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Hi to all, and why I'm here

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by loco020, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. loco020

    loco020 New Member

    :) Hi,

    My first post here so hello to everyone and I’ll try to explain why I’m here.

    I’ve with the same company for 20 years. I’m basically an I.T. hardware box & board swapper.
    There are very few opportunities to get really technically involved in my job. Now I’m looking to change that.

    I studied for an Open University degree in IT some years ago and this was great. But the amount of work involved meant that I didn’t have time to pursue industry qualifications. And one weird effect was that when I’d graduated I could not be bothered to study. I’d always thought I’d naturally follow on my degree with Cisco studies but that wasn’t the case. I had ‘real’ things to do such as doing up the house, which I’d been promising my wife I’d do, once graduated.

    I’m currently a networking hardware engineer. Still not much technical effort involved. Most of the fault finding is done before you get to site. Even if more investigation is required after you arrive, they don’t normally let you log on with the security procedures around these days.

    Actually, I hadn’t completely ignored IT qualifications because in 2002 I passed the CCNA (studied for it during the OU break between Oct and Jan – it was easier to pass in those days IMHO) But I only half heartedly tried to carry on studying after graduating, and failed a Cisco BCMSN in 2005 which would have stopped my CCNA from expiring and would have started me on my way to CCNP.

    I failed to recertify CCNA in 2007, twice failing the old ‘801 exam. Sorry if I’m starting to ramble now - hope you’re keeping up with me! This is where I am now: Passed the CCNA this year after a determined effort. The big difference seems to be that I’m starting to enjoy studying again, though I don’t know how you find that magic ingredient. It may be that the Cisco syllabus has more practical elements now. I have to admit that I quite enjoyed those notorious questions in the exam where you have to log on to simulated routers and switches to configure and fault-find.

    Anyhow, back to why I’m here. I’m wondering where to go next. More Cisco studying seems an obvious choice such as going for CCNP. But I’m also interested in diversifying. Recent networking industry news seems to be all about data centre technology merging network kit and virtual servers together in future. Where would be a good place to start on the server side of things? I’m thinking maybe VMware from the virtualization point of view. But maybe I should be looking at something more basic. For example, would it be worth learning linux? It also pains me to say that I don’t have much Microsoft experience. Is there a ‘must have’ set of Microsoft certs for data centre engineers?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts on any of this.
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Welcome to the forums!

    You can certainly make yourself more valuable to a larger number of companies by diversifying into other areas of IT, such as server support. Consider, if you ONLY know how to administer network devices, you'll only be valuable to companies that have full-time networking positions available... whereas if you know how to administer network devices AND servers, then you'll be valuable to companies that have positions related to either or both skillsets!

    The only twist is this... it doesn't sound like you have much server experience... and getting a server certification (like the MCSA or MCSE) doesn't automagically qualify you to do the job - as you probably well know already at this stage in your career!

    Still, with 20 years of experience in IT, you should be pretty valuable to employers. One very well may give you a shot at a job doing BOTH server AND network administration. This is the kind of job I would recommend you pursue.

    So the question becomes... what certifications would get you to that position? Well, if you've got even six months of server administration experience, I'd wholeheartedly suggest pursuing the MCSA... and if you've got twelve months under your belt, continue through to the MCSE. And if you still want to continue down the networking path, the CCNP is certainly worthy of your consideration.

    Is it worth it to learn Linux? It's worth it to learn ANYTHING of value to an employer, including Linux. The knowledge will serve you well.

    Anyway, please know that there are many people on this forum who are willing to give you advice whenever you need it. :) Let us know if we can answer any other questions for you! And again, welcome to the forums!
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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