08-12-2010 12:58 PM
I work in the ATAC at Juniper, the cert program has helped me not only understand the products that I directly support, but I am working towards other certs to better understand peripheral devices. Obviously a box doesn't reside in a network by itself. The other great thing about the training is that the material acts as an excellent quick reference material.
08-13-2010 05:14 PM
To all contributors - this discussion is very helpful to us at JNCP and we do continue to monitor and consider your input for our 2011 planning. So please keep talking!!
I would like to comment on three things a few individuals have suggested both here and in other venues. These issues are close to my heart. The integrity, reliability and value of YOUR certification is our primary focus as we move forward growing the awareness of JNCP in the market place. We are all about making your BRAND a very powerful brand in the networking space.
1. Extend the expiration period to three years "like Cisco does". While Cisco certification does several things right (and we are happy to "copy" those if beneficial!) I strongly disagree with this approach. Three years is an eternity in high tech. With the JNCP policy of two year renewal, when an employer/customer sees a Juniper certification they know that this person is current in their knowledge of Juniper technologies. Juniper is adding new and exciting things to our products every six months!!! Renewing your JNCIx every two years, lets the market know you are current with these changes and gives you a competitive advantage. It is generally known that our certifications renew every two years – and you will see JNCP begin to promote that as part of the campaign to strengthen the JNCP brand.
2. Require only one test, in any track, to recertify on all tracks "like Cisco does". Again, I strongly disagree (seeing a trend here???). The reasons are the same as above. Just because a candidate can display current knowledge in R&S for the Service Provider (M series) that does not mean they are current on Security issues (SRX). It weakens the JNCP brand if we choose "easy" over what makes sense. Again, our policy here provides you a competitive advantage and we will market it as such.
3. Allow us to move directly to Expert - directly to Expert, don't pass "Go" , don’t collect $200 (for any Monopoly fans!!!). I am repeating myself here, but this argument also goes to what we - JNCP - can say about the validity and relevance of YOUR brand. While the expert exam is an excellent test of ability (the best in the industry some say!) it, by definition, cannot cover all topics that JNCIx's need to certify on. Requiring and enforcing a progression of certifications insures a level set of tested skills and knowledge among our certified population - making JNCP certifications consistent, reliable and representative of the Assoc, Spec, Prof and Expert label. Rest assured Juniper does not have this policy to "make money" from our candidates. Certification helps promote the Juniper brand – but definitely not a money maker!!!
We are committed to our partnership with you - offering a strong and relevant certification that helps you develop skills and knowledge to promote your career. Hopefully this explaination will help you to understand why we have these policy decisions. As always, I welcome discussion.
08-13-2010 09:35 PM
Andrew from down under.. I've been doing Juniper for some time now. ( 2000ish ).. I work ( and own ) for a Juniper Select VAR company. We live the brand. However;
I can't remember when one of my customers last bothered to ask me if i had juniper certs.. They simply don't care. They are much much more interested in our ability to deliver a solution that fixes their problem, or better they like us to help them identify new opportunities where things can be done better..
So certification from the perspective of my end user customers does'nt seem to be such a big deal.. However they are interested in getting their own staff certified from time to time.. I think its useful to put a 'target' into someones personal development plan that they will acheive 'JNCIX-X' this year etc.
From my perspective certification is important for one reason only.. Its the only way that i can be competitive.. The price benefit of being a Select or Elite partner, compared to a reseller. So we have to cram in a bunch of exams to our busy schedule, because Junipers made these rules up.
Will i hire engineers based on them having a cert or not.. No.. I'd hire them on their ability.. If they are good enough to work with us, they will cruise the A and S exams without any problems...
Im considering doing JNCIE-ER because its a challenge, not because its actually going to better my career.
realistically it seems to me, that the only people who really care about Juniper certifications are those that are either Juniper Fans, or Juniper itself.. And largely my experience shows that its the same with all industry quals.. be it Cisco, Vmware, MS or whatever.. At the end of the day, the end users don't care, they just want their environment to work.
What Juniper could do to make the certifications more valuable, is let those with them, bypass the entry level engineers at JTAC who clearly have minimal experience.. I waste so much time talking to JTAC engineers who simply don't get it. Generally speaking the problems we bring to JTAC have already been throughly worked through by our engineers first.. Some who have 20+ years of networking experience...
11-21-2010 02:24 PM - edited 11-21-2010 02:26 PM
The two year certification period would IME be better served by following the model of using your original certification date as the recert deadline. Over the last 9 years my recert date has moved from April back to August ecause the recert date is reset to the day you took the recert exam rather than your original lab date.
Are you going to celebrate 10 years of the cert program?
My name is Dave and I worked with Juniper for 10 years at two different partners in the UK.
11-28-2010 09:54 AM
I mentioned this in another post, but wanted to be more specific here as well as get your feedback.
I agree with you that the certs should be two years vs. three. The simple fact is "If you don't use it, you lose it" and in 3 years, if you haven't done it, it is gone. However, how do you argue this point when the books used to study for the -m track are more than 6 years old and are based on Junos 5.x?
If it is my responsibility as a certified engineer to update my certs every 2 years, shouldn't it be Juniper's responsibility to keep the books up-to-date also?
Side note: Those books do speak for the consistency of Junos over the years because at the core they are still accurate. But people have a hard time believing they are still accurate because as you said: "Three years is an eternity in high tech" and those book are older than that.
Thanks for your time,
11-29-2010 02:45 AM
Thanks for the post. Yes, Juniper will now be updating our Junos curriculum and certifications more regularly than in the past. Curriculum will be updated twice a year - exams every 12 to 18 months as required by technology changes.
I cannot speak to the books that are not published by Juniper. Our expectation is that there will be a number of new books produced for the new Junos tracks. There is already one for the JNCIA-Junos.
Hope that helps!
12-18-2010 03:57 AM
I have two suggestions:
1. Juniper should provide videos or interactive classroom recording for the CJNR, AJNR, etc.. Most people have problems with juniper because there isn't enough training material. I know this my hit juniper in the income from students who pay for the actual training, but not everyone can pay that much.
2. The JNCP lab exams should be conducted more frequently in Middle East / Pakistan region, and a schedule should be announced in advance just like the other testing sites. As I last checked, there was no announcement for the lab exams in the Dubai/Pakistan region for the next 6 months.
Thanks & wish you all the best
12-18-2010 04:57 AM
On suggestion #1 see this archived thread where the EMEA Juniper team has posted a set of the lectures on Enterprise routing and switching.
12-20-2010 03:52 PM
Thank you for your efforts.
I am glad juniper does not do many of the things cisco does..
To answer your question..
I am in informtion security and I need to get more hands on router/switch experience (I have plenty of firewall and host).
My advice would be..
Learning os/software licenses/upgrades..(junos and screenos).
As many features as possible should be available to folks that want to learn.
Just limit the ips/time.
We should be able to run the os legally on an emulator or be able log into labs that juniper hosts for free or for a reasonable cost..
We should be able to get the other software legally too (jweb / nsa etc.).
Short modules that address what we need to know to pass the tests.
Juniper should produce all the material needed to pass the test and make it free or very low cost.
This would be an investment. Certification is not the only reason. With plenty of training available your support costs should go down.
Videos are the new pdf..
The srx 100 looks great.. I may have to buy one.. What limitations does it have?
It would be in juniper's interest to figure out ways for folks that are working on certs to get their hands on some hardware.
Rent? End of life hardware? Discount?
All the documentation (including training docs/vids)for a particular device/os should be accessable from one central location.
Do certified folks get to talk to higher level support engineers than non certified?
As junos gets more security features will screenos be replaced eventually? Is there a roadmap for this?