Ethan Banks On productivity.

Narbik’s Bootcamp Round 2 Comments


Coming back for a second round of bootcamp with Narbik Kocharians has definitely been worth it. Hearing his lectures a second time has been good reinforcement, plus he’s mixed up the lectures a bit. They’ve been largely the same, but some things have been phrased differently or illustrated differently from what I remember of the first round.

I’ve gotten a lot of hours in on the rack. I’m still unrealistic about how much I think I can get done in a day, but the rack time has been highly profitable. Headphones were a good move to drown out the ambient classroom noise. Yesterday, I finished off the multicast and QoS labs in Narbik’s advanced lab workbooks, volume 5. I still have the security and prefix-list labs to go, plus Narbik added a challenging spanning-tree lab to the bootcamp-only workbook. I hope it’s realistic to finish those today.

I take longer to do the labs than I might because I agonize over all the verification steps. Verification is a big part of what I missed working through the DOiT labs. I never developed the habit of doing appropriate “show” commands to verify that what I thought I did was actually done. Narbik has a “prove it” philosophy. If you configure something, the next step should be to prove that you accomplished what you think you did. Proper verification has helped me catch a number of silly errors. For instance, I was working on a frame-relay de-list last night. When I did the “show frame-relay pvc” to look at the “out DE” stats, I didn’t see the count rising from my tests. Why? I applied the de-list incorrectly. Pre-Narbik, I probably would have just applied the list and motored on to another task.

Everyone that’s here seems to be happy with what’s going on. Narbik’s lectures followed up by his labs are akin to drinking from a firehose, especially if you’re early in your studies. But like the last time I was here, Narbik is in the classroom constantly, answering questions, working with the students one-on-one during their labs, and talking to everyone individually to find out how they are doing.

Some bits of administrivia:

  • Narbik has purchased his own racks that he’ll run out of his basement that he’s outfitted with air conditioning and power for the purpose. He’s not outsourcing racks anymore after this week.
  • Several people have asked me whether or not they should purchase Soup-to-Nuts if they are going to buy Narbik’s Advanced Lab Workbooks. Narbik’s answer is no. Everything in Soup-to-Nuts is included in the Advanced Lab Workbooks. You don’t need to buy both. Remember that if you come to Narbik’s bootcamp, you get both Soup-to-Nuts and the Advanced Lab Workbooks.
  • For those that were asking, Narbik’s grandmother is doing just fine. ;)

1 comment

  • Narbik is great. There doesn’t seem to be a question he doesn’t know the answer (and accompanying command) to.

    Just took his written class (passed the exam too), and am planning on going to Pasadena in a couple months. Thanks for the write-ups, Ethan.

    Grandma Kocharians…she’s bad.

By Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks On productivity.

You probably know Ethan Banks because he writes & podcasts about IT. For example, he co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

This site is Ethan on productivity--not tech so much.

Find out more on his about page.