Finished CCNP (personal thoughts and review)

ZoovashZoovash Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello,
I just passed Tshoot exam this morning and I’m now a CCNP.
I will talk here about my experience and preparation for the 3 exams.

CCNP Switch:
I started to study for this at the beginning of 2013 using the Official Certification Guide but after 2 chapters I couldn’t stand how it was written and decided to use Foundation Learning Guide instead. After getting a little side-tracked I resumed my studies in April.
I didn’t use any videos but I work mainly in a Layer 2 environment, and that helped a lot. My work experience made the preparation for this exam very easy.
I had my Switch exam in May, passed with a score of 1000 :)

CCNP Route:
This time I didn’t even bother to get the OCG, I went straight to FLG book. After reading the book I decided to watch some videos and tried CBT Nuggets, as I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about them. Jeremy Cioara may know Cisco very well but I couldn’t tell, his non-stop laughing and getting off the subject annoyed me incredibly, I stopped watching him after a few videos. Instead I went to using INE’s CCNP videos. Now that was amazing, when Brian McGahan speaks it’s pure knowledge, I loved how he presented every subject. He has a unique way of making everything easy, he’s now my favorite trainer.
For the route exam I intensely used GNS3. I recommend GNS3 training videos from CBT Nuggets, Keith does a good job of explaining how GNS works and how to use it. I could only practice OSPF in my work lab and I few times I coupled that with my GNS topology. It was interesting to see OSPF working between different vendors, and the redistribution experience was great. I used Ixia to inject a lot of routes in my lab and then redistribute them into GNS. Too bad I don’t have a better computer, I was sometimes limited to the number of routes when redistributing from live into GNS BGP, as it could easily overwhelm my resources.
I passed the Route exam at the end of July with 988 :)

CCNP Tshoot:
It didn’t take much to prepare for this exam. With the route material fresh I went very fast through the Quick Reference book and started to watch some videos. As I didn’t use INE for Switch I decided to watch them now, coupled with the Tshoot videos. After that I tried to replicate the topology from Cisco’s site in GNS and practiced a little on it. I was very impatient regarding this exam, I couldn’t wait to finish CCNP. I was thinking I rushed it, I was afraid I didn’t practice enough, but it was impossible for me to study anymore, I just couldn’t and decided to just go for it. So this morning a passed Tshoot with 1000 points.

Overall the exams are well written but it’s my opinion that they don’t accurately reflect the CCNP knowledge level, and what it’s expected from someone earning this title. Even though I got high marks I feel that I need more practice and hands-on experience before being successful in a CCNP type job.
After this review I think my background is required :) I’m 23 years old and got my first certification, CCNA, in Spring 2012. I got my first job ever in networking, as a QA Engineer, immediately after passing CCNA, having a total work experience of one and half years.

If you have any questions about these exams, feel free to ask. Wish you all the best and good luck to all of you preparing for this certification!

Comments

  • FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on CCNP! I am currently working on Switch and hoping to complete CCNP by early 2014. Your situation is very similar to mine. I also am 23 and got my first networking job just after passing my CCNA :)

    Do you have any plans on what you are going to go for next?
  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    Congrats! How long after completing ROUTE and SWITCH did you attempt TSHOOT?
    Follow my CCDE journey at www.routingnull0.com
  • ZoovashZoovash Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks!

    Dieg0M: It's been about 6 weeks between Route and Tshoot exams.

    FloOz: I know i want to get more involved in security. I'm planning to get security+ and linux+ before Winter Holidays or early 2014. I'm not really sure what type of security i want, i'm still thinking about it
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    Zoovash wrote: »
    Overall the exams are well written but it’s my opinion that they don’t accurately reflect the CCNP knowledge level, and what it’s expected from someone earning this title. Even though I got high marks I feel that I need more practice and hands-on experience before being successful in a CCNP type job.

    Congrats on becoming a CCNP. I'm currently studying for ROUTE and recently passed SWITCH...and I agree with your statement. The knowledge gap between CCNP and CCIE in Routing and Switching is too wide IMO. I guess if you combine CCNP with CCNP Service Provider you are in better shape for an advanced routing/switching job. With the Voice track, the CCNP definitely prepares you for a intermediate to advanced role if you learn all of the topics in detail.
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    Congrats! I hope to join the club soon too.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    So the obvious question now is - what's next?
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    Congrats OP! I am also happy to see that you are honest with yourself in that you know you lack practical experience. That's what you need to build now, you need to work in a role that will leverage the theoretical knowledge that you have having passed your CCNP and build upon it with practical knowledge.

    Position yourself in a way that will help you achieve being the best Engineer you can be.
    aaron0011 wrote: »
    The knowledge gap between CCNP and CCIE in Routing and Switching is too wide IMO.


    That's because CCIE is meant for experienced Engineers. Most people that decide to become a CCIE have worked for years in the field and have a lot of practical knowledge to carry them into the theoretical studies and then of course the lab which will combine them both and test you.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congratulations, lots of hard work and now it's time to celebrate! :)
  • 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
    Congrats! I hope to join you by the end of the year! Good luck on your next goal!
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • DAVIS NGUYENDAVIS NGUYEN Member Posts: 1,472 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass icon_thumright.gif
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass! Definitely some weight off your shoulders I am sure! Thanks for the honest review about the exams as well. I am sure you will have nothing holding you back to solidify the knowledge you have gained from NP. Good luck with your future endeavors.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • ZoovashZoovash Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks a lot :)

    I'm definitely more relaxed now that I'm done with this certification. Right now I'm thinking of ways to deepen my knowledge, especially in the routing area, since that's where i lack experience. One of my ideas was to buy INE's Workbook Volume II Dynamips Edition, but i don't know if i could even tackle it. Anyone has experience with it? Do you recommend it for practicing CCNP knowledge ?
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    What do you do for work?
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • ZoovashZoovash Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm a QA Engineer, testing security features for L2 Switches, more specifically I work on the Avaya 3500 series switches.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Congrats! Hopefully be following soon with R & S by Dec (TSHOOT by Jan)
  • chandima5320chandima5320 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congra. on your success.Best wishes.
  • Scorp6Scorp6 Member Posts: 56 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Based on your experience with CCNP do you feel that it's possible to prepare for it strictly with gns3 and packet tracer?
  • VinnyCiscoVinnyCisco Member Posts: 176
    Congrats! Totally agree with you on the CBT Nuggets and INE. I am studying the ROUTE track now and should be ready for the test scheduled in September. I use GNS3 for all my labs.

    As far as Jeremy, I totally understand. He goes off to la-la land sometimes talking about his life. I just fast forward through that crap. His info has helped though.

    But just like you said, the INE CCNP Videos are incredible. I use them 90% of the time. Very Technical. I love the way Brian explains EIGRP and OSPF. Very detailed. I think at one point it is 1 hour of just discussing the EIGRP Topology table.
    "Failure is the prerequisite of Success" - V. G.
Sign In or Register to comment.