Only years can bring true experience

This week I was looking over a question on a certification example. The first question brought me back mentally to a time when I used to configure network routing. I remember sitting in the Cisco training class vividly... almost like I was there again. I can even recall helping the instructor fix a problem with the router configuration before the class even began. Interfaces, route maps, masking and all of that fun stuff. The fact that it was almost 20 years ago quickly proved that while I could remember the class, I could not remember much of anything on the content. I could not answer the question on this example test either. Interestingly, one of my coworkers, that I usually take breaks with, is a network engineer. I mentioned a few pieces of the the question off to him and he quickly rattled off how to find the answers I was looking for, almost as if I asked him what he had for lunch. Unfortunately, while normally this would strike back a quick "ah, now I see" nerve, it did not. Only years and years of doing this stuff daily makes it become second nature. What I was describing to him was something that he does every day, day in, day out. Not only does he know what is right but he also knows exactly what is not right just by glancing at it. It was almost like this part of my brain had been overwritten by new data. Amusingly, they are also working on some network automation which requires coding in python so he was in the same boat that I was in. I jokingly said that maybe they should hire me to help them with their coding. While this may be going nowhere fast, it quickly made me think "hats off" to my coworker and all of the other network engineers who keep all of this running. Without them, the internet would not exist, our communications would stop at the network port on our computers. I truly understand and have experienced first hand the countless hours put in to keep things running in the background and usually without much gratitude. (It is also the reason I decided some twenty years ago not to follow that path) I am truly hoping the second example question is something about something easier... like what did I have for lunch maybe? :) aBitOWhit