This morning Cisco announced the next level of expert certification, the Cisco Certified Architect. For those that have been following the Cisco Certified Design Expert – CCDE certification, this is the next level certification that was loosely known as the Master Internetwork Architect – MIA (yes, missing in action).
What does this certification entail?
1. CCDE Certified
Yes, now the CCDE will now get MUCH more popular. You will have to pass your CCDE practical before you have a chance to submit an application to the CCA Board.
2. 10 Years industry experience
A common theme that I have sense from the CCDE team (the team who created the CCA) is that the CCIE does not hold the same value as it held 10 years ago. An experience requirement from the CCA not only a certain pedigree of CCA candidates, as well as the wealth of experience that time provides.
3. Application to “the board”
Translation, be careful what you put on twitter. A board, most likely consisting of Bruce Pinsky, Russ White and the other usual players will evaluate your application. If your application is accepted then you get to face the board.
4. Passing The board examination
Interestingly enough, I see this as the most straight forward portion of the entire CCDE / CCA process. The board exam itself is set to model a normal customer interaction for a network architect. For those of us that do this every day this is straight forward.
First, you have a customer that has a requirement. You gather that requirement generally in writing first. Then you have a chance to interview the customer to gather additional requirements, and more importantly the reasoning behind the requirement.
After that, you go and create a proposal that takes into account all of the requirements, applications, and “gotchas” that may happen. Create Diagrams, Bill of Materials and a Solution Overview.
You present this proposal to the customer, and defend all the aspects of your proposal. Again, this is a common customer engagement. Cisco is mirroring this whole process. The two major changes involved are are 1. the customer is “the board” and instead of making a sale, you get your CCA.
Want to learn more – Cisco Certified Architect Press Release