How the Fuel Sacramento Chapter Formed a PCNSE Study Group

Posted by Fuel HQ on Jan 30, 2019 1:21:36 PM

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

By Raphael Carrillo, Fuel Sacramento Chapter Lead

business-conference-learning-7095During our June Fuel Chapter preparation meeting, held between Roger Schotsal and myself, the conversation of getting a study group to prepare for the Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE) certification came up. We thought of it as a small get together with some folks to see how we could prepare to take the test. We agreed that the best way to market that was at our Fuel Chapter meeting. We announced it at the end of the gathering and it seemed that people were interested.  


We followed that with a post in our Fuel chapter site asking who would like to join. The responses were overwhelming, with over 50 emails from individuals asking to be part of the journey. Roger and I were blown away by how many people wanted to participate in the study group.  Roger proceeded to create a curriculum and secure a venue for us to gather. We announced to the folks that had reached out and established a start date of September 17.

But let’s step back for a moment – what is the importance of the certification? For the Next Generation Firewall circle, this is a prestigious certificate. This lets us show that we have the knowledge needed to support leading-edge technology. It can open many doors, as well as help you advance in your current role. In our study group, it was great to see that like-minded people wanted to work at getting the certificate. The group also created an atmosphere of trust and bonding, where we all knew we were aiming for the same goal.

The journey was a great one. As pioneers of a Fuel PCNSE study group, we got to experience what worked and what needed improvement before taking the test. The biggest lesson I learned was that you must do the work and put in the time. It’s great to get advice and tips, but you must follow through and study on the side. The best part of the process was that we were all asking questions, sharing data and day-to-day scenarios that tied in with the class. I was surprised that from beginning to end we never had less than 30 people attend class.

We encourage other chapters to start this program, as many benefits come along with it – knowledge, networking with peers and understanding that there are more of you out there that want to get the certification.

Our first time around has been an immense success, and we plan on doing another run in 2019 with an improved schedule of classes and updated content. I am looking forward to seeing unfamiliar faces, as well as returning folks that want to help us keep succeeding with the program. More to come!

Fuel Chapters are a hub for local resources and insights. Interested in joining a Fuel chapter near you? Learn more here

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