my CCNP Voice odyssey

macattackermacattacker Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
I started on the 5 CCNP Voice exams in June and now have just passed the last one TVOICE.
Now I can go holiday in Thailand with the help of vast quantities of beer, vodka etc. etc. icon_twisted.gif
But first I will make some comments which may help you guys who are considering to do the same (studying that is).

I have been studying theory virtually every day during work hours (yeah, luckily I have a really easy job!) plus a couple of hours most nights doing labbing at home. So it works out about 3-4 weeks per exam if you commit yourself heavily to study.
You could certainly pass the exams faster if you simply memorized **** but to do that is to totally deceive yourself. In addition, you will get caught out as soon you are interviewed and they start asking questions. Not a good look.

Studying, has been a difficult, expensive often very boring endeavour. There is a LOT of stuff to cover to get a solid understanding of CUCM and associated apps.
I have used the official Cisco books for each exam, as well as either Nuggets or IME videos. Additional I got hold of the coursebooks for each exam. So these three resources combined enabled me to thoroughly study the subject matter.

I will comment and say that Jeremy's nugget videos are FAR MORE watchable and interesting than the INE series.
The INE series goes into WAY too much detail and damn, they are SO APPALLINGLY BORING !!! That company really needs to try and imitate CBT nuggets more. Each of their videos is huge and they just wander off into intricate detail that you do not need for the exams.
It is just a real shame that Nuggets have not completed the whole CCNP Voice series yet. They only have a couple done and Jeremy seems to be taking an eternity to finish CIPT2.

Speaking of CIPT2, the concept and implementation of globalization/localization is a nasty SOB. It took me ages to grasp it. INE does a terrible job of explaining it and stuff you find on the net is not much better. I just had to go over and over, step by step before I grasped this concept properly. I understand Jeremy is going to a much better job at explaining it in his new CIPT2 video.

Out of the five exam topics, I found the first - CVOICE to be the easiest. This is because the majority of the content is the same as you have just learned in CCNA Voice, so it is really not that challenging.
CIPT1 is interesting and fun, as it is the first hands-on topic where you get to play with CUCM. Not to difficult to find motivation and pass this exam.
CIPT2 like I mention is a *****. Primarily because of globalization/localization and how centralized topologies work. But you do feel great when you finally get it. In addition to that there is also SAF, SRST, RSVP and gatekeepers which are fairly hard work.

The next exam CAPPS I also found difficult. The reason is that you now have to learn two whole new applications - Unity/Unity Express and Presence. Both of these apps have a LOT of config/options. I found it really hard to keep motivated learning this stuff even though it is kind of fun setting up voice-mail and automated operator systems.
I tried hard but it was impossible to get Presence software without buying it off Ebay. So Presence was the only app. I did not have on my home lab.

The final exam TVOICE was really hard. Again, this was a boring one. After all, who enjoys looking at trace output. You go blind staring at that stuff for too long. Spending half an hour looking for a clue as to what might possibly be wrong in 1000 lines of text is not fun ! The exam was also very tricky. I warn you NOT to underestimate the TVOICE exam.

I recommend taking TVOICE last as it covers CAPPS material. if you did TVOICE before CAPPS you will not understand some of the questions at all. It is also totally logical to take a troubleshooting paper last.

So, here I am with my CCNP Voice cert. I have no Cisco job experience. Some might call me a paper tiger, but I absolutely reject that mentality. Firstly, I certainly don't expect to be hired as equivalent to a CCNP Voice employee with experience. Obviously there is a vast difference between the two. I expect to be hired as a junior, but a junior that has a lot of theoretical and foundational knowledge about the job I am supposed to be doing. Additionally my qualification proves my commitment in that I have devoted a LOT of blood, sweat and tears in order to do this and therefore break into VOIP. That commitment is worth a lot on it's own.
So I thoroughly recommend any other guys without real world experience and without a current job to go for CCNP if you want to. It will only benefit you. Dont let any snarky, jealous comments from others put you down.

Total cost for this endeavour. Well, exam fees were about USD$225 each one. So there is over $1100.
I bought a powerful new PC box to host the software, which cost another $1000.
A second hand router, switch and a couple of VOIP phones came to about $500.
Then if you bought videos and books that would probably come to another $1000 circa.
Time, well I just sacrificed about 4 months of my life. Hard study. Sometimes enjoyable, often boring as hell, but very rewarding as you progress.


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    shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    Congrats. I can see it being hard without much VoIP experience. It took me 4 years and lots of VoIP experience to pass mine. Globalization is one of those things you have to do over and over to get a grasp of it.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
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    dentrydentry Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Wow 4 months no VOIP experience, impressive. Good Luck.
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    odysiuosodysiuos Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey macattacker,
    I'm curious how does your carrier look like today ?
    have you already got a good job ?
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    aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    shodown wrote: »
    Congrats. I can see it being hard without much VoIP experience. It took me 4 years and lots of VoIP experience to pass mine. Globalization is one of those things you have to do over and over to get a grasp of it.

    Agree, I've done two E.164 dial plans on production systems to support Lync integration with Conferencing and RCC. It took me implementing to really understand all of the nuances of how it works.
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    beatlebum66beatlebum66 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    This was a great write up, how is this panning out for you these days?
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