More Strategy – Reading + Bootcamp? + Other Workbooks


I’ve begun something again that I had quit after passing the written: reading. Now, I hadn’t completely stopped reading. You know what I mean – every time you run into something you don’t 100% understand, you stop to read up on the command or concept you’re missing. I’m going beyond that now by doing preemptive reading.

I have started printing out various PDFs from the DocCD, and they’ve become part of my regimen. Before I can pillow my head at night, I have to get through 40 or 50 meaningful pages. Now, I thoroughly read the Official Exam Certification Guide, and I have the blog entries to prove it. If you’re new to this blog, January 2007 – June 2007 were pretty much nothing BUT posts from the OECG. I essentially paraphrased the entire book in blog form. I didn’t skip much.

Now I am going back to the DocCD to flesh out my knowledge. I’m finding that having passed the written and completed a whole lot of practice labs that the DocCD is making a whole lot more sense. Gaps in my knowledge are filling in, and concepts make better sense than they did before.

On my DocCD reading list for this week:

Configuring IP Services
Configuring Web Cache Services Using WCCP

Configuring the Cisco IOS DHCP Server
Cisco Express Forwarding Overview
Implementing NAT-PT for IPv6
Implementing Tunneling for IPv6
IP Multicast Technology Overview

I’m also considering something I hadn’t thought seriously about before: a CCIE R&S lab bootcamp. I’m starting to see the value in such a thing. I see a bootcamp as a potential way to put me over the top, that 11th hour shove to make it to the end. But man – they are expensive! If any of you bootcamp providers want some free exposure for your program, I’ll provide a full review of the process here: all I ask is a free seat. (What’s that? No takers?!? ;) )

I’m further debating whether I would benefit more from going through the NetMasterClass.com DOiT Vol.2 workbook a second time, or whether I would be better served going through the IEWB package. So many people seem to be going through the InternetworkExpert.com program. Almost everyone on the GroupStudy.com list is using IEWB, and CCIE Pursuit is blogging about his IEWB progress like I’ve been blogging about my NMC DOiT progress. I need to add more equipment to my practice rack to do the IEWB, but I have what I need sitting on a shelf. I scrounged 3 more routers to use for backbone and 6 more DCE/DTE cable pairs for my V.35 interfaces, so I could do it if I wanted to. I’d just need to spend a few hours to upgrade the routers, rack them, and recable everything to IEWB specs. However, I don’t know if I’d increase my chances of passing the lab that way. I KNOW that I left a lot on the table with the NMC DOiT labs the first run through, so I want to go through them again to pick up what I missed. It’s something to think about. I’ll probably go through the NMC labs a second time, I guess.

About the author

Ethan Banks

Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.


  • First off, the blog looks great.

    40 – 50 pages of Cisco documentation every night is the perfect cure for insomnia. :-)

    CCIE Bootcamps are really spendy. Unfortunately, my employer will not pay for any classes with the word “bootcamp” in the title.

    Your idea of offering a review for a place in a CCIE Bootcamp may not be a bad idea. A well written review on a prominent CCIE blog in return for free product is something that could be very enticing to a vendor. I think that if you pitched that idea to IE they may give you access to their COD version of their bootcamp in return for a review.

    As far as the IEWB (I think you once stated that you have the Volume II labs) – you are familiar with the technologies so maybe just reading a few of the labs without actually labbing them would be a good exercise. Basically, just read the tasks and see if you can determine which technology the question is asking you to use. This would also get you used to IE’s terminology and help you with your next mock lab. Of course, if you can painlessly build your lab to the IE topology, then banging out a few IE labs would be great idea. See http://ccielab.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/178910-11/ for a nice post about IE’s recommendation for using just a few of their labs for final preparations.

    Anyhoo…keep up the good work. Good luck with your studies and here’s hoping that you nail the lab.

  • “40 – 50 pages of Cisco documentation every night is the perfect cure for insomnia. ”

    I was thinking more along the lines of building an insanity defense…

  • At the risk of sounding naive… what would comprise a bootcamp in your book? Or, which bootcamp would you hold up as an example of what you’be be considering valuable? I don’t think that Internetwork Expert group offers one of them in their lineup, do they? Or would it just be the live class that their ‘class on demand’ is based on? Wouldn’t a bootcamp involve your participation in the training vendor’s gear in lab scenarios, though?


Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

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