Designed for Greatness

Its Sunday and my typical morning would be to go for a quick walk/run, look after the garden and go to Church. Be home by lunch, the rest of the day would either be back to the garden if nothing out of the normal is happening and prepare whatever needs preparation for the beginning of the week.

One might argue, why would I be thinking of work on a Sunday? Which reminds me of another question I received another day about being content with my previous job whom I have left just have eight months of being employed and jumped into a Solutions Architect role.

Here’s my simple answer, my goal is I need to be a better version of myself 365 days after. I believe that if I want to live life to the fullest, to be happy and successful, I need to improve on my health, relationship, skills, finances etc. As good as what life seem to be now, in a year’s time it would all be obsolete. Pretty much like technology.

What has this got to do with preparing for the week ahead? By preparing ahead of time of the things I can do ahead of time, I am setting up myself for success. I decrease the chance of being reactive and be more pro-active with work and life. Like what I’ve previously learnt in cooking school, its all about the prep. Ideally the preparation for cooking a great dish takes longer than the execution of actually cooking it during service time.

Going back to the question of contentment. We should know by now, we are not designed to be content. I may not know your journey but I have an idea where I want to take mine. I have this urge to put myself in stretch moments and when opportunities arise to have them I go for it. I could be a Network Engineer until I retire or be happy managing a group of Network Engineer but I know I am not just designed that way.

We are all designed for greatness, to what extent is what I am trying to find out for myself every single day.


Well this exam is not really something to brag about but its still a win. It is for the Alcatel-Lucent Qualified Presales, as you can tell it just say Qualified which is a pre-requisite to getting the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Presales Certfied (ACPS). Think of it as taking a CCNA exam where this is equivalent to ICND1.

As I am fairly new to the Alcatel-Lucent world though I’ve had some experience working with some PBX solutions from Cisco and delved into Asterisk (I have my own asterisk setup at phone with sip phones etc) but each vendor what their own proprietary technology. There’s a learning curve for me learning legacy technology.

So to pass the exam, you’d have to go through the ALE business portal and access the knowledge hub. From there access the online training material which on a good day, you can finish within a few hours. For me I had to go through it twice and within the web tutorials, it would give you a link to download more reading materials.

From the same portal, it will give you the link to take the test. Yes, this is not a PearsonVue controlled exam. It is roughly 40mins from memory. The exam itself reminded me of the Vmware VCA exam. Sure it can be open book but the questions, most of them weren’t covered in the online course itself. In saying that, it was probably covered in one of the documents you are asked to download and read.

I barely passed the exam, if it weren’t for some fundamentals that I’ve learned from Cisco I don’t think I would pass this exam.

Oh well on to the next exam and most likely would take my time reading through the downloadable printed materials.

Failing a Cert (ALE ACFE LAN)

This week I was in Sydney Australia for a week particularly at the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise headquarters. I was there to attend a course on their switch, wireless and management platform.

I have gone through training courses from the past from other vendors where what would usually be a 3-day course is compressed into a days course. Like this one, the switching course originally was a 5 day course compressed into a day while the wireless and management course a 3-day course jammed packed into one. Well in my case, the wireless course only for 4 hours as I had to fly back to Brisbane that afternoon and to duct traffic had to leave shortly after lunch and by-passed most of the labs.

The week course also included a certification exam which is the Alcatel-Lucent Field Engineer LAN (ACFE) which is their equivalent of Cisco’s CCNA RS. So imagine, for 3.5 days had to cram all these information about a certain vendor including their wireless technology and taking an exam after it.

I told myself, sure how hard can it be. I relied on my experience and fundamentals thinking that it would carry me through to another vendor certification under my belt. Well, in summary it was like the BCNE experience. I failed! Not miserably in comparible to the Brocade exam but I still failed. Passing score was 75% and I got 63%. Exam was 45mins and can be done from home. Yes it was open book, google all you want and what did I do? I winged it and hit the ground face first with a shameful story to write as a blog post.

I have emailed Alcatel in the hopes that I would be granted another attempt and this time would have to go through all 900+ pages of the material to make sure I don’t do it again. Definitely the guys at work would be asking me about it come Monday and dredding to tell all about it. Oh well…