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RE: CCIE Important Interview Quesition asked by Sunrise, Swiss posted 11/12/2007
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And that (accompanied with Michael's next response) is an excellent
analogy/idea for things.  I'm actually poking through what the open source
group is looking to do right now trying to think about how it would relate
or be revised in our sense.

One thing to keep in mind, and one thing I noticed right off the bat with
the open source group, is that there is buy-in from different vendors along
the way, and this can also help get things started.  While it's very good
that we look at self-creation, self-policing and things like that, it's also
important to have powerful allies with the vendors and not have any sort of
warfare going on!  :) 

Now I have to ponder this stuff for a while and try to think about how we
can best implement something like this (always better to have a plan in mind
before going to other folks/vendors trying to finalize things!).  But  I
think this is a worthwhile venture to go on in order to assist the
credibility of our hard-earned certifications in the workplace.

Every organization (AMA, Guilds, etc) has bylaws, procedures and
regulations.  So probably it'd be good to look at some of these and try to
think about what different details we need to have in place in order to make
something work.  

Any ideas for names, by the way?   I think that Networkers Anonymous
wouldn't give the right connotation.  ;)

Scott Morris, CCIE4 (R&S/ISP-Dial/Security/Service Provider) #4713, JNCIE-M
#153, JNCIS-ER, CISSP, et al.
VP - Technical Training - IPexpert, Inc.
IPexpert Sr. Technical Instructor

A Cisco Learning Partner - We Accept Learning Credits!



Telephone: +1.810.326.1444
Fax: +1.810.454.0130



-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Dumont [mailto:dfdumont@xxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 12:38 PM
To: Adato, Leon; William Nellis; Scott Vermillion; swm@xxxxxxxxxx; darth
router; M_A_Jones@xxxxxxxx
Cc: cisconuts@xxxxxxxxxxx; joe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; pauld@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx;
jlogginsccie@xxxxxxxxxx; tom.nohwa@xxxxxxxxx; ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Marci
Carpenter; Carpenter, Michael; Leon_home
Subject: RE: CCIE Important Interview Quesition asked by Sunrise, Swiss

Let me expand on the idea of a guild a bit for clarity.

An apprentice is anyone who has completed some form of training.  This could
be as simple as a completed series at someone like an ITT Tech Institute, or
a BS in computer science.  This gets you membership into the 'club' you
would only need to submit you 'credentials' and get assigned to a local
for subsequent training and experience.  In the best of all possible worlds
that person would be at your current employer but that assumes a high level
of penetration - and I won't make that assumption.  No fez, and no back
rooms filled with cigar smoke - just fill out the paper work and you get
your 'card' back in the mail with a letter to contact your local Journeyman.
And She/he also gets one letting her/him know you exist.  After that its
between the two of you.

Journeyman is a second submission of credentials, and I'd consider all
current numbered CCIE's to already be in this position.  I'd likely also
include a few other industry certs that have similar scope and recognition
within their respective disciplines.  I'm thinking of things like the Master
Oracle certification, or the Redhat Certified Architect.  Note this WOULD
NOT BE SPECIFIC TO NETWORKING!!!  An advanced (and preferably
practical) vendor certification would be valid for entry into this level.
It would also allow you to take on Apprentices and part of your CONTINUED
CERTIFICATION would be dependent upon your working with Apprentices, and
THEIR SUCCESS.  After all you don't have to be a good teacher for someone to
learn from you.  However the converse is also true - if you know nothing no
one can learn anything from you either.  This keeps the tie to industry
certification for recognition (of the Journeyman level) and also begins the
split into various Disciplines.  A Journeyman would be encouraged to pursue
multiple disciplines.

As for Master, I really think their are only a very few  people who have
demonstrated significant contribution to the art to qualify.  Furthermore I
think you have to also demonstrate significant contribution to the art to
gain entrance.  No one can deny the contributions of people like Scott
Morris(Nearly everything Networking), Linus Torvalds
(Linux) or Larry Wall (Perl).  It would be the first task to get these
people and others like them not only to promulgate the idea, but also to sit
on the board to review submissions (for Masters).

