1 2 3 Previous Next 39 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2009 2:15 PM by Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE RSS

    Cisco Certified Architect


      One of the big announcements this week at Cisco Live! was the launch of the Cisco Certified Architect certification. In keeping with Cisco’s business and legal strategy, when we write about the certification we will always use the full name. No acronym will be used.

      Other products leverage the CCA acronym, such as the Cisco Configuration Assistant.  That’s why we want to encourage you to refer to the full name of the certification for these and other products when you post on the Cisco Learning Network.  Ultimately, this will make it easier to tag, search on, and find the content that is relevant to you.


      Questions or comments? Let us know!

        • 1. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
          Paul Stewart  -  CCIE Security

          Interesting.  We're techs and have acronyms for everything.  I actually already have a CCA (Citrix Certified Administrator).  That certainly is not the same animal as the Cisco Certified Architect.

          • 2. Re: Cisco Certified Architect

            I'm not honestly sure how much success Cisco will have asking people not to refer to Cisco Certified Architect as CCA, given that we live in a world filled with acronyms and most of us are, let's face it, fundamentally lazy when it comes to typing. If CCA is not a good acronym, maybe now is the time to rebrand it to something that works better?


            That aside, the actual certification sounds very interesting.

            • 3. Re: Cisco Certified Architect

              Not a direct response, but a question.  Certainly new programs require a measure of gutsing-up, but generally, exam committee members are better qualified than the examinee.  That's going to be hard to do for a Certified Architect program.  What will be the specific qualifications of the first several Cisco Certified Architect exam committee members?


              Eric Hines

              • 4. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE

                Paul, that's awesome!   Now all you need to do is list that "right after" your Cisco certifications and see if recruiters do the same auto-acronym thing that most of us end up doing!


                You should perhaps get some awesome job offers that way!  hehehehe.


                But yeah, I agree that can all be confusing.



                • 5. Re: Cisco Certified Architect

                  So, based on the press releases, the prerequisite is CCDE OR CCIE, but based on the pages in the Cisco Learning Network, it is ONLY the CCDE as a Prereq.  Can we get some clarification?




                  • 6. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                    Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE

                    The press release says CCDE.  The press (Network World in particular) says CCDE or CCIE.  Cisco says CCDE.  CCIE is not a pre-req.


                    More on that one in a day or two.  I'm working on that! 



                    • 7. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                      Richard Messinger

                      I would hope that the CCA is open to either CCIE or CCDE.  A CCIE would need to provide the same kind of presentational skills that the CCDE has.  In the Reseller field, I have had extensive presentations to all levels of the Management spectrum.  The CCDE did not seem worth the effort to get since I have had my CCIE since 1994.  Please let the CCA be open to both.

                      • 8. Re: Cisco Certified Architect

                        I agree, Richard.


                        I have had my CCIE since 1997 and have spent as much time in high-level C-type conversations as I have decoding packets.  Richard's point is one I and probably many others will share.  I also believe that it would be robbing the program of some high quality candidates/participants if there is a larger barrier to entry for some very skilled people who have proven themselves, but do not currently have the CCDE.


                        There was mention that candidates must have 10 years of experience - what about those who have stayed current on their CCIE certification and have achieved the CCIE Ten Year Ribbon?



                        • 9. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                          Ronald Angello

                          I'm pretty sure that the initial board members would be those that developed the certification, and they would already be Cisco Certified Architects.  I certainly wouldn't doubt that they are qualified...  I'm speculating a bit here but I'm thinking the same guys that were the initial CCDEs.

                          • 10. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                            Ronald Angello

                            What would it do to the CCDE program if CCIE were to be an acceptable prerequisite?  Everyone would just bypass the CCDE as it would be less desired, and the program would probably ultimately fail like CCIE design did.  The introduction of the Architect cert will no doubt drive up the demand for the CCDE.  That was actually a clever strategy on Cisco's part.


                            Aside from that, I have no doubt that I would be more prepared to go in front of the board after obtaining the CCDE than I would after I obtained my CCIE R&S.  Out of the 20,000 CCIEs out there, there are probably hundreds, maybe a thousand that would have a chance on the CCDE practical, let alone in front of the board.


                            While you may have years of experience and may be a well-rounded architect in your own right, at the end of the day the CCIE still only certifies you on configuration, troubleshooting, and time management skills.  It really was a great cert, but that's the extent of it...  The CCDE certifies you as a designer, and we all know that the CCIE lab exam has never gone hand in hand with good design principles.  Having a CCIE in voice, wireless, security, or storage doesn't mean that you can take in a lot of information (most of it useless), pick out what's important i.e. business and technical requirements, build an optimal and highly available design, deliver implementation plans, and then justify that design.


