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  1. /threadkiller ande0255's Avatar
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    #1

    Thumbs up CCDP - Put the "Engineer" really behind a CCNP R/S candidate?

    From what I gather from Cisco's website, it focuses on building the actual network infrastructure, in terms of new deployments or going towards more of an "Engineer" type network skill set.

    I'm taking the CCNP R/S stuff now as I am working tickets at a level where my knowledge and skill set need to be at that level, and the next step up is actually developing solutions, and doing actual network engineering rather than it being a fancy title that gets thrown around at my work all too much.

    Wondering if CCNP / CCIE R/S people working in network roles have taken it and found value in the knowledge to help advance their career to another level?

    Of course I thought of it initially as I have 2/3 exams done for CCDP, so I would need CCDA and ARCH (assuming the CCNP doesn't kill me), but after reading its description upon real consideration it seems like it may actually be a good skill set to take the next step up from troubleshooting networks to designing them.

    Any input on this subject appreciated!
    Last edited by ande0255; 04-26-2017 at 04:53 AM.
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    #2
    Hard to say really as I'm at the lower levels of the network ladder as well.

    In my company no one seems to have anything past ccnp, jncip level qualifications. But as I work for an msp there isn't much call for actual design as all clients have an infrastructure already in place. Changes such as new sites and equipment refreshes don't seem to need ccdp as it's more a case of fitting in to the existing network rather than starting from scratch.

    It's rare to see a company with no infrastructure in place or who can afford the downtime for a totally new design.
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  4. Woohoo! It's over 1000!
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    #3
    CCDA is nice and broad, it takes in bits of most of the other streams. If you already have some exposure to the breadth (Voice, Datacenter, Wireless etc), then it is probably a good thing to think about pursuing.

    The CCDP is also a good thing to take after CCNP just to keep your certs current, so maybe even take a year or two just on that one exam. The breadth is challenging, but also really valuable since it gets you thinking about networks from a high level, broader, integrated perspective, which is exactly what you need to be a good engineer/architect.
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  5. Senior Member Node Man's Avatar
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    #4
    The word 'engineer' may be used a little broadly. To me, engineering is focused on the design, deployment, pre-production of a network. After a network is up and running, technicians can follow the documentation to maintain it. But I guess production engineers are a title for someone that develops and provides production stage changes to a network.
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  6. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #5
    It very much depends on your working situation. I used to work at a giant fortune 100 company with a giant cutting edge network (~50,000 networking devices globally). You name it we had it. I just made a radical transition to a company of a network of about 250 devices. My previous role I was strictly operations. I didn't have to 'design / engineer' really anything. The most 'design' related item I would be responsible for was when we were faced with an impacting issue that might required a minor change to the configuration standard. Still something we would have to end up running by the original design engineers.

    Now being at a much, much, smaller company I am beginning to see the need to have a much better / broader understanding of collaborative technology initiatives. I've actually seriously started to consider too going after CCDA / CCDP just to better align myself with learning the best practices involved with the other items (voice, video, wireless, collaboration, etc) that run on networks that I didn't really have to maintain before from my previous role. I originally wanted to go strait into CCIE when I was at my old job, because my primary skillets I used day-to-day were troubleshooting route / switch protocols. Now I am not forced to do that as much day-to-day and I need to be operating more with a mind-set of designing technology implementations that best fit the needs of the organization instead of being so silo focused on R/S.
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  7. Senior Member shortstop20's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Welly_59 View Post
    Hard to say really as I'm at the lower levels of the network ladder as well.

    In my company no one seems to have anything past ccnp, jncip level qualifications. But as I work for an msp there isn't much call for actual design as all clients have an infrastructure already in place. Changes such as new sites and equipment refreshes don't seem to need ccdp as it's more a case of fitting in to the existing network rather than starting from scratch.

    It's rare to see a company with no infrastructure in place or who can afford the downtime for a totally new design.
    Network architecture has it's place even in existing networks. With the proper plan, the company can work towards a specific architecture, one or two pieces at a time.
    Studying CCNP Route.

