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RE: Your Next Step is CCIE [Cisco feeling the burn] posted 03/02/2004
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At 11:28 AM -0500 3/2/04, Scott Morris wrote:
That is an interesting viewpoint...  And it goes back to basic economic

1.  I've been a CCIE for about 5 years now, and when I started with it,
there were no bootcamps or help material.
2.  I run bootcamps and train people, and don't believe that the
sub-standard folks pass the lab.  There is a LOT of material now in so many
different directions, just as there was before.  But we live in a more
compressed timeframe that many did before.
3.  I also do a lot of consulting gigs.  Interestingly enough, the more
warped and complex itterations of things I have done in a  lab.  When you
boil it all down, real-life is pretty straight-forward.  Because we take all
of the shortcuts and things to make our lives easier in design scenarios so
that we DON'T have the inherent evil things that are part of the CCIE lab.
However, the lab forces people to know technologies (whether they believe it
or not!)

Very much agree. I'd make the minor plea that AFAIK, the Service Provider exam emphasizes things that competent ISPs rarely use in practice (like IGP-BGP redistribution), but doesn't touch things that are needed for larger SP operation. In fairness, Cisco does have quite a bit published on just those larger SP techniques, but the ISP industry doesn't generally think much of Cisco certs as relevant to what they do, at least above the help desk level.

There's a mild flamewar going on now on the NANOG list, where someone suggested that a very respected member of the global Internet routing community was clueless because he didn't have M$ or Cisco certs. IIRC, the complaining newbie was a MCSA/CCNA.

The basic economics come in in that yes, there will be some people who pass the lab who shouldn't. This isn't anything new though. Way back when, larger companies would send one person to fail the lab (but remember the questions) and many people after that to learn it quickly and go and pass. Is this any different? There is always a chance that people get lucky. Does it matter?

In the grand scheme of things no matter what you look at, you have some good
and some bad.  There are bad doctors out there, although I don't see any
decrease in the need for their services all in all.  Economics will make the
bad ones go away (or move into management?  :)  )  I can't say that I
haven't run into CCIEs that are less than bright out in the field. But this
is not a new problem.  You'll also notice that about 10% of R&S CCIE's are
no longer certified.  Perhaps these are the culling of those who can't
figure out how to recertify.

I have to suggest, from direct knowledge, that a reasonable number of "expired" CCIEs are already in jobs, perhaps that the CCIE helped them get, but where they now have actual experience on their resumes that a recertification just won't match.

Having the CCIE number in and of itself is not an automatic ticket. You still need to figure out how to differentiate yourself from others. If it's you and 15 other people with lab-only experience, you need to decide how to market that part. However, as a "back-atchya" argument, it doesn't automatically mean that you are a better choice than any of the new people!

Are we having fun yet?

Scott Morris, CCIE4 (R&S/ISP-Dial/Security/Service Provider) #4713, CISSP, JNCIS, et al. IPExpert CCIE Program Manager IPExpert Sr. Technical Instructor swm@xxxxxxxxxx/smorris@xxxxxxxxxxxx

-----Original Message----- From: nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of jgraun@xxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 10:53 AM To: Curtis Phillips Cc: ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: Your Next Step is CCIE [Cisco feeling the burn]

I have to disagree with you all, I been a CCIE for awhile now, it is getting
out of hand you have all these CCIE bootcamps that are producing
sub-standard people that have never been in the field before and have no
real experince with networks if it isnt on the lab exam.  How does it sound
for somebody to be on an interview and they keep saying "well in the lab I
have..." It is bullshit
 I tend to agree with Howard's assessment. I also think Roger is dead
 on. As long as the CCIE lab is what it is, it generally makes experts
 out of the people pursuing it, regardless of what they tend to think
 starting out.

 As for Cisco's motivations.. they could be many.. But generally,
 CCIE-level people tend to be a strong influence in decision making and
 recommendations for pruducts used in designs. People tend to recommend
 what they know and what they know works. It makes perfect sense that
 promoting CCIE is in line with Cisco's future business interests.

 At 8:58 AM -0500 3/2/04, McNeace, Roger wrote:
 >Obiviuosly you guys have never actually taken the lab exam.  I see
 >nothing wrong with Cisco promoting thier product and encouraging
 >people to pursue the CCIE.  Only 3% of Cisco Certified peolple
 >actually obtain the CCIE level.  It took me three years to get my
 >number and I never saw a braindump on the Internet for the lab exam.

