Thursday, August 6, 2009

CCIE Amnesty Program Updated

There seems to be some 'drama' happening at NetworkWorld where Brad Reese has openly declared that there is no such thing as a CCIE Amnesty program. The page which can be found at with 4 pages of comments at this point of writing shows to how a big organization such as Cisco can have multiple news.

Now if you have been following the drama, or if you have been following my blog, you know I write for the CCIE Flyer so some of you might say that "Nickelby is now an attention whore and he will definitely support Eman bla bla bla". Let me tell you this straight in the face. I am a person of my own opinion. In other words, I do not let people and especially the media sway me away from my own opinions. Period.

What I can say is this. I have seen the response from Cisco (ok part of Cisco since John Chambers for some reason refuses to answer my mail to play 'PONG' on the Internet ;-)) clearly states that there is a CCIE Amnesty Program existing. Eman started this initiative because he knew from experiences that a lot of CCIEs were not aware of making the mistake of renting out their certs to 'employers' whom they are not working with for various reasons. Those reasons can simply be that their current employers do not need CCIEs like yours truly ;-).

For those who are bashing Eman simply for this effort, ask yourselves this. If you were ignorant enough to rent out your cert to a third party only to realise that mistake later and found out that if Cisco catches you doing so, you will be banned and stripped off your CCIE title, how would you feel? You would feel that you need a second chance right? The CCIE Amnesty Program is just that. A second chance. A second life for those who makes mistakes in the CCIE world. Do not come BS-ing to me saying that you will not be that stupid to make such a mistake. We are all humans. At one point of time, we will make a mistake and during that time, the words "Please Give Me A Chance" will start appearing in your mind.

For those of you who works in big organizations and when I mean big I really do mean big, you will know that certain projects especially sensitive ones or still in a "proof-of-concept" stage that happens will not be official until you can get the whole board of directors to sanction it. PR on the other hand always tries to do a good job by masking sensitive stuff until it is proven to be beneficial and/or profitable to the organization. Admit it PR people, that's your job. Brad gotten his news from the PR department of Cisco. It is true that the PR's job is to secure and protect Cisco's assets and in this case, the CCIE comes in play.

But ask yourselves this, ask a PR about the workings of EIGRP and he will tell you that it's a Cisco propriety protocol, bla, bla, bla. Ask an engineer about EIGRP and he will go about how to configure it, optimize it, bla, bla, bla. Ask a sales person about EIGRP and he will go, it is the fastest protocol and it will make your network fast, bla, bla, bla. Ask me and I will say it stands for Eh I Got Round Penis.

Moral of the story? Everyone has an opinion about something. Everyone has facts and proof on something (ok maybe I don't have a round penis but we'll leave that to another day). The thing is Eman is coming from a different direction working with Monica on this CCIE Amnesty program. I have seen this response and I can vouch that it is real. Brad on the other hand just fires an email to PR asking whether such a thing exists and of course, PR not knowing anything about it yet will probably do the smart thing which is to deny.

Eman started something to help the CCIEs out of their predicament. Brad refuses to acknowledge that and instead put up a blog post on how 'untrue' this is. If you were a CCIE candidate or a CCIE, who will you prefer to be on your side. Someone who cares and tries to protect your hard-earned CCIE from being killed just because you did something that you were not aware of OR someone who questions your intellectual ability when you make mistakes? You decide which pill you want to take.

By the way, from the Internet, I look up on the word amnesty and from

1. a general pardon for offenses, esp. political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
2. Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole.
3. a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.

There are THREE definitions to it so it can be any one of them. So why is someone yapping about the word amnesty referring to the definition "An undertaking by the authorities to take no action against specified offenses or offenders." ? That definition is one of the many definitions I believe he saw on the dictionary. You need to look at the entire context before making a claim. I rest my case.


ccietrek said...

Hey Nickelby,

I have to disagree with you a bit on the whole amnesty program.

While it is nice that honestly confused CCIEs out there might not get in trouble, I find it hard to think that there are CCIEs out there who honestly didn't think that they were doing something at least a little shady when they rented out their digits to companies that they didn't even work for. What part of "I'll let you use my CCIE number for your company so you can make more money, even though I don't work for you and won't do anything for your company, but you'll pay me money anyways." doesn't raise a little red flag in your mind?

Putting the CCIEs aside, the Cisco partners definitely knew that they were doing something wrong. I don't think that they should get off without some significant penalty.

But let's put all of this aside and let's say that the CCIE amnesty program does its job and the "confused" CCIEs out there get their act together and stop renting out their digits. Once the amnesty program comes to completion, does that mean that it's time to dish out the full penalties to those CCIEs and partners out there who are still breaking the rules? Or is it going to be where things go back to the way that they were and eventually cert renting becomes more and more prevalent, at which point another amnesty program is required? I guess I would like to see an end date to the program along with what will change to make sure that CCIEs are educated to ensure that they know this practice will not be tolerated in the future. That way, this program is only a one-time thing (which is what it should be).

Nickelby said...

Hey Jeff,

Thanks for the reply :-).

I agree with most of what you have said especially on the Cisco partners. By the very least, they should be able to know stuff like this unless Cisco themselves were very vague in the selection process. The channel partners in this case should receive the penalty.

I agree on the fact that honest confused CCIEs should be spared. The amnesty program as far as I know gives a second chance to a CCIE who has rented his/her CCIE without knowing the consequences of it. Hence it will not allow the same person to be 'forgiven' twice. That would defeat the whole purpose of a amnesty program.

On the shady part, we need to realize that there are a number of people who may not be even aware of the whole CCIE certification DO's and DON'Ts. Unfortunately, the DON'Ts part seem to always be the easiest to master.

ccietrek said...

Now that I reread the announcement, I do see that there was a 90 day time period.

I wonder if this is a precursor to a crack down. Or maybe it's just a step to help the CCIEs out there to find some better jobs in a bad economy.

Either way, I hope it succeeds in its stated purpose. It's better for everyone when partners (and CCIEs) play by the rules.