Passed my AZ-500 - Aug 2024

Nick, Fethi and Myself all got together a few times a month in person to study Azure. We were also studying 3-5 days a week together on Discord sharing our screens, notes and going through labs together.

Passed my AZ-700 - Aug 2024

We studied for both the AZ-700 and AZ-500 at the same time as we believed Azure Networking and Azure Security are two topics that go hand in hand.

Check out the 2 videos where we talk more about our experience and preparation.

Becoming a Software / DevOps Engineer

In June 2021 I started my career as a Site Reliability/DevOps Engineer for If you visit that site, you'll notice the company doesn't exist anymore. It was a startup company, I was a part of a small team of 4 engineers. I created nginx, gluster, nagios, rabbitmq deploy yamls, config yamls, dockerfiles within our GitHub repos. I helped setup physical HP ILO servers, Ubiquiti switches and Cumulus Top rack routers in Texas, Calgary and Toronto. I started writing Python and Bash scripts for custom CRON jobs, Systemd timers, Nagios monitoring custom configs and Ansible playbooks.

In Nov 2021 after the fall of the previous startup company, I joined a big corp in CGI. Where I focused on migrating over 10,000 Zabbix Production servers over the next year and a half. It was crazy. Zabbix monitored everything from SNMP, routers, switches, VMware SMARTS Assurance, Kubernetes clusters, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, MacOS, firewalls. It connected with Grafana, Prometheus, RabbitMQ, Kafka, Azure, AWS, Ansible, Terraform. There was an endless amount of custom scripts in Python, C, Rust, Bash, custom templates, triggers, groups, ports. I had no idea how massive and complex an infrastructure could be until I saw everything that Zabbix connected to. At CGI I worked on a daily basis with all the popular/mainstream DevOps tools. I got exposure to serverless computing with AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Run, Next3 JavaScript Containers, Firebase, SurrealDB, Cockroach Serverless, Datadog.

In Jan 2023 I landed a contract as a Software Engineer focused on Azure DevOps platform. I write C#, Powershell and JSON for serverless functions hosting web applications, for PowerBI reports and analytics and PostgreSQL/MongoDB updates.
Another exciting part about this Software Engineer role is getting to work with Terraform every day. I setup HCLs repos from provider blocks, and it's a lot of fun.

I helped my friend.

I coached Nick on his interview skills, resume and cv building, LinkedIn marketing.

We created hours of Live Study sessions on my YouTube channel on Terraform, AWS, Shell Scripting and Python.

Nick was able to successfully land a 120k salary Cloud Engineer remote position at Accenture in Chicago.

Thank you Nick for making me a testimonial video!

I helped Nick for free, and I have helped over 500 people in my Discord community over the last few years.

Join us anytime to reach out for help, we are always growing together.

Linux Udemy Course

I released my first course on Udemy. 

33 videos, 7 hours of content.

Labs, walkthroughs, interview tips on the following subjects:

Linux Distribution types, File structure, Process theory, Containerization, Security, Ansible, Configuration Management, Virtualization, Shell Scripting, Bash, Oracle Virtual Box, VMware, Busybox, Httpd, Networking, Operating Systems.

CCNP 300-410 ENARSI - Jul 3rd 2022

CCNP 350-401 ENCOR - Jul 24th 2022

I started studying for my CCNP since I got CCNA certified back in September 2022. 

Over the last 2 years, I've been mostly focusing on work, azure and python, but on the side I've been doing my best staying up to date with Cisco technologies and labs.

For the CCNA, I got away with just using Packet Tracer, however for the CCNP there are many features such as External BGP routing which doesn't work properly in Packet Tracer, so I ended up switching to GNS3, Boson Exam Simulation and I even bought a few used 3750 Catalyst PoE Switches and a couple Cisco 2911 Routers

I've been working as a Cloud Engineer/SRE/DevOps for the last 2 years, so many have argued that the CCNPs are irrelevant. I disagree, because I've noticed in my field that everything still fundamentally comes down to networking. 

