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Unleashing CCDE

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In the previous post I talked about how important it is to form a study group to be successful in your CCDE journey. How do you run the study group though? What is important in running the group?   The group will never be better than the members that are in it. I hope you followed my advice in the previous post. If you let in too many people and people that are not committed and focused the ... Read more

Many of us technologists study for certifications on our own. We read books, watch videos, read RFCs etc. at or own pace and we may even ask a friend something when we get stuck but we generally don’t collaborate a lot when studying. This works fairly well for a lot of certifications but not the CCDE. Why?   Almost all other certifications are primarily based on having knowledge and ... Read more

You studied for the CCDE practical exam and now you are curious about what the exam and testing center will actually look and feel like on the exam day. You’ve heard stories about it, most likely from someone who never took it picturing the exam experience more dauntingly than it really is. Beware of rumors! In this blog I’ll walk you through from the moment you register to take the ... Read more

The goal of this blog is to provide a milestone approach-methodology tailored to your needs, to take you from where you are to becoming CCDE-certified. When I started writing this blog, I immediately thought about a line from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, “follow the yellow brick road”. Many roads can take you to the Emerald City err CCDE certification, ... Read more

During CCDE preparation we all hear many times the statements about having a design mindset, but what does that really mean and how can we gain this? Let’s use a favorite, Sherlock’s deductive method. The mindset is a way of thinking, therefore the design mindset is actually a way of thinking which accounts for the design-characteristics. By “design-characteristics” I ... Read more

I noticed that many people today are focused on the major changes and evolution in the IT industry. People are contemplating what impact software-defined networking, automation, Internet of Things, cloud and other significant trends will have not just in the industry, but within their careers and professional development.   The majority of people are concerned because these trends indicate ... Read more

Cisco Live is an action-packed event, the one most of the Cisco user community looks forward to attending every year, where can you get education, exposure and make connections at the same time all in one place! You can attend many breakout, lab and technical seminars, and keynote sessions, get exposure through DevNet, Walk-In Self-Paced Labs and the World of Solutions demos from Cisco and its ... Read more

Introduction I first heard about the CCDE from a few of my colleagues and close friends that had already attempted the CCDE practical exam a couple of times but hadn’t been successful. These same colleagues and friends made similar statements that with my background I could go take the CCDE practical exam today and pass it. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to pass two CCIEs, ... Read more

This blog is the second of a two-part series focused on preparing candidates for success in achieving the CCDE. Mastering the tools available to you can be a “force multiplier” on exam day. There are three primary tools available to you during the practical exam: on-screen highlighting, built-in notepad, and a physical dry-erase board. I will discuss each of these in detail. All ... Read more

  I passed the CCDE practical in November 2016 along with some of the finest engineers I know, from whom which I’ve learned a few things that I wanted to share with you. This two-part blog series is meant to be a descriptive (not prescriptive) enumeration of the different study strategies and tools you’ll have at your disposal. These strategies are not often discussed but are ... Read more

The main goal of the CVD program is to provide networking professionals with a framework for up to date network design and implementation guidance across a broad set of solutions.  Navigating diverse technologies can be a daunting task and the CVD program offers network designers solid reference architectures that are easily customized to existing business needs.   The Enterprise ... Read more

Elaine Lopes

Career Advice in 5 Steps

Posted by Elaine Lopes Dec 15, 2016

With so many changes on the networking jobs, many engineers feel their careers are at a crossroad. Making a career decision you won’t regret is a very important matter and one that is going to determine where you will spend a third (ok, likely more…) of every business day of your working life. It is also an individual decision vs. a general blanket one, but since many people have ... Read more

Getting your mind set on virtually any Cisco certification requires you to carefully consider your options and possible paths to ultimately reach your goal. This includes, but is of course not limited to, activities such as examining the official blueprint (I highly recommend printing it so you have a copy at hand, by the way), compiling a list of books and other relevant training material and so ... Read more

In the previous blog my colleague Emanuel Lipschütz explained how a network designer can work with a structured process in order to create good network designs that serve the business best.   In this blog I will describe how the first meeting with the customer can take place and give examples of questions that could be relevant to ask to find out about the business, where it is heading ... Read more

A common challenge that comes with the design role is making everyone involved fully understand the implications of the different decisions that need to be made. Any business decision maker you communicate with will need to use business terms to justify an investment decision. It only makes sense that you do the same when speaking to them. You need to be clear with the challenges and requirements ... Read more