“I’m a CCIE… and a Dad” – Future Me

First of all, I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Hack and Tinker community; many thanks to Philip Straatsma for the invitation to start publishing here!  I’ve had the privilege of calling Philip a colleague, coworker, and friend for a few years now, and I’m very excited about the chance to post here and contribute and collaborate further!

In my first three posts, you’ll see references to “CCIE Dad”, which was an independent blog that I was writing for a short time.  Upon being invited to start writing here, I decided to simply move the content as is.  I felt that it made some sense to preserve the content that explained what I was writing about and why I was writing.  Going forward, I’ll be pulling the content off of the old site and posting here exclusively.  Thanks to everyone here in the Hack and Tinker community who takes the time to read and contribute!

With all of that being said, here was my introductory post at “CCIE Dad”

“I’m a CCIE… and a Father” – Future Me

What is “CCIE Dad” all about?  A few months ago, I decided to embark on the journey that it takes to become CCIE certified.  As with any CCIE blog, there will be plenty of technical information here.  I also wanted to write about the personal side of this journey though.  As an aspiring CCIE, the biggest challenges that I face are rarely technical.  At least, not the long-term challenges.  Sure, like any other Engineer, I get stumped from time to time, but those challenges are often resolved with some Googling, a little bit of effort, and a little determination.  In contrast, the greatest challenge I’ve faced has been finding a balance between my study time and making time for my family.  I’ll try to keep the personal posts separated from the technical posts for the most part; I understand that those who come around here in search of a particular technology or configuration example aren’t really looking to hear much about my family life or CCIE study plans.  I’m publishing this in blog form for three basic reasons: first, it’s very easy to tag/sort/recall information stored in this format.  Second, forcing yourself to explain something, even in blog format, helps you to understand how well you really know a topic.  Finally, if anyone else might benefit from what’s written here, whether personal or technical, then I’ll be glad to have shared it.

As far as my background, I’m a 32-year-old Engineer named Andy.  I work for a Cisco Partner doing all sorts of consulting work, from Pre-Sales to Implementation and Support.  My company has a very strong focus on Unified Communications, so you may find that a lot of my related experiences are from Voice and UC projects.  I hold four professional-level certifications from Cisco (R+S, Voice, Security + Design) and love the challenge and rewards that come from expanding my horizons as an Engineer.

At home, I have a wonderful, supportive wife and a beautiful 2 year-old daughter.  They are the both my reasons for working hard, trying to provide the best life and opportunities I can, and my reasons for slowing down from time to time and enjoying the life we have together.  It is only with their support that I am able to even consider this journey.  It takes an unbelievable amount of work to become a CCIE… and even more to be a good Father.  I’m incredibly fortunate to have a family and work environment that are willing to let me be both.

So here’s to the journey.  I look forward to the challenges and the triumphs.  I look forward to learning routing and switching inside and out.  I look forward to smiles on my co-workers faces when I get to tell them that there’s another CCIE on the team.  I look forward to the personal satisfaction that comes from one of the biggest career milestones an Engineer can reach.  And most of all, I look forward to showing my family that their sacrifices and investments were worth making, and being able to give them a heartfelt “Thank You.”

This isn't actually me - but I've been "that guy" many times before.

This isn’t actually me – but I’ve been “that guy” many times before.

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