Why I do not study for CCNP R&S.

So a year passed since my CCNA R&S. After 2 years almost day-to-day study, 1 hour in the Morning. Building the mind maps for the exam. It was rewarding to me and I enjoyed it. However today I work at Cisco as the security engineer and gained a lot of experiences on the way here.

Please note, get to certification makes you learn everything, but you cannot be expert in everything.

Curious? Yes, do not overwhelme yourself.

Certification exam is designed to break you, to fail. It does not test your real knowledge. It´s a business and you need re-certification each 3 years.

CCNA is complex and gives you most of the professional orientation. Continuing to CCIE would make you antisocial “buddy”, while spending 3000 hours for THE exam without going out, working on the garden or doing pub socializing.
On top of this, CCIE has 2 years re certification period.

At our team the skills needed to become a good team mate, are:

  • Logic – just basic mathematical principles
  • Communication skills – be able to summarize customer problem, explain to the team and outline action plan.
  • Support engineer works with flustrated customer. That´s why they escalated the ticket to you, weren ´t they?
  • Criticism – not all problems are intended to solve. Let the front end engineers to do their job. Othewise they’ll lean on you more and more.
  • Do not reinvent the bicycle – trace down who had this problem before.
  • Relax – even when the people push to you, do not start 3rd world war.

Now some practical interlude for money&time management.

  1. Do not pay for study materials out of your pocket. A company should supply you with year subscription in safaribooks, lynda.com or cbtnuggest.com
  2. Ballance the time at work with study. Do not accept process, when you finish your work and you get immediatelly twice as much. Managers often call it as work ballance for the team.
  3. Regardless of the technical support position you’ve been hired for, the company is well aware of “longer you stay with us, better”. Every team is frightened of people coming in and leaving out. One year is the time they invest in you, Second year the effort pays them back.
  4. Managers have access to the team budget. That means you are eligible to get training per your interest. Do not accept, that study for CCNA is not related to your job, because company does not work with Cisco products.
  5. Finally for a long term and healthy life, stop working once you leave the office.

This way you should be always ready to say yes for better offer. Be sharp with your attitude and be professional. Loyalty is nice thing, but companies think this way: “We let you to gain experiences somewhere else, and than we try to hook you up”.

Working in an International company makes you deliver a professional support and get grown for your personal development. There is nothing between. Nobody will pay you back for unsuccessful attempts. Enterprise company pays you back, once you get certified.