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  8. /threadkiller ande0255's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Node Man View Post
    The word 'engineer' may be used a little broadly. To me, engineering is focused on the design, deployment, pre-production of a network. After a network is up and running, technicians can follow the documentation to maintain it. But I guess production engineers are a title for someone that develops and provides production stage changes to a network.

    Yeah I wish I could have edited that title, as I imagine a lot of people saw that title and rolled their eyes.

    I am considered at "Engineer" level by title at my company along with a lot of people who are great troubleshooters but nothing I'd consider an Engineer, including myself, as I imagine the engineer drafting network solutions and deploying them from scratch or upgrading an existing infrastructure for efficiency.

    It seems very complimentary to R/S to take the knowledge of configuration, understanding, and troubleshooting ability of CCNP R/S, and expanding them out to use them on the next level from troubleshooting to designing and deploying networks.

    That is the next level up from where I am at as I have had a fair amount of exposure to most high level network issues at my MSP, but being a Pre-Sales Engineer or Consulting Systems Engineer (or even getting experience with that) would be so huge.

    For Network Engineer jobs, you cannot get through an interview (in my experience) without hearing the question, "Have you previously deployed a network solution and could you tell us about that experience?"

    Engineers to me design new or growing networks in my mind, and I would be interested in getting to that level.

    Thanks for the thoughtful responses!
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  9. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ande0255 View Post
    Yeah I wish I could have edited that title, as I imagine a lot of people saw that title and rolled their eyes.

    I am considered at "Engineer" level by title at my company along with a lot of people who are great troubleshooters but nothing I'd consider an Engineer, including myself, as I imagine the engineer drafting network solutions and deploying them from scratch or upgrading an existing infrastructure for efficiency.

    It seems very complimentary to R/S to take the knowledge of configuration, understanding, and troubleshooting ability of CCNP R/S, and expanding them out to use them on the next level from troubleshooting to designing and deploying networks.

    That is the next level up from where I am at as I have had a fair amount of exposure to most high level network issues at my MSP, but being a Pre-Sales Engineer or Consulting Systems Engineer (or even getting experience with that) would be so huge.

    For Network Engineer jobs, you cannot get through an interview (in my experience) without hearing the question, "Have you previously deployed a network solution and could you tell us about that experience?"

    Engineers to me design new or growing networks in my mind, and I would be interested in getting to that level.

    Thanks for the thoughtful responses!

    Right I agree! With a traditional R/S study path you learn how the underlying protocols are implemented / work / troubleshoot but sometimes are blinded about why things are done the way they are. Does it make sense for me to have a fully meshed DMVPN solution on a network that only really requires a central (hub) based site for data sharing and I am only concerned with my remote sites being able to talk to the hub and not so much the remote sites? Maybe not. So as mentioned I think it makes sense to also get an understanding of why solutions are created / sought after. As I transition into my role of being a design based solutions engineer I am really starting to see the value of understanding this. Would a deeper understanding of core R/S into the IE level be valuable as well? Sure! However I am beginning to think that will be further down the road for me now. Right now I need to focus more on voice, video, wireless, etc. Stuff I didn't really learn about much in my traditional NP R/S track.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    #9
    I think it's worthwhile for you to pursue. I was considering this path before deciding to focus more on security
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  11. /threadkiller ande0255's Avatar
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    #10
    @ Danielh - That is exactly my thoughts after reading the track description, it makes perfect sense that ROUTE and SWITCH would be pre-reqs for it, because it expands that huge amount of knowledge out a ways to see how you can plan / design / implement it. And that is really my only next logical step up the IT ladder in networking.

    @ MitM - I was thinking the CCNP Security as well right after R/S, but going through the courses, the CCNP track has so much filler I really don't necessarily need, I am considering just picking out some courses on things like Firepower and the Accidental Administrator series actually does a really good job of teaching ASA's front to back on most real world scenarios / configurations I've run into.

