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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Darby Weaver - Chronicles of a Cisco Architect

Ok ,

Off to a fresh start.  It's a new day.

For those who know me I've spent a while obtaining and chasing various certifications for the last 18 years.  I've reached the point where I've become a subject matter expert for quite a few technologies, skill levels, and vendor products.

I am certified at the CCNP/CCDP level and have passed a garden variety of CCIE Written Level exams - what are termed "theory exams" but which are actually merely qualifier exams to certify that a person has paid a fee, passed an exam at the expert level, and may or may not be ready to take and pass a given CCIE or CCDE Level Lab or Practical Exam.

However, even without such lofty certifications I receive a relatively large number of job notifications on mostly a daily status (about 10-20 per day or so in the range of a low of $115-120k to as high as $150.00 per hour for contracts and over $250.00 per hour as an expert witness who is a subject matter expert.

I suppose these reflect supply and demand in the United States and the global economy.  I've been approached for opportunities in mostly every continent. I've worked on projects for the Pentagon and so many Fortune 500 Projects by now I've lost count and I've worked for Foreign Governments or else been offered to work for some Kingdoms as well as traditional governments.

Basically my unique combination of experience, training, certification, leadership, project management, and communications skills have worked rather well for me.

I still entertain working on-site, however it's been years now since I've even had to show up at an office.  I work remotely and although I make myself available for travel, travel has not been required nearly at all.  I've been able to work remotely quite well, lead teams remotely, manage projects that are local to a data center, several DC's, global projects, state, federal, and International projects equally well.

So that's what I've been able to do with my own career.

I've removed the content of my blog that was previously available and now I intend to illustrate and explain to others how it is I believe my career has worked out like this.

I'll cover how to prepare a resume. How to work with recruiters and hiring managers.  What kinds of questions a candidate may wish to ask at an interview and how to learn to ask the right questions no matter the company and no matter the project.  Versatility is the key.

I'll cover what I have found to be core skills that my experiences have proved to be requested, desired, sought after, items that are typically discussed, and how I strategize and interpret the entire experience.  It's an interview for both sides of the table.  The offer and job has to be a win-win and result in a beneficial experience for both sides of the table.

I'll share with you my perspectives on network planning, architecture, and design followed by my own unique methodology.  I say unique since it is probably a hybrid based on my various experiences and we can all rest assured it changes from time to time.  I don't recommend anyone expect his or her career to be a static philosophy. Not hardly.

So if you are interested in this sort of insight I'd welcome you to join along and I'll try to keep this blog on topic, relevant, and maybe even profitable to one's own career.

I get a lot of email and messages asking me particular questions on a person by person basis quite frequently and often, however my advice is and has been rather steady over the years and I expect more of the same going forward.  I'll expect that I'll take the essence of these questions and share with  you all my advice that I've shared over the years especially as it applies to Network Architecture and Design.

That's it!

Darby Weaver
The Cisco Network Architect