                            If you think that you're ready for the board exam, then go knock out the CCDE practical and be done with it...  The cost is a drop in the bucket compared to the board exam.  Unfortunately for me I self fund all of my certs, so I seriously doubt that I'll be able to swing the $15k.  I'll be satisfied with being one of the few to get past the CCDE practical and even be considered to go in front of the board.

                            • 11. Re: Cisco Certified Architect

                              I'm not sure I understand how there would be Cisco Certified Architects on the initial exam board since it's a new cert, and there aren't any Cisco Certified Architects, yet.  Certainly those who designed the cert would be a good initial board source pool, but actual certified architects are going to be available as examiners only for subsequent boards.  Will there be any other source pools for drawing the examiners for the first exam board?


                              Eric Hines

                              • 12. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                                Ronald Angello

                                I'm sure that those that developed the board exam will be the initial Cisco Certified Architects.  There are 8 Cisco people that developed the CCDE program and content that were awarded the cert without actually taking the delivery of the exam on Oct 2008 or Feb 2009.  I would imagine that the same folks, or a subset of them at least, would become the initial Architects without actually having to go through the board exam process as we know it.  Again, I'm just speculating here, but that seems likely to me...

                                • 13. Re: Cisco Certified Architect

                                  This is unnecessary. Most CCIE's I know are and have been doing design and architectural work anyway. Look at all the design positions out there. They all invariably require a CCIE. One pursues a CCIE, in a way, so one could do that kind of work. With this new cert, there is less clarity. So if a company is looking for an architect, then only the CCA is acceptable?This cert is explicitly saying that those with CCIEs don't have the skills and knowledge to do architectural work. Well, who are these people who have been designing and rolling out networks for the past decade?


                                  Sure the CCIE lab doesn't test design (the lab teaches what not to do) but I would be very surprise to find a CCIE who doesn't have a fundamental grasp of best practice and design. Such things, so I thought, was implicit with the CCIE. Design guides and case papers were central in my own preparation.


                                  Like the CCDE, this new cert is unnecessary. Not only that, they lessen the value of the CCIE.


                                  Now if you were to tell me that the CCA requires one to have at least 4 CCIEs, then that's another matter. That would be a little more acceptable and makes more sense. And if you throw into the mix a design practical of the CCDE and a board review, then I would completely support it. If the CCA is positioned to be Cisco's top cert, then make it so. The current requirements don't do this.


                                  I think Cisco made a mistake here. Cisco is trying to fix something that isn't broken, creating supply where there is no demand. I would change my mind if companies are knocking on Cisco's door asking for architects instead of CCIEs.


                                  #17159 (RS/Security)

                                  • 14. Re: Cisco Certified Architect
                                    Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE

                                    There's a lot of design work going on.  And you are correct that CCIEs are often used to fill this role as the "de facto" presumed experts.  The problem is that this doesn't fit everyone.


                                    I get to run into a lot of design work, which yes, may pull on my technical knowledge, but more so on my knowledge of how NETWORKS work.  In my particular case, because of other things I do, I'm fairly sharp on each individual technology and can do the CLI part as well.  Not all designers work that way.  The interesting thing is that many of the "older" CCIEs aren't really touching routers or switches much these days.  They migrate into how to put systems together instead of individual pieces.


                                    The CCDE came about with this in mind, and I fully understand (and often see the disparity where CCIE != Designer) (does not equal) the rationale for it.


                                    The Architect was an interesting one to initially hear about, and I too went through a phase about being irritated that CCIEs were not listed, especially since I have more than one of them, and I think I'm quite good at design work.  But the thing is, the entire world is not made of of people like you and I.  So while WE may be perfectly good examples of who should be an architect (and I simply haven't gotten off my b utt and passed the CCDE yet), that doesn't set a precedent for everyone.


                                    I have long been told that I shouldn't judge everyone else by my capabilities or my ethics or anything else.  Because unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't always work the same!


                                    I had a good long discussion with the program folks while at Cisco Live and challenged a few things to see where they were going, and I did actually come around to agreeing with them (it hurt a little).  I'm actually wrapping up a write-up on it right now.  Been hard to work since I was supposed to be on vacation this week, and the beach is much more appealing then writing an editorial! 


                                    But keep in mind what was part of your preparation and experience, or my preparation and experience, does not mean that everyone else is the same.  That's part of what we use as marketing for why we individually are better than other folks of the same supposed caliber.  And that's part of what Cisco is picking on for this.


                                    I may not like it because I'm excluded at the moment, but I do actually agree with thei rationale they laid out.  The architect is about vision and business acumen, not about CLI implementation.




                                    CCIE x 4, JNCIE, one-of-these-days-CCDE, perhaps-one-of-these-days-Architect



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