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Thread: My CCNP Journey

  1. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #1

    Default My CCNP Journey

    I figured what the heck. This might even help me stay organized if I keep a blog and come back to it here and there.

    So I recently got my CCNA back in March of this year and have all the ambition and want to take my Cisco Studies further. I recently just landed a job too where I am pretty sure they are going to be looking for me to get my CCNP in a short matter of time.

    This will be a pretty short first post but here is how I have organized things so far.

    I plan to take the CCNP in order of Route > Switch > and TSHOOT. So far the book material I have acquired is: "Implementing Cisco IP Routing (Route) Foundation Learning Guide" by Diane Teare. I have heard this is a great book for people on my level (little real world experience) to build a foundation on before moving it to more advanced material. I actually read two chapters and kind have put it on hold as I am watching some videos to get a very generalized and visual grasp on the content. So far I have invested about 6 hours of CBT nuggets time. Right now currently on the EIGRP advanced implementations. I really like Jeremy's teaching style. He has a unique was of keeping my interest levels high. I think once I have finished these videos or find a place where I cannot follow well I will crack the book back open again.
    Other resources I plan to use or am am using:
    • GNS3, currently using for now, this I believe will suit my Route needs. I think once I get a little more into my CCNP studies like Switch or TSHOOT i will look into building my own lab to concrete my studies.
    • INE Videos
    • Chris Bryan Videos
    • Physical devices, routers, switches, etc.
    • CBT Nuggets Videos
    I will go more in-depth once I crack into more of the CCNP subjects. Right now I am focused on ROUTE. I am very excited to take this on and my goal is to have the ROUTE test completed by December of this year or earlier. I plan then to keep pushing forward into SWITCH and TSHOOT, hopefully fully completed by mid year next year.

    I am also hoping a lot of my on the job experience is really going to start helping me learn at a faster pace too. There are many CCNP or higher certified people I work with and I know once I get to know them more and the job duties more I will learn very quickly.

    That will be all for now. Stay tuned. I plan to keep this rolling until I am completely CCNP certified. Please feel free to comment along the way. This is not only for me to keep myself on track but for others following the same path to seek advisment.
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  3. Grind time, gotta eat MrBrian's Avatar
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    #2
    Good luck to ya!! I'm studying for SWITCH, but due to other things arising I really haven't been able to do anything the last couple months.. been learning active directory, gpo's, dns, etc.. BUT, towards the end of the month I should have plenty of free time and I'll be able to put in the hours doing switch labs. Can't wait!

    Looking forward to seeing your progress. I see you're going for ROUTE first. Feel free to post questions/queries to the forum and we can probably help you out.. I just recently passed route in February so I'm familiar with some of the early struggles that may come up.
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    #3
    Chris Bryant has a really good deal. $200 for the ebooks and access to the videos online. I stopped reading FLG and have just been using his videos and the network academy labs. I'm hoping to knock out CCNP in next 6-9 months as well.
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  5. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #4
    I have heard tons of great things about Chris Bryant. I will probably making an investment with his material here soon.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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  6. Senior Member Somnipotent's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    I have heard tons of great things about Chris Bryant. I will probably making an investment with his material here soon.
    Chris Bryant is great. His material is top notch and cheap when compared to other names in the business. Some would say he can put you to sleep, but honestly, he really does cover everything you'll need to pass the exams in question. I highly recommend his products. Plus, he's a local Virginian, a plus in my book
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  7. Member dirtyharry's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Somnipotent View Post
    Chris Bryant is great. His material is top notch and cheap when compared to other names in the business. Some would say he can put you to sleep, but honestly, he really does cover everything you'll need to pass the exams in question. I highly recommend his products. Plus, he's a local Virginian, a plus in my book
    Chris Bryant >= CBT Nuggets?
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  8. M&C: Far Side of the Net vinbuck's Avatar
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    #7
    I think CBT Nuggets is Jeremy Ciora.

    Sounds like you have a good plan, it's a long road to the CCNP but it's well worth it and the journey is just as important as the Cert. if you do it right, you will start becoming a better Network Engineer as you work your way through.

