Skills, Roles, and Responsibilities of a Network Engineer

Skills, Roles, and Responsibilities of a Network Engineer

Enterprise Networking Mag | Friday, December 23, 2022

The responsibilities of network engineers include maintaining disaster recovery operations and data backups, identifying, diagnosing, and fixing hardware, software, and other network problems, and replacing defective hardware components.

FREMONT, CA: An enterprise network can only optimally function when it is managed by a variety of networking professionals. Being one of the most versatile roles in networking and ITOps, the networking engineer is responsible for building and managing the network infrastructure. While network engineers may also focus completely on network design and mapping, many organizations hire a network architect to handle this phase.

As a result of the wide range of network types that could require their expertise, network engineers do incredibly diverse work. Network engineers work on a variety of networks, including: 

• The cloud and edge networks

• Networks for mobile devices

• LANs (local area networks)

• WANs (wide-area networks)

• SDN (software-defined networks)

• VPNs (virtual private networks)

The following are some of the common tasks, projects, and expectations for network engineers:

Equipment installation and configuration: Engineers select, install, and configure network infrastructure equipment, such as routers, servers, and load balancers. An SDN may require to installation and configure network cloud or edge applications.

Monitoring and troubleshooting: The network engineer is usually the first to respond when part of the network infrastructure is slow or completely down. An engineer's primary responsibility is to restore service to a downed network and figure out what went wrong.

Documentation and policy management for networks: In addition to building and managing the network, network engineers manage documentation on how the network operates and is configured and how users will interact with it. Compliance is a major part of the role of a network engineer.

Work-related to maintenance and security: A network engineer monitors network infrastructure regularly and applies patches to improve performance and security in conjunction with a network security engineer. Managing firewalls, antivirus software, and data backups are other security-related tasks.

Depending on the type of network and industry, network engineers require different skills, but the following are some of the most important ones:

• Analyzing traditional hardware, software, and protocol configurations

• Monitoring and troubleshooting experience, particularly with network management and monitoring tools

• Platform experience with companies such as AWS and Cisco

• Java, Python, and Ruby coding experience

• Understanding best practices for network and data compliance

• Collaboration skills with other networking, security, and development professionals

• Ability to solve problems quickly, especially when a large network suddenly fails

• Training users on security and network use expectations and knowledge of security best practices


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