As we start the new year, I started thinking about something. Why do people think it’s acceptable to take shortcuts in their IT career? Is it because people don’t see the true effect of their work? Or is the cheating as prevalent in law and medicine but we working in IT aren’t aware of it?

Trust me, I understand that some people live really tough lives, they want to put food on the table for their family, find a better living, perhaps start a new life in a new country. The competition is fierce. Some countries have more engineers coming out of universities every year than we have people living in Sweden.

The thing is though, if you cheat your way to a CCIE, sooner or later you will be caught. But regardless of that. How would you feel if a power plant goes down due to your mistake? Having a heart monitoring unit fail because of your mistake? Having people’s private information leaked due to your mistake? We all make mistakes but we shouldn’t be making them because we pretend that we are something that we aren’t, experts. Networking is a critical part of everyones life now. Most of the time people’s safety aren’t at risk but a lot of people rely on our knowledge to be able to work each and every day. Being a CCIE is tough enough when you earned it the hard way. You are the expert and people expect you to have the answers. You don’t want to be sitting in a meeting and looking like a paper cert.

In February 2017 we had a lot of people trying to sneak their way through the CCDE. That’s even worse. Can you imagine yourself in a meeting with the CTO, CIO and a large enterprise’s most skilled technical staff and having the CCDE but no clue what you are talking about? Talk about a bad day.

Earning it the hard way is more difficult and takes more time. But how many of the people taking shortcuts actually make it where they want to go? How many of the become regarded as experts in the field? Very few I would think.

I hope that certifications will keep evolving and that more people will try to gain real knowledge. I know that may be naive but earning it the hard way will pay off in the end.

Happy new year!

General – Taking the Long Road
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9 thoughts on “General – Taking the Long Road

  • January 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • January 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Totally agree.

  • January 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Couldnt agree more
    I’m working as a network engineer in a hospital, almost 97% of our Medical devices are connected to the network, ICU devices, NICU, PACU, Operation rooms monitors

    all connected to the network
    I’m working hard for my CCIE, even i know there are dumps for the lab but never thought to use them, some people told me ” studying?!! go get the dumps and study for it to pass in first time” but no way
    I’m going to it the hard way.

  • February 8, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Daniel,

    Nice post. I am working as a network engineer for 12 years, starting from 2005 and acquired my CCIE last 2015. Its a long road. I am blessed with 2 kids and dedicated my time to them. So recently, I have not taken recertification exam (written), but I am not worried.

    If I have time, i watch on INE’s videos , read cisco books, practice in GNS3 or any network simulator tool, and blog to document it..I think this is the best way for me to keep on track and continue learning while focusing on my family.

    I don’t plan to cheat just to be recertified…i still rely on my experience and sharing with other people, I think for me, this is the best way to survive in this field, cause experience and continous learning do matters….

  • April 13, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Lets get a real situation. Believe or not, there are CCIEs with NO network knowledge. I personally now a guy recently cleared CCIE-DC without knowing the difference between Trunk and Access port…with probably 5 years of “experience” in networking. How this guys is working – you can imagine – he can waste 2 weeks on a business trip talking with different TACs just to make an ICMP working between two newly deployed (by him) directly connected devices (because of configuration issues made by him of course) and if TACs don’t help him, he’ll simple call a colleague for assistance. Will this add a project delay – of course it will, but he’s really good with excuses – software bug, license issues, other issues and so on. Is this noticed by his managers – yes, it is, but how they will blame their own subordinate without compromising themselves? Why they don’t simply fire him – well, he’s a CCIE guy already (although in a area where he have absolutely NO experience, but probably dumps were cheap enough), he should have the knowledge, yes he adds some project delay but at the end – project is completed almost on time (somehow by somebody in a shadow) and everyone is happy. What will happen if someone finally lay off that guy – he’ll just move to the next job in the nearby office building, probably with better salary (as a CCIE now) in CCIEs’ paradise where you can find a network job in less than 12 hours.How he’ll pass the interview process – It’s highly possible that he’ll be interviewed by another CCIE expert just like him.
    So guys, the discussion here was about the shortcuts, are they really bad thing and for whom? For the guy I’ve mentioned (one of hundreds or probably thousands like him)? Or for guys with real knowledge that have to work in a rush during the night to cover their “CCIE” colleague?

    Unfortunately for more than 5 years CCIE doesn’t have any value, just because of guys like that one (and believe me, as I said, he’s one of many… I have other real-world examples, which I’ll skip for now)
    Yes, there are still pretty knowledgeable CCIE engineers, but how many out of ~60000? 20% maybe or less? How many guys for those who passed CCDE practical in Feb last year, were able to pass the phone conversation? Now imagine how many guys who passed CCIE lab will be able to pass even 1/3 of the exam but with unknown topology/tasks/solutions?

    • April 14, 2018 at 8:04 am

      You are not incorrect but we could apply the same logic to almost any profession. There are terrible doctors out there as well.

      Some companies are just interested in harving CCIEs. Or they have a broken interview process (like most companies) so then it’s their problem that they hire people that don’t have any technical skills.

      You may survive for a while as a dumper or even for a long time but you’ll never rise to the top. If you are happy living in that world then fine but you are destroying the reputation of the cert for everyone else.

      I don’t think your numbers are correct but if you hire a person from some regions you need to be extra careful. It has nothing to do with nationality but cheating is a lot higher in certain regions. That said, I would like to see some interview process. All people passing DE in Feb was pretty much associated with the same well-known dumper company. It’s the first time that I’m aware of that the exam has been compromised but at least Cisco caught them in the act.

      I don’t agree that the CCIE has no value. It’s a learning path. It’s about becoming a better engineer. If it has value for someone hiring, it depends. For a VAR or consultant then definitely. For enterprise IT, depends on the company, the size and so on.


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