Beginning my Journey to Becoming a CCIE

A year ago (July 2014) I was in a Barnes & Noble, and I came across the Cisco Press ICND1 and ICND2 certification guides for the Cisco Certified Enterprise Network Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) in the routing and switching domain. I was well aware of the fact that my network knowledge was relatively advanced, but I came to realize that I didn’t have much market recognizable accreditation to support such a claim. Also I couldn’t rely on my job title either, as it was a rather generic job title at the time. At that moment I decided to set myself on this journey to get myself on the Cisco certification track, for a couple of reasons. First, it would provide a market recognizable accreditation standard of my true technical knowledge, and second, it was about time that I had done a full review of all the knowledge that I supposedly had, as well as fill in the gaps where needed. Now, 11 months later, I am at a new frontier in the IT world, having gone deep into the theory and the practice of full IT infrastructure. After starting studying, I found myself going into more and more detail of different fields, and not just the Cisco curriculum. Today I am proud to say that I stand to hold the following certifications, after starting my journey last July.

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching
  • VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (VCA-WM)
  • VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 – Network Virtualization (VCP6-NV)
  • NetApp Accredited Technical Sales Professional (NATSP)
  • CompTIA Server+ Certified

You can definitely say that I went on a spree, and yes it did cost! But don’t forget that there was a lot of foundational knowledge that I had prior to starting this journey. So a lot of it I was able to just get by relatively fast due to prior experience. Just over a week ago, I have started studying for my Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing & Switching certification. After reaching the CCNP level, I came to realize that there was still a lot of information that I had been looking forward to learning, which I still hadn’t even touched on; this is namely VRF’s and MPLS networking, as well as advanced BGP topics. In addition I am also reading up (lightly) on the content of the following certifications:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 – Cloud Management and Automation (VCP6-CMA)

This is just in case I find something that gets me as interested as the CCIE has gotten me, so I would go all the way in it as well. So far AWS is looking very promising, as they really seem to have their work in order, and everything just fits in their “cloud” puzzle so well, that it really is worth your effort and time. For me, this is all a very exciting journey, and all I can say is that I can’t wait until I feel comfortable with all these advanced networking topics yet to come. Here’s to becoming a CCIE in routing & switching! 🙂


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