Route to CCNP Core #3 - PANIC!

Route to CCNP Core #3 - PANIC!


Ok so haven't kept up with the posts which I apologise for and it's been approx three weeks, I think? I had another email from Cisco saying 2 months remaining from the 8th of June. Crap!

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Last update I had dived into OSPF concepts by reading both the new Cert guide and the old CCNP Route book. I also shared some cheat sheets handy for revision practice from several sources on the net.

CBT Nuggets

So I have been hitting the revision HARD! I dived into SD-WAN/Access on Youtube, which I found looking for more LISP protocol materials as the cert guide was just blowing my brain cells apart. I bumped into Jeff Kish (@KishSquared) Youtube Channel, where he has done an Encore Study group. After watching these videos things started to click and it blew my mind how out of date my networking skills are from back in 2016 when I did CCNA. I feel like I've gone down some sort of rabbit hole I didn't think I would enjoy!?!

I found out Jeff is also a CBT Nuggets trainer and remembered I have access to a subscription via work. So I rushed on over to CBT Nuggets to start the Encore Course. To my dismay, it was 61 hours and 460+ videos. Holy crap!

So I started from the beginning slowly working my way through the nuggets and skills. A week later I sat at 25% completion after what seemed like endless streaming of learning. Panic started to kick in that I'm not going to make my deadline confidently to stand a chance of passing and the sheer volume of content covered was vast for the time frame I have.

At the end of my first week (from my OSPF post), I got a sickness bug which my youngest thought was funny to spread around the household (I know he couldn't help it but I blame him lol) So I was violently sick on the weekend, I missed a good four days of revision. Thankfully I recovered and started to hit the revision and CBT course hard.

Fast forward another two weeks and at the time of this post, I'm sat at 94% completion with 4 skills remaining mostly on RESTCONF and Automation and advanced BGP I have saved for last. When I'm not on CBT I have been reading the CCNP Route cert guide (old) and then reading the topics I have covered in the new cert guide to just complement my learning.

CBT also comes with lab environments to practice your skills which have helped also.

The good news is most of this stuff is coming back to me! OSPF, EIGRP, Spanning Tree, Access Lists, BGP (most), FHRP protocols were all making sense and the topics I struggled with back in University I now understand and aren't so scary.

I made one fatal mistake and started doing route redistribution and route maps only to find this seems to be covered on ENARSI, so I have done some above and beyond learning but it will all help in the end. To echo my own words from my first post - Read the blueprint - DOH!

30 Day countdown (ish)

I have a week left before the final monthly countdown, I need to also leave myself time to resit in case I do not pass so I'm starting the final 30 days from now.

Remaining Plan:

  • Finish CBT nuggets

  • Skim CCNP Switch cert guide (old) (Paid Link)

  • Review newer concepts to me:

  • Plan to read and do 30 days before your CCNP Encore Exam: (Paid Link)

  • Practice Exams - (I have a number of these from buying premium E-Books from Cisco Press)

  • Maybe do some practice labs for certain topic areas especially scenarios from the command line reference book here: (Paid Link)

Both books are great by the way and I recommend them. Also saw Patrick Gargano doing SD-Access talk at Cisco Live (online) it was great knowing and understanding the content after learning it and it looks awesome. Notice at the bottom of his practice question slide deck it says "Cisco Confidential" I'm going to take that as "these appear nearly word for word in the exam".

This also reminds me I need to get a Cisco Dev sandbox login so I can view all the SD-Access dashboards in the free labs to get a feel for it.

Ending summary

So now after my initial panic, I think I'm in an ok place. I'm finding my love for Cisco again (unless it's Cisco U and its crazy pricing!) and I'm enjoying the new networking concepts around Automation and Dev it's quite exciting so I'm pumped and I'm enjoying the ride even if it is hard work. But hey, hard work hopefully pays off and this isn't meant to be a walk in the park.

If I'm not on my computer learning I'm in the garden reading a book to the point my fiance is probably sick of hearing Cisco and the countless long nights spent hermitting in front of content keeping us apart. :'D (she actually reads these and is 100% supportive and finds it fascinating how I can retain so much information.) She also mentioned helping me make flash cards (hint hint poke poke lol :D ).

In other news I also need to do my Microsoft AZ-140 Virtual Desktop speciality renewal (Sigh) It's never-ending :D.

Anyway, back to studying for me, peace out.

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