RouteMyWorld's CCIE Journey Begins

aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
Well, I'm making it official by declaring on TE that I'm finally going for the CCIE. :)

A quick blurb about me: I started out in IT around 2001 after graduating college. Stopped working for about 2 years (2002-2003) to study music -music theory, that is (I'm also a part-time church musician/accompanist). Resumed working in IT Support in 2004. That is when I began exposure to Cisco. Since then I've had gradual increase in exposure and experience working with Cisco gear. In 2011 I started working at a MSO (cable provider) and currently I work as a Network Engineer tasked with configuration, implementation and maintenance of the edge routing devices - mostly 7609s and a few ASR9Ks.

I've decided that my approach will be to focus on passing the written portion first then go deeper towards labbing later - as opposed to hitting the labs hard now and take the written whenever I feel I'm ready. Of course I'm still going to lab stuff up to complement the theory.

Because I work for a huge MSO, I was thrilled to find that we have a pretty hefty collection of training materials available for our consumption - mostly Cisco Press publications. So for the written, I have the following materials to use:

CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Guide
Routing TCP/IP, Volume 1
Routing TCP/IP, Volume 2
Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) (Authorized Self-Study Guide)
Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN) - 4th Edition
Developing IP Multicast Networks - Volume I
IP Telephony Self-Study Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide, Second Edition

Do you think this is enough for the written? Or is it overkill?

I know I have to ultimately go through all of them. But for the purposes of the written, I don't want to burn myself out on the outset. I'd like to start at a slow, consistent pace then gradually build up as I gain momentum. I'm currently in Chapter 5 of the Cert guide and must get back to studying now... after I take a nap cause I just came back from on-call escalation overnight. ;)

I welcome thoughts and encouragement.
CCIE Wr: In Progress...
Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
Follow my study progress at Route My World!
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Comments

  • 64:61:6e64:61:6e Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is my first post but wanted to join in on the community rather than continuing to just lurk and read everyone else's stories.
    Anyways, the list you have pretty much matches my reading list as well. I also added the MPLS Fundamentals Cisco Press book. I heard some of the chapters in that book are worth a read for the R/S. Also, Internet Routing Architectures by Halabi is good. My strategy is to read the following in this order or at least close to this order:
    - Routing TCP/IP Volume 1
    - Routing TCP/IP Volume 2
    - Internet Routing Architectures
    - MPLS Fundamentals
    - QoS OCG
    - then finally the R/S OCG
    I also have the INE Ultimate packet which includes the CCNP level materials as well as the Written VoD series. I think those videos will be mixed into the reading to provide a high-level overview of what I read. I used the CCNP materials to help pass the CCNP just a few months ago.
    Also, I just received an email from Boson a few minutes ago that all their products are 25% off. Might be worth picking to find my weaknesses. I find that as I'm reading the material, it all makes sense. Then I go to lab it up and feel that I'm still missing theory so go back to reading.

    Good luck on your studies and keep at it. I've started a few times but things always come up that force me to focus on other things in life. I'm in a position now to continue my studies so hopefully I'm able to stay at it this round.
    CCIE-DC Written - Q1 2015
    CCIE-DC Lab - Q3/Q4 2015

  • reaper81reaper81 Posts: 631Member
    Good luck buddy!

    I'm here for you if you need any assistance. Those books look pretty good.

    Look into getting a Safari account if you don't have one already. It's great for CCIE studies!
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    64:61:6e wrote: »
    This is my first post but wanted to join in on the community rather than continuing to just lurk and read everyone else's stories.

    Good luck on your studies and keep at it. I've started a few times but things always come up that force me to focus on other things in life. I'm in a position now to continue my studies so hopefully I'm able to stay at it this round.
    Thanks bro!

    I also hope to purchase some INE materials, maybe halfway through written prep. But right now, budget is kinda tight. So I have to set aside some money every paycheck so I can purchase more training materials. As far as the reading materials, I'm covered through work. I forgot to mention, also, that I purchased the Boson test back in December but only got the chance to get cracking on the written now.

    So I take it 64:61:6e is code for something.. Dan?

