[dns-operations] [OT] What are the most desirable skills, experience & education for [becoming] a good "DNS engineer"?

George Michaelson ggm at apnic.net
Wed Jan 29 22:16:07 UTC 2014

I would echo Keith with a different flavour and suggest you stick to
traditional core competency issues.

What is the level of financial implication inherent in the position? Do
they decide capital investments? Do they plan operation and capital
expenditure? You will need to trust their ability to direct the scale of
funding you expect to need. If you don't know what you need, you need to
believe they can discover and justify it.

What is the level of competency in large scale project deployment including
all pre- and post- phase documentation? Way way too many stakeholders see
tech deployments go guns on the hands-on-the-keys and drop the ball on
documenting and training.

If you word this as a competent DNS technician, you get neither of these
signed off. Do you really want that? Application/Context specific skills
can be acquired. General competency to be productive in a group is a skill
acquired only over time, and by some people (me!) never

On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Keith Mitchell <keith at dns-oarc.net> wrote:

> On 01/29/2014 01:27 PM, Stefan wrote:
> > I know this may sound a little odd, but have been struggling with
> > trying to identify a good candidate for a DNS (& DHCP) migration of
> > a large infrastructure, from Windows based environment, to a vendor
> > based appliance (and keeping such as a full time employee, in the
> > process, in the network group, for administration and lifecycle of
> > such).
> IMHO given the requirements stated below, in today's hiring
> environment, you are asking for the moon-on-a-stick, with added pony.
> Good luck !
> > I would think that primordial to a level of strong engineering
> > abilities would be networking (TCP/[UDP]/IP on top of which DNS as
> > protocol and its behaviors knowledge would be a must). The OS level
> > knowledge comes next, as bind on *nix or on F5 (thinking GTM here),
> > for example, needs to be comprehensively understood, as well as the
> > Windows implementation and relationship between DNS and AD.
> In previous hiring, I've particularly found it very difficult to find
> people who are strong in both of DNS and Windows.
> > Security comes as a "given", of course, as name resolution is
> > critical from that stand point, especially on the public facing
> > part. Vendor "X" appliance background is also desirable, on top of
> > all these, 'cause that would be the "moving to" point, and
> > understanding specifics will be critical.
> I wouldn't get too hung up on appliance-vendor-specific experience -
> while they will all have their deep wrinkles, someone with a good
> grounding in sysadmin/neteng basic principles should be able to pick
> these up without too much difficulty.
> > Add to this knowledge of applications and possible name resolution
> > specifics at layer 7, maybe not following the "rules" of the OS
> > stubs, and I pretty much covered the entire computer science
> > spectrum ;-)
> I note you did not mention any software engineering/coding skills, I
> expect the extent to whether you want these and/vs network operations
> skills is something to consider carefully for your environment.
> > Considering all of the above - what is your experience and/or
> > opinion in regards to how a good DNS engineer (or a good engineer
> > with primary responsibility in another technology) came to become?
> > What helped you the most in becoming one?
> (Having been doing DNS stuff since 1986, I suspect I'm not a good
> candidate to answer the second question :-)
> My advice would be to find someone who has at least some of the relevant
> background, is demonstrably flexible and willing to learn, and then be
> willing to make an investment in their growing the extra skills they
> need to fill your full requirements.
> Hope that is some help,
> Keith
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