Hello paulmason ,I've been reading your other posts (very helpful) so thought you could provide some career direction. Hope it's ok to do this here. Cloud and IOA really represent a whole new way of thinking about classic enterprise networking, are the skills and certifications we as IT professionals used to pursue still relevant today? Any suggestions on what skills/certifications I can pursue to keep pace with the technology?
Thanks for ideas,
As I study to recert my CCIE, you’ve asked a question which gets me thinking hard about the value of the once prestigious certification in this world of cloud where network is outsourced to the cloud provider to become their problem. I also recently read this article which describes how Gartner is making a case for programmers to be part of infrastructure teams so that companies may build the next generation of business systems.
My opinion is that the enterprise is going to continue to need us networking experts who understand the interworkings of the various routing protocols, the seven layers of the OSI model, NAT, and firewalls—but we also have to expand out skillsets to meet two major challenges brought upon us by this new cloud paradigm:
1) We have to be able to align network function to business strategy faster
2) We have to manage devices at greater scale
I’ve approached these challenges by adding understanding and skills around three technologies: virtualization, coding, and APIs.
An obvious certification track for virtualization would be VMware. Attaining VCP gave me a solid understanding of x86 virtualization concepts which I’ve been able to use towards other hypervisors. The Linux Foundation has many great courses available as well. Being functional with x86 virtualization is critical for adopting a Virtual Network Function (VNF) strategy which helps deploy networks faster with greater flexibility.
Coding is something I learned in college but never really used until more recently. Code allows us as networkers to better align the whole network to deliver on a business need rather than just change line level configs box to box. I’m currently reading Eric Chou’s new book on Mastering Python Networking.
I’m just starting to really grasp the power of APIs after working closely with DevOps teams and observing how quickly they could integrate with other systems. It’s no wonder Amazon laid down an API mandate which has led to the ultimate example of a scalable platform. Mulesoft, an API platform company, recently surveyed enterprises and found that 90% planned to have an API strategy in place by the end of the year.
What’s fun about APIs, is that there are many out there to play with and gain experience. You like the NFL? They have an API. Interested in knowing the weather? There’s a weather API. Passion for home automation? Here’s a whole bunch for you: https://www.programmableweb.com/category/home-automation/api. Run a Google search for whatever interests you and add API to the search field and you’ll likely find something!
The great thing about this method of learning how to work with APIs is that you can pick one that interests you and often times there’s a strong developer community to interact with and help when you get stuck (just do yourself a favor and read the documentation and search the forum before you post a question!)
Good luck in your own learnings, and wish me luck on recerting my CCIE :-)
Hi paulmason ,
Thanks for the response -- I'm working through the details and will come back with any question. off the top, I'd be interested in understanding this statement and how to act
'We have to be able to align network function to business strategy faster' - I agree.
Here's my .02:
I've been working on cloud certifications mainly around cloud connectivity which is my main area of focus. The main site I use for cloud training is acloud.guru, they have a lot of great material at a very affordable price and have just recently added an annual membership that gives you access to all of their content.
AWS certifications are very much in demand right now. The Associate Architect certification seems to be the main one everybody is getting. Because I concentrate in network connectivity, I'm studying for the network specialty certification that AWS came out with about 6 months ago.
To expand on Paul's comment, I would add to focus on outcomes and not the solution. At some point, we have to leave our inner geek behind and concentrate on what truly adds value. A by-product of thinking this way is we don't get bogged down into technical details that frankly don't matter all that much which should enable faster outcomes.
Hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out anytime. One of my passions is getting everyone to think differently about how to solve today's problems with today's solutions...not yesterday's.
Thanks for the perspectives. I'm planning to take the Associate Architect certification -- guess I'm on the right track. As part of a career development plan, I'm looking into getting a mentor. AWS has a mentoring program (albeit there is a small charge) that I'm considering.
again, thanks for the advice
Hi cwhite ,
Check out this CIO article --
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