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BlueWolf's Howl

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February 28, 2013

Happy Not So New Year

Wow. Has it been that long? I was very surprised to see that this is my first post of the year. I guess it is both good and not so good. Good - because I'm studying instead of blogging about studying. Not so good - because I had hoped to be further along and talking about it more.

The thing that prompted me to post is that I completed another book and had to add it to the list. I came home from work today and I read this book in one evening. The book is: "Your CCIE Lab Success Strategy - The Non-Technical Guide Book" by Dean Bahizad and Vivek Tiwari. Both are double CCIEs.

I had mixed feelings about the book. I expected a larger book. Perhaps something like the size of an O'Reilly topic was what I had envisioned. But it's more the size of a small guide book - or a Kindle. I opened it up and saw that the entire book was double spaced. Gasp! But as I read through the book, I found it to be a really good read.

There really isn't anything "new" in the book. Just about all the information or hints are things that are covered in the INE videos. There are no shortcuts. You have to be dedicated and persevere. Yadda yadda...yeah, I know. And that's okay. It's always good to hear it - and to hear it again.

The good part of the book is that it is ENCOURAGING. Even though it's stuff you've heard before, read it. As I was reading, I considered passing it on when I finished. At the end of the book, I decided to keep it - until I get my second CCIE. And that's what the real value of the book turned out to be (for me). I am going to read the book again whenever I get discouraged. I'm going to read it when I start getting sluggish. It's a really good pep talk when you need it.

The biggest recommendation in the book is the hardest to implement. It recommends a study partner. Finding the right study partner is really difficult in some locations. And finding a bad study partner is worse. So I'm going to take that recommendation with a grain of salt. I wish I didn't have to skip that part - a study partner would be helpful.

The part that I found encouraging is the undertone that it is -normal- to want, work toward, and attain TWO CCIE certifications. And it was uplifting to hear that the second one is easier than the first. You already have a strong foundation (your first CCIE), you already have a study method, and you have already proven to yourself and others that you have the drive and persistence needed to complete such a daunting task. All that's left is the doing.

I also got another book this week that I'm poking my way through -> Guide to TCP/IP Fourth Edition by Jefferey Carrell, Laura Chappell, Ed Tittel with James Pyles. OMG I am so excited about this one! Jefferey Carrell was the instructor at a Riverbed workshop I recently attended. It was a great workshop on Pilot and Wireshark. This is the TCP/IP book that I have always wanted. It doesn't just go through some dry rehash of protocols. This one is more of a hands-on guidebook - complete with trace files. Yes. This is the book I have always wanted. It goes through the protocol and tells you how it works. Then you download and explore the trace files to SEE how it works (or doesn't). I'm rationalizing my reading of the book in two ways: first, a good book on TCP/IP is recommended reading for the CCIE R/S path; second, it is oh-so-very directly job-related.

However, I do realize after reading the first book, I can't allow myself to be distracted from my CCIE lab studies. So I'm using this book as my "carrot" to encourage me to study. But this is definitely the book (read: reward) that I get to read after I watch my scheduled videos or finish a scheduled lab. Awesome stuff.

Posted by BlueWolf on February 28, 2013 09:42 PM