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BlueWolf's Howl

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January 02, 2010

Back to Basics

I've completed my 'pre-study review' and have switched back to a Safari "Basic" bookshelf account. The Library account was expensive, but worth it for a little bit. I was able to read the newest ASA book before it was even available (Rough Cuts) and watched a ton of videos. Although I did take the liberty of watching some camera and drawing videos, there were also a bunch of R&S and firewall videos. They were very helpful.

So here's where I started for my lab prep:
I watched the ICND 1 and ICND 2 videos.
I watched the CCNP videos.

Although I watched them on Safari, all the videos (for the lab prep) were from Cisco Press. If you're the type that needs to have stuff in your hands - these videos are available for about $62/each. For $42/month you can watch all of them on Safari. I had my account at the Library level for 2 months - which enabled me to read the ASA book (about 1200 pages) and watch all the videos. It was well worth it - since the book itself has a 'discount' price of $72 and an e-book price of $57... For me, it was a good way to cut costs and still get the training.

Well...I'm sure some are asking why a CCNP would need this training and just skip it and cut costs even more. You probably could do that, but you would be the lesser for it. The material was a very good review and foundation. Yes, it covered everything I had already learned and used for the past 12 years. But it also had a secondary effect: confidence-building.

When you look at the material for the CCIE Lab, it can appear to be a daunting task. You think that there's all this material that you need to know at a level that you can't even begin to imagine. There must be tricks and traps that you have no idea how to prepare for - since the pass rate (especially for first-timers) is so low. Going over the basics was very helpful in that respect. It helped me to remember just how far along that path I have walked - and things that years ago seemed impossible to master, are now second-nature. It was a great confidence-builder. It also helped me realize that some tasks which don't currently happen to be part of my day-to-day activities have not been forgotten. Yeah, I may have to practice some things to build speed and confidence, but I'm not starting from scratch. It's there. It just needs to be fine-tuned.

I'm looking forward to this journey. With the competition in this field, it will only help if I know this material inside out. I am looking forward to strengthening my skills and becoming the best in the field. Aim high - even if you fall short, you'll still be ahead of where you would be if your aim was lower.

Posted by BlueWolf on January 2, 2010 04:43 PM