My Goals for 2013: CCNP and RHCE?

I’ve been thinking about renewing my RHCE for quite sometime now, and completing my CCNP but I haven’t really got around to it, mainly due to the price of the exam being a little pricey (if I remember correctly!), but also due to not having enough time.

So for this year, I wanted to set a deadline for myself to complete them. With a deadline, it is easier to visualize and plan what to study and when, and allows you see your progress better.

So, my goal is to complete CCNP ideally by the end of May, or by the end of June at the latest. I think it should be possible! There are three parts to the CCNP: ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT. If I complete one per-month, it should be achievable!

Like most people, I am using the Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching Official Certification Library books as my study material, and highly recommend them.

On that note, I have added a “Home Lab” page where you can see pretty pictures of my rack, and my “CCNP Lab”. It’s nothing close to something as awesome as Scott Morris’ Lab, but it’s coming along! 😉

I have read that RedHat will be releasing RHEL7 in the second half of this year, so it is a perfect opportunity to renew my RHCE! My goal end date will depend on when RHEL7 will be released, and when the test centers are actually testing under RHEL7.

Hopefully this will be earlier into the second half of the year, so I have plenty of time to take the exam before the end of December!

Both CCNP and RHCE are great certifications, which are very highly regarded by employers and professionals.

A lot of people seem to think they don’t go well together, as RHCE is better for System Administrators and CCNP is more for Network Administrators, but I totally disagree since I feel that the lines between sysadmins and netadmins is very quickly disappearing thanks to virtualization and “cloud” technologies.

7 thoughts on “My Goals for 2013: CCNP and RHCE?”

  1. Getting both is a great idea, a lot of my work as a consultant has been made possible since my skills transverse multiple fields – sysadmin, programming, networking.

    Always far more valuable to be someone who can work in different related fields to build a complete solution, than to be stuck in a single area.

    I’ve been pondering renewing my RHCE, TBH I don’t think there’s much value in me renewing it now, since my experience far surpasses RHCE and it’s more of a footnote on my CV these days – not to say that it’s a bad cert, but rather that experience obsoletes certificates quickly.

    1. I agree on the RHCE not having much value in renewing! I actually certified under RHEL4, so mine is pretty old now. I never bothered renewing because I’m certain my knowledge and experience far surpasses RHCE.

      Problem is, a lot of recruiters and management use certifications as a way to filter CVs, and often see someone with a valid certification as someone with greater knowledge than an individual with an expired cert/without a certification. I know some cases where management/recruiters have chosen someone with RHCE instead of someone with the required experience! Sounds crazy, but I guess for recruiters like that who don’t really know what all the technical jargon means, RHCE just means “they are approved by RedHat as a sysadmin and that is a good thing”.

      Lately I’ve been getting recruiters that seem to think a RHCE certified under RHEL6 is “better” than someone certified under RHEL4, which is total bs to be quite honest, especially if that RHEL4 RHCE has been actively working as a sysadmin and expanding their knowledge!

      For me, RHCE is more of a “fun” exam (hey man, admit it… it was a fun exam >.>), and something to keep my CV in higher regard with recruitment agencies and management.

      1. Yeah fair call – recruiters are always a bit nuts! I don’t mention the version of RHCE I certified under, nobody has ever asked in my experience.

        It’s a pretty fun exam, but I can’t really justify spending $ on it right now, particularly since my employer is unlikely to see any value in getting a cert to prove that I know what they already know I know. 😉

        Was pretty awesome when I sat it, some hard core Linux gurus did it in about 15mins per section, I managed to do it in about half time myself – although I might have to study up on SELinux a bit more if I want a repeat performance 😉

        1. Haha, I done it pretty quickly too, and aced it (100%)!

          The exam was rather amusing since I done it in India (it was significantly cheaper than here in England!).
          There was a girl taking the exam, and she couldn’t setup sendmail, and first tried to get the proctor to help her, but obviously he refused …. she ended up crying in the middle of the exam!

          Luckily, I done it under RHEL4, I didn’t have to mess around with SELinux… but I guess now on RHEL6/RHEL7, SELinux might not be so bad… in the early days the docs were terrible, and SELinux was quite unusable. :S

          1. Yup, RHEL 4 for me as well. Was a great release actually!

            RHCE is actually pretty easy for a Linux pro – RHCA-level exams are WAY harder, scary bloody things, I wasn’t even sure if I had *passed* let alone got a good score when I did clustering & LDAP.

            SELinux is OK, it’s gotten a lot better… I learnt it in order to package some complex programs for RHEL systems, however since I don’t use it daily, as most environments run on default policies or have it disabled, my skills are always a little rusty around it.

          2. Haha mine too! Though lately I’ve been giving it a closer look, and I quite like it!

            I want to take RHCA, but there are quite a few sub-modules for it. It would take too much time! 🙁

          3. RHCA is also very expensive… I couldn’t do it unless an employer wanted to pay me to get that qualification, so they could use it to better sell my skills, etc.

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