For Master class I'm specifically proposing a submission process similar to
what the people at OpenGroup ( are trying to
do - but with a purely technical focus.  It would entail an actual project
(including ALL DOCUMENTATION) wherein it could be demonstrated that a NOVEL
APPROACH or a NEW TECHNOLOGY had been applied or created. 
These would then feed into the training material for other levels.  

This approach solves the issue of technology innovating us into oblivion, as
this feedback loop keeps everyone moving forward.  It also solves the issue
of what makes a 'master' by using the same process used for granting a PhD.
You must innovate. 
The guild then becomes one of the bodies moving the art forward, rather then
trying to keep up.  Also similar to a PhD, the Master classification would
be in a particular discipline, say Database, Programming, Networking, System
Mgmt, etc.
There is also the possibility of Intellectual Property rights.  In this I
can see under certain circumstances that the guild would own (the IP of) the
submission and would have the right to not only disseminate the IP to its
members, but also gain financial backing for its licensing.  After all we
have to figure out how to PAY for such an organization and I'm not very fond
of fees - although I think for a while it would have to be that.

I hope that helps clarify my idea.  Feel free to tear this one apart - or
chime in support.  I really do think we need something to pull us out of the
mess we are in now.  There is no way to determine right now a good IT person
from a mediocre one - and mediocrity is what keeps our salaries low and
removes us from consideration for higher positions.  After all this a free
market and the supply (of bodies with some
certification) is high compared with demand.  That is why CCIE's in
Cleveland,OH can bank on about 80K/yr from a large employer - at best.  I
don't want to be in that realm any longer.  I want my kids to think, "If I
want to make some REAL money I can become a Lawyer, a Doctor or a IT

Yeah I'm dreaming but then isn't that the point?  See the goal and move
toward it - don't complain about not being there yet.

