Whats wrong with me??? ARGH!!!!

r1000r1000 Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all.. a little intro to where i'm at.. I have been doing helpdesk going on 6 years now.. I'm about to blow my brains out. I'm done answering calls, I'm sick of the word "coverage" (can't do that we don't have coverage..blah blah) . Anyway, I have been trying to progress in my IT career and get to the 2nd level, infrastructure, working behind the scenes whatever you want to call it.

Currently I only have ITIL v3 certification and the Comptia N+ cert. I have been on the fence on what route I should take first. MS or Cisco. Well a couple of weeks ago I got my company to approve a one week CCENT course. Now this is NOT my first intro to Cisco related stuff. I have played around with it for a while. Just logging into router, executing simple commands, copying config files (always with the help of someone else). But nothing consistent unfortunately.

So I took the one week CCENT course, and I feel like I didn't remember anything (took it about a month ago) I have been reading almost every night AND I JUST FEEL LIKE I'M NOT RETAINING ANYTHING!!!! I do have distraction at home, mainly a 16 month baby boy. But after 8pm usually i'm free till i go to bed.

I need something to break the wall? I'm currently using the book I was given during the course, but I feel maybe I need get some other material.

Comments

  • burbankmarcburbankmarc Posts: 460Member
    I've heard good things about the CBT nuggets. I personally only read but everyone is different.

    I'd suggest hands on to reinforce the theory. Lab lab lab, then lab some more. Use GNS3 or a simulator if you're short on cash.

    Take notes, transfer the notes to your PC, then print out the notes and drill the concepts home. That's pretty much what I do.
  • bermovickbermovick Posts: 1,134Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sometimes you surprise yourself. I feel that way quite a bit actually -- especially when I was driving in to take my ICND2 exam. I felt I hadn't retained nearly enough to pass, but I did.

    Try taking some practice exams; that way you actually have the chance to test if you've retained what you need (Odom's books come with boson practice exams so you get another source to study as well as exams!). It's more difficult to figure out if you know ... a nebulous 'something' than figure out if you know the specific question (or 50) you're being asked.
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
  • JaCkNiFeJaCkNiFe Posts: 96Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Be patient with yourself, I am sure you remember more than you give yourself credit for. Continue reading, put what you learn into practice and quiz yourself. What are you currently reading?

    If you haven't already, pick up Wendel Odom's ICND1 and ICND2 books which can be had for around $33 on Amazon.com as a set. I have read both cover to cover as well as the alternatives and have found this pair indispensable.
    Lab on!
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    I used TrainSignal, the ICND1 and 2 books, Packet Tracer, and the Exam Cram book for the full CCNA. It took me about 2 months for CCENT, and 1 for ICND2. Bootcamps are great and all, but I just can't but feeling that they cram too much in and when you go to take the exam it's just regurgitation rather than learning. Take your time, no one here can tell you how to study but taking some practice tests will at least help you identify your weak areas so you can focus on them. For the CCNA Security exam I'm walking page by page through the book and rewriting it essentially in my own words so I can actually learn it rather than vomit it out on exam day. This is a new approach for me but I feel like I'm learning more by reading, taking notes in my own words, and then labbing things. I took some practice tests and found my weak areas so now I know what to focus on.
  • shecoolshecool Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    R1000, I know how you feel about help desk. I have a similar job (answering phones, the coverage, ahh!) but I am a student, so I don't have much room to move at the moment.

    i think what you need to do to retain the info is
    1) Don't get too stressed about it. When I am stressed I can't remember a single thing.
    2) Try watching some CBTs, using a few methods of learning can greatly help you!
    3) Keep reading and reviewing.

    I think the key is not to stress too much and just keep going at it. Don't let this discourage you!
    Up Next: CCDA, CCDP
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Posts: 499Member
    r1000:
    A few suggestions.
    Real equipment -- get some if you can and build a real lab. It really helps.
    If you can't get real equipment try getting your hands on Packet Tracer. It should assist you in passing the CCNA.
    CBT Nuggets -- Definitely worth it. It's like having a teacher at your disposal.
  • r1000r1000 Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yup.. thanks guys.. maybe i need some new material.. so far on this post you guys have suggested:

    TrainSignal
    Wendel Odom's ICND1
    CBT Nuggets

    Where do I get the CBT Nuggets?
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    r1000 wrote: »
    Yup.. thanks guys.. maybe i need some new material.. so far on this post you guys have suggested:

    TrainSignal
    Wendel Odom's ICND1
    CBT Nuggets

    Where do I get the CBT Nuggets?