    Good luck and let us know if we can help and FWIW the ROUTE FLG is pure gold...I refer to it all the time in my daily work and am using it to refresh as I prepare for the CCIE written
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    #8
    I tried to do the chris bryant videos talk about snore vision. I had to speed up the playback time to stay some what interested. His ebooks are great and especially for $10 they're a bargain covers everything. For videos I like cbtnuggets with jeremy he just always seems excited when talking about anything which makes you just as excited and more compelled to learn but i know in the ccna series he missed a few things. I'd say chris bryant book & cbtnuggets to get the visual. I also bought the gns3vault book master ccnp route seems more like an overview then an in depth explanation but dont mind the alternate perspective. Now that hockey season is over i plan on starting my ccnp studies pronto.
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  10. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #9
    It's coming up on about almost 2 weeks since I last made an update. Not too much to update at this point. I have not been able to accomplish much recently until now. I am continuing on with some more CBT nuggets videos, labbing along with the videos in GNS3, and reading over material in my FLG book.

    I recently started a job as an infrastructure monitor so this has kind of grabbed my focuses recently. I feel I need to quickly get caught up on some BGP material as this is something I am looking at daily with my job and am kind of weak on as this wasn't ever a big focus in CCNA material.

    Updates to come soon, stay tuned.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    It's coming up on about almost 2 weeks since I last made an update. Not too much to update at this point. I have not been able to accomplish much recently until now. I am continuing on with some more CBT nuggets videos, labbing along with the videos in GNS3, and reading over material in my FLG book.

    I recently started a job as an infrastructure monitor so this has kind of grabbed my focuses recently. I feel I need to quickly get caught up on some BGP material as this is something I am looking at daily with my job and am kind of weak on as this wasn't ever a big focus in CCNA material.

    Updates to come soon, stay tuned.
    Hey Daniel that actually would be a good idea. I am a Network Administrator myself and I monitor our infrastructure with Intermapper and Orion. Customers receive our multicast data and are connected at the Edge. We use BGP to exchange routes. Learning BGP would be extremely helpful in your role.
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  12. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #11
    Yes I agree. We use BGP all too much and it is an area I am less familiar with. So I will do what I can to study up here in this area and come back and look at others at a later time. The great thing about studying is it's broken into subjects, so I can kind of pick and choose at my leisure. Thanks for the input ITtech2010!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    Yes I agree. We use BGP all too much and it is an area I am less familiar with. So I will do what I can to study up here in this area and come back and look at others at a later time. The great thing about studying is it's broken into subjects, so I can kind of pick and choose at my leisure. Thanks for the input ITtech2010!
    Your welcome man! We're new in this field so we got a lot that we can learn. I'm trying to finish the same goals as you around that time frame. Aiming for CCNP Q4 of this yr or Q1 next yr. CCIE before 30. So I got two yrs from now lol.

    GNS3Vault guides have been helping me. for a CCNP Switch lab if your job has at least 2-3 3560 switches and 1-2 3550 or 1-2 2950/60 you will be in good shape for the test.
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  14. Packet Monkey
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    #13
    I've been meaning to study more than I have been the past week or so for the ROUTE, but I've been busy. The times where I've had like 20 minutes and wanted to watch a video lesson, I just couldn't really stand Jeremy's videos. Chris Bryant's teaching compliments my learning preferences so well that it's hard to watch Jeremy's. Sadly, though, Chris' videos are hard to afford and my teacher had the CBT Nuggets and lent me it. =[
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  15. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #14
    Just thought I'd give a little update:

    I have been labbing a good amount on top of reading in the recent month. I got a little distracted and my studies lapsed a bit in the past but I am working on it in full force now. My original goal of getting Route in December might be a bit out of reach at this time. I will probably be pushing it back to Jan/Feb time. That all depends on how my studies go here soon. I will have the next 11 days off and plan to get between 6-8 hours each day to study on. I'm hoping to knock out the FLG book in that time as well as good a good amount of labbing done too.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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  16. Grind time, gotta eat MrBrian's Avatar
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    #15
    Good work! Just keep on chugging no matter what. Try to lab the topics as much as you can, and review past topics if you haven't touched them in awhile. A lot to digest in that Route exam that's for sure!
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  17. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #16
    Small update:

