I don't want to claim myself as Global Consultant anymore. It seems like many people have problem with that. Some called me showing off, some said I'm too proud with that title. Others even said I spent so much time marketing myself. Blah blah. Ok, ok, I get it.
But here is the fact: since I joined Cisco in 2006 I've traveled to many countries to do consulting projects. Below you can see some Cisco customers in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa that I worked with in the past. And most of the time my role in the project is to lead the design work: to capture customer requirements and provide technical solution to address them. In many projects I also lead the implementation and migration. For some projects I'm responsible to lead the whole engagement from project scheduling, managing resources as well as quality assurance for deliverables. So call me anything you want, even Janitor, but it seems like I have some experiences working on design consultancy project, globally.
And actually before I joined Cisco I had already done many design project as well with many customers. I invented my own methodology and workflow for design work. I call the methodology as - I bet you are going to like the name - CISCO way. Yes, I'm not joking. You heard it here first. And I'm sharing it here now.
My CISCO way is actually an abbreviation of the following:
C - Capture customer requirements, current network design, today's challenges and future requirements
I - Identify what customer wants vs. what customer needs, identify the root cause of today's challenges
S - Solve today's challenges, address current and future requirements with the proposed solution design
C - Communicate the proposed design to customer to get feedback and discuss more design options
O - Optimize the design to achieve the best solution for the customer
I have been involved in many design workshop with customers. I have spent countless hours discussing design options for different technologies and customer industries, and writing both high level and low level design documents. I won't call myself as a Design Expert even with total 14 years experience in the field as network consultant and solutions architect. I also happen to have CCDE certification. And from my observation, as well from many emails I received, I understand there is a need for many network engineers to get design skill and get certified in CCDE if possible.
So today I want to launch my personal initiative to the world that I call Project DEW.
DEW stands for Design Expert Weekend.
It's a 2-day onsite workshop during the weekend to discuss various design technologies just as what CCDE covers. There will be discussion about multiple design options. There will be discussion about tips and tricks and my personal experience taking the exam several times (without violating the NDA). There will be discussion about CCDE-like scenarios. The workshop will be inline with skills expected from a CCDE: ability to analyze design requirements, develop network designs, implement network design, validate and optimize network design. The workshop can help you to pass CCDE. And even beyond.
In my previous post, I mentioned you need the following to pass CCDE practical exam:
1. Technical Skills, in L2 Control plane, L3 Control plane, Tunneling/Virtualization, QoS, Network Management and Security
2. Design Experiences, in multiple technologies as well as from vertical and different industries like SP, Enterprise, Financial, Retail and so on
3. Customer skills, such as ability to capture and analyze requirement, to propose design, to explain and justify the design, and to plan for implementation
DEW will try to cover all three points above as much as possible. Obviously nothing can replace the real design experience with the real customers, to achieve point 2 and 3. But the workshop will cover the technical skills in depth from the design perspective. DEW will not only explain What the technology is, but also Why it is required, How it works, Where to implement the technology, and When to use the technology compare to the alternatives. I will also share my view when looking at technology based on my design experience. And there will be discussion using CCDE-like design scenarios, so hopefully it can provide some level of experience in designing as well as some exercise to analyze requirement until proposing design to answer the requirements.
There are different types of DEW and each takes 2-day during the weekend:
DEW:Routing Design (IGP IPv4/IPv6, BGP, scaling, inter-AS, HA, and include PIM, ASM, SSM Multicast)
DEW:Tunneling Design (MPLS-based L3VPN/L2VPN, tunnel protection/MPLS TE, other tunnelling include IPv6 transition)
DEW:SP Design (Physical, L2, IGP/BGP/MPLS/PIM as transport, MPLS-based services, Internet, IPTV, HA, QoS, security, management)
The pilot for DEW:Routing will be held in Riyadh in two weeks. The class size will be small and limited to ensure lots of interaction. There is fee to attend that will be used to cover the expenses to conduct the workshop such as renting the meeting room, projector, accommodation and so on. And after all the expenses, the remaining will be used to fund my organization back home.
My main goal is not to make you certified. But to give the real knowledge. The real skills. Then to be certified or not it's your decision not mine.
If you are interested to join the first DEW:Routing in Riyadh, KSA, on 3-4 January 2014, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get more detail information.
See you at the first DEW!