    I think you are missing the most important advice in this thread in your list. LAB! You need to get some hands on with the stuff to make it stick. You can read or watch videos all you want, but once you actually see the stuff in action you will have a lot better understanding.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • r1000r1000 Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think you are missing the most important advice in this thread in your list. LAB! You need to get some hands on with the stuff to make it stick. You can read or watch videos all you want, but once you actually see the stuff in action you will have a lot better understanding.

    Yes.. MY BAD.. good point.. i can actually get my hands on routers to borrow here at work.. but then my question was.. what do i do from there? I would think that I need some type of "scenarios" no?
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • chrisonechrisone CISSP, CRTP, eCPPT, LFCS, CEH, Azure Fundamentals, Retired Cisco NPs Posts: 1,878Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    One can read and not really understand what they read. You need to make sure you can answer questions in the end chapters. Understand what your reading before you move on to the next chapter. That is called blitz reading, just because you read it and maybe have some idea of what the text talks about doesnt really mean you understand it or know how to implement it.

    I would suggest studying with no TV or Music on. Read the chapter and answer the questions at the end. Try to memorize and understand the Tables and charts the book specifically asks you to memorize or build from memory as they put it. Get a hold of GNS it can help you with labs and labs help you build memory and implementation processes. I dont think you need this for the CCENT but if you plan on going cisco or miscrosoft you need to get into the habit of using a lab for your studies.

    As others have stated make sure you get the CCNA library from cisco press which is ICND1 and ICND2 books in the bundle.

    Studying and learning the flow of how to take cisco tests is a huge battle in itself. There is a certain style and feel to not only studying but to test taking. You will only get their by failure i am afraid. The main goal is not to be deterred by failure.
    2019 Goals:
    Courses: Real World Red Team Attacks- AppSec Cali 2019 (complete), Active Directory Attacks for Red and Blue Teams Advanced Edition - BlackHat (completed),
    Certs: Certified Red Team Professional - Pentester Academy (passed!), Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 (passed!), Azure Security Engineer Associate AZ-500 (in-progress)
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Posts: 2,077Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Hey buddy,

    Congrads on the kid!

    Unfortunately none of the material from the CCNA really ever "sticks" it's not even that practical until you get into the specializations (CCNA: Voice/Sec/wireless), so we are looking at a much much larger learning/experience curve than Microsoft. You can always get a few routers offline cheap, but it sounds like you are doing service desk work, so I am to guess you are most familiar with Microsoft. Grow that skill.

    MCDST to prove you know XP
    MCITP: Enterprise Support Tech to prove you know Windows 7

    There is a lot to gain from those. You learn how Microsoft tests, they are going to round out your knowledge too. You would be shocked at how many people join my team claiming to know windows but when I ask them to add a driver to an image or something get completely lost.

    Work on those for a while. I have seen people reselling their old books/videos etc on ebay very cheap.
    -Daniel
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    r1000 wrote: »
    Hello all.. a little intro to where i'm at.. I have been doing helpdesk going on 6 years now.. I'm about to blow my brains out. I'm done answering calls, I'm sick of the word "coverage" (can't do that we don't have coverage..blah blah) . Anyway, I have been trying to progress in my IT career and get to the 2nd level, infrastructure, working behind the scenes whatever you want to call it.

    Currently I only have ITIL v3 certification and the Comptia N+ cert. I have been on the fence on what route I should take first. MS or Cisco. Well a couple of weeks ago I got my company to approve a one week CCENT course. Now this is NOT my first intro to Cisco related stuff. I have played around with it for a while. Just logging into router, executing simple commands, copying config files (always with the help of someone else). But nothing consistent unfortunately.

    So I took the one week CCENT course, and I feel like I didn't remember anything (took it about a month ago) I have been reading almost every night AND I JUST FEEL LIKE I'M NOT RETAINING ANYTHING!!!! I do have distraction at home, mainly a 16 month baby boy. But after 8pm usually i'm free till i go to bed.

    I need something to break the wall? I'm currently using the book I was given during the course, but I feel maybe I need get some other material.

    Practice exams with problems to solve will help you. A sense of accomplishment that will help you work that material you are trying to read. That and some hands on with real equipment at home. Buy a couple of used 2500's for a few bucks.

    Lots of people working helpdesk feel like blowing their brains out so dont feel so bad.
  • tha_dubtha_dub Posts: 262Member
    Get the odom books! Not only are they IMHO the most complete CCNA certifications books out there the practice exams will give you a very good idea where you are really at. If you can pass the ICND1 practice test included with the books you have a very good shot at the real exam.
  • xenodamusxenodamus Posts: 758Member
    I just passed the ICND1 on my first try and am studying for the ICND2. Here's the method I use:

    1. Read Odem's book front to back, but without seriously grilling on the EOC questions. Lab the concepts from each chapter as I read.