    Congratulations on your first post. Hopefully we'll see you here more regularly.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    reaper81 wrote: »
    Good luck buddy!

    I'm here for you if you need any assistance. Those books look pretty good.

    Look into getting a Safari account if you don't have one already. It's great for CCIE studies!

    Thanks Daniel! I know you'll be around. ;) I have seen you here and IEOC a lot and your input is invaluable. I'm sure a lot of folks have been grateful for the contributions you have given to the community in terms of you knowledge sharing.

    BTW I don't have Safari, but with all the Cisco Press PDFs we have available at work, I think I'm covered at least for the written part. I may purchase one or two non-Cisco Press books to mix it up, but we'll see.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Well I was hoping that I could at least get 3.5 to 4 hours of studying today but I could only muster 1.5 hours. I'm on call this week and I got called last night with only 2 hours of sleep. Then came home this morning and tried to sleep but only got 3 hours.

    When I finally picked up my books after lunch, I got a call again and just finished resolving an issue with one of our 10G uplinks taking in a lot of errors causing video tiling for our customers. Almost six hours later, I had to bathe the kids, put them to sleep and write a lengthy post-mortem report. It's 12a and I just tried to read this past 15 minutes and find that I'm not taking in any more knowledge. So I'll retire now and set my alarm clock to wake me up in 6 hours and hopefully get about 2 hours of reading in the morning before coming in to work.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • 64:61:6e64:61:6e Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□

    So I take it 64:61:6e is code for something.. Dan?

    Yeah, I guess I was feeling creative that day I created my username and kept it at a geek level.

    Sounds like you had a busy schedule. Having 3 of my own (ages 2-icon_cool.gif I know what that's like. Sometimes it's hard to find quality study time. I try to read for 2 hours or so before everyone wakes up each morning. I found if I try to read at night I just read the words but don't really absorb the details as much as I do if I read in the morning.

    - Dan
    CCIE-DC Written - Q1 2015
    CCIE-DC Lab - Q3/Q4 2015

  • blueberriesblueberries Posts: 138Banned
    64:61:6e wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess I was feeling creative that day I created my username and kept it at a geek level.

    - Dan

    So it has significance other than 011001000110000101101110?
    “There is no greater fame for a man than that which he wins with his footwork or the skill of his hands.”
    The Odyssey
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    So it has significance other than 011001000110000101101110?

    Ahh but you converted it to binary. Try converting it to text and ye shall see. ;)
    ASCII to Hex - Free text conversion tools
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • 64:61:6e64:61:6e Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    So it has significance other than 011001000110000101101110?

    Trust me...I was bored. :) I probably should have been studying rather than wasting my time on that.
    CCIE-DC Written - Q1 2015
    CCIE-DC Lab - Q3/Q4 2015

  • blueberriesblueberries Posts: 138Banned
    In that case I am 41:6e:64:72:65:77, nice to meet you.

    Sorry for sidetracking the thread, btw. These CCIE threads are my new inspiration, kind of like watching "Chariots of Fire" before the big race.
    “There is no greater fame for a man than that which he wins with his footwork or the skill of his hands.”
    The Odyssey
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    64:61:6e wrote: »
    I probably should have been studying.
    In that case I am 41:6e:64:72:65:77, nice to meet you.

    Sorry for sidetracking the thread,

    Go get your own damn thread!! LOL! But seriously, you both should join in the fun. I'm basically using this to track my progress and to have some sort of "transparent accountability". It forces me to follow up on what I say I'm going to do otherwise I look like a fool in front of everyone.

    I used to do that a lot in my CCNP/CCNA blog but it does take a lot of time - time that I need to devote towards my studies more. This thread is easier and faster. I'll still be blogging a lot about what I'm studying but not as regularly as I used to. It will only be select technologies that I need to really let sink in.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • silver145silver145 Posts: 265Member
    Haha, same reasons as me Aragoen.

    Hows the reading comming along?
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    silver145 wrote: »
    Hows the reading comming along?

