Interview With Martin Voelk: CTO ProNetExpert

It is my pleasure to introduce Martin Voelk, CTO of ProNetExpert and Instructor at CCDEBOOPTCAMP.Thank you very much Larry. Pleasure to be here.

Tell us about ProNetExpert & CCDEBOOTCAMP
ProNetExpert is almost 4 years old now and I was one of the founders of the company. We specialize in Cisco Consulting & Cisco Training Solutions and are a Cisco Learning Partner Associate as well as a Cisco Premier Partner company. 2 of the founding members are CCIE certified, so I would say we have a fairly technical management which helps us in understanding customer requirements from both the commercial as well as from the technical angle. We have started our CCDE Bootcamps in 2009. Reason? Excitement about a new Expert Certification focusing on Network Design. We were the first company to ever run a CCDE Bootcamp worldwide.

What got you into the networking world?
Good question! I am actually from a Telecommunications Background. When “The Internet” took off in Europe in the Mid 1990s, I more or less accidentally got involved in a huge ISDN Data roll out project in Germany and I guess that’s when I first got in touch with Cisco. I was fascinated by the new medium and decided to start a career in Cisco Networking. Over the years and prior to ProNetExpert I have worked as a freelancing Network Engineer and Consultant for ISPs, Banks, Governments, Cisco Partners and Cisco Learning Partners.

Does CCDEBOOTCAMP plan to offer classes in the U.S?
Absolutely. We have plans to open an office in the US in 2011. At the moment our main focus is the UK and mainland Europe, but we certainly will offer CCDE Classes in the US in due course.

How long has CCDEBOOTCAMP been teaching the CCDE classes? Is the instructor for the bootcamps a CCDE?
Our first CCDE Written boot camp took place in June 2009 in the UK. We have then delivered a written and a practical bootcamp for a large Service Provider in-house in September 2009 and in November 2009 we ran the first public schedule class. Our instructor, Radu Hambasan is a fully certified CCDE. He brings  a wealth of real world Design Experience into the classroom. He only got into the training business, because we asked him to. When he isn’t teaching, he is designing large fortune 500 networks.

Having sat the CCDE practical exam yourself, do you have any words of advice for those of us that have not taken it yet?
Learn how to read fast and separate the important from non-important information. I must also say that it’s not a textbook exam. Real world experience (especially in Enterprise or Service Provider Networks) is key. It’s all about the “why” and not about how to configure it. This can be quite challenging for real techies.

I’m sure that we can all appreciate a deal in these times; do you have any special offers for readers of this blog?
We always have deals on. Some are made public on the website, some are on a case-by-case basis. Just contact us and see what have on offer. We usually do group discounts and combo offers, but also have a few nice deals in there for individuals.

Any parting items you would like to discuss?
I’m waiting for the CCDE exam results (2 – 3 months) is a stressful experience. Unlike with the CCIE lab exam, you will need to wait a long time before you receive the results.
I wish everybody the best of luck in their CCDE preparation efforts and look forward to see some of you on our classes.

Martin can be reached at

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Martin.
Stay tuned – I will be doing an interview with Radu Hambasan – CCDE #20090002 and CCDEBOOTCAMP instructor.

Larry Hadrava
CCIE #12203

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