CCNA or Python?

CCNA or Python?

Image title

I want to open up a discussion about the future of networking. Please share your experiences and plans for the future. As you know we get a lot of new community members that are brand new to their careers and I think we have a great opportunity here for our experienced members and our IKEs to share their experience and advice.

I personally agree with Network Chuck here. I think the need for the "Unicorn Engineer" is very high right now. What does everyone else think?


Great discussion topic, and super relevant right now. I remember when I was help desk and heavy on windows server / switch / routing / environment and people encouraged me to dig into an Apple/Linux environments to learn and expand myself. I remember when I saw how SaaS/App's were coming down the pipe and I sought out people, videos, classes to help me skill up to make the transition into app / saas infrastrcture support, which was fun. When I think back, I realize that almost every area I skilled up in post-college degree has opened up avenues for me to explore new opportunities and be on the frontier.

Personally, I think it's very important to be multi-disciplinary in order to engage in work (that I think) is relevant, fun and challenging. Maybe others can chime in, but I think in today's world, we should get rid of the 'or' when weighing options and framing questions, but start thinking more with 'and' in mind.


So just to share with the forum here, I posted this question on LinkedIn:
CCNA or Python? What would you recommend to an up and coming network engineer?

10,000 views and 36 comments later, it seems the agreement is this:

You need to learn networking first, in order to understand what the Python scripts are doing. At the same time, Python is a powerful skill to have. So CCNA first, then Python. You need both, in that order.


I found a great mindmap to accomplish the first task:

The full resource is here - which includes the mindmap of topics that are covered on the current Cisco CCIE RSv5 lab exam

I also love how they used Mindnode, one of my favorite tools.

1 Like

I work as a network engineer and there is great demand for automation via Python, Perl or Shell Scripting. We manage thousands of Cisco and Juniper routers and automation of network tasks can save time and effort. The entire company is eventually going into restructuring and eliminating most of the regular network engineering/operations roles which will be replaced by DevOps type roles. Programming is now a must for network engineering and operations.

1 Like

Hi @Moroo, thanks for the insight. How do you suppose one would transition best from network engineering into a DevOp type role? What do the responsibilities of a DevOp type role look like) vs regular)?