Well, today I passed the SNAA and completed the CCSP. It also gave me the ASA Specialist certification and 4013 Recognition.
Maybe it was because I took the SNAF and SNAA one after the other, but it seemed (to me) that the SNAA was a bit easier than the SNAF. There weren't as many hard/close questions - either that, or I was expecting them and they didn't bother me as much?
When I first started out on this path, it really bothered me that there wasn't a clear cut path for study. However, I was determined to find what I could and make it work. What I found was that there were more resources available than it seemed at first glance.
SkillSoft -- Some of the training they provide is current. Some of the training is a version or two behind the current offerings. If this resource is available to you, use it. If not, move on to the next thing.
Safari -- This was a good bargain and turned out better than I expected. I started out with the basic bookshelf and then expanded to the Library. I expanded so that I would have access to the Rough Cuts books. When you look on Cisco Press, you won't find much. However, in the Safari Library you will find access to Cisco Press books that are out of print and Rough Cuts of books that aren't available yet. I completed reading and tested on material from a book that will be released next month. It was a little frustrating to read and look at the example or diagram that shows a placeholder, but most of the diagrams were available. There were one or two that I wished were there, but I found that material elsewhere and was able to adapt.
One of the BEST things I stumbled upon for this self-study was a set of videos in the Safari Library. I was able to view hours of video where David Hucaby explains and demonstrates firewall configuration. Those videos more than made up for the missing diagrams in the Rough Cuts. In fact, I think that was the thing that made this last test so much easier.
Cisco PEC (Partner E-Learning Channel) - This was more important in the earlier tests. A bit tough to navigate, however, when you find the labs that apply, they can be a valuable resource. Some of the labs can also be adapted from their intended use and can give you a bit more experience with some of the interfaces that you may not currently have available to you.
Well, now it's onto the CCIE Lab. From here on, it's just networking. So don't get in my way or I'll configure you.
Since I enjoyed the videos so much (and it's like sitting there watching Hulu)... I've decided to start off with a good, hard refresher. Safari has the ICND, CCNA and CCNP videos. I will go through those on my 'break' and then onto Vol 1 and 2 of the CCIE Practical Studies. I also have 5 spare computers, a frame relay switch, four routers and two switches for my 'lab'... Not much (considering what I will be studying), however it's a good start. Getting dynamips and dynagen up and running will be a fun challenge. Once I wear out that set of equipment, I'll be ready to get the most out of the expensive rack time.
My goal is to pass the CCIE Lab on the first shot. This is not because I think I'm so great - but because it's EXPENSIVE! Okay... real truth >> I have to get on a PLANE to get there. I don't want to have to do that twice, so I'm shooting for a first-time pass. ; )
Enjoy the holiday and don't eat too much turkey!
Posted by BlueWolf on November 24, 2009 09:50 PM