Networking for Application Developers

This post is about IT Networking. Having been in Web Application Development all of my career, I spent a couple of months learning about computer systems networking. My belief in being that well-rounded technology architect, basic networking knowledge is fundamental. More than just knowing how to use ‘ping’ and ‘ipconfig’ command line tools, I wanted to know more.

I wondered about the following:

  • Networking hardware in-depth
  • Network protocols
  • How to troubleshoot extensively
  • Other command line networking tools
  • DNS, DHCP, Firewall
My Sample Network Diagram
My Sample Network Diagram
And so for those of you in any type of application development, especially SharePoint, I highly encourage understanding the many basics elements of networking and server software.
The key benefits in doing so are
  • Interface with IT administrators and IT architects
    • Know how to ask the right questions
    • Understand their designs and implementation that they provide
  • Understand the infrastructure of your development machine, testing environments and production environments
    • As a result, troubleshoot problems and escalate to IT
    • Fix your own networking problems
  • Become a well-rounded Technology Architect
    • Design architecture with IT touch points in mind.
Understanding networking and system administration involves a different mind set and I can appreciate the skill and breadth of knowledge of a competent IT administrator. For example, IT must understand the relationships and dependencies of all layers of hardware, server software, networking protocols and configuration. Whereas a software developers’ troubleshooting process is simpler with the use of debuggers and custom error/exception logging. IT must rely on multiple tools with a methodical mindset in troubleshooting issues.
So invest in learning networking and troubleshooting issues, and you’ll impress the IT folks when you hand them root cause analysis and perhaps a recommendation to the solution 😉
And so to wrap up my knowledge and my notes, I have assembled a powerpoint presentation deck. There are some notes and resource links in the Notes section of each slide. I have presented to my colleagues and plan to speak at technology user groups and conferences.

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