On 17-04-2018 09:50, Jacob Taylor wrote:

> Hi all, 
> As a 24 year old network engineer, I'm often asked by others at uni how I 
> "broke in" to the networking space. 
> I've also seen this question posed in various permutation on this very list 
> so I thought I would share my some advice for other young people anxious to 
> jump into this space.

I know this is thread is dangerously heading towards way off the list
charter but I agree with what you say, I started out as a tech support
person, I had a basic understanding of IP networking, building a linux
router at home using ipchains I think at the time way back in the kernel
2.0.x days. 

I gradually was exposed to other UNIX admin tasks in the tech support
role, built a few linux servers as a contractor, bought my first Cisco
router (an older ISDN based 1603 which I had connected at home with a
Telstra Home Highway DoV connecton) and with the help of a peer was
introduced to the world of Cisco IOS. 

I have held since a number of System Administration, Network Operations
and Engineer roles and found actual experience, being involved,
engineering a solution all provided much more practical knowledge than
any course (I have held DELL Force 10 and Extreme Networks certs in the
past) and when in position of being involved in hiring and interviewing
additional resources certificates held a part but i was more interested
in what they had done in the field be it personally or for other people,
somebody with a keen interest in the area you are looking for to me is a
far better choice than a professional test passer. 

So my advice is hone your own skills as a start, there is TONS of
documentation on just about every major platform, Linux networking is an
excellent place to start and will give you a very good understanding of
how things connect together with minimal expenditure and when you are
ready to get training you'll be more prepared than most people and
secondly, never stop learning - you'll forget things, you will relearn
things and you may even find a better way of doing something you've done
for years! 

Not everyone will give a novice a chance, when the opportunity arises
take a leap of faith, you cant succeed without failing a few times :) 

Kind Regards, 
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