Why did you decide to become a Fortinet Certified Trainer and how has your role evolved?
I was a trainer for another firewall vendor before I started training on Fortinet. I have always loved to train people; to share my passion and knowledge and when I was introduced to Fortinet in 2003, I felt it was a great product so I was keen to add it to my training portfolio.
As Fortinet developed its training and programs, BOLL adopted their products. I was one of the first FCTs from a partner organization to become certified. All the training and product support that I had completed made me well prepared and ready for certification in 2005.
Over time, BOLL became bigger and very successful in Switzerland with Fortinet. The demand for training grew to a point that I couldn’t manage it myself. Luckily, I had some great System Engineers at my side and I asked them to start Fortinet training. I shared my experiences with them; what I was doing and how I was doing it. Soon, they joined the FCT program and we’re now a team of four FCTs at BOLL.
Advanced and Technical Cybersecurity Training for Security Professionals
What do you view as the most important part of training?
To make training interesting you have to tell a story so your learners understand why they are learning and why it’s important to learn. The goal is that they really learn the product. How is it working? How is it designed? What is the background? How was it made? They need all this general knowledge to truly understand the product. This requires real-life experiences that you can share and bring into the classroom. I do not want my time fully dedicated to training. If I did, I wouldn’t have the experiences to share with students. The combination of being a Support Engineer and a teacher provides a lot of synergy.
I work to bring students to their desired certification levels but I feel the most important achievement is that students truly learn, understand and know the products that I’m teaching. At the end of the day, I need well-trained people – not just people who were really good at passing their certification levels. Certification is needed and is very important to validate knowledge. The goal is not to teach people how to answer questions but to configure things themselves, set up a FortiGate themselves, know where to find documentation, etc.
What’s the greatest benefit of NSE Training for your students?
For an employer here in Europe, and in particular Switzerland, it’s very difficult to find highly skilled and trained cybersecurity personnel. If you’re well trained and you are certified, it’s easy to get a job with a good salary.
If you are a reseller and you have a well-trained employee that is good at installing FortiGate, this builds success for the reseller and for Boll, the distributor. The ability to properly demonstrate the product and install it correctly is critical. If you’re not knowledgeable and the end-user sees that you’re not successful, then that will leave a bad impression of the product and the reseller. We don’t want that. It’s critical that our resellers are trained to manage the products they are selling.
Find out more about how Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and NSE Training Institute programs, including the Certification Program, Security Academy Program and Veterans Program, are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.