This book is written for undergraduate and graduate students studying MIS, accounting information systems, or any related field. With the relative depth of the coverage, it can also be a good textbook for an entry-level computer science course. It is assumed that students are exposed to the subject for the first time. As the title implies, much focus of this book is providing students with practical as well as theoretical knowledge necessary to launch a successful professional career. With its practical value, several students told me that they are keeping the book as a reference.
Computer networking and network security are difficult subjects for several reasons. First of all, they are huge in scope and technologies change rapidly. The constant rise and fall of networking technologies and paradigms has become a norm. Second, a computer lab is crucial to facilitate hands-on learning but many college programs do not maintain (or cannot afford to install) one dedicated to the subject. This poses a great deal of challenge for instructors teaching this course. Third, it is difficult to write a book that effectively balance theoretical, technical, hands-on, and managerial knowledge to give practical values to students.
I was mindful of the challenges in writing the book of 12 chapters organized for a semester or quarter. Overall, the book explains both introductory and advanced topics designed to provide practical knowledge to students. As a result, the book itself is highly dense with much information compacted. In writing, however, much effort was placed on explaining sometimes challenging topics in a manner that students can follow through with careful readings.
Much thought was given on how to provide students with hands-on learning experience while reading the textbook. Several approaches have taken to achieve it. First, each chapter comes with practical exercises good for individual/group assignments within or without the class. They take advantage of real cases, actual industry products and systems (software, hardware, and solutions)so that students can better relate theories to practice.
Second, there are more than 20 screen shots, figures, and tables in each chapter carefully constructed to enhance visual learning, rather than being space fillers. Students should review each of them carefully to build knowledge. Also, external information sources such as YouTube links are provided for additional learning experience.
Certain concepts common to all chapters such as security, network planning/design, and network management are explained throughout the book from the practitioner s perspective. Especially,bearing in mind of the critical importance of network security, two chapters are dedicated to that subject in addition to its embedment throughout the book.
Instructors are provided with PowerPoint lecture slides; solutions of exercise and chapter review questions; a test bank; additional hands-on assignments of practical values; and links to Video Tutorials . Especially the hands-on assignments are designed to perform without a computer lab.