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Thanks Cave of Programming

Andy Davis

June 16, 2023

Thanks Cave of Programming

Thanks John Purcell

The Cisco Disco

How did I get into coding? I was a network engineer, I enjoyed my job but I had come to a fork in the road. Cisco certifications are important in the networking world, especially to get past recruitment consultants and actually get an interview at that job you want.


There are 4 levels:

  • CCENT (Entry Level)
  • CCNA (Associate Level)
  • CCNP (Professional Level)
  • CCIE (Master Level)

I had powered through to the CCNP level and had re-certified at that level 3 times. I didn’t want to go to the CCIE level. The CCIE is basically a PHD in cisco equipment. The people I know who went for CCIE would spend a whole year studying to prep for the exam, they’d then take a week’s leave, fly across the country, book a hotel room, pay $2000 to sit the exam (and maybe another $1000 for the hotel). Most people pass on their 3rd attempt, so it can be 2 or 3 years of dogged determination to get it.

What’s the reward? Not much. My salary was already on about what you’d get as a CCIE, back in the 1990s you would be on mega-bucks with a CCIE, but unfortunately it’s not the 90s anymore. The one aspect that I did find attractive was that the CCIE is the highest ranking networking certification around. If you have a CCIE you can say you are a master at networking, which I have always respected.

Was there an alternative? Yes. Coding. It'd be a safer bet to spend 2 years learning coding and gain entry to a whole new industry, rather than bash my brains against the CCIE rock. Not to mention software developers can earn more, work from home and possibly sell their skills on the internet by making apps and stuff.

So I went to Udemy to look for coding courses and a Java course by John Purcell caught my eye. It was free, so I thought - why not give it a go?

"Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners" - John Purcell

Look how far I have come!

I really enjoyed John's laid back style of instructions, and how he broke everything down into small chunks.

Studying a video or two every night, I completed the course in a couple months and never looked back. Although, I am sorry to say I branched out by learning JavaScript, Python, C# and never went fully back to Java (Sorry John).

I do still dabble every now and then though!

Anyway, here I am now, 5 years later coding my own website! Creating an ASP API backend, MySQL database and NextJS frontend to show off my coding skills. Look how far I have come!

Enter The Cave of Programming

John's personal website "Cave of Programming" has continued to be updated and I've often wandered past. Cave of Programming

He has recently also launched a "Cave of Python" blog as well. Cave of Python

I recommend you take a look if you have time!