A lot has happened this year, including a employer change, new family addition, and new certifications. The employer I work for now has a huge Juniper presense which allowed me to grow my CLI skills with a different vendor besides just Cisco. In order to take full advantage of this change, I went ahead and knocked out a few of Juniper's lower level certifications. I took and passed both the JNCIA and JNCIS-ENT this past summer to help vet my new learned skillset.
Along with Juniper we're also rolling out our own NGFW's that rivals many competitors such as Palo Alto. Not only have I had an opportunity to get more hands on experience with our firewalls, I have the chance to administer Juniper SRX's and Palo Alto's which has been very challenging but engaging.
In my past roles I never had much of a chance to deal with network load balancers which always bugged me. While I played around with Cisco ACE's (now extinct) I didn't find them very intuitive with a weird learning curve. This year I've had the chance to deploy and implement virtual F5's using their LTM and GSLB modules. I only touched the GSLB (DNS Load Balancing) very lightly but I did get some great experience with LTM (De-facto Server Load Balancing).
To end the year off, our first little one arrived, which meant that I didn't want to dig to deep into the certification world right now. Instead I'm now diving into Python so that I can script some of the repeatable stuff I do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. I'm very noobish but with a help of a fellow colleague, we're starting to make some useful stuff.
Check out my github link to the right ---> I'll be keeping this updated as time goes on and my skill level increases. Hope everyone has a happy holidays, I'm excited for what the next year will bring!