"Individuals or groups cannot be sole owners of technologies. We need to lop off the heads of the IT silos - the fiefdoms of the past must fall. Teams must collaborate: if you don't make the change it will be forced upon you," he said.
"Look for projects to collaborate with your peers on networking, computing, storage, operations, development and security. Create opportunities and network with them - invite them out for a beer. You are all in the same boat now."
Network engineers should also considering picking up programming skills such as Linux.
"For years we focused on closed, monolithic operating systems, Cisco IOS is a great example. But the times are changing: Nexus OS from Cisco is built in Linux, Arista is in Linux, and so is Cumulus Networks," said Spiegel.
"Networking is moving in the direction of a Linux philosophy, so if you don't know Linux start learning it now."
Ultimately though the role requires a focus on the fundamental skills that have always been required, namely the ability to keep a cool head and get to the root of faults quickly.
"A network engineer or architect must be a problem-solver, as there are some very complex problems that we're faced with. They must also have the ability to learn very quickly against a steep learning curve, manage multiple projects at a time," says Menezes.
"It goes without saying that they must be a team player but also able to work independently and take ownership of projects."
A typical day for Colt Tech Services network architect, Brian Menezes
"Typically my day is split into a few different areas, all of which are just as important as the other. I act as quality control on all network designs, so I am always involved in making sure that what we're delivering is flawless- and ensuring that the transition of technology into a Colt infrastructure for customers on boarding is seamless.
"Another part of my role is evaluating new technologies. This involves looking at Colt's own IT/Network infrastructure and seeing how it can be optimised. I work closely with vendors to make sure the new technology can be introduced into the business and that it addresses customers' requirements.
"Lastly, I am always liaising with key stakeholders and project managers throughout the business to ensure we're in-sync with customer requirements. I thrive off the diversity that this role brings."
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