Another $0.02

Dennis Dumont

--- "Adato, Leon" <Leon.Adato@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Sorry for the late reply, but just a counterpoint to Scott and 
> William's
> thoughts:
> What Dennis *might* be suggesting is the beginning of the evolutionary 
> process that gives us today's AMA (American Medical Association).
> One of the challenges I find with the "50 or so"
> organizations is that
> they are largely vendor-based. CCIE does not apply to Nortel. MCSE 
> does not apply to Novel. RedHat certification does not indicate AIX 
> expertise. It may imply a level of conceptual familiarity, or even 
> experience based on the likelyhood of cross-platform environments. But 
> an Ophthalmologist is not licensed only for Alcon brand techniques or 
> procedures. And taking it further, even if you go to a plastic 
> surgeon, you can safely assume that they can start an IV, perform an 
> emergency tracheotomy, give CPR, etc. Even if you wouldn't trust a 
> cardiologist to do factial reconstructive surgery, you know they 
> understand the fundamentals.
> So what I'm talking about is a vendor-agnostic organization that goes 
> beyond the "clubs" that I see out there today (dba associations and 
> the like). This group would set the curriculum for the training 
> organizations. It might even administer centralized standard testing 
> that would be distributed or hosted by local training org's.
> Speaking to the guild metaphor (and it's only a metaphor), I don't see 
> it as a question of good ol' boys in fez's with secret handshakes as 
> much as a more formalized process of ownership and mentorship. 
> Studying under an IT mentor would give the mentor an extra set of 
> hands for certain tasks, and it would provide the apprentice with name 
> association and the chance to experience environments they might not 
> have access to on their own merits.
> I am, of course, extrapolating a lot of political what-if's to 
> continue to overlay the medical metaphore onto IT, but I see it not 
> only as possible but also beneficial.
> Stepping back from my (typical, for those on this list who don't know
> me) naieve rosey-sunglasses outlook, I would submit the following 
> observations based on 17 years of involvement in IT:
> 1) no automated test can accurately weed out "paper
> tigers".
> 1a) practical tests such as in the CCIE do a better
> job, but it's still
> possible to "fake it"
> 2) prolonged interaction - both with an individual
> and watching that
> individual work in real situations - rarely will
> fail to separate those
> who actually know a topic from those who do not.
> Presuming those 2 (ok, 2.5) items to be true, it
> suggests that direct
> observation over time is the best way to "certify"
> what someone actually
> knows. The challenge in IT is that the only time
> this happens is when
> someone has been hired for a job. And the problem
> there includes 2
> realities:
> 1) when a person is deemed not-knowledgeable,
> companies are limited in
> what they can tell the NEXT employer
> 2) at higher levels (CCIE, for example), the person
> being hired is often
> supposed to be the best expert, so by definition
> there is frequently no
> peer-level employee to accurately identify what this
> person does or does
> not know.
> The apprentice - journeyman - master (or some modern
> equivalent) would
> mitigate that, and might even boost IT workers value
> in the eyes of
> employers and businesses. Having a master craftsman
> on your staff may
> mean something to customers and investors. 
> Leon Adato
> ==============
> "Measure what is measurable, and make measurable
> what is not so"
>  - Galileo
> Reply to: adatole@xxxxxxxxx
> -----Original Message-----
> From: William Nellis [mailto:nellis_iv@xxxxxxxxx] 
> Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 1:22 AM
> To: Dennis Dumont; Scott Vermillion; swm@xxxxxxxxxx;
> darth router;
> M_A_Jones@xxxxxxxx
> Cc: cisconuts@xxxxxxxxxxx; joe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx;
> pauld@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; jlogginsccie@xxxxxxxxxx;
> tom.nohwa@xxxxxxxxx;
> ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Adato, Leon; Marci
> Carpenter; Carpenter, Michael
> Subject: Re: CCIE Important Interview Quesition
> asked by Sunrise, Swiss
> The way you keep less than qualified people from
> taking your position or
> the sale, is by demonstrating your value day in and
> day out. Not by
> creating an exclusive club. The best thing we could
> do is, not form an
> "industry guild" (actually, on that note, there is
> probably only about
> 50 of them already... which means none of them hold
> any merit)... So
> industry certifications are supposed to give some
> ability at this.
> Given, they are not perfect, the CCIE is challenging
> enough to move
> beyond rote memorization, and it is also unbiased.
> Even if it is not
> perfect, having this unbiased system is better than
> having a bunch of
> guys sitting with elk hats making subjective votes
> on who can join the
> union. How do you measure that? How do you offer a
> business case for
> value based on subjective matters? If the unbiased
> system isn't working,
> lets improve that instead. I'm of the opinion, that
> while it aint
> perfect... it does weed out allot of people.
> I honestly dont have the answer to all these
> questions, one of the main
> problems is IT is a constantly sliding window. It
> develops at a pace in