    I have established my plans and goals for the new year and will keep my focus on my study efforts. I have evaluated myself a bit more for what I will need to keep my study efforts fresh and effective. I plan to take Route on or before my birthday which is on February 21st. Hopefully a great gift to myself! I continue to study on my off days but am not upping the anti with my study efforts on my work days as well to keep topics fresh.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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  18. Senior Member ciscoman2012's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    Small update:

    I have established my plans and goals for the new year and will keep my focus on my study efforts. I have evaluated myself a bit more for what I will need to keep my study efforts fresh and effective. I plan to take Route on or before my birthday which is on February 21st. Hopefully a great gift to myself! I continue to study on my off days but am not upping the anti with my study efforts on my work days as well to keep topics fresh.
    Nice man keep at it. I'm working on completing SWITCH in about the same time-frame. I'd like to knock it out mid February. I'm about half way through already.
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  19. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #18
    I actually just typed up my goals in a word document and the what it will take for me to achieve these. I mapped out a study plan for each day of the week. I think this will be good for myself to stay on track as well as good for my wife so visualize what I will be doing so I can sneak away for more study time
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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  20. Senior Member ciscoman2012's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    I actually just typed up my goals in a word document and the what it will take for me to achieve these. I mapped out a study plan for each day of the week. I think this will be good for myself to stay on track as well as good for my wife so visualize what I will be doing so I can sneak away for more study time
    You may also want to track your reading / studying time / goals in Excel. I do this for each chapter that I read and if I want to revisit something I'll either highlight it in excel or put the pages I want to refer back to. Really helps me keep everything organized and in one place.
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  21. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ciscoman2012 View Post
    You may also want to track your reading / studying time / goals in Excel. I do this for each chapter that I read and if I want to revisit something I'll either highlight it in excel or put the pages I want to refer back to. Really helps me keep everything organized and in one place.
    Call me old fashion but I dog ear the pages I want to come back to and I generally highlight every bit of text I think is important. I generally then go back and type up my highlights for reviewing purposes. I also actually have kept a log of my study progression too. Thanks for the tips!!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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  22. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #21
    Well I have discovered a means to even further refine my study habits I am VERY excited to start using this method. Some of you may have already seen this. To be honest I can't quite remember how I stumbled upon it; I may have seen it in the IE discussions which I frequent.

    How to study for your CCIE

    This basically told me I have been doing a lot wrong in my study habits. I agree as well. I also can't wait to give it a try!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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  23. ISP Monkey 7of9's Avatar
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    #22
    I often think half the challenge of the professional level certs and up is learning how you as an individual learn best and then figuring out how to leverage that in your studies. I think it's a great idea to experiment with different strategies until you find what works best for you.
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  24. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by 7of9 View Post
    I often think half the challenge of the professional level certs and up is learning how you as an individual learn best and then figuring out how to leverage that in your studies. I think it's a great idea to experiment with different strategies until you find what works best for you.
    I couldn't agree more!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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    #24
    Chris is a great guy and does an amazing job with the CCNA (best NA course I've used/seen) and NP Switch and TShoot videos, but I can tell ya that his Route video is too light on OSPF to clear the test or get a firm grasp of the material. I came across INE when i was looking for CCIE material. Glad I did.. The "Brian's" can flat out teach. Vids move at a good pace-not to fast-not to slow and the workbooks are INSANE.
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  26. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #25
    Minor Update:

    I just got news that two Network Engineering Architects in my company will be teaching courses on CCNP Route, Switch, and TSHOOT at a very local college in my area. I went a head an signed up for these classes as the cost was very reasonable and I figured it would be a great experience to learn directly from someone I work with. I am beginning Route actually this Wednesday and it will be covered in 8 weeks. I plan to knock out the Route exam shortly after completing the class.

    This is very exciting! I am glad I am able to get some former college courses on CCNP material and I hope it will get me well acquainted with these engineers from my company!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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