

Keep up todate with industry trends reading many techincal articles, news, magazines.
Engage with other people who are interested in computer architectures, pioneering technology, both within your company and outside your company

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