Thursday, August 21, 2014


Welcome!  You have found the blog home of James V. Fields (that's me, on the left there, looking just the right amount of suave and geeky all at once).  I'm a network engineer for a semi-large company, but I spend a lot of time - a HUGE amount of it, actually - troubleshooting.

We have thousands of users, thousands of desktop computers and servers, more than a thousand pieces of network gear, and lots of network connections, public and private.  We do a lot of in-house software development, as well as using plenty of off-the-shelf stuff. 

When things go wrong I'm one of the people they call to figure out the what and the why.  And not just network issues - I end up troubleshooting server configurations, application problems - you name it, I've probably had to work on it.

There are various reasons why this is the case, not the least of which is that I'm fairly good at it.  It also helps that I don't shrug off problems or try to get people to leave me alone - I have a strong sense that regardless of where a problem lies, if I have the ability to help, then it's my duty to pitch in.  I'm not really sure if I get called so much because I'm good at the work, or if I'm good because I get a lot of calls - I guess it's a little of both. 

It has occurred to me from time to time that there are themes to the work - issues that crop up again and again.  Some of these are technical issues, while others have more to do with the psychology of the whole thing, the approach to troubleshooting (or lack thereof as often happens to be the case).  I turn this stuff over and over in my head.  Sometimes my brain just gets tired of wrestling with it all, but sometimes I snag a little piece of "truth" about how we deal with complex problems, thus the blog - this is a place I can record my observations and revelations, and maybe try to put a little structure to them. 

I'm not a professional blogger or writer, and it's hard to say where this will go.  I don't know if anyone will see it, but if you make it here, feel free to comment or drop me a line - I'd love to hear from you.

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