Cake mix, icing, or both?

As I continue to gain experience and traverse the network engineering landscape, I have encountered many types of engineers and the varying  attitudes about certification. I sometimes have an internal struggle about them. (Am I up for the time commitment?) However, the issue for me is not doing certifications, more about when to do them and what they mean in value.

To get an idea of what I mean by when, think about baking a cake. We all know the steps: Gathering ingredients, mixing you dry ingredients, then you wet ingredients, making the cake batter, baking the cake, cooling and then icing the cake. The gathering, mixing and baking takes precision, patience and passion. The cooling and icing is simple, an art, and displays your final product in a intriguing (and tasty!) way.


These look delicious!

As this relates to certifications, my experience is that when I was starting out, getting the CCENT/ CCNA certification was making the cake mix. I wanted to get my foot in the door and get an opportunity to show case what (little) I had learned.  Reading, lab work, and working in study groups were me gathering and mixing the ingredients. Working in the field has given me time to gather experience (baking) that will solidify my learning.

Working on my CCNP is a bit of icing and a bit of making cake. To do the work at the CCNP level, there has to be a mastery of CCNA topics and skills. This mastery has come through experience. This is like putting icing on the finished cake.At the same time, with new skills to learn,  it is again me working to get my foot in the door to more senior level engineering work. (Making cake mix)

In conclusion, network engineering like most careers, there is a circle of learning. In some cases you may need a certification to help you get started with new skills and access to new work (making cake mix) or you will using it to solidify your status as an expert(icing the cake!).

What is your experience? Do you agree? Sound off below.

Posted in Uncategorized

Shifting clouds…

6a0120a7fc3be9970b01bb08d49380970dAs businesses look to lower costs and increase profits, the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is becoming a more popular option. For the network engineer, this means cloud computing.

I see getting skills in cloud computing  as something vital to do no matter where you are in your network engineering journey. Working as an enterprise engineer myself, shifting our services to the cloud has become a reality.

I am personally looking into certification tracks and training tools to find what is going to  work best to help me gain and develop skills. Here is what I am looking at:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Associate Solutions Architect Certification

Cisco CCNA Cloud Certification 

CompTIA Cloud Certification

I am just getting started with my research on what training is best for me. I will be weighing the positives and negatives and make a decision soon.

Posted in Uncategorized


The title says it all.

For a complete list of my study tools click here -> CCNP SWITCH

On to the ROUTE!

Posted in Uncategorized

Making your startup configuration

I have a helpful tip for those of you in your final weeks of review for you Cisco test.

Creating a baseline start up configuration is helpful to speed up your labs and allow you to work on learning the specific technology at hand and spend less time doing introductory setup tasks.(Unless you need to learn those tasks for the test!)

Here are the following things that should stay in your startup config:

Device hostname

mgmt ip address

IP default-gateway

simple enable secret password

simple console and VTY logins


service password encryption

no ip domain lookup


Once you get these items entered, do a copy running-config startup-config.

Now your start-up config is set. Now when you power off or reload your equipment, you will have this waiting and ready for the the next lab. Just remember not run the command again during your labs!

Posted in Certification, Skill Development, Uncategorized

Back for 2016! Where have I been?

Too busy doing work. It has been four months since I have made the transition from looking on the outside of network engineering to bathing in the waters of the life.


Troubleshooting the network, learning the little quirks of each site. Research projects, work projects, certification preparation. This is my life now.

I looked back at 2015 and realized that I am in the early stages of a new journey. I have to be patient and persistent. I have to be hungry and seize opportunities. I have to take calculated risks. Here is the pedigree of all my other successful life endeavors:

I may fail, but don’t give into fear,  be at peace and achieve goals.

Fail =First Attempt In Learning

Fear = False Events Appearing Real

Peace = Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation

Goals = Go Onward Always Learning Something


2016. Here we go!

Posted in Career, The Legend of Doug, Uncategorized


Posted in Skill Development, The Legend of Doug

Sure you want a network engineer?

As I look at the network engineer  industry and the skills in demand moving forward, I have seen a couple of trends:

1-The increase need for junior to mid level engineers with experience in Server technologies (ie Windows Server, Exchange, Linux, VMWare)

2-Engineers with deeper multiple skill sets (Security, Wireless, Voice, Collaboration, Data  Center)

3- Desire for programming language knowledge for scripting .

It begs me wonder what will the future state of the network engineer role? Are you seeing the same thing? Sound off below.

Posted in Uncategorized

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