Network engineering field is part of the huge IT industry, and it’s becoming more and more popular due to various reasons. Mostly these are money and benefits they can provide. But the thing is you have to know what you are doing and be good at it. Having the CCIE and/or JNCIE is fine – certificates indicate your knowledge of the theory. Yet, it is the practice to make it perfect.
Here are some simple and effective steps one should take to become a good professional in network engineering.
- Learn the material
Some naive people who dream about a careless life of IT professional are sure that once they get the certificate, their phone would be bursting with job offers, and they would be extremely busy.
In reality, the certificate is just a piece of paper, and its value is plain zero if you cannot tell right away how to set up VLAN. And your lack of knowledge will be obvious to any experienced professional, so you will not fool anyone.
- Use it once you learn it
You might learn all the materials for the certification exam, but it does not mean you will be able to do all those things in real life. Reading about LAN does not mean you will set up one at your workplace fast and easy.
What should you do? Put to use everything you read about. Knowing the steps for setting up spanning tree is good, but be sure you go through all the ways it might be created. This way you will cut down on the frustration you have when asked to do the same at work.
- Build your own lab
Following the previous tip, you should have the place to practice your knowledge to make it perfect. Building your own lab might seem like an expensive project but a) it will pay back and b) not having a lab is a lot more expensive in the long-term perspective.
- Get creative
If you are just at the beginning of your network engineering path, you might feel comfortable doing the standard exercises over and over again. And it is not bad – it helps you learn the basics. But you cannot become the good engineer if you don’t test the full potential of the creative approach. Try mixing up the steps and ways to create something new and different – it will all pay off as it provides you with useful experience.
- Don’t be afraid of overdoing
Following the creativity tip – set up the higher bars. To learn all the opportunities of the configuration forget about the simple standard solutions. By creating new topology sets, you provide yourself with new sets of skills and knowledge.
Instead of asking yourself the question ‘Why?’ go with ‘Why not?’. Question everything you know and don’t be afraid to explore new horizons – they say, the truth is born somewhere in the experiment.
- Ask questions
Once again – be open-minded and ask the right questions. Explain your designs and ask others for the opinion. There are plenty of promising network engineers who are so opinionated about their knowledge they cannot do anything creative.
- Teach someone else
One of the greatest ways to learn new things in literally any field is trying to teach someone about it. First of all, you will need to explain things in a simple way. They say if you cannot explain something to a kid, you don’t really know what you are talking about. So practice here.
Another benefit of having student or at least lab partner is questions – he would start asking them sooner or later. And while looking for the answers, you will surely learn something new you were sure to be the genius at.
The main rule, as you can see, is to forget your laziness if you want to succeed in your field. Go and try everything you learn about, practice beforehand and it will all come back to you. Once you can tell how to make bridging loop being waked up in the middle of the night, be sure – you are on your way to success.