As that inimitable and always sly soothsayer, Yogi Berra, once said: "It's like deja vu, all over again," when it comes to chart-topping IT skills and technical areas for 2016. There are some recurring themes here to be sure, but also some newer technologies that promise to take up residence on the short list of what's hot for next year.
Recently, I've been tasked with designing and crafting a series of articles on talent development over at Tom's IT Pro, and it's led me into a whole new realm of IT-related learning, training, and certification concerns. Not only is there a professional association devoted to this topic -- with its own branded certification -- there's a whole discipline behind the topic that unites management, HR, and IT functions behind the idea of providing access to learning and training after an IT person joins an organization, with an eye toward keeping them focused on present and future technology needs, and being ready, willing, and able to make the most of them.
Yes, although Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) have been out and about in the technology space for more than three years now, and plenty of major players offer interesting products and services in this vein, I'm still seeing enough of a gap between technology makers and service providers hawking these wares, and companies taking up such offers, to provide continuing ground for concern. This goes double for basic training and certification on SDN and NFV, where the number of options and offerings come nowhere near the number of players jockeying for advantage on this playing field.
In the wake of last week's news about the Open Networking Foundations two upcoming SDN credentials, I decided to revisit the overall landscape for Software Defined Networking certifications, and was both surprised and a little frustrated to find that things haven't changed much in this neck of the certification woods. Read on for a quick listing of what's out there, and what's coming.
The Open Networking Foundation, or ONF, has been working its way toward a pair of SDN certifications for about a year now, and has just announced their cert blueprint (open for public inspection and comment) and a timetable to get to production certification exams and credentials. I'm tickled to death to see a committed, open, vendor-neutral approach to SDN start to gain significant traction in the cert world.
A recent flurry of reports via Experian, through its data breach resolution arm, in tandem will well-known security research firm the Ponemon Institute, paint a depressing portrait of the data breach landscape -- especially for firms involved in handling customer credit and other sensitive data. The moral of the story turns out to be a combination of ongoing education for security firms and data handlers alike, along with a profound need for preparation in advance of data breaches before they occur.
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Over the years, it's been interesting to watch the Cisco Learning Center grow and evolve to better meet the needs of IT professionals pursuing that company's often-coveted certification credentials. Of all the many things that Cisco does right with its cert programs, the company's "Study/Learn Master List" is second to none when it comes to helping interested parties find their way to the right exams, objectives, training, and study/prep materials. If you don't know about this already, you should; if you do know about it, you might want to head back to give it another look, as numerous exams have been (or will be) updated or replaced in the very near future.
In last week's blog, I advised readers that they could find revised content for that portion of the PITC site known as "Ed Tittel's IT Certification Success." In this blog, I dig into some details on the 2014 Cert Rankings, and provide a working link through which to access that content.