    2. Watch the CBT nuggets. Lab the concepts from each video I watch.

    3. Read Odem's book again, but this time mastering each chapter before moving on. Don't leave a concept until you understand it. Don't leave a chapter until you can answer and understand all the EOC questions. Lab the concepts from each chapter as I move along.

    4. Break out the Boson practice test that comes with the book. Use it to guage your weak areas.....and cover those areas again. I make it a goal to not only answer the questions right, but understand WHY every wrong answer is wrong. That is a key to taking Cisco exams IMO. While doing all this I also...guess what...LAB all the concepts I've learned in between.

    Did you notice a common theme in all these steps? LABS - I think this was key in my passing the ICND1 on the first go round. I got enough lab time in at home making up scenarios and upgrading IOSs that the sims on the exam were my favorite part. Get your practice in, know your concepts, and you'll knock em out.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
  • jacksparrowbizjacksparrowbiz Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    xenodamus wrote: »
    I just passed the ICND1 on my first try and am studying for the ICND2. Here's the method I use:

    1. Read Odem's book front to back, but without seriously grilling on the EOC questions. Lab the concepts from each chapter as I read.

    2. Watch the CBT nuggets. Lab the concepts from each video I watch.

    3. Read Odem's book again, but this time mastering each chapter before moving on. Don't leave a concept until you understand it. Don't leave a chapter until you can answer and understand all the EOC questions. Lab the concepts from each chapter as I move along.

    4. Break out the Boson practice test that comes with the book. Use it to guage your weak areas.....and cover those areas again. I make it a goal to not only answer the questions right, but understand WHY every wrong answer is wrong. That is a key to taking Cisco exams IMO. While doing all this I also...guess what...LAB all the concepts I've learned in between.

    Did you notice a common theme in all these steps? LABS - I think this was key in my passing the ICND1 on the first go round. I got enough lab time in at home making up scenarios and upgrading IOSs that the sims on the exam were my favorite part. Get your practice in, know your concepts, and you'll knock em out.
    This, except I would recommend the Train signal videos over the CBT videos (having watched both). I found the TS videos much clearer, and much more motivational. They also have better labs and better slides.

    What I did was:
    1. Watch a trainsignal video. Take notes!
    2. Watch CBT video. Take notes!
    3. Read the chapter in Odom's book. Take notes!
    4. Do the labs & practice questions relating to that chapter. Take notes!

    The videos and the book are all segmented to correlate to each other quite nicely :)
  • HardDiskHardDisk Posts: 62Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Worth mentioning is to also check out Craigslist in your area. I have seen that once a fellow CCNA (or better) candidate passes the exam they sell all their stuff they accumulated during their preparation process. Just enter "CCNA" in the search window and see what pops up!

    Trying to master the CCNA material is like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in the bottom. To be successful you have to learn more every day than you are forgetting. Eventually the learning becomes understanding and once you understand you don't have to remember. Subnetting is my favorite example. I can now spot a subnetting issue with a simple glance when six months ago I needed a cup of coffee and a spreadsheet.

    My least favorite question these days is, "when do you think you will be ready to take the exam"? This question will drive you crazy. Rather than sweat the exam question ask yourself "when will you know enough to be able to talk like a networking professional during a job interview"? Passing the exam might get you the interview but truly knowing the material will get you the job.

    Go for it and don't spare the horses.
  • hooklowhooklow Posts: 29Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Try morning routine, get up 2 hours before your usual time, assuming you work "normal hours" read/watch/lab, take your notes to work to look over during lunch, short lab after you get home, you will find yourself at work thinking about material you covered instead of blowing your brains
  • miller811miller811 Posts: 897Member
    hooklow wrote: »
    Try morning routine, get up 2 hours before your usual time, assuming you work "normal hours" read/watch/lab, take your notes to work to look over during lunch, short lab after you get home, you will find yourself at work thinking about material you covered instead of blowing your brains

    This is what has worked best for me. Study early, and then think about it all day./ Review at night, then study the next morning. To do the CCNA you will need access to hardware. Pick up a couple of switches off of ebay, and then load and configure dynamips for routing and you should be good to go.

    You current situation and your level of frustration should be more than enough motivation to get moving....
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I sure would like to become one someday.

