Thoughts from a brand new CCNP

nehalemnehalem Junior MemberMember Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
I recently completed my CCNP studies and I would just like to leave a few thoughts. I've always browsed these forums from time to time to get opinions and now that I'm a CCNP I'd like to leave some of my own.

I took the exams in the order ROUTE->SWITCH->TSHOOT. I think this order is good because SWITCH has a bit of routing on the syllabus and you would have gotten that knowledge from ROUTE. TSHOOT would be the capstone to ROUTE and SWITCH. I really liked these exams since each of the topics were concentrated around a single technology and you just went deep into that particular technology. Compared to the CCNA, I think each of these exams is shorter and easier to study since the scope isn't so broad.

ROUTE I think is more straightforward where concepts are concerned, and once you understand how the routing protocols work, then you should be able to logically deduce the answer to a question and do a configuration if necessary.

SWITCH on the other hand has a shorter syllabus but it touches on a bit more technologies so there is more of a chance that you may not have studied something. In my opinion, the SWITCH syllabus focuses a bit more on knowledge than logically deducing an answer.

TSHOOT is very, very nice. If you had a decent grasp of what you learned in ROUTE and SWITCH, then you should be able to do TSHOOT without much other practice involved. If you can easily build/simulate/emulate and configure the TSHOOT topology then you should be well on your way.

The Official Certification Guides are extremely helpful and if you use them to supplement what you learned from training videos then that would be a good combination. Using GNS3 and actual equipment is highly recommended if not absolutely necessary. You would be surprised how burned in your brain the commands are when you configure your equipment daily during practice. I never save configurations on practice devices and this forces me to repeat them every time I practice. Studying for 2-3 months for each of ROUTE and SWITCH is manageable if you have enough free time. Take any longer and I think you run the risk of starting to forget the stuff you started with and by that time you would have to relearn everything for TSHOOT. If you have the time and dedication like me, I would say 4-6 months would be a good timeline from CCNA->CCNP and you wouldn't run the risk of starting to forget stuff as much. Going too slowly (i.e. 6 months or more) for any one exam is a waste of time IMO as it severely reduces your efficiency, as by this time you will probably have to start relearning details you covered months ago.

If anyone has any questions for me, I would be happy to answer them. Otherwise, good luck on your CCNP journey!

Comments

  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah... what's your plan on keeping those details going forward from here? I'm considering I will need to set a plan for myself to keep rereading stuff after i'm done with my CCNP (in the next couple months)... SO easy to forget those routing details! Who's going to remember that OSPF's dead timer is 4x that of the hello timer?!

    Ok well maybe I will now that i just spit it out but you get my point :D
  • nehalemnehalem Junior Member Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    That's an interesting question. I think rewatching the training videos ever so often would be good. They cram quite a bit of info in 10 hours so that's a start. I own a 3550 and 2950 and I'm in love with networking so I'll fire them up ever so often a do cool stuff with them. Another good approach is to try new stuff at work. If you have the freedom, why not go ahead and suggest ways to improve network efficiency. It would definitely keep you well-rounded and force you to continue learning. Another good way is to read a CCIE book to keep you sharp even if you don't plan on taking the exam any time soon.
  • wavewave Senior Member Member Posts: 342
    Congrats and good round-up! What's next on the cards for you?

    ROUTE Passed 1 May 2012
    SWITCH Passed 25 September 2012
    TSHOOT Passed 23 October 2012
    Taking CCNA Security in April 2013 then studying for the CISSP
  • union122union122 Member Member Posts: 41 ■■■□□□□□□□
    thanks for the heading up.. I am planning on taking Route in a couple of months.
  • nehalemnehalem Junior Member Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    wave wrote: »
    Congrats and good round-up! What's next on the cards for you?

    Well next on the cards for me is to get back to my schoolwork. I'm doing a Masters degree by research and I have been thoroughly neglecting it since I started studying for the CCNP. Now that the CCNP is out of the way I have no more excuses.

    Looking a bit further into the future I may do some Juniper certifications as well. I'm trying to avoid doing stuff that may become too vendor specific so that's why I'm not so sure about the CCIE or CCNA Voice for example. But if required, then I'll just have to do it.

    I'm looking in your bio and I see that you have TSHOOT left. Any particular reason why you haven't gone after it yet? I would say give it a go. If you can solve the 4 tickets in the demo on Cisco's site, then you're well on your way.
  • wavewave Senior Member Member Posts: 342
    nehalem wrote: »
    I'm looking in your bio and I see that you have TSHOOT left. Any particular reason why you haven't gone after it yet? I would say give it a go. If you can solve the 4 tickets in the demo on Cisco's site, then you're well on your way.

    Got TSHOOT scheduled for the 30th of this month. I'm taking my second Boson practice test tomorrow. I decided I would take a month after SWITCH to make sure I have everything down. Once I pass I will be hitting the job market. I'm really pumped for a new challenge.

    I'm currently deciding what I'll do next but seeing as I've got such a solid Cisco foundation I feel this would be the best time to commence the CCIE.

    ROUTE Passed 1 May 2012
    SWITCH Passed 25 September 2012
    TSHOOT Passed 23 October 2012
    Taking CCNA Security in April 2013 then studying for the CISSP
  • nehalemnehalem Junior Member Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good luck on the TSHOOT and on the CCIE.:D
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