Losing it all? (knowledge)

f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection OverlordMember Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
I got my CCNP last year and finished it in September/November. Since then, I haven't really used it too much in my current job. It's been great to be able to have a big picture for troubleshooting but I'm not "the one" who gets to configure the routers/switches on the network (I'm mainly firewalls and security). I was upset about that for awhile, yes, but it's a different subject for a different time :P.

So the question I have is, what information have you kept and what have you lost? I know it's hard to figure out what you don't remember hahaha (goes back to the old joke "if you're not here, please raise your hand"). I'm just curious if those who have gotten their CCNPs in the past few years or so have actually been able to utilize most of it or if you're rusty on some topics like I am already?

If so, do you have a plan in place to keep that knowledge going? Maybe we could brainstorm some ideas to keep that information fresh. I know the whole thing "lab, read again", etc... But I'm curious of any other ideas out there?


For me the topics that I already know that I'm rusty on are:
- IPv6 routing (OSPFv3, RIPng)
- Configuring prefix lists and ACLs for applying BGP attributes to specific routes
- Command syntax in general, I know I could figure it out but it's hard to have it come right out if you don't use it!
- EIGRP K values
- BGP attributes in general
- Filtering routes
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Comments

  • vasyvasyvasyvasy Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's rather impossible to keep all the information fresh in your mind, once you've finished the exam/certification, if you don't practice at your current job.

    But the one thing that doesn't scare me all that much is that, given any topic, I can research it quickly and refresh my memory very fast when/if I need to. After all, not all problems to be solved in the real world are just as straightforward as they are in the books, so most of the time you will be on the Google regardless of the freshness of the topic in your head...

    Of course, if one-two-three years pass without hands-on practice, maybe you don't need that cert at all :)

    This goes to any cert, really
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    THIS is why I don't advise newbies with zero experience to pursue their CCNP and higher. Definitely not calling you a newbie, Forgiven - If someone like yourself with actual networking experience and employed in IT cannot retain the information if you're not currently working in depth with networking concepts found in this exam, how can newbies with zero IT experience and not currently working in any sort of networking environment hope to retain that information past the pass on the exam? I admire people like you, Forgiven, who study with the primary focus of bettering your skillset and RETAINING your knowledge.

    /end rant. I would say structures SIMs like with Bison would work for a once a week sort of exercise and reviewing your actual CCNP study notes. If you don't still have them, I actually am working on my CCNP switch right now and I'd be happy to share my notes with you if you'd like. I've been passing them around to other forum members and they are somewhat decent. As I get past TSHOOT and ROUTE, you can have those notes as well.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I don't use most of the LAN technologies very often so things like port security leave my mind easily. It's easier to jog your memory though when you have learned something rather than starting form the begining.

    You can't remember everything and google is your friend!
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    That too, networker. Without Google and the occasional Cisco TAC, I think we'd all be up the creek without a paddle.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Questions on these forums are probably the main way I stay sharp on things I don't often use. When someone asks a question and I can't remember the answer I google it. Helps me stay fresh on things I don't even realized I forgot.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Lab it up once a month to keep it fresh in your mind.
    Or get a new job that focuses more on R&S vs Security. Even then, the stuff you don't use (like IPv6) will still be forgotten.
    Not like it's a big deal if you don't remember the K-values or EIGRP metric formula anyway.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I don't think anyone who has earned their certification used everything they've learned. Of course, I know somewhere, someone is.

    With that said, most people may only deal with switches, or routers, or both but not to the same depth. Some may not work with IPv6 and OSPF but use EIGRP. Others may work with the Designing aspect without the hands-on.

    If you work with Firewalls and Security, why not go the CCNP:Security? I see you have CCNA:Sec listed. That may be up your alley.

    The certifications give you a lot of information, expect to be rusty on things.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hmm good feedback here. Vasyvasy and Networker I do like the point about it quickly coming back to you. I guess now that I think about it I've seen that quite a bit from my experiences. Having that mindset definitely makes me feel better about some things slipping away after not using it.

    Iris... that is an awesome rant LOL. And I do like that you used this post to make a point, an excellent point at that. Yes, I do have networking experience and I actually got my CCNA 5-6 years prior to getting my CCNP. Even with having time to let it all sink in and doing/seeing I still have this problem. I can't imagine not having my prior experiences to draw on and all of it being theoretical knowledge. It's one thing to get a CCNA based on theoretical knowledge but a CCNP (IMO) requires hands on experience to have the solid foundation to build upon. I appreciate the offer for your notes, that would be extremely useful in clearing out the cobwebs (i know, it's only been 3 months and I already have cobwebs... O_O)

    One thing that I have done to keep redistribution and OSPF fresh is doing GNS3 labs etc... which is very useful.
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    f0rgiv3n wrote: »
    So the question I have is, what information have you kept and what have you lost? I know it's hard to figure out what you don't remember hahaha (goes back to the old joke "if you're not here, please raise your hand"). I'm just curious if those who have gotten their CCNPs in the past few years or so have actually been able to utilize most of it or if you're rusty on some topics like I am already?

