E114 - Peter Palúch at Cisco

Charlie  Draper
Peter Paluch

By Charlie Draper & Peter Paluch

Today on The Route to Networking podcast, our IP Consultant, Charlie Draper, was joined by Peter Palúch, Teacher, Facilitator, Mentor and Expertness Advocate at Cisco. Peter narrates to us how he came to be a CCIE holder as well as an exam program manager and tells us the key tips that led him to achieve this qualification.

Peter first started his relationship with Cisco back in 2001 when he was a student at the Cisco Networking Academy. Since then, he worked closely with Cisco working as an instructor and then was active in the Cisco Support community where he was invited to the advisory groups relating to certifications. He joined Cisco in 2016 as a Customer Support Engineer and was asked to go down the exam program manager route during his time there and has been there ever since.

Day in the life…

Peter is responsible for the CCIE exams from top to bottom and what is in the blueprint and creating the individual tasks that go into it. With great power comes great responsibility and being the exam program manager, comes with daily challenges. One thing, in particular, is he has a lean team. When it comes to creating assignments, you can only create so many original tasks and it can get quite hard to think of original ideas.

Biggest changes?

When it comes to changes in the industry, surprisingly Peter doesn’t think too much has changed. If you look at the IP market now vs back then, it’s still remarkably similar. We are coming up with solutions that are resembling the ones we’ve used before. Tech-wise, we haven’t come away from the fundamental principles.

To those who are considering taking their CCIE, Peter says to never stop being curious! When he was curious, he was able to experiment with things and try stuff out that wasn’t supposed to be tried to see what it does. The curiously is the driver to expertness. You have to be driven. As you’re going through your journey and as you continue throughout your career as a network engineer, if you’re always curious and if you never stop learning, then hopefully you’ll make it all the way to the top! The ability to experiment and fail will keep pushing you. A key to success is being curious and not afraid to fail!

Tune in to the full episode now to hear more about Peter’s journey and the key to his successes.