During Zabbix migration on production servers - it's important to know and understand the network, different SNMP communities, IP address types, ports and access control policies.

During Azure provisioning with Terraform - it's important to know and understand the Network and Application security groups and how to organize/setup the different NICs, Subnets, Rules, Groups, Access Lists in each Azure Tenant within the Resource Groups.

During Kubernetes Horizontal Scaling for Proxy containers - it's important to know and understand how servers route between the different IP's, Floating IP's in droplets in the cloud environment in order to ensure everything works as intended.

So for these reasons - I decided to pursue my studies with CCNP even though I'm not a Network Engineer.

As far as lifestyle - my life was much different studying for the CCNP vs the CCNA.

With the CCNA I was completely broke, struggling, new to IT, still trying to find my way in the world.

With the CCNP I was making good money, living comfortably, much more seasoned and experienced, which leads me to a conclusion that the CCNA was mentally and spiritually more difficult than the CCNP, but the CCNP was technically more advanced and difficult.

In order to become CCNP - I had to take 2 separate exams. ENARSI focusing on fundamentals and deep advanced learning on routing and switching, and the ENCOR getting into a more generalized mix of Security, Cloud, Automation, Security, Routing and Switching, Cisco Technologies.

My study sources:

Cloud Ruler Temple

Network Chuck

Jeremy Cioara

Udemy Courses


reddit forums

YouTube videos

Network Engineer Academy

BOSON Exam Sim

GNS3/Packet Tracer

You can view my certification here:

CCNP Certified



Cisco Certified Network Associate

CCNA 200-301 - Sep 14th, 2020

This was the toughest exam I've ever taken in my life. Through Highschool, College, Driving lessons - the CCNA was the hardest one.

It took me overall 2 years and I passed it on my 3rd try.

This was one of the biggest obstacles I've faced in my life. When I started my journey I read many forums, watched a lot of videos and talked to people all saying it takes about 4 months to 10 months to get this certification, so I began my journey.

First thing I needed  to set right was my attitude, my discipline and my mindset.

Before this I would go to sleep when I felt like it and I woke up when I felt like it, but for the CCNA, I had to be in bed by 9pm, and I had to wake up at 4am. Of course many mornings I turned my alarm off and went back to sleep until 7. But through persistence and repetition it started to become easier. I spent about 30-50 hours a week doing Packet Tracer labs, GNS3 labs, I even bought a physical Cisco 3750 Catalyst Switch and a 2911 Cisco Router to do physical labs.

I was also working through this time, and living on my moms couch. So after waking up at 4am most mornings to study, at 7am I would have to walk to the bus stop in Calgary, meanwhile it was -30 degrees Celsius outside for a good 6 months. 

It was a 10 minute walk to the bus stop, during this walk, I would have 2 pairs of pants, 3 sweaters, a jacket, and my face was wrapped up in a scarf. During these walks I would have many conversations with myself about the meaning of life and why I even existed on such a cold, dreadful planet. I wondered a lot whether or not I was in the right career path. It was a non-stop battle against my self-loathing thoughts.

Once I got on the bus, it was a 15 minute ride to Crowfoot, and from there I got on the C-Train where I would sometimes fall asleep and miss my stop... that's a story for another day.

After 6 months, I was feeling confident. I could open up my CCNA texbook by Todd Lammle - 2nd edition, and I could flip to any page, any topic, you name it, and I could design a network environment to troubleshoot, configure and manage it. So I booked the test with PearsonVUE. It cost $395 USD, as a Canadian our dollar is weak so it cost me $500 at the time.

A week went by anxiously waiting for my exam date, finally, today was the day. I finished my job for the day, I got on the C-Train to SAIT College; the PearsonVUE testing center. I went into a big classroom full of computers, they asked for my phone, jacket, wallet, backpack. They took pictures of me and my ID, and gave me a guest login to the computer.

