CCIE material useful at day job?

PsychoFinPsychoFin Posts: 280Member
Hey guys,

So I got into a discussion here at work with the two senior engineers. They are both senior engineers and ooooooold. They are of the opinion that it is not worth their time to do the CCIE because they do not want to study weird things that wouldn't really be possible/allowed in a production environment.

So, just for fun, I thought I'd pose the following questions to all of you:

Do you think that studying the CCIE material would help you do your job better, even though you might never take the exam itself? Would it actually help you in your day-to-day duties of configuring routing, VPNs, MPLS etc, or is the material only applicable to the CCIE exam and lab itself? :)

Now, bear in mind that I am also studying for the CCIE, and I think that the skills learned while studying are applicable to any IP-related job. Obviously, there are some things you'd hardly ever configure in a production network, but the rest of the curriculum is certainly related to any senior IP Engineer's job, is it not?

Interested in your thoughts,

Fin

Comments

  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    Many of the technologies we study may not be used in a particular job, but the level of understanding and the expert troubleshooting skills we garner are worth their weight in gold. Anyone can memorize configuring a particular protocol or technology, but the real value is in the understanding how things interact and what could be affected in other parts of the network when you implement even a 'trivial' change.

    As others have said before me, studying for the CCIE is like studying to be a doctor or even a black belt in martial arts. Just because you pass doesn't mean you know everything. It means you have (hopefully) mastered a base skill set and now are able to move forward honing that skill set in your particular area of interest. Hopefully with the skills mastered and additional studies we can become experts in our chosen concentration!

    In the meantime, INE Vol 1 is calling your name and don't let anyone discourage/distract you from pursuing your goals!
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • pertpert Posts: 250Member
    The old engineer guys are not wrong for most people. If you support a single corporate environment, even a very complex one, you really only need to learn so much. The value for learning the ins and outs of IS-IS for a person like that are approximately zero. I think you're much better off learning the specific parts of your network you don't understand. For most people that will be security, voice, design, data center, brocade, juniper, F5, etc. It won't be I.E. level switch/route knowledge.

    There is value on being a master vs just being pretty good, but I'd focus on being pretty good at everything you do before going for mastery in one area.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    I think that down77 and pert hit the nail on the head pretty well, so here's my extra $.02- the CCIE material *can* be helpful to some people in their daily jobs, but not all.

    In my experience, an operations-type setting (ie: maintaining and troubleshooting a more or less stable network with few major changes) requires a CCNP level of understanding. In this case, SOME knowledge from the CCIE curriculum would help, but not that much for someone who just needs to maintain the gear. Probably not enough to study the entire blueprint..I'd rather divert my time to studying more relevant parts to the setting I'm working in.

    Now, if you're in the business of consulting, I think it is absolutely beneficial. I have been asked while on customer sites to do all sorts of things (most of it NOT covered by the CCIE), and have had to react to those last minute requirements and come up with a solution. In that case, the CCIE knowledge would definitely help..it already has, and I haven't sat the lab yet.

    I'm not advocating to not study it just for knowledge..I think there's always value in knowledge. There's just a point where an individual has to decide how much ROI they're getting from the CCIE, or any other cert for that matter. I would always lean towards doing it versus not doing it, but I can understand why someone would think it's not beneficial for them.

    Then again..maybe they're scared :)
  • reaper81reaper81 Posts: 631Member
    Think of it this way. How much of the stuff you learn at an university do you actually use? 10%? Is it still useful? Yes, it is. The reason for it is that you learn how to gather information, learn how to write, how to hold presentations in front of people and how to learn new information among many things.

    It's the same thing with CCIE. Very seldom do you require the detailed knowledge of OSPF you have but if you work for a large service provider you might have to. Do you really need to know all the services? Probably not, but don't think for a second that customers won't have weird requirements especially if you work in enterprise or are doing consulting. And to them it will be the most natural thing in the world and nothing strange at all even though maybe noone else is asking for that feature.

    The CCIE makes you think networking at a higher level just like getting a degree. This will always be beneficial. You will more easily be able to learn new information. Also, just being an expert in using Cisco documentation is almost worth it in itself. If you can use the DOCCD you can pretty much forget about Google because 90% of the answers will be in there and it's not second hand information.

    Having the CCIE material is a great reference when you want to check something up or get a weird scenario and you remember doing a lab like it before!

