Juniper Networks New Network Design Curriculum and Certifications
May 28, 2015
Taking a cue from a colleague of mine, “smart” is very much a relative thing. At times throughout my career I have thought, “I am one sharp dude!” Then I am quickly put back into my place by someone or something that proves just how not sharp I really am.
I have worked in the networking industry and with Juniper Networks products for well over a decade. I’ve built many lab networks and resolved issues in numerous service provider and enterprise networks. So when I was approached with a new Education Services project to build out curriculum and certifications for network design, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I was wrong. Nervous anxiety filled my body as I realized I am, what some people would say, a total noob. Sure I knew what an RFP was. But I had little concept of the considerations and process involved in arriving at a final network recommendation. Network design is a whole new world outside of my base skill set and outside the skill set of many colleagues who had been entrenched in the Build and Operate portions of the network lifecycle for so long.
The new curriculum and associated certification work presented a great opportunity to work with subject matter experts who live in the Plan stage of the network lifecycle. Architects from many facets of the Juniper Networks ecosphere—including those in professional services, systems engineering, partners, and others—have made great contributions to the project. It has been challenging, yet very enlightening—stretching my knowledge about the end-to-end network lifecycle, the importance of best practices, and overall understanding of the key elements of network design. Many of these experts also previously lived in the “Build” or “Operate” stages of the network lifecycle, becoming experts in these stages before becoming network architects. The development of our first foundational-level course, Juniper Networks Design Fundamentals (JNDF), and the associated Juniper Networks Certified Design Associate (JNCDA) certification, is complete. The foundation course and certification will serve as the jumping point to various curriculum tracks and certifications at the specialist and professional levels. We are already well underway in the development of a new data center design course called Juniper Networks Design—Data Center.
I highly recommend you take the opportunity to attend and participate in the new network design curriculum and certifications. Not because I want you to feel what it’s like to be a noob. But because I hope that you will find it as insightful as those of us at Education Services and the cross-functional group of experts who had a part in developing it found the experience to be. Network design is a very different skill set that many of us in the industry can only fully appreciate when we’ve learned how to do it properly.
A network architect pauses during the development of the new JNDCA certification exam to show how important learning Network Design skills are.