So You Want to Become a Programmer? Think Again…

Almost a year ago I wrote a blog post explaining why I don’t think our future lies in becoming programmers. In the meantime, I found two interesting articles explaining the same idea from a programmer’s point-of-view:

Note: I’ve been an on-and-off programmer for 35 years, working on crazy stuff like transactional databases, network operating systems and device drivers. Still, I wouldn’t even think about programming a production SDN- or network automation system – there are other people (called programmers) who can do a much better job.


  1. It seems you need to be a programmer to tell the difference (a much better job). So if nobody gets to be a programmer, you can imagine where we'll end up being...
  2. That's a lovely message. It's not making it to HR, nor is it getting to the ears of management in general. Vendors and consultants have all picked up the "software defined" everything mantra, and have our leaders brainwashed that the entire infrastructure division is a dinosaur. Programmers are the way of the future. All hail Skynet. No sarcasm here. :)
  3. I found this to be very enlightening from my outside, non-programer point-of-view:
    1. Awesome... and so true :( Thanks for sharing!
  4. Awesome article as always Ivan! kudos!

    Ivan, which books would you recommend for learning how to automate? Certainly automation in general is such a broad topic, so if you could shed some light on some must read books I'd appreciate.

    Thank you!
    1. Ansible or Puppet online documentation is pretty good. Matt, Scott and Jason are also writing a book:

      ... and of course there are the webinars and workshops ;)
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.
    3. As if vendor tools weren't more than enough, now you appear to be suggesting throwing Ansible, Chef, Puppet into the mix and whatever comes next?

      Ironically these third-party tools represent nothing more than products written in programming languages aimed squarely at automating tasks traditionally done at the CLI.

      It has never been about becoming a programmer, it was always about being able to program the network, thus enhancing skill-sets to stay relevent.

      Task automation isn't going to lead to new job creation or long-term job security.
    4. Kirk Byers has some good blog posts about Ansible. He also covers a lot of Python geared more towards network engineers. I took his 10 week applied python course and it has helped me automate a lot of stuff in my network.
  5. there's always a second opinion.... LOL. ..
    1. Well, somewhere in the beginning it says "In most tech startups..." ;)
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.
Add comment