> which whatever standards you set now will need to be
> reevaluated every
> 24-36 months for relevance. Another problem is there
> is a constantly
> short demand for talent. There is ample "people",
> but the companies need
> talent. I think there are allot of people in Ops and
> Tier 1/2 positions
> that want to move around and develop but are
> challenged because there
> are lots of other people there, while companies are
> looking for tier3/4
> type people to work on their ever increasing
> networks... (for sake of
> simplicity I put all people in 4 tiers for this
> discussion)
> AND, the Tier 3/4 people today that don't stay
> abreast of the moving
> targets lose value over time. Tech is rough man, you
> got to work just to
> stay afloat. These networks aren't getting any
> easier, and it seems the
> more companies rely on them for increasingly mission
> critical
> reasources, it keeps getting hairier. 
> So, when interviewing people, your not looking just
> for someone to do
> the job today. That isn't as bad, but also looking
> for people that can
> understand new technology and advances As they are
> being written and
> coming out, and be able to grow with them and design
> for them. So your
> looking for someone with promise, someone you can
> invest in and get ROI
> out of. Someone with critical thinking, experience
> to some degree, and
> probably a Cert to get their foots in the door.
> I don't think the "bashing" of these so called Paper
> CCIE's is the same
> as the bashing we used to do of paper MCSE. it's a
> whole other level,
> and given, they may not be the BEST of the BEST in
> every permutation,
> and you can pick them apart, they have reached a
> milestone in their
> education that, like it or not, makes them an asset.
> Not for every
> opportunity or every organization, but an asset none
> the less. Because,
> at the least, you can ensure they have some
> semblance of problem solving
> capabilities, or that they worked extra hard to get
> it. So, like it or
> not, the reason CCIE is the most respected cert, is
> because it is the
> best the industry has. 
> CCIE = Aptitude + effort. So, you can say some
> people don't have as much
> aptitude, but in that instance, it means they had to
> exert more effort. 
> And another reason to stop the "Paper CCIE" stuff
> already, it's a
> plaque, darn it. 
> r/s
> William Nellis IV
> nellis_iv@xxxxxxxxx
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Dennis Dumont <dfdumont@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: Scott Vermillion <scott_ccie_list@xxxxxxxxx>;
> swm@xxxxxxxxxx; darth
> router <darklordrouter@xxxxxxxxx>;
> M_A_Jones@xxxxxxxx
> Cc: cisconuts@xxxxxxxxxxx; joe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx;
> pauld@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; jlogginsccie@xxxxxxxxxx;
> tom.nohwa@xxxxxxxxx;
> ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Leon Adato
> <leon.adato@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; Marci
> Carpenter <marcarpe@xxxxxxxxx>; Michael Carpenter
> <michael.carpenter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2007 5:17:20 PM
> Subject: RE: CCIE Important Interview Quesition
> asked by Sunrise, Swiss
> Back when I was a hiring mgr, I had a few questions
> I asked that had
> multiple right answers.  Case in point, "You have
> just typed, 'deb ip
> pack det' in your session, but nothing shows up. 
> What's wrong and how
> do you fix it?"
> Yeah there's LOTS of answers to this one, but I was
> looking for the
> thought process, not the actual answer.
> I don't see how 'lifting' router or fixing it still
> attached to the rack
> applies, but I'll say this - I concur wholeheartedly
> with the other
> comments in this thread around 'paper' CCIE's.  I
> thought I'd never
> admit such a thing existed, except I've interviewed
> too many of them.
> They couldn't design there way out of a wet paper
> bag, and probably
> couldn't troubleshoot an inverted 60-pin serial
> cable.  
> I think this points to an even more pervasive
> problem in the IT industry
> - lack of governance, or more correctly of an
> admission process to the
> industry. 
> Just because I can cram a Transcender or TestKing
> test puke, doesn't
> mean I know anything about the technology.  Quite
> frankly all
> certifications EXCEPT the CCIE Practical exam are
> fundamentally flawed
> by being a multiple-choice questionnaire.  The
> correct answer appears in
> the test question simply for the person to select -
> but I digress
> I said this before on other forums, but I think WE
> need to decide what
> to do with OUR industry.  I think we need a guild,
> or some form of
> regulatory body, like what Lawyers, Doctors and even
> CPA's go through to
> ENTER their respective professions.  We need people
> like Scott Morris,
> Linus Torvalds, et. al.  to be on the Board and to
> delineate how the
> rest of (that haven't already proven our worth
> through years of
> contributions) get into the Guild.  I think a system
> that follows the
> Apprentice, Journeyman, Master kind of hierarchy
> would work well and has
> significant recent and historical validity.
> What do YOU think?  How do we either prevent
> less-than-qualified people
> from taking our positions (or our sale), and/or how
> do we validate that
> we as a person know what we are talking about and
> can be trusted?
> Just my $0.02
> Dennis Dumont
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