    If so, do you have a plan in place to keep that knowledge going? Maybe we could brainstorm some ideas to keep that information fresh. I know the whole thing "lab, read again", etc... But I'm curious of any other ideas out there?

    In my experience, the only thing you can do is to lab it out. CCIE labbing brings out all the rust that a network guy is hiding.
    Lab the workbook of narbik, ipexpert or ine. Those workbook will let you hit MOST of the technologies you are getting rusty.
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Roguetadhg wrote: »
    expect to be rusty on things.

    Noooooo!!! I don't want to admit it!
  • Prog SnobProg Snob Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I found myself with the same dilemna. Some of the CCNA stuff which I haven't used since I passed the exam is slipping from my mind. What I find helps me the best is breaking out some old labs and running through them again. You'd be surprised at how quick everything comes back to you.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    Send me a PM and I'll share my notes with you. I've been using Google Docs to save them
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • darkerzdarkerz Member Posts: 431 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A good way to keep your memory fresh is to put your home devices, tables, desktops and laptops behind a vast array of switches, routers and firewalls (got to practice and monitor redundancy). If you're confident in your skills and have decent lab gear, make yourself the customer and keep it that way. When you or a SO/Family/etc. is home, have them use a light switch to control the on/off to your strip.

    If you have the fortitude for it, and are nerd enough (it is good thing! yas!) to setup your own in house MRTG or Orion like setup, it becomes a great way to keep track of your skills.

    My girlfriend is convinced the "IT Closet" is me trying to reproduce the Matrix, and it's an interesting discussion piece for guests.
    :twisted:
  • 7of97of9 Member Posts: 76 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sometimes, I think I've forgotten more than I've learned, but like others said, when it comes time to dig into some of those skills that I haven't used in years, I find it comes back to me quicker than when I had to learn it the first time. I like to think that while the bulk of the content kind of seeps down to lower levels in my brain to make more room for what I'm working on now, it leaves little sticks in that shifting sand sticking up. Then, when I have to dig that knowledge back up, a google search or labbing something out finds one of those sticks and I can dredge most of that back up to the surface.

    This is why I've also found it's best for me to work on certs that are most relevant to what I work with. It's much harder when I try to work on certs for what I'd rather be working with because I don't get the reinforcement of the material in at least some small way from work, which is where the majority of my cycles are spent.

    And...expect it to get worse as you age. My brain is a much more fluid and slippery place in my 30's than it was in my 20's and I've heard it gets downright impossible to make much stick in your 40's and 50's. icon_rolleyes.gif
    Working on Security+ study, then going back to re-do my Cisco Certs, in between dodging moose and riding my Harley
  • KelkinKelkin Member Posts: 261 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yea thinking about it this is why I stopped pursuing IE-Voice.. Work lead me away and more into the RS/Datacenter realm then voice.. so ive been hitting that hard..
  • JackaceJackace Member Posts: 335
    I don't have the CCNP yet, but I'm working on it now and I find I'm having a hard time keeping it all fresh for the exam. The problem I have is I work for a SP so I don't use any of the EIGRP or OSPF stuff on a daily basis and I rarely touch anything frame-relay. Most of my job is stuff that is covered in the SP track or the CCIE.

    As for retaining the info long term, I just don't think you can. The best you can do is know what needs to be done so you can google the correct topics and find good examples.
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    I would like to get my CCNA and CCNA:S even though I don't anticipate touching any routers or switches...maybe ASA's, ACE...more security and application related Cisco gear.

    Am I crazy?

    1.) I would like to know this stuff but 2.) I believe it would help on my way to netsec which is the Security domain I'm leaning towards...
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    lsud00d wrote: »
    I would like to get my CCNA and CCNA:S even though I don't anticipate touching any routers or switches...maybe ASA's, ACE...more security and application related Cisco gear.

    Am I crazy?

    1.) I would like to know this stuff but 2.) I believe it would help on my way to netsec which is the Security domain I'm leaning towards...

    LOL.

    The CCNA:Security has been revised to begin covering the ASAs, so it wouldn't be a lost cause.

    Besides, the people I've seen in security who didn't have the CCNA-level knowledge (not the cert, just that level of knowledge) were prone to produce issues for the networking people :D

    To the OP:
    Practice is the only thing that can keep you in the groove.

    Hope this helps!
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • MrBrianMrBrian Member Posts: 520
    Like others said, if you learned the topics in depth the first time, it'll probably come back without much effort when reviewing it. I did slide with some of the specifics of rapid spanning tree and multiple spanning tree so I hit my notecards to freshen up on it and did some simple labs, which made it clear again. Also, I was the same way with IPv6 and BGP. In fact, that's why I'm reading Internet Routing Architectures and it's really strengthening my BGP. I'm just going through various configuration examples towards the back of it now and will say it's been a great read. We have BGP at work, and even though I'm not able to work on it now, I'm gaining a lot of confidence for the time when I'll be able to.

