That last step is a doozy

EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
I passed the written last month and it's been a year since I finished the CCNP. I've been studying for the last six months or so but in a very haphazard fashion, I need to be more organized about it.

The CCIE was a certification I always wanted to complete so while I'm no longer doing tier-3 networking, I can still use the knowledge and it's a personal goal. It being a personal goal has its pros and cons though. While it really won't impact my career other than making me a bit more effective as a manager, there's less incentive to study because there's no reward other than personal satisfaction. Balancing study, activity (hiking, skiing, bike riding) and home improvement will be a chore.

I'm fortunate enough to have access to not just the INE CCIE R/S material but also Cisco 360 CCIE material. I'd like to take Narbik's boot camp but am unsure if that will happen. I have 600 tokens that came with the INE subscription that I'll use for some of their larger labs.

Resources include:

INE CCIE R/S v5
Cisco 360 CCNP to CCIE Progression
Cisco 360 Preferred Bundle
Cisco Lab Builder time

Books:

Routing TCP/IP vol 1 & 2 (latest versions), Troubleshooting IP Routing Protocols, Narbik's "Bridging the gap" book, Cisco Press IP Multicast and a few other misc. books

So not including any classes, I have access to about 1500 hrs worth of study resources but my biggest annoyance is that Cisco tends to do maintenance at the most inconvenient times. What's the point of having resources in the cloud when you schedule a week-long outage?

For a couple of reasons, I've given myself a hard deadline of 18 months from today to pass the lab with an initial lab goal of six months. If I don't pass within 18 months, I'll have to pivot into a different way of studying. I'll decide in five months whether the following month is good or that a later month is an appropriate target. I need a target to aim for else I kind of do a little here and a little there in a disorganized fashion. So call the target 180 days away.

Current plan:

I've decided to start over with the "progression" labs while continuing to watch the INE videos. I'm also going to put together command sets to simply type out at work. Anyone who has taken a typing course knows that the key to speed is repetition. I plan on taking 10-20 minutes each day at work and simply typing commands in Notepad.

Assuming I'll be studying for 23 of those 26 weeks and assuming 22 hrs per week gives about 500 hours of study from today to the target date. Remembering that I've already done quite a bit of study to get to this point, I'm ball-parking the use of that time as follows:

Videos: 100 hrs
Reading: 50 hrs
Labs: 325 hrs
360 Assessments: 25 - 50 hrs
2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
After that: MBA, OSCP

Comments

  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,718Mod Mod
    Good luck in your pursuits! I definitely know how hard it is to pursue something that isn't going to immediately and directly help you. I gave up on studying the PMP because I was in the same situation with it. It's just hard to keep the drive up.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Some infrastructure labs, reading and videos. DMVPN has been playing a role at work so have been reading a bit more about it. The tablet also fits well into a bracket on the elliptical so I can't use either as an excuse to avoid the other.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • heatmizer6heatmizer6 Posts: 9Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    EANx,

    I thought you were reading the story of my life...lol. I'm in the same boat and currently in a bootcamp to retake my written exam on the 6th of March and begin the CCIE # chase again. I've moved on to a manager position where a only supervise but it was a goal that was never finished a few years ago. I have around 2500 INE tokens and CCIE Written/Lab bootcamps that have been paid for already along with a lab voucher. I was also thinking about going to ISOLThailand towards the end of my studying and take the weeks 5-8 for the lab, Go to Dubai in December and attempt the Lab and party Win, Lose or Draw. Next try at least 2 more times every 90 days and If after 3 tries I don't have my number curl up and die with my CISSP,CCNP and PMP and act like I really didn't want the CCIE....lol
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Still working away, the last week found me taking Narbik's class (see my other post reviewing the class). It was good but I head information overload each day. I managed to get a score on the hard assessment exam similar to people Narbik felt were close to ready for the lab but I know I'm not close.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Posts: 464Member
    hey man, keep us posted on that ;)
  • heatmizer6heatmizer6 Posts: 9Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree! I'm rooting for you! Now I'm worried that Cisco will change the Lab after Cisco Live.....Not that I've been studying alot but I've decided to do it or stop talking about it. It's been a 4 year lie I tell to myself.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hah! Thanks guys. Not long after that last entry I was in an accident that sidelined my ability to hunch over a keyboard for hours at a time. I could watch videos and read books but it doesn't stick until I've done it several times. Got back to it a few weeks ago and since MPLS has always been a weak point, that's what I'm focused on now.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Posts: 464Member
    auch, man! I hope you are doing better now.

    Anyway, although practice is important, reading books/rfcs is always welcome.

    On MPLS, i could recommend MPLS fundamentals. MPLS content for the CCIE lab is not a big deal, as you will only work with L3vpns. Focus on that + PE-CE routing and you will be fine. Having no QoS on MPLS and TE makes it waaaay simpler.