The test begins, my palms are sweaty, knees weak arms are heavy, moms spaghetti...

The first question: Drag and Drop: I see Ansible, Ruby, Chef, Puppet, Manifest, Playbooks... What??? I never heard any of these words in my life? I swear I read through every page of that CCNA text book. I went through all the videos on that Udemy course! 

By the end of the exam I got a score of 224. Passing score 850. Brutal.
Whatever, I kind of expected to fail my first attempt anyway. I shrugged it off, I did my best to remember all the things I didn't recognize and looked it up when I got home.

I kept studying fiercely for the next 6 months again. - And again, I failed. 

I gave up. Back came the self-loathing thoughts. I gave up on my study schedule, I gave up on my self help books. I started going to bed at 1am again, waking up with just enough time to brush my teeth and get dressed for the cold weather. 

About 6 months went by where I didn't really do anything. And then something happened. COVID-19, the world shuts down! We all go into lockdown, and I'm sitting at home for a week straight twiddling my thumbs and thought "Hey, how about that CCNA? I got this..."

Maybe the break helped, because when I came back to it, everything seemed more clear, more familiar, and when I took the exam for the 3rd time, the questions made more sense, everything just clicked more in my brain. I passed by the hairs on my chin, but I am now CCNA certified, and that's what counts.

My study sources:

Cloud Ruler Temple

Network Chuck

Jeremy Cioara

Udemy Courses

reddit forums

YouTube videos

Network Engineer Academy

You can view my certification here:

Azure Architect Technologies 

AZ-303 - May 11th, 2021

This is the second hardest exam I've done since the CCNA.

Funny enough, the hardest part that I struggled with was the permissions. 

Microsoft has a very great framework called "User of Least Privilege". This means you only give users just enough permissions to do their job and nothing more. This is very effective and has great security purposes, however Azure has over 100 different roles you can give users with all sorts of different rankings in authorization levels for different functions. It was incredibly confusing at times figuring out the differences between an Application Administrator vs Application Developer. Or Authentication Administrator vs Authentication Policy Administrative, I mean wow! I still don't know what the differences are, please contact me if you can explain the differences to me.

Asides from that, the rest of the topics were very fun. Scaling virtual machine scale sets and creating automatic/dynamic scaling rules was great and reminded me of ElasticStack. Lots of different storage types like Table storage, simple storage, blob storage. Databases like CosmosDB, coding, scriping with C#, Powershell, Python, Bash, JSON.
Lots of topics on Docker, Kubernetes, containerization.

A big part was software defined networking, subnetting, BGP, peering - wow! This all brought back fond memories of when I was working towards my CCNA.

My study sources:

Cloud Ruler Temple

reddit forums

YouTube videos

You can view my certification here:

Azure Administrator 

AZ-104 - Feb 21st, 2021

After my intense battle with the CCNA (The story is right under this one) - The AZ-104 was a trivial certificate to obtain.

I had a lot of fun inside

Setting up Tenants, Azure AD, users, groups, software defined networking, virtual NICs, virtual routers, virtual switches, application gateways, firewall, network security groups, virtual machines, mass provisioning, Azure Shell with Bash, Powershell and C#. This was all a lot of fun, I noticed that much of my knowledge from the CCNA surprisingly transferred over to the Azure cloud. 

This is where I started realizing how much Cisco networking plays into literally everything else. Networking is truly the backbone to Infrastructure, security, networking, developing, coding, automation, DevOps, Cloud, virtualization, you name it!

My study sources:

Cloud Ruler Temple

reddit forums

YouTube videos

You can view my certification here:

Azure Fundamentals

AZ 900 - Jun 1st, 2020

Azure Fundamentals was a fun topic. It was a general, "Big Picture" overview of what the "Cloud" is, why it's important and what Microsoft is trying to educate about it. I passed this exam first try.

My study sources:

Cloud Ruler Temple

reddit forums

YouTube videos

You can view my certification here:

The College I Attended Published An Article About Me!

Check it out: