::cisco black belt::

March 12, 2009

Flip flop

Filed under: misc, News, rant, self-study — ccxx4488 @ 8:21 pm

I change my mind like the weather… I’ve been talking with a couple people that have been in the industry for awhile, and I’ve reversed my decision on doing CCNA Voice > CCVP. Gonna stick with CCNP, once I clear the CCNA Security that is. I guess its the unknown, not being 100% sure if you’ll secure the type of work your looking for when you hit the CC*P level. I was looking for leverage, by going the route of CCVP first. Its always been the core R/S I’ve been most interested in. Sure, I’d like to get into Voice one day, but I’ve been advised that I’ll have no problem securing the work I’m looking for with a CCNP. On top of all that, the Voice stuff is super expensive. I could have enough gear for CCNP and CCIP and pretty much CCIE R/S for the cost of a Voice lab. I know you can emulate a lot of it. Blindhog have some excellent tutorials. I guess it boils down to this, if I can’t get the job I’m looking for as a CCNP, then fuck ’em, the certs’ for me, not the job offers.

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March 9, 2009

Back on Track

Filed under: CCNA Security, misc, News — ccxx4488 @ 11:51 pm

My CCNA Security Official Exam Certification Guide book arrived on Saturday. Not as much reading as the ICND1 or ICND2 books. I ripped the audio from CBTNuggets CCNA Security CBT and dumped it on my mp3 player. Been listening to that today, and got started on chapter 1. So far it seems like, ACLs and SDM are the only things kept from the CCNA exams. We’ll see when I get further along. I know I need to spend sometime reviewing CCNA material, its a been awhile since I’ve touched much Cisco stuff. I’m sure 90% of it will come right back to me in no time. Need to sharpen up my subnetting and do a review and some labs for a 3-4 weeks, then get started proper on the CCNA Security.

Been scanning ebay for deals lately, in the hunt for a 2811 Voice bundle with AIM-CUE, or a good deal on an AIM-CUE, a 35xx POE switch and 2511. I’m starting to think, there is no such thing as a good deal on an AIM-CUE module, haha. I’ve read a lot of posts that say you don’t really need Unity Express for the CCNA Voice exam, but I’d rather have it. I got by without the SDM for the CCENT and CCNA, but this is a little different. Besides, maybe I’ll pull a Jeremy Ciora and run CME/CUE system at home.

Back to the CCNA Security, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to it. In my preview of the materials so far it really boils down to 4 things, ACL, SDM, VPN and AAA. Basically master those concepts (at the CCNA level) and you should be good to go. I’m not underestimating this exam, I’m just seems not as in depth.

I got an email awhile back (around December) from Wendell Odom, thanking me for my errata submissions on the ICND books. I thought it was cool to hear from him, here’s me just a CCNA getting props from a CCIE. I printed off the email and brought it to my last job interview. Maybe it played a part, I landed a job with a Cisco Partner (albeit not the tech stuff I want to do, but hey).

What else is new, had to drop the old CSS, needed a refresh. Its cool to look around the blogs, and see everyone is still working on their goals or completing them. I’m really looking forward to the next couple years!

March 3, 2009

Back from the dead…

Filed under: misc, News — ccxx4488 @ 7:09 pm

So, I’m not dead after all, and six months without a post. PING. Anyhow I started college finally, what a dilemma, getting started. I’ve switched my degree paths and Schools. Now I’m doing a 2 year associates degree in IT-Programming, when I get that, I’ll either to a BA in Information Systems Assurance or a BA in Computer Science. We’ll see what happens.

At present I seem to have more time that I expected, now that I’ve switched colleges. So I’ve decided to get back to doing what I enjoy most which is playing with routers and switches. I give a lot of thought to the future and what I will do. I may change my mind about some things. For now, this is the battle plan:

  • June 1st take the CCNA Security exam. (I haven’t started studying for it yet, but I’m hoping this will be enough time)
  • Sometime before the end of 2009 take the CCNA Voice.
  • Obtain CCVP by the end of 2010.

You may ask why the change from CCNP to VP. To be honest I want to get all Cisco certs, haha, will that happen, who knows? My line of thinking is, it will be easier to find a job developing quality experience as a CCVP, than it is with a CCNP or CCSP. Who will want someone with little experience working on their production routers, or responsible for security with their freshly printed CCSP? I just think that I have more chance of securing a job with potential to cross train and develope a broad networking skill set by going the CCVP route first. I plan on doing the CCIP and CCNP before trying for the top. All this stuff will take years. Who knows I might change my mind a year from now, decide to go back to my original plan and try and get my CCIE R/S in about 4 years.

In the mean time, I started a new job with a Cisco Partner, not the technical experience builder I would like, but its a good job, and will serve my immediate needs for now. I ordered my CCNA Security book, got some CBTs from some ware z, and hope to have a linux box built by next month to run some labs. I had to sell one of my 2611xms last year, sucks… Probably gonna get a 2800 series when I get started working on voice.