    Funny that you were leaving me a reply while I was on your thread leaving you a reply! :D Reading is coming along. I have about 70 hours in starting from about 2 months ago. I actually started with QoS, then Multicast, before I went back to the first chapter of OECG. At the time I needed to get a better understanding of both, specially Multicast. I work for a cable company so I troubleshoot issues with video multicast joins. In fact, I just got off the phone with the NOC and video team working an issue of some channels not joining.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Saturday, about 4:20AM right now: I set my alarm at 4AM today so I can get a lot of reading down. When the kids wake up good bye to studying until after they nap or go to sleep tonight. Hoping for a solid 2+ hours.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Good Morning! It's a gloomy, early Sunday morning, but I expect it to clear up later today. Just got back from my accompanist gig at 6:45AM this morning. Got up at 5am and was able to squeeze in 30 minutes of reading.

    Yesterday I was able to put in 03:20:00 hours of reading and note taking. Note-taking took a bulk of the time; it takes a lot of time. But it's my way of slowing me down. I tend to try to cram in so many pages of reading in a given time frame. But I end up not remembering everything I read. Towards the latter part of the day I spent about 01:45:00 hrs of creating Anki flash cards. I'll use those for committing a bunch of minutiae and also concepts into memory. We had a church fund-raising fiesta and brought the 3-boys with us later in the afternoon. They had a lot fun and didn't want to come home. Got home at 21:30 and studied for about 30 minutes before the kids were ready for bed. Fell asleep with the kids while putting them to sleep so didn't get to study any more. But.. over 5 hours of studying on a Saturday is actually A LOT for me. Weekends are family days and that's when I usually get to study the least amount.

    Goal is about 3 hours of reading today.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    It's around 02:40 on Tuesday morning and I just finished about an hour of reading and note-taking on CEF, FIB, Adj Table, InARP from the OECG. I was planning on about 2 hours of studying earlier (which would officially be yesterday) but an emergency change management had to be performed on one of our edge routers. I finished the CM around 1AM and debated whether to call it a night and start early and fresh. I just couldnt make myself go to sleep without doing some kind of studying.

    Yesterday I also spent about 01:40 hrs on more Anki flash cards and spent about 01:15 on more reading and note-taking. I didn't time myself, but I spent, I'd say, over 2-hours re-organizing my notes on OneNote. I made it so that my notes are categorized according to the INE Expanded blueprint. I took a screenshot to give you all an idea:



    Going to sleep now and hopefully study from 6:00a-8:00a before work.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Kids bathed and asleep. I just added up all my hours of written prep and I'm at 99:53:40 hrs. I did about 4:30:00 of study today. And seeing how much I've put in so far, I'm motivated to put in at least an extra hour before calling it a night. I'll get that 100th hour milestone before quitting time. ;)
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • vinbuckvinbuck Posts: 785Member
    Kids bathed and asleep. I just added up all my hours of written prep and I'm at 99:53:40 hrs. I did about 4:30:00 of study today. And seeing how much I've put in so far, I'm motivated to put in at least an extra hour before calling it a night. I'll get that 100th hour milestone before quitting time. ;)

    Well done sir! icon_smile.gif
    Cisco was my first networking love, but my "other" router is a Mikrotik...
  • 64:61:6e64:61:6e Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Kids bathed and asleep. I just added up all my hours of written prep and I'm at 99:53:40 hrs. I did about 4:30:00 of study today. And seeing how much I've put in so far, I'm motivated to put in at least an extra hour before calling it a night. I'll get that 100th hour milestone before quitting time. ;)

    You're making fantastic progress. Keep it up!
    CCIE-DC Written - Q1 2015
    CCIE-DC Lab - Q3/Q4 2015

  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Thanks all.

    It is 23:40 on Wed night in SoCal and it's hot. Not as much studying done as I had planned today but still squeezed in a few hours. I did 01:41:00 total very early this morning doing some GRE Notes and putting in Anki flashcards on InARP, Policy Routing, and MLS - all off of OECG. That finishes up Chapter 6 of the OECG for me. Then I jumped ahead to IPv6 on the last chapter and spent about 01:22:00, reading about 22 pages and taking some light notes. I need to brush on IPv6 fast, for work. Last time I really spent much time on it was last year when I was studying for TSHOOT. But prior to that, it was 2009 when I last studied it in some depth.

