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  1. Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Default City

    CCNP R&S

    Lightbulb Career Overview and Advice

    Hello TE Community!

    I need some advice on my career and future options, please.
    7 years have passed since I got my first IT job.

    I live and work in Russia (I saw a few TE members from there as well). I’m 26 at the moment.
    I worked in two companies in four positions in total:

    Company 1:
    IT Specialist (9m) -> IT Infrastructure Engineer (2y9m).

    Company 2:
    Sr. Network Development Specialist (3y1m) -> Tech Lead (4m - now).

    Company 1 was a local country division (~500 users across 15 sites) of the international (50k+ users worldwide) production company.
    I was a full-stack sysadmin for the country IT infrastructure.

    Company 2 is Top-10 Russian insurance company. It grew over twice since I got my job there. There are now 5k+ users across ~80 offices and 200+ sales points in 9 timezones, plus 2 enterprise DCs.
    I’m a primary responsible for UC services and also currently applying automation practices into production. R&S/DC/Sec are secondary responsibilities.

    I have a Diploma in Telecom Engineering.
    I am current CCNP R&S.
    I passed CCIE Collaboration Written on December 2017. But the Lab preparation is on hold due to new version announcement (I’d prefer to invest into more up-to-date knowledge and skills).

    I’ve been working with multiple technical domains in production:

    Cisco UC (my primary and strongest side):
    CUCM, IM&P, Expressway C/E, CUBE/Gateways, CUCME/SRST, CUC, CUE, SIP, ISDN E1/T1, FXO/FXS, call recording systems, CDR management systems, VoIP and Telepresence endpoints.

    Cisco R&S, DC, Sec (my secondary specialization):
    ISR G2 29XX and 4k, ASR 1k.
    Catalyst 6k/4k/3k/2k.
    Nexus 7k/5k/2k.
    ASA 55XX.
    Dynamic routing (mostly EIGRP plus some BGP), PBR, NAT, VPN (IPSec S2S/RA, WebVPN), STP, MLS, stacking, LAG, MLAG (VSS, vPC), FHRP, ACL/firewalls, etc.

    Supplementary skills:
    Windows Server and Linux (CentOS 6/7).
    AD/LDAP services. Certificate Authorities.
    VMware ESXi/vSphere.
    Monitoring systems (Zabbix, PRTG).
    Cisco Prime Infrastructure.
    MS SQL, PostgreSQL, ELK.

    Automation in Python:
    Last but not the least. Being applied to all above, it helps to get things done more efficiently and to avoid some routine.
    The most complex automation I’ve done is phone/user provisioning module for CUCM. It is written in Python and has connectors to CUCM, AD, PostgreSQL, Exchange, and ELK. User status is being tracked based on AD account status and attributes. Phones and users on CUCM are provisioned and deprovisioned based on that. Data is stored in PostgreSQL DB (provisioning info, tasks, mappings, etc). ELK is used for reporting (there is a dashboard in Kibana). System alerts admins and helpdesk by email on changes and errors.
    And this is another example of my code I can publish. It was developed for one of TAC engineers on his query on another forum. The script takes a set of ‘show ip route’/‘show route’ outputs from IOS/IOS-XE/ASA as an input. Then it allows to print network path to any entered destination with matched routes from each router across learned topology.

    What is not that perfect. Unfortunately, I have no UCCX/UCCE production experience. Telepresence skills are also mostly limited to endpoints (I configured Expressway E/C for MRA several times though. So I’m familiar with this platform).
    These two points are usually demanded by employers for higher level positions with UC-only specialization. Such R&S/DC related positions usually require additional skills and projects in things like MPLS, OTV, VXLAN, DMVPN, etc. Automation related jobs usually include Ansible (this is an option I can potentially use in my current production).

    I’m in pretty good standing with my current employer and I’m able to backup and develop my responsibility areas. The thing is those areas are limited by business demands. Which options do you use to keep your personal tech portfolio complete?

    I’m flexible enough and used to working in largescale, international, and 24/7 environments. And I’m not limiting myself by country boundaries in the future.

    What are available paths with such experience and skills?
    What would you advise me to learn and focus on?

    I’m looking forward to get a feedback from you. I’ll appreciate any replies.

    !Thank you for your time,
    Debug all

    Last edited by Debug all; 07-06-2018 at 07:16 AM.
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