CCDE – My journey to becoming a design guru begins now

It took me a couple of months to decide whether I should pursue another CCIE or to go in another direction. After debating between the different tracks I chose to move in another direction and dive into the design/architecture path. Today, I start my journey to becoming a Cisco Certified Design Expert.

As per wiki: “The CCDE identifies network professionals who have expert network design skills. CCDE focuses on network architecture and does not cover implementation and operations. CCDE supplies a vendor-neutral curriculum, testing business requirements analysis, design, planning, and validation practices.” This certification seems like the best choice for me right now as I try and transition into an architecture/lead engineer role.


One of the things I have learned from my CCIE studies is that you need a plan but you should also take it one step at a time. Following that mentality, I will only plan the upcoming months of study and adapt from there. For the next 2 months, my study schedule for this exam will be as follow:

Reading list:

BGP design and implementation

Optimal routing design

Definitive MPLS design

Video List:

BRKRST-2336 – EIGRP Deployment in Modern Networks

BRKRST-2042 Highly Available Wide Area Network Design

BRKRST-2335 IS-IS Network Design and Deployment

BRKSEC-4054 DMVPN Deployment Model

BRKRST-2310 Deploying OSPF in a Large Scale Network

BRKRST-3051 – Core Network Design: Minimizing Packet Loss with IGPs and MPLS

I will be writing blogs on the different technologies and topics covered in the CCDE. Hopefully this blog will stay informative and relevant throughout my journey.


  1. Great blog, interesting decision to continue with ccde instead of branching out, what is your take in other technologies like virtualization for networking professionals, would be interesting to hear your rationality about pursuing another ccie cert.

    Best of luck!

    1. I think it’s really up to you and what you feel passionate about. I really wanted to know “why” I should implement all the technologies I have been studying for the CCIE. If you think about it, the CCIE never tells you why you should implement for example a L3 VPN backbone rather than GRE over vrf lite or a DMVPN network rather than FlexVPN. The CCDE is more about putting all the pieces together for me. Maybe after the CCDE, I will explore virtualization and other technologies.

  2. Hi, I’m a forum member on tech exams and I am very intrigued by your story of spending so many years in the military which you gained valuable networking experience in harsh environments, well done to you!

    I’m going to be studying the CCNA, do you think I will need 18 months work experience doing network admin to get into that first network engineer job?

    What are your tips?

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