My Certification Journey
Share and learn from real life stories of those who are on the path to become Juniper Certified
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My Brief Path to Juniper Certification - Part 1

by ‎10-08-2012 05:45 AM - edited ‎10-08-2012 07:51 AM

This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Martin Brown, Access Control Product Specialist from UTC. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.


I’ve always been a strong believer in getting the right training that will benefit you in your career.  I’m not talking about the training your supervisor makes you take, like those “team building” days out where you fall back and your colleagues catch you, or drop you if they didn’t like you; I’m referring to the training that, when it’s booked, you start to look forward to and get excited over, training that will expand your knowledge and hopefully advance your career.


Throughout most of my career, I’ve been taking one form of certification training or another.  When I left school, I became a trainee at a defense contractor and received a vocational qualification in “Business Administration” and received a qualification in typewriting.  To all intents and purposes I am qualified as a secretary, receptionist and switchboard operator.  What has this to do with Juniper you may ask?  Well, nothing and everything.  During my time there, I gained the thirst for two things, IT and knowledge.


As I progressed through the years, moving to different roles in different companies, I took more certifications, CNA, A+, MCSE and so on and gradually I became involved with support of network infrastructure.  The next logical step was to become certified as a network engineer, which I successfully managed to achieve after much time and effort. 


My first experience with Juniper came about very unexpectedly and came as a huge shock.  I was visiting the site of a major project in the Middle East.  Primarily I was there to assist in the installation of some IT systems, however, whilst I was there I took part in a network planning meeting.  I was, of course, brimming with confidence; I was certified as a network engineer, so I knew everything right?  Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong.


At some point during this meeting, discussion eventually moved to the internet edge and I asked what firewall we were planning to use.  The lead told me that the plan was to use two firewalls, “For redundancy?” I asked innocently “No” was the reply “Each firewall would be a redundant pair.  We are planning to use firewalls from two separate vendors, Juniper and Cisco”.  The only response I was able to give was, “Oh, I see” but in reality I was in a bit of shock, I had suddenly been brought back down to earth with a huge bump.   Up until that moment, the only vendors I’d really heard about were in the home consumer market.  It never dawned upon me that there were other vendors, capable of high-end enterprise routing, switching and security.  It then hit me how naïve I had been and that the truth was, I wasn’t as experienced as I thought.  I also realised, much to my delight, I might add, that I needed to perform more study and learn another language, fast.  That language was Junos.


I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey so far.  In the next installment, I will detail some of the steps I took to learn Junos, some of the setbacks and how I over came them.  So, until next time, here's wishing everyone a pleasant day.


Juniper Design & Architecture Center - Mobile Cloud
About the Author
  • Senior Systems Engineer for NEC NZ. Focused on Juniper Networking equipment, SDN and NEC compute platforms. Busy studying for the JNCIP-SP and DC. Outside of work I enjoy the great outdoors: Mountaineering, Bouldering, Rock or Ice climbing, Tramping (hiking to non-Kiwis) and Snowboarding.
  • I'm a Network Security Engineer working with Vodafone in their Cloud and Hosting Services team based in Leeds, UK. My role is to implement, test and deliver secure cloud based solutions to external customers.
  • I am one of a small team of Network Engineers working for Lumison Ltd, a UK ISP/MSP based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have been with the company for almost 6 years moving from frontline support to the Managed Services team dealing with customer network design and implementation before talking up the role of Network Engineer. As well as the JNCIE-ENT certification.
  • Triple CCIE #21946 (R&S / Service Provider / Storage), JNCIE-SP #851, Technical Consultant at Telindus-ISIT
  • Networking & Security nerd (geek overall), Hockey fanatic, and Junos junkie! Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, with a few years of my life out in MN. Been in the IT field since I got out of High School. I've used Juniper products since around 2007, and really enjoy working with them. I currently work for a large retailer based in MI, with a footprint all across the Midwest.
  • Steve Puluka is a Senior IP Engineer with DQE Communications in Pittsburgh, PA. He holds a BSEET along with the professional level certification in Junos Security & Security Support Professional and specialist level in ScreenOS and SSL VPN, JNCDA Design Associate and his original associates in ER & EX. He holds the Palo Alto ACE certification in PanOS 6. He also has certification and extensive experience in Microsoft Windows server, along with strong Vmware skills starting with with version two. He has enjoyed supporting networks for more 20 years.
  • Senior Network Engineer / Architect working for a large ISP in New Zealand. JNCIE-SP#2204, JNCIE-ENT#458.