Cisco and Juniper Product Recommendation

Hello Experts,

I have been embarking on getting back up to speed with my networking knowledge in Cisco and Juniper. My knowledge of the IOS on both products is very good. However, I don't really know what hardware products companies are deploying nowadays. Its been a while since I worked in an networking environment. I have simply spent the last 5 months learning on my own lab and virtual labs.

As a result, can some of you experts that are actively working in a networking environment give me some tips on what is being deployed out there and where I can locate the documentation. When I attend job interviews I would like to be able to express my knowledge on popular hardware in both Cisco and Juniper.

What would also be helpful is links for sites that do comparisons between Cisco and Juniper products so that at job interviews I can mention the benefits of a Cisco device over a similar Juniper device and vice versa.

Thanks in advance..


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gsmartinManager of ITCommented:
As an IT Manager and over 20-years as a Network/Systems Engineer myself, I would never be interested in someone knowing the differences between Cisco and Juniper hardware from a product standpoint (Based on marketing material).  What's important is the candidates real world experience in configuring, installing, troubleshooting, managing/administering, and even better architecting networks; as well as getting an understanding of the various networking technologies they've worked with (Routers, (L2/L3) Switches, Wireless Access Points, WAN Optimization, Load Balancer, Firewall appliances, VPN, etc... and routing protocols (EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, etc..), Wi-Fi and VPN configurations, and much more.  Also, does the candidate have the ability to look through a configuration and recommend improvements or potential issues in a router, switch, or firewall config....  I can go on and on...  

It comes down to your practical experience/working knowledge, which are things you can't make up or pretend you know, which a good interviewer will be able to discern.  It's important not to misrepresent yourself and your skill level, but show your positive attributes.  Generally, I don't expect a candidate to know everything, but there are a variety of factors that I consider.  If a candidate doesn't have complete working knowledge of the hardware and technologies my company may be using then I focus on the applicant’s aptitude, resourcefulness, troubleshooting skills, ability to quickly learn,  etc...

These are things  a candidate can't just say they know when they don't have the working knowledge to back it up.  An interviewer(s) will have a series of questions that help filter out practical knowledge vs. book knowledge plus a variety of other things to help determine if a candidate has the aptitude and appropriate qualifications.

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cpatte7372Author Commented:

I feel as though I've been told off.... just joking. Its excellent advice and you can clearly see right through me, and if you can see through me via the written word then an interviewer will see me coming a mile off.

So thanks for your advice, and its advice I will take on board.

Thanks for telling it like it is.

Cheers mate.
gsmartinManager of ITCommented:
No problem.  Just thought I would give you the perspective from a Interviewer (with Network Engineer Background) to help steer you in the right direction.

It's better to know what to expect during an interview than to think you know what an interviewer wants to hear.   This is especially significant when they're expecting you to talk about your practical experience, but the substance you're providing is marketing material.  

I wish you well in your pursuit!

FYI... Posted IT positions tend to reference Brands and models (or series) of hardware they expect you to support as well as other details on supported technologies (i.e. routed and routing protocols, VPN, Wi-Fi, etc...) they expect you to understand and be able to appropriately support.
cpatte7372Author Commented:
Thanks again.

I have picked up on few sites what employers are deploying

Anyway, really appreciate the rude awakening.

cpatte7372Author Commented:
Real eye opener

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