There are people who learn networking because they enjoy it but there are others who enter into networking because they do not like programming. But they can always change their stream to programming if ever they find networking as a wrong option for them. Programming is considered as an essential skill for network engineers.
Networking has successfully joined the software eating world buffet
Whatever the changes that are being introduced to the world, what are they going to imply to the network engineers? Is it the business as usual or do we need to continue pounding to our CLI or this could be explained as a fundamental change into the networking industry?
I think this is a fundamental shift where the programming skills are very important for all the network engineers. It is not like that you have to be Guido van Rossum, Linus Torvalds but you need to be highly proficient with your general purpose programming languages. You have to add this skill of yours to the tool belt.
But why you cannot use the tools that other people have created?
If these tools are very much similar to the tools like Ansible, Chef, and Puppet then these tools are already containing a number of programming constructs that is built into them. For example if we see, Ansible has a list of loops, dictionaries and conditionals. In actual it has a multiple forms if you are considering both as your main script and templates.
Additionally if you want to be proficient with automated tasks in your environment, you have to write your own created scripts and have to add your own codes to these tools. These tasks will ask you for programming skills.
Canât a developer just think like a programmer?
Learning things and performing things are almost equal. I think that you wonât be able to understand the programming practices without knowing how to program? By all means you can use your tools. Find the best tools that you can use. One of these tools has general programming language.
Time will explain you if you are right or not but by making predictions about the future this would be a dangerous game. If your programming skills are required for the working of a network engineer, they will allow you to do your job in a much better way and also your market value will increase. The evidences that we see indicates that it is important to have skills and they will prove to be very important in future.
So we can say that networking requires both Programming as well as development. All your skills are crucial when you are working with networking. So donât be a single field player, you can always play on both the pitches. Enjoy being a network engineer.