Young Network Operators (was RE: California power ... unplugged)

New nuclear plant design has some interesting differences from the
old plants.

What caused these changes? Of course, there were several incidents
which woke people up. But another change also occurred. Nuclear
engineering fell out of favor among college students. There were
fewer youngsters entering the industry after TMI, so the average age
of nuclear engineers has increase. With age comes wisdom, or just senility?

Older designs were "big" in every sense of the word. If you can only
build one plant, you better make it the biggest plant you can. Old
designs reflected a deep belief that you could maintain control. Control
systems kept the system safe. The engineers were smart people, and had
confidence in their ability to engineer their way out of trouble.

Is this an error of youth? A young driver believes he can control the
car in any situation, an older driver keeps the car out of situations
requiring control beyond his ability.

What does this have to do with network operators?

With the downturn in the high-tech job market, and the apparent end
of the 21-year old CEO getting $100 million in venture capital, will
we see a similar increase in the average age of network engineers? And
with the increase in age, will we see more conservative network operations
coming out of companies?

Or will we adopt the extreme slow conservatism of the telephone industry?

Sometimes you need to accept some risk in order to innovate. If you never
deploy something until it is perfect, it will take a very long time.