Rehashing Certifications

1 February 2018 |

While at Cisco Live in Barcelona this week, I had a chat with someone—I don’t remember who—about certifications. The main point that came out of the conversation was this: One of the big dangers with chasing a certification is you will end up chasing knowledge about using a particular vendor feature set, rather than chasing…

Master of None

21 August 2017 |

Should you be a johnny do-it-all, or so deep that no-one understands what you are saying? It’s time to talk about the shape of knowledge—and how important it is to be intentional about the shape of your knowledge.

Overvaluing Experience

28 June 2016 |

“Sure, great candidate—so long as you just look at the paper. They don’t have any experience.” I wonder how many times I’ve heard this in my networking career—I wonder how many times this has been said about me, in fact, after I’ve walked out of an interview room. We all know the tale of the…

What Language Should You Learn?

23 May 2016 | Comments Off on What Language Should You Learn?

So you’ve decided, for all the reasons given in my last post on this topic, that you want to learn to code. The next, obvious, question is: what language should you learn? Remember the goal isn’t just to learn to code, but to learn the mindset, tools, and structure of coding; to dog past the…

Why you need to learn to code

16 May 2016 |

We’ve all heard it by now: you’d better learn to code, or your network engineering career is going to die a quick (and potentially painful) death. Maybe you could still act as a briefcase carrier, and call yourself a consultant, but without coding skills, you’re open ended job is going to become a dead end,…

Thoughts on Certifications

9 November 2015 |

Should you stack up certifications, or should you learn something new? To put the question a different way: should Ethan get his CCDE? This week a couple of posts filtered through to my RSS feed that seem worth responding to on the certification front. Let’s begin with the second question first. This week, Ethan posted:…

It’s About Time

3 August 2015 |

I guess I’m semi-famous. Or maybe I’m a moderately sized fish in a rather small bowl. Whatever the reason, a lot of people reach out to me for career advice. Which is okay, of course — I make it a personal policy to answer every email that’s addressed to me, individually, that I receive. It…

Testing to the Cut Score (Certifications)

29 July 2015 | Comments Off on Testing to the Cut Score (Certifications)

Tom has an interesting post over at The Networking Nerd on one of my favorite areas of discussion — certifications. To give you a sense — Perhaps raising the cut scores to more than 900 points isn’t the answer. Maybe instead more complex questions or more hands-on simulations are required to better test the knowledge…

Why certifications make me grouchy

7 July 2015 |

While I support certifications, they also make me grouchy. Sometimes they make me really, really, grouchy, in fact — probably more grouchy than I have a right to be. You’ve probably heard the complaints a number of times. For instance, there’s the problem of paper tigers, people who gain the certification but don’t have any…

Why I Support Certifications

22 June 2015 | Comments Off on Why I Support Certifications

I’m betting that I could take my certifications off my resume and still have a fair chance at finding a job. It’s a guess, of course, and I’ve never tried any sort of an experiment towards finding out, but the point is this: at some point in your career, certifications should become just one more…