    So I think I can get the Cisco security skill set enough from my job and my INE videos for Security Technologies, and skip the 4 exam cert for now (super bleh), and pass two exams to gain a whole new skill set / certification track to present to my employer to see where it can lead me to
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  12. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ande0255 View Post
    @ Danielh - That is exactly my thoughts after reading the track description, it makes perfect sense that ROUTE and SWITCH would be pre-reqs for it, because it expands that huge amount of knowledge out a ways to see how you can plan / design / implement it. And that is really my only next logical step up the IT ladder in networking.

    @ MitM - I was thinking the CCNP Security as well right after R/S, but going through the courses, the CCNP track has so much filler I really don't necessarily need, I am considering just picking out some courses on things like Firepower and the Accidental Administrator series actually does a really good job of teaching ASA's front to back on most real world scenarios / configurations I've run into.

    So I think I can get the Cisco security skill set enough from my job and my INE videos for Security Technologies, and skip the 4 exam cert for now (super bleh), and pass two exams to gain a whole new skill set / certification track to present to my employer to see where it can lead me to
    Sweet! I am with ya! I think it is a good one to go after for sure. I think I have convinced myself this is what I want to do first. Then I can always circle back and chase an expert level specialization (IE R/S).

    I actually just hammered though all the CBT nuggets CCDA videos these past few days. Looks like I may start making the push to planning out a path for the cert.
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    #12
    The more I read into the topics of its OCG, it seems to make more sense to get the CCDA and CCDP after I finish R/S, thank you for the input I really appreciate it!

    At my MSP I work with almost every type of communication technology across all vendor platforms, so knowing the network architecture from end to end has been my job for almost 4 years now, so seeing all those technologies listed in the track makes right now (after R/S) the perfect time to go down the CCDA/DP track.
    Last edited by ande0255; 04-26-2017 at 09:43 PM.
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    #13
    This is exactly the reason I decided to go for CCDA before CCNP. Granted, the CCDA material might make more sense to me if I did CCNP first, but at the Associate level, it should give me the basics that I need. In turn, getting the CCDA will more than likely help with some content on the CCNP.
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    #14
    From what I've gone through with ROUTE, the only thing to make that any easier is a solid CCNA R/S foundation, the complexity and depth of the protocols is staggering - So I wouldn't count on the CCDA to help with the CCNP.

    However, you will be able to go right into ARCH for the CCDP after grinding your way through CCNP
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    #15
    @ande I was hoping that the CCDA would help for CCNP, but not expecting. But as far as going straight into ARCH after CCNP, that's exactly what I was trying to convey in my earlier post... I just forgot to say it that way. LOL
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  17. /threadkiller ande0255's Avatar
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    #16
    Yes I see my CCNA Security as the same thing, I took the exam when it involved only routers and half the exam was CCP (Cisco Configuration Professional) questions, it was f'ing ridiculous but for now is my pre-req fulfilled for CCNP level if and when that day comes.

    Good luck to the both of you, CCNP ROUTE itself is so much intricate material from such a wide range of topics, I don't know what exam could possibly harder to study for and feel ready to take at this point.

    I am thinking either way, no matter how far I push that exam date out, it's going to be trial be fire on attempt number 1
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ande0255 View Post
    @ Danielh - That is exactly my thoughts after reading the track description, it makes perfect sense that ROUTE and SWITCH would be pre-reqs for it, because it expands that huge amount of knowledge out a ways to see how you can plan / design / implement it. And that is really my only next logical step up the IT ladder in networking.

    @ MitM - I was thinking the CCNP Security as well right after R/S, but going through the courses, the CCNP track has so much filler I really don't necessarily need, I am considering just picking out some courses on things like Firepower and the Accidental Administrator series actually does a really good job of teaching ASA's front to back on most real world scenarios / configurations I've run into.

    So I think I can get the Cisco security skill set enough from my job and my INE videos for Security Technologies, and skip the 4 exam cert for now (super bleh), and pass two exams to gain a whole new skill set / certification track to present to my employer to see where it can lead me to
    I feel ya. I stopped studying for ccnp security. If I go back to the Cisco security route, it will be for CCIE Security
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