So, things are going well, a couple CCNA concentrations by the end of this year, plus half way through my associates degree, then hopefully by the end of the following year, I’ll have my CCVP and my associates degree, and be ready to start the learning process for the CCIP and CCNP =)

I got big plans =)

September 13, 2008

CCIEs gone wild…

Filed under: Articles, misc — Tags: , , , , , — ccxx4488 @ 11:19 pm

I originally read about this, on CCIE Pursuit back in July.  Here’s an interesting summary/update of the CCIE gone wild:

…Childs was carted off to jail where he refused to turn over the user IDs and passwords in his possession to anyone but the San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom. Newsom met with Childs on July 23, and succeeded in acquiring some (but not all) of the information officials needed to regain control of the city’s FiberWAN network. Continues

September 11, 2008

Decisions…

Filed under: misc, self-study — Tags: , , , — ccxx4488 @ 7:36 am

It’s been a really tough call, deciding on the best path forward. Studying for and obtaining Cisco Certification has taught me a lot. I’ve learned that with enough effort and discipline you can achieve what you want. This brings me to my point; I’ve made the decision to complete a BS Degree in Network Design and Management. I should complete it before my CCNA expires. My long term career aspirations require me to accomplish this, and I’ve learned I have what it takes to stay motivated, study and be successful. My CCNA expires, July 2011—hopefully I have enough time to prepare for a professional level exam instead of just recertifying with another CCNA exam.

Its been a tough call, to turn down career opportunities that would enhance my skill, but hinder my educational goals, to take a massive pay cut in the shorter term to pursue my degree, and most importantly to put Cisco Certification study on a 2.5 year hiatus, especially while I read of the challenges and fun others are having in their pursuits.

I’m looking at long term, and obtaining my degree is vital. At least, when I complete my degree, I won’t need to digress from learning Cisco Internetworking again.

August 31, 2008

Whats new with you?

Filed under: misc — Tags: — ccxx4488 @ 12:23 am

Like  I said, been busy with lots of stuff. I’m now back in the USA about 10 days now, took care of most of my to-do list. Waiting on my lab to be shipped over, should be here within a couple weeks. Been job hunting lately, a few interviews coming up soon, looks good. So far three quality jobs, look like they could pan out, all with some serious positives, we’ll see what happens.

I’ve been thinking about career development as much my Cisco/Networking related ambitions, and I’m toying with the idea of enhancing existing skills, not related to Cisco. I think the ultimate factor will be my next job, 2/3 prospects I’m looking at require expanding my knowledge of Microsoft or Security, only one is dedicated Cisco. So, if I nail that job, its definately time to get cracking on my CCNP.

Just got a new wireless keyboard/mouse, Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 700 it sucks. On sale for $25, but the mouse is cheaply made and the keyboard, just ceased working, this is Day 2 of ownership, ha ha. Time to switch back to logitec.

Haven’t studied since getting my CCNA, that should change soon, just not at the top of the pile right now.

July 22, 2008

So much to do…

Filed under: CCNP, misc — Tags: — ccxx4488 @ 11:28 pm

…so little time.

Its gonna be a busy month, lets see, umm yea, the to-do list:

  • Pack up and move out my apartment.
  • Ship my Cisco gear stateside
  • Visit the UK
  • Spam my resume, land a job
  • Find cheap flights
  • Sell my car
  • Tie up loose ends
  • And a ton of misc filler stuff

And hopefully find time in between, to add to this blog =)

On another note, I’m really looking forward to starting on the CCNP, my time seems kinda empty now that I’m not studying, but a little break is ok.

I’m gonna have my study strategy mapped out before I get started on the CCNP, time management, predefined goals, etc (refine my studying techniques from the ICND1 and 2). Chris Bryant stated something thats pretty simple but solid advice, master one topic before moving on to the next. I believe if you truly master a given subject, when you don’t review it for awhile, and return later, its more of a refresher than a review. I think thats a vital key in studying, especially given how many details are involved. As I’ve experimented with different learning strategies, I’ve found that even if your not progressing at the speed you want, you’ll still progress faster overall by mastering one topic at a time, as opposed to several reviews of many topics at once. This simple one step at a time approach, may take you 4 months study per exam, or it may take you 8–really the speed at which you can successfully knock out an exam will be dictated by your own aptitude.

I guess what I’m saying is, although I believe committing to a test day is important, approaching study with the attitude of, this will take me 4 months or this will take me 6, is kinda missing the point, it will take as long as it takes to master the content for the exam, end of story. So at this point, I’m not really going to put a time table on when I expect to complete my CCNP, I’d love to get it in 2 years, but if not, oh well.

(config-ccnp)#variance 2

My new lab

Filed under: Home Lab, misc — Tags: — ccxx4488 @ 4:23 pm

I added these a few months back.

2950 Switch (x3)

2611XM Router (x2)

2950 switch, 2611XM Router

My old lab

Filed under: Home Lab, misc — Tags: — ccxx4488 @ 4:17 pm

A quick snap of my old lab, still gets some use.

2507 Router (x2)

2504 Router (x1

2924XL Switch (x2)

Cisco spam

Filed under: misc — ccxx4488 @ 3:23 pm

Cisco or jivesoftware is spamming blogs, to promote their new Certification portal. Seen another blog a couple weeks back, complaining of the same thing. This is after the fact I’ve already plugged the site , kinda makes me feel like I should delete it….

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