Misleading titles

02Dec09

I got roped into helping a company test their video conferencing equipment the other day.  They are in Colorado so this was all over the phone, fun times for sure.  A network engineer from the video company that sells and configures these systems was on the phone with me to do the test.  I figured this should go pretty smooth since I have a Network Engineer from the video company in the loop.  Think again.

The system wasn’t working, all signs pointed to network issues.  He checked the IP settings and according to him they “looked right”, it was a public IP address.  I asked if the unit was actually sitting outside the firewall to which he responded yes.  We troubleshot a few more things before I asked if he was sure it was outside the firewall, again he said yes.  After another 20 minutes of him changing cables and rebooting shit I asked him to humor me and plug his laptop into the wall jack where the video system is connected so I can see what he is getting for an address.  It was a private IP address.  Sigh.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t his fault, maybe someone switched ports on him or something.  So I tell him that’s why it isn’t working.  He tells me it doesn’t matter.  WHAT!?  He set a static public IP settings on the system and it is sitting on the local LAN and he thinks it doesn’t matter.  Please explain to me why you think it doesn’t matter whether or not your system can route to any other networks, this I have got to hear.  He these systems don’t care if they are behind a firewall or not, they just work.  I had to spend the next 15 minutes explaining to him why that is not going to work.    He still did not agree and told me it doesn’t matter what he puts in for an IP address, the system will figure it out.  I thought for a moment like the guy was just messing with me, maybe I was being Punk’d or something….but unfortunately he just didn’t understand networking.  I tried to humor him a little longer but when he started explaining to me that the Internet is like a cloud and their systems can talk to any other systems in the cloud regardless of where they are I had to call it quits.

I’m not sure how this Network Engineer got his title, but he wasn’t deserving of it.

–DanO

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