Its been 17 years since I achieved CCIE status. Its time to admit that CCIE skills are not a part of my future and its time to let it go.
Where Am I
I have two roles today. First as the Co-Founder/Chief something of a startup. Packet Pushers as a business IS NOT about aiming, launching towards your goal and pushing hard, its more like guiding a very large falling and accelerating rock so it doesn’t hit the edges as it accelerates and gains momentum. It takes a lot of time and energy to do this.
My second and more visible role is podcast host, analyst and writer on networking at Packet Pushers.
The price of CCIE recertification is substantial. I’m guessing a minimum of 200 hours and more likely 400 hours to get back into the books, work through my flash cards and start memorising a bunch of pointless information. The value ten person-weeks of my time is very high.
Is CCIE relevant to Me ?
Hyper-convergence means legacy networking is pretty much over in the etnerprise data centre. SD-WAN means that deep knowledge of legacy protocols isnt’ needed anymore. The SDN platform hides most of the details there and moves your career into proactive design and strategy instead of having good memory and understand on technology details. Hybrid cloud / multi-cloud is the hotness for the next few years. Having lived through Novell Netware, Window NT before getting into networking where i lived through WAN and Data centre security. I did some WiFi and a lot of monitoring before that became pointless.
The only place where active CCIE status matters is resellers. The idea of working for a vendor reseller has little appeal and often do not pay well. Cisco doesn’t seem to care about my loyalty as they offer no benefits or advantages to maintaining my CCIE relationship. And, broadly, end users don’t have much concern about status now as the ability to communicate and be adaptable is equally important as your technical chops.
I’ve talked a lot about cloud and hyperconvergence, and I don’t see any of the CCIE certifications being useful.
I can re-learn what I need. The foundations of the last decade are still there and educational material is widely available. Its very different now from 2001 when training resources & labs were extremely limited.
If I was planning to invest hundreds of hours in training I would be focussed on a career choice that is one step ahead of the market. Right now, I would invest time in a public cloud – AWS/Google/Azure, doesn’t matter which one. Having ‘cloud skills’ would be more valuable than relearning old knowledge that won’t 1) be used in a few years 2) have less commercial value i.e. no extra salary.
My ego doesn’t need my status anymore. I’ve proven to myself that I’m good enough and I don’t need anyone else to validate me. In the middle stage of my career with only ten to fifteen more years (if I’m lucky) of working, I can make this choice.
Farewall CCIE program, time to invest in new skills and leave the old behind.