Wendell Odom

Founder, Certskills

Wendell has been a networker focused layer 1-3 technologies since his first IT job. The job roles have varied - pre-sales engineer, post-sales technical support, network engineer, consultant, teacher, and book author – but the jobs all related to network infrastructure.

Wendell has always been interested in helping others learn, so many of his job roles included teaching as a part of the job. For instance, one job at IBM included the responsibility to learn pre-release TCP/IP products, create labs, and then teach hands-on skills to networking specialists near the product release date. Another example: He also taught a large number of Cisco authorized courses over the years (routing, switching, ATM , SNA, QoS, SAN, MPLS…).

Wendell currently works for himself, writing books and blogging. He has written introductory networking textbooks, and certification books from CCENT to CCIE, including the ICND1 and ICND2 Cert Guides from Cisco Press.

For fun, he’s been getting into the latest big networking transition related to SDN and NFV. As for fun away from work, Wendell loves hanging with the family, hiking in the woods, reading, and watching futbol.

More from Wendell, and find links to blogs, at: www.certskills.com and @WendellOdom


October 23, 2017


New DevNet Learning Module, “Home Lab: Setting up Your Desktop OS for Network Programmability”

5 min read

Hey, you networkers out there. (Yes, it’s a little weird – I’m talking to networkers in a blog post at a site where a lot of Developers hang out.) Remember the short struggle when you first learned about Cisco devices? What cable to use to connect to the console? What drivers to add to make […]

June 26, 2017


New DevNet Learning Track: Build Your Home Lab to Learn about Network Programmability

4 min read

What should an engineer add in their home lab to make it a good learning environment for learning about network programmability?

November 2, 2015


Getting Started in Cisco’s DevNet

7 min read

Mark Watney is “The Martian”, in case you haven’t heard. In the movie, he’s a Botanist stranded on Mars. But in the book, he’s first a mechanical engineer, and a botanist as his second skillset. It’s hard to if he’s an engineer-botanist or a botanist-engineer, but he’s a pretty cool guy. Think McGuyver with better […]

April 20, 2015


4+1 Practices for Effective Lifelong IT Learning (Part 2)

6 min read

Happy with how you go about learning, or wish you could learn more, learn more quickly, and even just do it? Today’s post continues what was begun in the previous post, namely a list of good practices to consider to improve how you go about learning throughout your IT career. The previous post set up […]

April 6, 2015


4+1 Practices for Effective Lifelong IT Learning (Part 1)

9 min read

The debate of what we should be learning seems to be a more frequent topic today. For instance, there’s been a long-standing question for each new networker: after learning a little about routing and switching, does a relative newbie dive deep into route/switch? Move on to learn voice? Or security? Data Center? Or for emerging […]

August 25, 2014


Value of Cisco Certifications: Making Money Vs. Study

7 min read

Imagine that you see a Tweet today inviting you to apply for a part-time networking job, something you can do in addition to your normal job. You appear to be qualified for the job, and the work looks interesting as well. However, it requires enough of your time so that you would have to set […]