Last week, we had a great conversation on finger-pointing, and some of you shared real-world advice on how to avoid it. Most of the comments described a work environment that was still tied to the stove-piped organizational structure from ten years ago, when network, server, and storage were discrete disciplines with effectively zero relation to one another. This approach, however, is no longer valid.

Virtualization, specifically the abstraction of physical resources, makes isolated engineering teams dysfunctional. It’s not enough to pursue skills that exist exclusively in the confines of network, server, and storage. For example, it’s not surprising to hear that someone has a few VMware certifications, and a CCNA. That makes sense, since you can’t do a whole lot with vSphere unless it’s connected to your network. But for those of us who have been doing IT work for a long time, you certainly remember a time when having a Microsoft cert AND a Cisco cert was unheard of.

So, a few questions for you:

  1. Are you part of a siloed team at work? If so, how do you support virtualization (or other technologies that consume resources from multiple teams)?
  2. Do any of you have multiple vendor certifications that extend beyond the network | server | storage silos? How have they helped your career?
  3. Do you think having some primitive coding skills can help engineers in any discipline?
  4. Is there a future for engineers who focus on a single skill-set?

And here's a hint: the answer to number 4 is no. Discuss.