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SDN: Do Network Engineers Need Programming Skills?

Interop panel debates need for network engineers to have programming skills as industry moves to software-defined networks.

A lot of discussion around software-defined networking has focused on the future of network engineers and how they will need to develop new skills to adapt to the future of automated and programmable networks.

Indeed, the topic came up at a panel keynote at Interop Las Vegas, run by UBM Tech, InformationWeek's parent company, on Wednesday. Steve Shah, senior director of product management at Citrix, said networking pros need to evolve their skillset for automation. Right now, there aren't many IT folks with both networking and skills in programming languages, such as Python, he said.

Arpit Joshipura, VP of product management and marketing at Dell Networking, agreed. "You need the network to be programmed, not provisioned," he said. "That is the fundamental change that will happen in five years."

But Dominic Wilde, VP of global product line management at HP Networking, said the notion that "all of the sudden you have to become programmers overnight" is false.

Read the rest of this story on Network Computing.

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