The writing masses in addition to professional media generate tons of articles each week. What’s the best way to keep up? My strategy is multi-pronged.TL;DR.
The last time I re-certified, it took me three times to pass the CCIE R&S written exam. While that exam is a challenge that many people fail to pass the first time out, I felt like I was getting rusty on some fundamentals. Three times was not the end of the world, but the effort felt forced. I wanted a refresher.
I’ve put several of my networking books up for auction on eBay. Lots of CiscoPress titles, but several others as well. Many design guides. Routing protocol coverage such as OSPF, including an OSPF vs ISIS guide by Jeff Doyle. Some are older, what I consider classics. Some are fairly new. Some are targeted at certification seekers. I need to clear some space here in my home library, and would like to move these titles along. Far too many books in my collection, and I’ve gotten what I can from these. Good luck!
Should you go from the CCNA to the CCIE directly? Why or why not? Considering SDN, is going after the CCIE even a good idea? I opine.
I’ve been working with Juniper SRX firewalls, MX routers, and EX switches for over a year now. I don’t spend a ton of time at the CLI. Mostly, I have some project I need to accomplish, so I do my homework, mock up in a lab what I’m able to, and wing the rest. Usually, that gets me to “good enough.” Sometimes, I feel like the ignoramus that I am. I don’t like that feeling.
Followers of this blog may know that I attended Jeremy Filliben’s CCDE bootcamp in July 2013. You can find those blog posts here to read my thoughts on the bootcamp experience and how it translated into my approach to CCDE studies, which I’m still working on. I have a long way to go yet.
Jeremy has posted his 2014 CCDE bootcamp schedule. My two cents is that if you’re interested in the CCDE certification and are trying to get a handle on the practical (a beast with a very low pass rate last I knew),
The Cisco Learning Network has posted information about version 5 of the CCIE Routing & Switching program.
I’ve built the framework for a CCDE knowledge base at design.packetpushers.net. The site uses the “KnowHow” theme designed for WordPress, which is very clean and makes it easy to organize information. There is very little actual content at the site yet. I have created several dozen articles that map to the CCDE 2.0 Written exam official blueprint from Cisco, but I’ve written almost nothing in the articles themselves yet.
For the time being,
Cisco PR let me know about some changes to the CCDE practical exam testing and process. Rather than summarize the points myself, I’ll just quote the official statement.
Learning@Cisco today announced that the Cisco CCDE® practical exam will be available at all Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) worldwide beginning with the February 20, 2014 exam administration. The ability to conveniently take the CCDE practical exam at a local PPC testing center eliminates the stress and expense of traveling to a remote exam location.
Today, I had several chances to think about just how hard it is to take a complex business requirement and apply a network design to it. By that, I mean that between the homework and the case studies we did in class today, there was plenty of opportunity to think about what a business was trying to do (add services, complete a merger, reduce costs, resolve a problem, etc.) and then bring technology to bear on the situation in the most appropriate way.
In today’s technical lectures, we covered multicast & MPLS. And maybe something else. I’d have to look. Frankly, the week is getting a bit blurry, but I know that we at least covered the bulk of those two topics today. Multicast was a great conversation. I’ve had to study multicast several times over the years, always in the context of preparing for an exam. I have never properly understood many of multicast’s details. Somehow, the nitty-gritty of multicast’s moving pieces along with the mroute table were inscrutable.
The key takeaway for me today was one repeated point. It’s not enough to know why the right answer is right. You’ve also got to know why the wrong answer is wrong. Today, I screwed up on both accounts while going through practice scenarios. In one case, I had the right answer, but for the wrong reason. In another, I assumed a particular answer was wrong, but I didn’t really know why it was wrong.
Today’s classroom revealed a couple of key study strategies for the CCDE. One is understanding why a particular technology exists. In other words, it’s one thing to know what a technology does. It’s something else entirely to know what it’s good for. While this might seem like an obvious point (this is a *design* certification, after all), I found that a lot of the natural side conversations that came up devolved into detail that was beyond the point.
First day at CCDE bootcamp with Jeremy Filliben. Thoughts:
(1) Jeremy has given a lot of thought to content, both to *what* content will be covered, and *in what order* the content will be covered.
(2) There’s a lot of material here. When it gets into the technical lecture, there’s an assumption you already have a clue. I’m holding my own so far, going through mostly IPv6 and OSPF in today’s technical lecture sections.
You might know that I ran a popular CCIE study blog in 2007-2008. The current owner of that blog encouraged me to import the content I’d written for that site to my blog here. I’ve done that. If you have any interest in that old content, you can browse through the archives via this link, which starts in reverse chronological order. If you wanted to go from oldest to newest (which I doubt as it’s over 400 posts,
I proposed to the CCDE group study mailing list (feel free sign up if you’re interested) the idea of a CCDE wiki. The point is to create a wiki that maps the CCDE blueprint topics to text that fleshes them out in more detail, including links to reference material on the topics. The CCDE candidate could use this to better understand what they are expected to know and create a study strategy. Interested candidates could contribute articles that explain topics as deeply as they like.
I’m heading to Cisco Live US (CLUS) to cover the event along with Greg Ferro as a host of the Packet Pushers podcast. My primary focus while I’m at CLUS will be recording podcasts with Cisco folks, attending as many sessions as I can fit it, and catching up with friends I rarely get to see in meatspace. Okay…I think that’s three foci. Anyway.
Along with a full CLUS registration comes an exam.