It looks like one of the best (or worst) kept secrets about the CCIE has finally come to pass. This week, Cisco announced that there is a new program in place to recertify your CCIE without the need to continually retake the written exam. How is this going to measure up?
The Learning Train
The idea behind continual recertification is very simple. Rather than shut down what you’ve got going on every 18 months to spend time studying for an exam, Cisco is giving current CCIEs and CCDEs the option of applying credit from educational sessions toward recertifying their credentials.
This is very similar to the way that it works in for a doctor or a lawyer. There are courses that you can take that provide a certain number of “points” for a given class. When you accumulate 100 points in a two year span, you can apply those points to recertification.
The credits are good for a maximum of three years from the date earned. You can’t carry them over between recertification periods or bank them in case your certification expires. Once you use the points to recert, you start back up the treadmill again.
We’ll Do It Live!
One of the more interesting pieces to come out of the CCIE/CCDE CPE process is the emphasis on sessions as Cisco Live. Each of the sessions, from one hour breakout to 8-hour Techtorial and labs have a point value assigned. You can earn up to 70 points at Cisco Live every year through this method.
This is huge because it places a focus back on sessions at Cisco Live. A lot of networking professionals that I’ve spoken to recently have questioned the need to come to sessions during Cisco Live. Many are more interested in the DevNet zone as opposed to traditional learning sessions. Still others are buying a social pass and coming to chat with peers instead.
Now, Cisco has made sessions at Cisco Live matter to CCIEs. You get more points for harder sessions. Or longer in-depth dives into Technologies that are up and coming. You could easily recertify with very little effort every second year at Cisco Live.
Additionally, the program includes the flexibility to offer different types of continuing credit. Perhaps it’s for filling out surveys of importance to product teams. Or for tackling a new technology in an in-person instructor format. The possibilities are unlimited and should keep current and Emeritus CCIEs happy.
I’m thrilled these changes are finally implemented. CCIEs can finally join the ranks of other professionals in the world. I’ve been talking about getting this done for four years at this point, so hats off to Yusuf and his team. Let’s keep the steam rolling forward and getting more learning opportunities on the list to help get more CCIEs recertified.