    So it's up to each person if it's worth getting certified or not but saying that it's not useful in real life is not true and they are probably just a bit jealous that they don't have what it takes to become a CCIE. I respect anyone that does not want to do it and there are people that aren't CCIEs that are insanely skilled. But putting that CCIE number on your resume shows you have ambition and discipline just as much as someone that has got a degree. It's just not about the information, it's about what kind of person you are.
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Posts: 2,008Member
    Just knowing that something is possible or not possible, even if you don't use it in production, has value. The question "can we do this?" is asked all the time by management.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Posts: 2,475Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    This pursuit will help you considerably in your overall understanding of networking. You will understand these individual technologies at a deeper level as well as how they interact/depend with/on each other. You will increase your understanding, speed, and troubleshooting skills tremendously. The CCIEs I have met over the years have been extremely humble and I believe a lot of that is due to the fact that the CCIE journey showed them how much knowledge is really out there.

    down77 was exactly right:
    "As others have said before me, studying for the CCIE is like studying to be a doctor or even a black belt in martial arts. Just because you pass doesn't mean you know everything. It means you have (hopefully) mastered a base skill set and now are able to move forward honing that skill set in your particular area of interest. Hopefully with the skills mastered and additional studies we can become experts in our chosen concentration!"
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • pertpert Posts: 250Member
    Think you guys are vastly overstating the usefulness of CCIE for someone who isn't a consultant or building new networks day to day. However, if those are your jobs, then CCIE is VERY important. People on these forums keep trying to put a Square into a triangular hole. If youre in a corporate environment, 99.9% of the time you'd be better off learning how your voice system works, firewalls, load balancers, non cisco gear, learning about different fiber and transceiver types =D, data center, etc. Having a CCIE in R&S doesnt help when someone is asking you do something on the firewall or load balancer. Yeah, I'm sure you'd be smart enough to know where to learn how to do it, but that's not the question.

    I think the CCIE is only going to be a big help to you day-to-day if you work for Cisco, an ISP, a reseller, or consulting firm.
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    While I do work as a Solutions Architect (consultant) my pursuit of the CCIE started while I was a Technical Architect at a Fortune 500 corporation. I was responsible for the end to end design and implementation of multiple life-cycle environments spread across more than 1000 locations and over multiple continents. I worked daily with multiple service providers as well as Network staff from a number of other institutions... in short, I was in a perfect position to justify pursuing the CCIE for Professional reasons. I, however, chose to pursue this track for personal reasons and not professional.

    The CCIE exam is targeted towards Senior Network Engineers / Network Architects that work in a large networked environment. If you are in a situation where you are responsible multiple branch, campus, and/or data center locations then this may be the right path for you. If you are in the situation like pert mentioned, where you are responsible for being the jack of all network trades then it may not be a best fit for that organization, but may still fall in line with personal aspirations and professional development. In this instance you have to ask yourself whether the pursuit of the CCIE is a personal goal or professional goal and plan accordingly.

    As far as fitting a square peg into a triangular hole I disagree with the following caveat: Ask yourself why are you going down this path?
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    Do you think that studying the CCIE material would help you do your job better, even though you might never take the exam itself? Would it actually help you in your day-to-day duties of configuring routing, VPNs, MPLS etc, or is the material only applicable to the CCIE exam and lab itself?
    If you are happy with where you are like those olddddddddddddd engineers then I guess they are right. However, its going to be tough for them to compete with a ccie if ever they get laid off. Being stagnant is our worst enemy.

    IMO, you will learn other technologies / you wont be stagnant. It will PUSH you to read, learn and lab.
    You will have an idea what to do without researching it. The core exam are mostly real world.
    Obviously, there are some things you'd hardly ever configure in a production network, but the rest of the curriculum is certainly related to any senior IP Engineer's job, is it not?

    True.. Honestly, I wont since I have other things that I can do which is to go out and see the world.
    We pushed ourselves here at TE to become marketable, to be the best that we can so that we can provide a better life for our family or make more money.

    I see it as a professional accomplishment before I took my first attempt. It changed into something very personal when I failed my first attempt. I want it more than ever. I want to prove myself that I can finish what I started.

    Is it useful at my current work? sometimes... I know I still have a lot to learn but Im not clueless if my sr engineer talks our network.

    Will it pay off if I go out in the field (in case i get laid off) ? Yes it will.
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    I can only speak of it as a consultant. Its VERY VERY important. In the current CCNP voice books, I have seen just about everything in them. Every configuration, even option. As others have stated think about your goals. If you want to work for one of the big boys you will have an eaiser time getting in the door with it than without it.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • sea_turtlesea_turtle Posts: 98Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    alot of great advice in this thread, besides what has been stated above; a great thing you learn along your way of studying and getting stronger with your skills is how to look up things you may not fully remember or understand in the cisco doc's which is fantastic when you have a weird requirement or run into an odd issue.
Sign In or Register to comment.