>still takes extreme dedication, time and lots of $$$ to get the CCIE. >Anyone who gets thier number deserves it, the sky is not falling.
>Ciena Corporation
>Roger McNeace, CCIE #12777
>Senior Network Engineer
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jason Graun [mailto:jgraun@xxxxxxxxxxx]
>Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 8:20 AM
>To: ihatecisco@xxxxxxx; ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: RE: Your Next Step is CCIE [Cisco feeling the burn]
>This is such bullshit, if Cisco isn't careful the CCIE
>will become like the
>MCSE (Must Call Someone Else) CCIE (Cisco Certifies Idiots
>Everyday). The
>CCIE should not be seen as a revenue generating part of
>Cisco. But
>hopefully Cisco stops the insanity or there will be
>nothing sacred and holy

I really have to question this. My suspicion is that you are seeing an effort by the certification/training people to look good, but this sort of appeal isn't even in the scope of a John Chambers.

   From Cisco's strategic business standpoint, the only
 reason to have
 training, documentation, certification and support is to
 sell networking products. There are far better profit
 margins on a router than there is in certification.

 Some years ago, training and associated things were simply
 seen as overhead, and they were measured in customer
 satisfaction rather than dollars.  I can't look into the
 minds of the present managers, but at one point, the
 managers shifted to people that wanted training and
 associated things to be a profit center.It might be, at
 the level of their immediate VP, but certification simply
 is never going to be a major part of Cisco's revenue.

 Another possible explanation is that Cisco sees
 partner/reseller support slipping and more work coming
 back to the TAC. It is to Cisco's advantage to outsource
 support to resellers, and certification, by and large, is
 the main tool they have to assess reseller competence to
 do support.

 >-----Original Message-----
 >From: nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
 >On Behalf Of
 >Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 12:19 AM
 >To: ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 >Subject: FW: Your Next Step is CCIE [Cisco feeling the
 >Looks like the certification value slide is starting to
 >begin.  Cisco trying
 >to get more people to start on the long road to CCIE.
 >I will let anyone know if i find any coupons in this
 >weekends paper.
 >-----Original Message-----
 >From: ccie-promo@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:ccie-promo@xxxxxxxxx]
 >Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 11:54 PM
 >To: [ME]
 >Subject: Your Next Step is CCIE
 >Dear CCNP,
 >With the economy poised for recovery, now is the time to
 >strengthen your
 >personal qualifications. Obtaining your CCIE.
 >certification can provide you
 > >with the edge you need to move your career to the next
 > >level.
 >   a.. Studying for the exams expands your technical

 >   b.. Passing the lab gives you personal satisfaction.
 >   c.. Displaying your official CCIE number earns you the
 >respect and
 >admiration of colleagues and employers.
 >Obtaining your CCNP was an important step in your career.
 >Taking the next
 >step-earning your CCIE-will differentiate you, and
 >establish your mastery of
 >complex technology. Commit yourself to achieving CCIE
 >certification this
 >Schedule your written exam now and enter a drawing for
 >free CCIE self-study
 >materials from Cisco Press. Preparation is key to success
 >on the lab exam,
 >self-study with Cisco equipment is the most important
 >factor. CCIE Practical
 >Studies, a two-volume set from Cisco Press (a $150 value),
 >is designed to
 >CCIE candidates prepare for the hands-on lab exam and
 >supplies lab scenarios
 >for effective self-study.
 >To qualify for the drawing, you must be a CCNP in good
 >standing and register
 >and take a CCIE written exam (any track) before June 30,

 >2004. A passing
 >is not necessary to qualify. One two-volume set will be
 >awarded to a
 >CCNP each month. Those not chosen will remain in the pool
 >for drawings in
 >subsequent months. Books will be shipped to winners after
 >verification that
 >exam is complete. Cisco employees are not eligible for
 >this offer.
 >Need more?
 >* CCIE was the most lucrative professional credential in
 >2003, according to
 >Certification Magazine's annual survey of over 19,000 IT
 >* CCIE was voted the #2 Hottest Exam for 2004 (#1 in 2003)
 >by the readers of
 >* CCIE was named "Most Technically Advanced Certification"
 >and "Best
 >Program" by Certification Magazine.
 >Visit the CCIE website now for more information on the
 >CCIE tracks--Routing
 >Switching, Security, Service Provider and Voice, and to
 >schedule your exam.
 >Details for entering the drawing are also available on the
 >website at
 >Offer for CCNPs.

 >Mike Reid
 >CCIE Program Manager
 >Cisco Systems, Inc.
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