    I was going to study 2 hours tonight but fell asleep again with the kids. I have another emergency change management in 20 minutes doing... surprise... some IPv6 work. I'll be adjusting some IPv6 IS-IS metrics on a few of our edge routers to figure out why our traffic is using the edge junipers as transit paths as opposed to going upwards to the core. That should be pretty quick. But I'm tired and I may not study anymore until the morning comes around.

    Study hard friends!
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Studied from 2am - 4am this morning, right after my CM. It was more a re-read and more copious note-taking on IPv6 that I read the previous day. Woke up at 8:30a this morning at I've been on a boring conference call for the last hour - all of which spent replying to TE threads. :D

    Goal is 3 hours today. Hopefully finish up IPv6 concepts, just before all the IPv6 routing protocols in OECG.

    I've been working on my 2-3 month study schedule. I have to make some changes as I jumped to IPv6 when I'm supposed to be doing IPv4 routing at this point.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    I've not been as productive as I wanted to be this past weekend. Friday night I was pretty unmotivated to study so although I logged in some hours reading I ultimately scratched that as I could not really retain any quality knowledge. I did put in some time creating some mindless note-taking that I can review later. My son had a Tae Kwon Do tournament on Saturday and I had work at church later that day. Sunday I had two accompanying gigs at church again and also errand day for the family. The rest was lazying around with the fam. Woke up at 5am this morning and was able to put in an hour's worth of quality reading.

    I finished off IPV6 chapter of the OECG this morning so tonight or tomorrow I will start IPv4 routing protocols. This section should keep my busy for the next 3 to 4 weeks. I'll spend whatever extra time I have before I go home tonight to plan out my 4 week schedule.

    And to give me some motivation from my dismal performance this past weekend, I tallied up the total hours I spent on the written prep so far. A good bulk of that time was spent on the first month and a half reading the QoS Study guide by Odom + the QoS chapter of OECG; and the multicast section of OECG. I also put my counter on my sig so my other friends following this thread can compare our progress as we move along.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    It's Wednesday night, 22:30 PDT and I'm ready to to hit the sack. I woke up at 4AM the last couple of days so I can get some quiet study time. I was able to finish Doyle's EIGRP chapter with a lot of notes. Man, note-taking is very time consuming. I'm thinking of cutting down on it and perhaps just start filling out my Anki flash cards instead. With the amount of note-taking I'm doing I might as well be re-writing the whole book.

    Anyway.. the last couple of days has been pretty un-motivating for me. I don't know what it is. However, I still did put in 8hrs between the last 3 days. Not too bad I guess. I still need to be more efficient with my time. Apart from tracking the actual hours I study, I also track the hours I waste on breaks, messing around on Facebook, twitter, and other time waster. Out of the 8 hours netted, I wasted 5 hours on other things.

    One other productive thing I did on Monday, though, was write down my schedule for the next 8 weeks. That includes specific topics on specific chapter on what books, and specific number of pages to read and the amount of time I'm allocating on reading vs note-taking. I'm sure it will go through several revisions but I like doing that so I know exactly what I need to do on specific days and how much I need to accomplish in a certain time frame. I already know what I need to change though but it should keep me honest. ;)

    Tomorrow is the 4th of July here in the US (Independence Day - Happy Birthday, America!) so I'm probably not gonna get a lot of study time. I had an agreement with my wife that I'll wake up at 4am and study until 9am. And the rest of day will be spent with the family.

    Happy studies everyone!
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • vinbuckvinbuck Posts: 785Member
    It's Wednesday night, 22:30 PDT and I'm ready to to hit the sack. I woke up at 4AM the last couple of days so I can get some quiet study time. I was able to finish Doyle's EIGRP chapter with a lot of notes. Man, note-taking is very time consuming. I'm thinking of cutting down on it and perhaps just start filling out my Anki flash cards instead. With the amount of note-taking I'm doing I might as well be re-writing the whole book.

