E66 - Marius Venter at Juniper Networks

Ben Davies
Marius Venter

By Ben Davies & Marius Venter

Our Principal Network Consultant, Ben Davies, was joined by Marius Venter on our 66th episode of The Route to Networking. Marius has worked in the Networking space for almost 25 years and is passionate about business drivers and solutions that solve real-world problems. They discuss some emerging technologies including Machine Learning and AI and how he can see them positively impacting the future.

Marius’ passion for networks and computing all began when he was around 15-16 years old. He walked into a shop in South Africa and saw this screen and keyboard, his initial thoughts were ‘wow’. During that time, he never came from a background of money to buy a computer, so his dad bought him books about them to read, which is where his interest started to spark.

What has kept him in the industry for so long is the constant evolution of technology and there’s just no possible way of getting bored. The amount of information that is out there that has not yet been consumed is incredibly exciting for Marius’ and speaking on behalf of most Network Engineers, I think they can all agree.

Being in the industry for as long as he has, he shares how certifications have developed and changed. For him, a CCIE is relevant to a university degree. Not from a technical know-how point of view but more so how a person reacts to a situation. One of the things he isn’t impressed by is a performer of certifications. One of the best engineers he knew had no certifications but on the other hand, he interviewed CCIEs and thought, wow when can you start? On a CV, he thinks of it as they have gone through something to get there. “I don’t care if your answer is yes or no, I care about how you got there”.

When working in the Networking space, particularly in security, something he feels quite strongly about is that he hopes we can get to a point where we can start working together in the Networking world as opposed to against each other. When we start working together and sharing information, we will be able to solve cyber security issues.

Marius has recently taken some time out of the industry to focus on himself and it wasn’t a decision he took lightly. He questioned himself and was at a crossroads where he was earning enough money and doing things, he enjoyed but he reached a certain point and thought what’s next? For someone else who is considering doing the same, he suggests doing something you really enjoy and thinking about the culture of the business and what excites you.

When he is looking to hire, he advises you to not rely on old certifications to get you somewhere. Something like a free AWS certification is more important to him because it shows your curiosity and your interest in learning.

Taking us on to our final section of the episode… Our infamous quick fire round and believe me some of the answers may come as a shock to you. Ben asks Marius how much caffeine he consumes a day and as of now he drinks 10-15 cups a day, but his record day was 46 cups in one day!

He also shares his most controversial opinion and it’s an interesting one… Make sure you give the full episode a listen now!

*Since the recording, Marius is now working at Juniper Networks and is continuing his Networking journey there as a System Engineering System Engineer*