Just Start!

Here we are. This is my first blog post and my first step into a major challenge I decided to go into. But first, who am I? My name is Gabriele, I’m a 24 years old guy from Italy with a passion for Network Engineering. During my studies I’ve achieved something I’m really proud of, like winning the Europen Borderless Challenge from Cisco and the Silicon Valley Study Tour competition. I’ve also achieved the CCNA certification (now expired) and a Bachelor Degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Catania (I’m in the last year of my Msc right now).

What is Project:Me10?

It is a “personal development” project lasting 10 months. During this period of time I will try to improve my skills and knowledge to reach my biggest dream right now: obtain a networking related internship on a big company like Facebook, Google, Cisco, Dropbox, Juniper, Arista, HP, Ericsson, Amazon, Ebay, LinkedIn, Yahoo or VMware.

How is it structured?

Being a medium term goal, I think the best approach to pursue it is to divide the long journey into smaller milestones and try to reach them instead, one after the other. I decided to identify 5 milestones:

  1. Pass the JNCIA certification exam.
  2. Pass the JNCIS certification exam.
  3. Spend at least 350 hours studying and labbing topics like TCP/IP, OSPF, ISIS, BGP, MPLS, FHRP and Layer 2 protocols.
  4. Spend at least 350 hours studying and practicing technology like Python, Shell scripting, Linux and other automation related stuff.
  5. Obtain the internship.

I decided to switch from Cisco to Juniper certifications because the latter is much more cheaper than the former and because I already have a general knowledge of Cisco IOS and it will be useful to know another vendor as well. Probably, I will still study something from Cisco books (like the “Routing TCP/IP” and “MPLS Fundamentals”), but I don’t have plan to pass any Cisco related certification (due to their high cost).

Why Project:Me10?

I decided to open this blog for 2 main reasons:

  • It will help me to track my progress
  • There is no such thing around on the net. There are tens of blogs and websites about how to start a career in Software Engineering and tens of books about interview preparation as well, but almost nothing exists for Network Engineering track (especially regarding early stages). For this reason, I’ll also try to post some interview to networking pros and former interns from the companies above so that this blog would be helpful for all those people like me who dream big but don’t really know where to start.

I’m aware I’m trying something really difficult, where odds of “success” are very low but I want to enjoy the journey. I will never know, if I don’t try.

“A Year from Now You May Wish You Had Started Today”


  1. donotdare · June 11, 2015

    Good luck, I too found it very beneficial to have a blog about the change and the way towards your goals. It’s a good way to keep you focused as everything is out there for people to see


    • nexthub · June 11, 2015

      Many thanks for your comment.
      You’re right, it also helps my motivation thanks to my friends support and feedback 🙂


  2. Pingback: A Cisco, a Juniper, a Vyatta Router…and an Ansible’s Playbook | project:me10
  3. Nico · October 5, 2015

    What do you mean when you say the Cisco certifications are too expensive? Do you just mean it’s expensive to take their certification tests?


    • gabrielegerbino · October 5, 2015

      Exactly. I’d need almost 1k Euro to obtain a CCNP (starting from nothing).


      • Nico · October 7, 2015

        Is there a school offering Cisco Networking Academy courses near you? I’m taking those classes in the U.S. (some of them are free here in my city) and when you finish certain classes you get discounts on the vouchers to take the certification exams (I think they’ve been about 60% off).


  4. gabrielegerbino · October 7, 2015

    There are some courses like those near me, but unfortunately they are available only for high school students 😦


  5. Pingback: Project:Me10 – 40% Completed | project:me10
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