So.. I'm done with certs..

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Pseudonym, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

    Failed my RHCE back in August. Had a couple of issues with the exam but ultimately I wasn't prepared well enough, so no real complaints there.

    Normally I'd go back to the drawing board after a failure and start prepping for a retake, unforunately the exam had been retired by the time I'd taken it and Red Hat wouldn't issue me a voucher for the same exam. Unfortunately RHCE 8 is a complete revamp and focuses on ansible as opposed to system administration on a single box..

    So I started prepping for CKA instead... and then.... I just got an overwhelming sense of "Why am I actually doing this?"

    Now listen, don't get me wrong.. certs are great. Certs have helped me progress my career at a rate that would undoubtedly have been impossible without certs, and I've learned an absolutely enormous amount from doing them.. but I think as you do progress your career you probably start to get diminishing returns.

    The thought of spending 10-20 hours a week for the next 6 months drilling information into my head about kubernetes just doesn't seem llike the best use of my time. Sure, I'll learn a lot about the platform, but I started thinking.. I'd probably understand the platform better by learning to code in Go. That would allow me to debug things in a much deeper way than simply understanding every nook and cranny of the platform itself.

    So, as a few of you may know, I'm now in platform engineering/DevOps. Which has given me a lot of exposure to software development. So I'm basically using all of the same tools as a dev, but using it to manage infrastructure.. and then I've picked up quite a bit about actually coding from writing bash, powershell, terraform scripts and then obviously the containerisation and config management scripting and orchestration.

    So I'm at a point where I'm planning on spending the next few years sinking my time into learning to code in C, C++ and python.

    I've really benefited from the structured learning of certifications and they were exactly what I needed when starting out in my career - a roadmap for learning with a clear end goal - obtaining the certificate. But now I feel like I need to get away from that and enjoy a more free-form style of learning. There's also the fact that most of the well-known/famous people I respect in the industry inevitably have a software development background, as well as having a deep understanding of hardware.

    I feel almost like I've come full circle to be honest.

    The first things that got me excited about technology was video game hacking. When I was about 12-13 I remember spending hours typing codes into my action replay on my game boy to get Mew on pokemon red.. Took me hours cause I kept typing the hex incorrectly.. but when I finally got it right, it felt like such a massive achievement. Even though I had no idea what I was doing, it just felt so cool to be able to manipulate the game like that.. and then I went around school selling pokemon on the yard. A few years later I started installing homebrew on my PSP, then buying broken XBOXs, repairing them and selling them on. So basically my love of tech spawned from being able to manipulate hardware and software and being able to monetise that ability.

    Over the past couple of weeks I've been reading and watching more and more about C and C++.. and I am so excited to get stuck into learning them. It's so interesting that they're used to write operating systems and video games. There's a project to reverse engineer a game I used to play that I'd love to get involved with, and I think I'd like to try and write my own operating system - y'know, just for shits and giggles. Plus I think learning computer science and software development will help progress my career more in the long term more than doing a load more certifications.

    I'm not saying I'll never do a cert again, but this is an end of an era for me.. And just to reiterate, I still recommend anyone getting into the industry to do certs. They've got me to where I am now. I'm earning almost 4.5x what I was earning prior to doing any certs.. and more importantly they've helped me leverage my passion for tech and discover where I want to take my career and my life.

    Anyway, TLDR:

    Certs were great for me, but now I've decided to learn to code.

    Not entirely sure why I felt the need to write this out.. maybe I was hoping it could inspire someone.

    This isn't a goodbye either btw. I still frequent this forum even if it is a tad quiet nowadays.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
    Jaron78, Kopite_21 and JK2447 like this.
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

    Finally! welcome to dev :D :thumbleft
    Pseudonym and JK2447 like this.
  3. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    I totally get where you are coming from and I’m glad you agree they contributed to your growth. I also agree that it’s wise to take a break now and then. Certainly if you’re not feeling it.

    you’ve done brilliantly mate and recently landed a great job. Experience is king. I was also relieved to see you say that you will stick around here. This for me is the main thing many forget. You’re well on your way to making it. But so many aren’t and would benefit from your time and experience. I like to think it’s good karma to help people who ask for it

    proud of you
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: VCAP 6.7 DCV (Deploy)
    Pseudonym and chartered like this.
  4. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

    I totally get this @Pseudonym

    I think once I have my CCNP Im going to take a study break. No real interest in going for a CCIE as it stands and more focused on getting work experience (Not saying I wont be about on here, just not actively studying).

    It takes up so much time and energy so I totally see where you are coming from.
    Pseudonym likes this.
  5. chartered

    chartered Bit Poster

    Definitely agree that experience is king. And helping others is one way to level up! :doot:
    Pseudonym likes this.
  6. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

    Ok so I'm backtracking on this after doing some thinking..

    I've been torn between doing OSCP and learning to code properly. All of the coding projects I looked into didn't really do it for me... As soon as I sat down and signed up for a hackthebox account I was mega focused, so I took that as a sign that I should follow my passion.

    I'm still going to be focusing massively on utilising python during this journey, so I figured I'd be killing 2 birds with one stone.

    I'm seeing this as probably 1-2 years to get exam ready.. So I'll be documenting my progress here as I go along.

    Wish me luck!
    Jaron78 likes this.
  7. Damsou

    Damsou New Member

    Yes, i think the IT certification is a powerful professional lever
  8. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

    I would not start with the OSCP, unless you have some experience it is a beast. CEH is old and EC-Council I hear nothing but bad things on but still a good cert to start with. Some others that could be a good one to build up to the OSCP is:

    CompTIA PenTest+
    Certifications: A few.
  9. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

    Appreciate the advice mate, but I think I'll be alright. I can pick up the pentest specific knowledge along the way. I've got no interest in doing multiple choice CompTIA tests. I want to be challenged right out the gate, otherwise I'm just wasting time.

    I manage and maintain linux and windows web applications and the underlying platform so I know a lot of the basics. I just don't know much about the pentesting process, currently
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021

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