    Focus on your recovery first, but don't stop going after it! Getting back after a break is really tough!
  • ccie14023ccie14023 Posts: 183Member
    heatmizer6 wrote: »
    I agree! I'm rooting for you! Now I'm worried that Cisco will change the Lab after Cisco Live.....Not that I've been studying alot but I've decided to do it or stop talking about it. It's been a 4 year lie I tell to myself.

    That's always a concern. However, if they were to announce something, the exam won't change right away as they will set a date for the change. I passed both of my two CCIEs a month before the exam changed, and my JNCIE a month after. The good news is, the bulk of the content doesn't change. Most of your studying is worthwhile. A few subjects can get added, and a few dropped. In a way, it's better to take it after a change because you get more current material. I studied DLSW+ for my exam. Not sure how many people here remember DLSW+ but it was pretty dated even when I took R/S.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Today I spent the better part of the day at an 8-hour strategy-session for passing the R/S Lab at Cisco Live. While there were a number of nuggets and a lot of info that was news to some attendees if not me, the biggest eye-opener for me was the grading process for the lab as well as how any rereads might occur. In short, the grading scripts gather a lot of information about the state of your devices at the time you leave them and **** it into a database. They are not rebooted and the config, while saved, is generally not looked at. Instead, the concern is on the state of an interface or a routing process or the result of a particular show command. This means that if you configured a process correctly but that configuration also required you to start and restart that process and you neglected to, you would lose the points. A reread involves taking another look at the data gathered at the end of the exam, it does not involve reloading the configs.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Posts: 464Member
    if you are at cisco live, make sure you try at least one WISP. tried one last year in Vegas, and was really good to assess how well you are approaching the lab.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The last month has been pretty busy, I've been away from home more than I've been at it. Cisco live was mostly good, I'd like to go again next year and I'll have a better sense of how to arrange the sessions. (Tip: if doing the Management track, since the Exec. Symposium is Mon/Tues, the better sessions are Wed/Thurs allowing the execs to see the good stuff. If I go next year, I'll look for a few interesting technical sessions on Mon/Tues.) So Cisco Live, catching up at work and honey-dos before ... a road trip with the family then catching up at work before ... sitting in Narbik's R/S a 2nd time.

    Resitting Narbik's course was very helpful and I recommend it for anyone that is able to. The first time you go to his class it's like drinking from the firehose. You take a lot of notes and have your head spinning by Fri evening. The 2nd time, you know how things work, you have a better sense of your weak-points and you know which parts you could skip and head back to the hotel for a nap. I did that twice during three-hour troubleshooting labs that would migrate into a break for dinner. It was very obvious both evenings that I was by far the alertest in the class (the troubleshooting labs are self-contained and have a separate answer-key so it's easy to do them after class). I don't see a point in spending energy on labs I can do later then being so tired I miss stuff in the lecture.

    So where does that leave me? Still not ready but better than last time. I'm aiming for the first week in Nov. for the lab, or 16 weeks from now. So 400 hrs available plus any additional time taken with holidays or days off. I'm tentatively breaking the time down as follows:

    360 non-graded labs: 125
    360 graded assessments: 35
    Non-360 labs (Narbik, INE, etc): 250
    Reading: 40

    My goal for the next few weeks is simply nailing down the basics so I don't have to think about them. I don't do any of this in my day-to-day so I have to stop and think about everything which slows me down. Understanding of the concepts is there, the muscle-memory is what needs a little work.

    After getting back from class, I spent a bit of time Sat and Sun catching up on honey-dos from being gone all week then got back to labbing.

    Spent two hours building and rebuilding a phase 3 DMVPN with three devices plus a router acting as the core. Static routes represented the SP network and I would start with nothing more than IP addressing configured on an interface and those static routes. Got to a point where I was configuring and testing everything in under 10 minutes. It was only part about command muscle-memory, part was also about establishing a process. Then I spent two hours doing a self-graded 360 workbook troubleshooting lab.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,718Mod Mod
    Nice update EANx. What is the typical hour total people usually need to pass CCIE? I know I've seen it around here in other threads before, just can't recall what it is (1000 maybe?). Anyways, seems like you have a good chunk of time between now and your Nov goal. I was at Cisco Live as a vendor, but really wish I could have partaken in some of the technical discussions. Have you looked through the presentations from past events? There may be some that would help you in your pursuit. I found even though my vendor level membership didn't allow for attending live sessions, since I had an account period, I could at least watch past ones.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I guess it depends where someone is coming from. CCNP level is probably in that 1000 hr ballpark, CCNA might be 1300 to 1500. I met someone in the class working on his 2nd CCIE. His first was Data Center and he went from CCNA to CCIE in 18 months.