    I hear you on the notes...All I've been doing is labbing and putting down things that stuck out here and there in an anki card. I'm trying to hold off on taking a lot of notes until I've been through a complete lab refresh of the core technologies. I really want to be efficient in my studies and I know the time will come when I need to dive into the books but right now I feel the need to keep labbing.
    Cisco was my first networking love, but my "other" router is a Mikrotik...
  • 64:61:6e64:61:6e Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Keep motivated! 8 hours is great. Remember to take a day off or 2 each week so you don't get burned out too early. It might take a little longer but it will keep things interesting. I'm reading a good bit but also labbing as I go to actually see the technology work. That helps keep things interesting for me since I'm a hands-on person. When I get to a point where I don't feel like studying or am at a point where I'm not motivated, I try to find something that will motivate me. I try to image the feeling of getting my first CCIE. I look online for a motivational speaker and watch a small video clip of a speech they gave. I think of the future of my family. My family is the biggest motivator for me.

    You may already be doing this but, for my note-taking stredegy, I write down only the stuff I don't already know. Like, for me, I know EIGRP uses transport protocol 88. I don't even bother writing that anywhere. I find it saves me a little time.

    Keep at it but don't get burned.

    -dan
    CCIE-DC Written - Q1 2015
    CCIE-DC Lab - Q3/Q4 2015

  • 64:61:6e64:61:6e Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    How's your progress aragoen? Things have been a bit slow for me with work projects but I'm sticking to it. I feel that my studies are more targeted to the "Study for the lab and the written will come as a result" approach. I've been studying deep in the technologies and also working through labs to keep things interesting for me rather than just reading and taking notes. I need the hands on otherwise I'd get bored.
    CCIE-DC Written - Q1 2015
    CCIE-DC Lab - Q3/Q4 2015

  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    Yeah, too much of a good thing is probably a bad idea.

    Well, my incentive for a CCIE is getting myself a Toyota GT86, maybe. So, my incentive tonight, as I'm on a 12 hour shift today, will be to start up Forza 4 and get the car out for a spin, and imagine if it was my own one. OK it's a bit silly, but it's a damn fine carrot to dangle.
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Just peeking for a bit to report that I'm still on this train. I also updated my study counter from 121 hours to 168hrs. I have been fairly busy with work and time has been pretty scarce. So I try to pick as much available time for study as I can. That means less reading/updates on TE. That alone picks up about 30 minutes of study time.

    I also just returned from a week of vacation this past week, and I'm slowly getting back to the same routine again.

    Starting next week, for 2 weeks, I will be devoting all the time on BGP so I'm trying to regain a solid momentum coming into that.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Went through Doyle's chapters on Route Controls and Manipulation (Chapters 11-14) the past week. I've never read these chapters before so it was little hard for me to follow at first. The last time I spent a considerable time on these topics was when I was doing BSCI back in 2008. But now that I've read through it, concepts are much clearer again. I'll be going over these chapters again this week and take more Anki notes. I was supposed to start BGP this week but I'm pushing it down to at least later this week. I also have a pretty packed schedule this month with lots of CMs and service migrations so I'll be taking it a little slow.
    Last week I averaged about 1.5 hours of studying per day. The next coming weeks might look the same.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
  • aragoen_celtdraaragoen_celtdra Posts: 246Member
    Finished my repeat of multicast this past few days - in lieu of BGP. Even though it was last April when I first read the multicast section of OECG, I felt encouraged that reading the chapters again was much easier. I also spent a lot of time creating Q&As for Anki. I was supposed to do BGP the past week but I have been busy with tons of CMs at work - almost every other night. We have been turning up IPv6 and ISIS for many of our CMTS routers to get them ready for testing. Soon we will be deploying them to test customers before we go full blown with all our customers - I'm expecting next year.

    Anyway, I'll have to push BGP one more week because I just got a reminder email that I need to finish my online traffic school for a citation I got this past January. I reckon I should get that out the way before I forget and let the violation permanently stamped on my record.
    CCIE Wr: In Progress...
    Hours CCIE Wr Prep: 309:03:52
    Follow my study progress at Route My World!
    My CCIE Thread
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