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Meet the Authors FAQ´s - Peter Paluch, Co-author of CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1



This event had place on Wednesday 30th, October 2019 at 10hrs PDT 


Event slides


Featured Author

ppaluch.jpgPeter Paluch is the Exam Program Manager for the CCIE Routing & Switching and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure exams. Previous, he worked as a Customer Support Engineer with a focus on Data Center Switching technologies. In his free time he indulges in all technologies, particularly routing protocols, routed technologies, and MPLS-based services. Before Peter joined Cisco, he worked as a university professor and a Networking Academy instructor and instructor trainer. Peter is an author of Cisco Press. He holds a CCIE certification on R&S #23527.
Peter has been an active member of the Cisco Community and earned the Cisco Designated VIP award for five years in a row (2011-2016). This year he was recognized as a member of the elite Cisco Community Hall of Fame Program.

You can download the slides of the presentation in PDF format here.


Live Questions

Q: Is there a “best value” when purchasing the “Book + eBook Bundle”? What would be different if you just get the book? Do they have the same content, is formatting the only difference?

A: It's just the format, as far as we know. for instance, I got the book for my shelf, but I commonly use the digital one, as I can bring it in my iPad everywhere. In addition, the physical version comes with practice labs in the back old the book.


Q: Can I do the CCIE written with the current syllabus and lab paper with the new syllabus?

A: Yes, if you pass the written exam right now you can take the new practical version starting on February 2020. You will have 3 years to take it.


Q: Do you know if the new exam will contain simulations?

A: There is no certain confirmation at this moment and that would depend if you’re talking about the written or practical exam. Nevertheless, the practical exam will certainly have them.


Q: How many exams have you failed? 

A: To be honest I failed CCDE and never attempted to do it again. And all honestly, I failed the CCIE R&S written exam once, I wasn’t well prepared for those certifications during that time. Pardon me, at this moment I can remember about any other.


Q: From your point of view, how hard is to find a job opportunity in Cisco?

A: There are certain organizations that keep hiring, for me it wasn’t too difficult because the options were open. Also, what maybe helped me is that I already had contacts, I wasn’t looking just from my side. If you know someone from inside who can give you a hand or give pointers such as “hey the team is open, you may what to apply to this or that”, consider that as key.

Since I haven’t really been looking into news roles since I joined Cisco, I don’t think I can provide an alternative answer here but what I can recommend on one hand is going to “” and look for the open positions.
On the other hand, for the interviews I’ve been doing lately, as a current Cisco employee for our potential new hires, the one thing I ask for is:
If you apply and this goes for every single job role, be certain that you know your stuff, be humble and be sure of what you know, if you pass awesome if not ask for feedback because that represents the opportunity where you can grow.
We never wanted to fail anybody and if we decided to don’t proceed with somebody in next interviews, it was simply because there was a place to grow on the position, and we wouldn’t need to hire him or her, since it would be like killing him or her. We’ve been trying to be careful both about the position and the applicant, but in all you know, Cisco as a company prides itself on having experts or having only the invaluable people.

So, if you feel like working for Cisco, try to really know your stuff, be certain that you know your stuff and trialogue. Keep in mind nobody in the interview team is trying to fail you, they’re just trying to find how far you know, and trying to help you to know more


Q: How did you get to work for Cisco in Belgium?

A: When I was teaching at University, we had a very close relationship with Cisco Networking Academy, I started as a student then as an instructor since 2001. And in 2016 when I was thinking about moving out form the University, I had such a good working relation with Cisco that I seemed only natural that I tried to apply for a Cisco position. Now, the open positions were in Brussels at that time for the tech so I applied and a miracle happened and now I’m here.


Q: Does the Book cover the bridging Gap v5.0 to the new CCIE coming after Feb 2020?

A: It covers partially the topics. It's advantageous to check and compare the blueprint with the book contents. In addition, the new official cert guide will come for the new certification that will be changing in February. The new guide "CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core ENCOR 350-401 Official Cert Guide, ISBN: 9781587145230" will be available in December 27, 2019


Q: Does the "CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure exam" is going to completely replace the existing CCIE R&S Exam? If answer is Yes, then what is the reason of naming the book CCIE R&S v5.0? And if it is No, then is this going be a common book applicable for both exams?

A: Yes, it will replace it. It’s the new version, including other topics related to new technologies. The book follows the blueprint version (5.0). The new “CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core ENCOR 350-401 Official Cert Guide, ISBN: 9781587145230” will be available in December 27th 2019.


Q: In your experience, the topics covered in this book will play a huge percentage of the practical test?

A: That would depend to which test you refer to, if mean the new CCIE version or the current one. For the current CCIE version, it can be considered as the official certification guide and covers all topics. For the new CCIE version, it would help as a guide for fundamental networking, but it won’t cover all since the exam will change.
The CCIE exam is going to be divided in two sections, the design section and the practical section which is called “Deploy – Operate -Optimize”. At this moment Cisco Press is currently working in the best way to create a book/material that covers this changed style on the practical section.


Q: We can pass Written Exam in the Current Version and if we don't pass the lab before February 2020, then we have three years’ time starting from February 2020 to pass new infrastructure practical exam. Right?

A: Yes, you will. Remember that currently, the practical exam requires you to pass the written exam and take the first attempt in the following 18 months. This requirement is removed in the new version. You will have 3 years since the moment you pass the core exam the current written exam maps to the new core exam, therefore, qualifying you (as of Feb 2020) to meet that requirement and have the time to take the lab.


Q: Can you share the link of the written exam related to the blue print 5.0? also could please clarify if that Blue Print is the same for the CCI R&S v5 & ENCOR?

A: It is not the same Blueprint for sure. Written exam link:


Q: When was the CCIE R&S v5.0 OCG published?

A: In August 27, 2014.


Q: When developing an OCG book, is there any collaboration between Cisco press and the Cisco unit that develops the certification?

A: They do collaborate, but keep in mind that Cisco Press is a Person Vue company, not a Cisco company. But they do it.


Q: Could you tell us what steps you use when you learn new topics for the first time?

A: Read about it, try to lead it, look in packet captures into the packet captures how the communication looks like and try to understand it because seeing it is believing. If it’s a standardized technology, read the standards and again, try to compare what the standards says with what you see in the behavior. This works very nice for me.


Q: How long did it take you to become CCIE?

A: Let me see, it was around 4 years I did my first try to CCIE in 2004 and I think I made my CCNP in 2007.
At that time, it was very easy to obtain a related certification, it doesn’t exist anymore it was called CCIP “Cisco Certified Internet with Professional”, it was essentially what nowadays is known as CCNP Service Provider. I did it because I just needed to do an extra exam for Quality of Service (Qos) which was already covered in CCNP Routing and Switching, nevertheless, CCNP R&S covered it in a GUI whereas the CCIP version did it in CLI but the content was the same.
In addition, I had to do a second extra exam, it was “BGP plus MPLs”.
All these things combined CCNP R&S + CCIP -that expanded my knowledge on the QoS and MPLs-, helped me in a huge way for my preparation for the CCIE, that was around 2007-2008. Eventually I made my CCIE R&S in February 2009 which was a Friday, so I made my little bit on Friday 13th.


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