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BlueWolf's Howl

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December 02, 2005

The Stats Jump

Yeah, the reading stats just took a huge leap today. I am reading more than I have been, but that's not the reason the stats jumped. You see...it's because I have this rule: I don't add it to the 'read stats' unless I finish the book.

I confess... I have a bad habit of reading a book halfway and then putting it down to start another one. This is why I have that rule. So with the stats for this year lagging behind last year's awful drop, I had to do something. I had to start finishing the books I started.

The book I just finished was: CCIE Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Study Guide. It was 1056 pages. Whew! Well, the good news is that I finished it. The 'other' news (not necessarily good or bad) is that there is now a second edition to that book. And there is also a Cisco Press book available for that exam. I'm sure I'll eventually read all three plus a whole lot more before attempting the CCIE written exam.

While reading the book, I ran across quite a few subjects that are on the BCRAN exam. It was helpful to see them again, but wished the CCIE book would have gone into them in more depth. It didn't. Which made the little lightbulb in my head light up. I already know that if I read the Second Edition of the book AND the Cisco Press book, I still won't be able to pass the exam (even if I have all that material memorized).

The CCIE test is a two-hour exam. There's no way that the questions would be easier than the CCNP exam questions. The Cisco exam page mentions that :

Exams are the core of the CCIE program. Training is not the CCIE program objective. Rather, the focus is on identifying those experts capable of understanding and navigating the subtleties, intricacies and potential pitfalls inherent to end-to-end networking.

Everybody gets the main idea of something. Experts know the little nitnoid details that could potentially trip you up... I'm going to need to read a library to take that test. And that's what I intend to do (when I get to that point). As I read each chapter, I'll then read the books about that subject. For the chapter on BGP, I already have two Cisco Press books on BGP. The first one is Design and Implementation of BGP and the second is the BGP Command and Configuration Guide. Those two should round out that chapter and fill in anything I would need to know about BGP. If I do that with each subject in the book, by the time I get to the end, I should be ready for it.

It makes me wonder how that will impact my performance on the job... Will I just naturally see things go more smoothly? Will I be able to figure things out faster? Will I understand more of what I'm doing? It will be interesting to see and experience.

I remember when I first started studying for my MCSE (NT4). At the time, I was doing email migrations for a large company (Novell's GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange 5.5). We worked all weekend and then met with the client on Monday. One weekend, they took down the PDC for all of Friday and part of Saturday. That put my migration work behind and I had to work continuously from when it came up until Sunday night to get everyone on the list migrated. I mentioned this to the client, who responded, "Well, that shouldn't have affected you at all. The BDCs were still running." From what I had learned in my studies, I was able to explain to him that a migration actually creates a new account - and therefore requires a PDC to create a new account. BDCs can only log you in based on the information obtained from the PDC and cannot create new accounts. So yes, I was able to log into the network, but was unable to migrate any mailboxes. It didn't get me any sleep that weekend, but I did feel a sense of satisfaction at being able to prove my point. I remember that feeling of competence and confidence that came with that knowledge. I want to feel that again...often.

Posted by BlueWolf on December 2, 2005 02:16 PM