I said in an earlier post that ignorance was my greatest enemy. For sure, I’m still fighting ignorance. I don’t know every feature that I might possibly need to know…but doing all these labs has exposed me to a lot of concepts and commands. I don’t think it’s ignorance that’s hurting me right now as much as it is just not being able to get labs done quickly enough.
I need to build speed. I have to get faster. I was looking over InternetworkExpert.com’s comments on how to become a CCIE. They were talking about how on the first 2 mock labs, you should pull off between a 60% and 80% before going on to mock labs 3 & 4. Well, I pulled off a sad little 47% on IE mock lab #2, mostly because I just ran out of time. I knew how to do some of what I’d ran out of time on, but I’d killed a ton of other time trying to get other stuff going. I just had too much going on, and not enough time. I was overloaded with tasks, or felt that I was.
So I have to build speed. How am I going to do this?
- Practice. I know there is nothing that’s going to help me more than practicing the labs. Putting in rack time is going to make me faster, no question about it.
- Do write-ups on small, troublesome topics. And then I just have to memorize that stuff. Off the top of my head, here’s a list:
- BGP bestpath algorithm. I can do all the basic neighboring, route-reflectors, and confederation on autopilot. However, I need to know bestpath automatically so that I know how tweaking weight, local pref, metric, etc. will factor into BGP forwarding decisions.
- Multicast sparse-mode. I don’t know the commands relating to RPs or BSR without looking them up. I need to.
- PPP authorization, including PPP over frame-relay.
- 802.1x. I don’t know any of these commands without looking them up.
- Q-in-Q tunneling. I have a mental block about this topic I need to get by.
- IRB. I know this reasonably well, but I don’t have the commands memorized.
- Security. I need to go through the IOS security command set, and write down summaries of the commands I’ve been running into on the lab. A lot of the security tasks are easy, if you know that one simple command and how to apply it.
- IPv6 tunneling. There’s several methods of IPv6 tunneling. I don’t know why I’d want to use one over the other or the differences between them.
- MSTP. There’s some terminology here I need to work through, and tweak on different settings.
- Oh, there’s probably more. But this is stuff that floats to the top as I’m contemplating my weak areas.
- Streamlining my process.
- I’m considering doing a hybrid of Notepad and live router/switch configs, rather than doing everything in Notepad for every scrap of code. I need to decide where Notepad is saving me time and reducing errors, and where hacking IOS live is smarter.
- I can fly confidently through frame-relay, most ethernet/etherchannel/VLAN kind of stuff, STP, RIP, OSPF, EIGRP, and redistribution. But even with that layer 2 and IGP stuff, I need to be better. Somehow, I have to find about 45 – 60 minutes in there. I’m usually at the 4 hour mark by the time I’m done redistribution; I need to get that down to more like the 3 hour mark. Maybe I need to cut back on my diagramming? I’m not sure; diagrams take time, but they cut down on errors for me.
I was going to try to move my April 29 lab date ahead. Now I’m not so sure. That is only 4 months away…I feel like I need a ton more rack time than I’ve completed so far. I think I’ve done about 250 hours of rack time by now. That’s a guess, but it’s around that mark. Another 250 wouldn’t hurt my feelings, not at all.
A couple of weeks ago I wanted to bump my lab date up, but as of today, I’m scared that I’m not going to be ready for the April date in time. <sigh>