    I too want to make sure I don't fade on the topics that I don't see at work. My plan is to read a lot of the CCIE recommended texts even though I'm not going for the CCIE now. That way if I do in the future I'll go through them again and hopefully push my knowledge further since it'll be the second time around. As for syntax, just do labs every now and then and you should be fine.
    Currently reading: Internet Routing Architectures by Halabi
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    7of9 wrote: »
    Sometimes, I think I've forgotten more than I've learned...
    Yup - I don't think that I could splice a 10base5 connection today if I had to. I used to be able to do that pretty quickly. But then that's not a skill that's in demand. icon_wink.gif
    7of9 wrote: »
    ...expect it to get worse as you age. My brain is a much more fluid and slippery ...
    Well if it's helpful to know... when you get to my age, it's the other body parts that you will probably worry about...
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Man, i totally feel your pain. I got my CCNP over a year ago now. At the time, i was in an engineering role and using a fair amount of the stuff in my day to day duties. It helped me understand the materials and stay sharp.

    A year on, alot has changed. I have moved countries/continents and into a new role which involves a lot of customer interaction and network design. These days i use MS word more than anything else creating some form of document! Due to the lack of variation, i have been on the same project for the last 8 months, i have not been exposed to many areas/technologies and restricted to the LAN side. Most of the tasks are far from cutting edge stuff to say the least.

    Now i barely touch the CLI. In that time, a lot of knowledge has faded. Stupidly, i have not dived into dynamips etc to keep things fresh. Both my gf and I would like me to go for the CCIE R&S as a long term goal. However, with the lack of exposure and things like knowledge fading, i am not 100% convinced it will be worth it hence the reason i haven't started.
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Send me a PM and I'll share my notes with you. I've been using Google Docs to save them

    Did you already take Route? Switch was fun, Route looks like its going to be an ass-kicker.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    Haven't taken route yet but I'll probably enjoy it
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • PurpleITPurpleIT Member Posts: 327
    This is a subject that has been on my mind lately and has lead to to distraction while studying some of the more mundane topics at WGU. I am actually looking at starting down the CCNP path just to keep my CCNA skills intact and build the foundation for actually doing some of the things I hope to do if I change jobs this spring/summer.

    I am OK with forgetting some of what I have learned, as others have touched on in this thread it is bound to happen as so many topics are covered in relation to any given cert and not all of them will be used on a regular basis; you are bound to lose some of that information. For me, the main thing is I if I know something can be done then I can sort out the details of how to do it and I will have enough random bits of information rattling around in my brain that I can put together a fairly decent search and find what I need to know in short-order.

    Also, think back to math class. Remember how tough it was to oh, say, find the lowest common denominator when first learning it? Yet, a year or so later when you have moved on to a more advanced topic you can find the LCD easily even though you don't use it all the time. There is something about working on the higher level subjects that reinforces the lower level information even if you aren't using it directly; so in response to the OP, I guess that means you should start CCIE to keep your CCNP skills in place!
    WGU - BS IT: ND&M | Start Date: 12/1/12, End Date 5/7/2013
    What next, what next...
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've noticed, the first time I study something, it's easily lost. The second time, not so easily lost. The third, fourth, fifth times- it gets harder to forget that information.

    In summary, if you study something once for a test, it can (and will) be easily lost eventually. If you keep brushing up on those topics (or use them for work), it'll be very hard to forget them.
  • 7of97of9 Member Posts: 76 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    I've noticed, the first time I study something, it's easily lost. The second time, not so easily lost. The third, fourth, fifth times- it gets harder to forget that information.

    In summary, if you study something once for a test, it can (and will) be easily lost eventually. If you keep brushing up on those topics (or use them for work), it'll be very hard to forget them.

    I'm definitely going to use that as the justification for doing my NP twice! No, Sir...I didn't just flub my exam expiration dates. This is my on-purpose strategy to make my CCNP stick. icon_cool.gif
    Working on Security+ study, then going back to re-do my Cisco Certs, in between dodging moose and riding my Harley
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hey- I wouldn't do THAT unless you had to..BUT, you will remember it all better, I promise! :)
  • 7of97of9 Member Posts: 76 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I like the optimism of it as well as the way to spin that I wasn't procrastinating...I was seeking better knowledge retention. icon_lol.gif
    Working on Security+ study, then going back to re-do my Cisco Certs, in between dodging moose and riding my Harley
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As a dual purpose, you'll also stop procrastinating next time you have to recert - which WAS one of your New Years resolutions right ;) ?
  • wes allenwes allen Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Specific knowlage like commands is always coming and going, but the concepts stay around and the commands are only a show ? or Google search away. I haven't touched appletalk in a decade +, but probably could still config a router, NT server, or even Netware 4.11 for it without to much trouble.

    And, I haven't found it to much, if any harder, to learn new stuff into my 40's. The bigger and broader your base knowledge is, the easier it is to add new stuff to it. So, while CISSP is hard, it is probably harder for younger people with less of a tech framework.

    "Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill"

    Or maybe it is "The older you get, the better you used to be?"
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