    Quest for 11K pages read in 2011
    Page Count total to date - 1283
  • CertGrabberCertGrabber Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    My two cents are this:

    Study for the material in more ways than one. Read the material (for you, the Odom books), google information that you read to get more perspective, invest in the cbt nuggets or train signal vids, take notes while watching the vids, purchase some routers/switches to set up a home lab, LAB AS MUCH AS YOU CAN HANDLE! Don't make it a chore though, try to have fun with it.

    While reading and learning, you're trying to study for the exam, but don't necessarily look at it that way. Look at it as if you want to learn as much as possible about the technology. Have a respect for it that way. If you keep reading and learning, after awhile you'll be able to grasp the concept like you grasp the concept of driving a car or cooking. Tests will become easier.

    Also, I see some people study for something, and really want to learn the technology. You'll only have to learn a certain portion of the technology for the scope of the test, but they will have the ambition to read more about it on the side. They'll learn more about it then they will actually need to 'know' for the cert, but this doesn't stop them from learning more.

    Basically, you have to 'want' to learn or else you'll be climbing up a mountain you don't want to go up.. Have fun and don't give up!

    Hope this helps!!
    Studying CCNP Route

    Currently compiling my own home lab. I never knew scouring ebay for routers, switches, and modules could be so much fun!
  • phantasmphantasm Posts: 995Member
    There has been a lot of good advice given in this thread so I will add what worked for me. Initially, a few years ago I attempted the full CCNA exam after not touching it for years and failed. Then I decided to try the split test option. For CCENT I used the CCENT Flashcards book and Todd Lammle's CCNA Study Guide. I read Todd Lammle's book (the sections that applied to CCENT) and used the flashcards as random test questions for myself.

    CBT Nuggets also helped, I borrowed them from a friend and watched them the week before my test. I don't remember how much was hands on for the CCENT exam. If I remember most of it is basics and subnetting. The actual configuration questions were on the ICND2 exam.

    Either way, best of luck to you. I understand your situation except my son is now 3 and my wife is finishing grad school. I have to work my study time in where I can, which some days is not at all.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • super22super22 Posts: 48Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    hey r1000...I know how you feel I have been working as a helpdesk for 4 years now!!!

    anyway I just got my CCNA on 1st week of this month and I'm thinking of studying for the new CCNP track also trying to get some actual labs for practice...

    also I need a career change something that could use my newly acquired CCNA hehe...

    any suggestions...is a being a network engineer too much for me? what kind of job should I start???

    thanks in advance :D
  • anobomskianobomski Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Posts: 2,997Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Another on for CBT..... the CCENT and CCNA are great !!!! you will need the hands on after wards but for an intro and to give you the fundementals you can't go wrong with CBT...
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • phantasmphantasm Posts: 995Member
    super22 wrote: »
    hey r1000...I know how you feel I have been working as a helpdesk for 4 years now!!!

    anyway I just got my CCNA on 1st week of this month and I'm thinking of studying for the new CCNP track also trying to get some actual labs for practice...

    also I need a career change something that could use my newly acquired CCNA hehe...

    any suggestions...is a being a network engineer too much for me? what kind of job should I start???

    thanks in advance :D

    From helpdesk to Network Engineer is near impossible. You can't build a car without learning how it works. In other words, look for a NOC job or some other entry level networking gig. The rule of thumb is that helpdesk is entry level for system admins and the NOC is entry level for networking.

    That doesn't mean you can't move from the helpdesk into networking, you will just have to switch gears and see what comes up. But you won't be an Engineer right away, and if someone hires you as an engineer, you won't be one for long. icon_wink.gif
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • super22super22 Posts: 48Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    phantasm wrote: »
    From helpdesk to Network Engineer is near impossible. You can't build a car without learning how it works. In other words, look for a NOC job or some other entry level networking gig. The rule of thumb is that helpdesk is entry level for system admins and the NOC is entry level for networking.

    That doesn't mean you can't move from the helpdesk into networking, you will just have to switch gears and see what comes up. But you won't be an Engineer right away, and if someone hires you as an engineer, you won't be one for long. icon_wink.gif

    hey man thanks for that...what are the keywords for a NOC job? any tips?
  • ptlinvaptlinva Posts: 125Member
    I'd recommend spending a few dollars on Ebay. Hands on, for me, helps me remember things.

    Also, READING does not do it for me. Videos combined with hands-on, does.

    Watching a video in one window WHILE having my equipment in another window doing the same thing is what works for me.

    I know everyone doesn't have money... I don't either... but start with a 2950, then add a cheapo router, get another 2950, a 3550... before you know it, you are looking at an access router to access all of your equipment. Really, once you get the 1st piece of equipment in, you'll never be the same! :)

    ...and if your serious about moving down the Cisco track, it's the only way to go.

    Good Luck,
    -paul
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