The truth had to come out ...

Having designed and delivered many courses in my time, a recent conversation recalled a time past when heresy of heresies I used to :

  • Teach networking to the programmers
  • And, programming to the networkers

United in their distain, each cohort would complain at why they were being made to learn these ‘irrelevant’ subjects as part of their year one, semester one studies.

For years my answer was always the same, based on truth it would go:

  • Programmers: how are you going to make good hackers, unless you understand networking?
  • Networkers: how on earth are you able to defend your network, unless you understand how programmers think?

As two separate courses, they seldom met, so the deceit could continue.

Seeing en masse realisation, each cohort would cease their complaints and work hard at the subject. Some of the programmers would grasp the networking with gusto, and likewise some of the networkers would grasp programming. Ensuring they had multi-disciplinary skills, beyond the bounds of their immediate subject.

We never taught hacking (ok, well we did show students commonplace weaknesses), but we did encourage an understanding of system vulnerabilities and the development of resilient systems.

Andrew Smith
Follow me on Twitter: @teraknor


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