Today I spent a decent amount of time studying and preparing for the first exam in the series of two for the Cisco Certified Network Associate IT certification. I think I am probably as ready I am going to be at this point. There is not really much more studying that I can do. I know the concepts through and through and I can do all of the stuff on the routers and switches that would be expected of me at this stage of the course.
I think what really chaps my ass is that my participation in this program goes against every moral fiber in my body. I am helping to prop up a very flawed view that certification means competence. No, certification does not mean competence but it means somebody can take tests very well. There are many paper champions that would fail horribly in the real world. Furthermore, I am helping to perpetuate the market mindshare of Cisco. I really do not want to be doing this as I believe that Cisco products are no better or worse than, say, Juniper’s or Fortinet’s. They’re just different paths to the same goal.
If anything, I champion open source and standard protocols as being the superior way of doing things. The internet was never meant to have proprietary technologies controlling it. It’s only now that the greedy capitalists have gotten control over the lion’s share of it that it’s no long a place for interesting research and experimentation. Now you have vendor lock in and supposed professionals that won’t look at anything beyond what they’re trained for.
You got to love how some IT professionals become unpaid spokespeople for the technologies that they’ve been trained in. They literally become evangelists and all for free. Hell, they paid Cisco et al for the privilege of certification. So in essence, the large technology companies found a way to profit 10 fold from indoctrination. I, for one, will never stump for a technology that is not standard and open source. So no amount of technology certification will make me become an unpaid salesman for your shitty product.
Monday is test time. But I will never assimilate!