    Yeah, a good chunk of time. I'm trying to be realistic without giving myself so much that I never really build-up momentum. With an average of 25 hrs per week, I can slack off for an hour or two here or there but it's going to be hard to make up the time if I spend a week watching Netflix. I figure 400 hrs from where I am is reasonable.

    Yep, there were several in the library that I identified. I thought about attending a couple until ... "oops, it was covered last year. Might as well watch it rather than attend."
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • heatmizer6heatmizer6 Posts: 9Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    EANx,

    I'm glad you're back at it! I'm currently in Amsterdam being drugged though the INE CCIE R/S Bootcamp. I realize that this stuff is a few levels above what I know and really need to buckle down and study. I figured I could come here and learn the "How" and the instructor would explain the tasks as we go though them. I was wrong and needed to know everything prior to the book-camp. I knew the why and verbal reasoning but I couldn't keep up with the doing. I don't work on Cisco equipment at work anymore since moving more into management. I passed the written a few month ago after the written boot-camp and reading Narbriks book and TCP/IP vol 1&2.

    I thought about taking Narbriks class but after this I don't think I'm ready. Does he go over the subject in detail or just have you do it and later provides the Configs? I'm giving myself until Aug 2019 and then I'm sitting th Lab do or die in Dubai. my goal is to spend 20hrs a week studying from today on until Aug 2019. I wanted to sit Narbriks class in Dec 2018, hit INE again in May 2019 and Narbrik again right before the LAB in Aug 2019.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Narbik's class is 50-60% lecture. Within the labs, there are a bunch of what he calls "directed activities". You'll hop onto his racks, load a config and he'll walk you through configuring and seeing whatever it is he's talking about. (He's big on not trusting what he says, if you want to see it in action, he'll figure out a way to squeeze in a demo.) There are times when you're handed a task and you're on your own but it's probably only 1/3 of the class. Those cases are broken into the troubleshooting labs, done after the topic in question, and the graded Cisco 360 labs that are scattered across the week. If you've passed the written, you'd probably be about in the middle of the class as far as comfort-level.

    While I have a subscription to INE material, I've never taken one of their bootcamps (it sounds like I'd be better off simply doing graded 360 labs for a week) so I can't compare the two. But I do feel that Narbik does a good job with his class. None of it is super complicated, there's just a lot to it. You'll also get an updated set of his workbooks in addition to the old ones (and a large section of the CCIE Security workbook). He's been moving things to an EVE-NG format and says he has plans for a VIRL version. One of the nice things is that he'll go through a bunch of corner-cases and with almost each one say "and there's a lab on this in my workbook", allowing you to do it again at home if you want with very explicit instructions.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The last week has seen some reading (which led to an unplanned nap) and configs related to MPLS and BGP, along with a graded 360 lab. I'm not really fond of any of the lab material for MPLS so far. I'm hoping Narbik's updated MPLS labs come out in the next few weeks like he promised.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Some of the last week has been about repetition of layer 2/3 switched topics, repetition of creating different types of switched networks. I also spent part of Saturday working on troubleshooting simulation labs and doing some reading. The GF also pushed hard on "quality-time" so I spent part of Saturday working on landscaping and most of Sunday was spent in a double kayak on a lake.

    Closely watching the lab dates in Nov. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger but getting close.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Have gone through a self-graded lab and worked on various technologies. I'm also the type of person that will haphazardly study until I have a deadline so I decided that now was the time to pull the trigger. I scheduled the lab for early Nov. I'm realistic, I might not pass on the first shot so my budget allows more but I need to make this real.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • pierrevillerespierrevilleres Posts: 26Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Kudos for finally scheduling the lab and taking a more organized approach. Always be labbing.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 914Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Earlier this year, an executive gave me responsibility over a project that was failing "Here, do something with this. Turn it around or if it can't be, put it out of its misery." I managed to turn it around but also put it out of its misery because of the reputation it had gotten. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and that executive has said "so-and-so is leaving, I want you to take his place." It turns out he liked that I could fix something but also that I identified that it could still be a problem and that I wasn't so attached to a success that I couldn't kill it.

    As a manager of managers, this offer is an opportunity, the type you don't turn down easily. So I didn't. I was previously struggling to maintain a study schedule, I know that I can't keep studying and do the extra work I will need to in order to get up to speed in the new job and maintain my sanity <twitch>. So while I enjoy the heck out of networking, my CCIE studies are becoming more of a distraction than an opportunity - more like a 2nd job - when I need a way to chill from the stress of the main job.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • MitMMitM Posts: 529Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congratulations on the new opportunity! Are you considering canceling the lab date that you scheduled?
  • bpcciebpccie Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Excellent, congrats!
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