I have not posted a study update in awhile so I decided since I have some free time this morning I would let everyone know where I stand. In my last study update I told you that I was in a dilemma about what to start studying next since I have just about finished up all of my study materials. Well I decided I am going to go through all those materials again but at a much faster pace since it should all be a review for me at this point. Last week I went through the EIGRP, OSPF, and Redistribution sections of CBTNuggets. I plan on finishing up the rest of the videos in the next 2-3 days.
I also have found myself to have some downtime at work where I am able to practice some labs. I have always known about GNS3vault.com however I never really used it as a source for my studying since I have my own home lab. Let me tell you though…those labs on that site are GREAT! I have been going through them rather quickly to refresh my memory on all the topics.
So I had a question asked to me…one that I myself even asked many people before I got into networking. “How do I break into the networking field with little or no experience?” This is a very common question among both young and old IT people who are determined to get into the networking field. However it is always easier said then done. Networking is a tough field to break into especially if you are young, fresh out of college, and no experience under your belt. So what does somebody do in this kind of situation? Well here is what I did and I suggest you do the same and I can almost guarantee that an employer will be sure to take a chance on you.
Firstly you need to be dedicated to your networking studies…specifically Cisco. You not only need to be dedicated but you also need to have a passion for it, you need to love to learn it and it should become somewhat of a hobby for you. If you don’t have any experience in the field I recommend getting your A+ so you can at least get your foot in the door with an entry level IT job. After that you should go for your Network+ and your CCNA. You could skip on the Network+, its all personal preference. The only reason I got mine was because I had no experience in networking and wanted to learn as much as I can. Even if you do not get that entry level job after your A+ you should always be studying and going for your next cert, never stop studying!
Now after you have your entry level IT position and also just past your CCNA you should be putting your resume up on as many job posting sites as possible. I have another blog post about this, just search for it in the top right. During this time you should also be studying for your CCNP, trust me when you go into those interviews and say that your currently studying for your CCNP they will be very impressed. I know this from my own experience. Another thing is that you should have a home lab that you can get some hands on experience with, this will also impress potential employers in interviews.
It may take a few interviews before someone gives you an offer on that entry level networking job but it will happen, you just have to stay positive.
I haven’t made a study update in awhile so I just wanted to make a quick post on where I currently stand. The past few days I have been really busy with family functions so I was not able to get in good study sessions. Since my last update I have finished up the last section of Chris Bryant videos which discussed redistribution and PBR. Currently I am working on finishing up the labs from 101 CCNP labs and Cisco SLMs. Since my schedule has been pretty full lately I have only been able to complete 2-3 of these labs. Hopefully I can have them completed by the middle of next week.
My next problem is that now I don’t know what to study from next. When I finish up the rest of these labs next week I will have completed all my study materials. This includes the FLG Route book, CBT Nuggets, The Bryant Advantage, 101 CCNP Labs, and Cisco SLM Labs. I think I may read through the FLG Route book again as well as go through the CBT Nugget videos. I really don’t feel confident enough yet to take the Route exam. I am going to play it by ear for right now and see how things go next week.
What did you use to pass your CCNP Route exam? Do you have any suggestions for me on study material?
So I have found myself to be stuck at a crossroads. My new job and my studies have both been going great however upon starting my job I can’t shake the feeling that CCNP Switch would be so much more beneficial for me at this time. The reason I say this is because in my current role I will being dealing mostly on the LAN side of things. Yes occasionally I will have to troubleshoot WAN problems but I honestly don’t think those will come up as often as LAN issues.
I’m way to far into my Route studies to just switch to Switch so I am just gonna have to finish up strong so I can begin the Switch studies asap. I glanced through the Ciscopress Switch book last night and even noticed things in it that other engineers were discussing just that day. I hope to take the Route exam in the next 2-3 months, however now I feel like I am going to be rushing to get it done so I can move onto Switch. I really want to grasp all the concepts well so I am not just doing it for a piece of “paper”.
If anyone can comment on which has helped them more in the workplace Switch or Route that would be great! Thank you!
I am making this post now because I don’t think I will have time to write one tomorrow. I last left off when I told you about my first day as a network engineer. A few days have gone by and I truly am enjoying my job. Yes their are some downsides to it. Since I am the new guy and the youngest in the entire department I often am given the petty work that the other engineers do not want to do. Honestly I expected this because I only have a year of experience and I still have to prove myself. I did however already get access to the switches/routers and I even fixed two networking problems!!! One was a port I was trying to build a machine on had a speed and duplex mismatch so I had to log in to the switch and set it too 100/full. The other issue I had fixed was a port-security issue. All that needed to be done was take out the port-security commands and reapply them with the sticky command appended. I have also used the toner probe quite a but and damn is this thing fun to use! You would not believe how detailed the information this thing gives you.
I also have been getting up to speed on Cisco UCS and Nexus systems. We have a few in our data center sitting on pallets because we are having a data center makeover coming this year. My supervisor gave me a pretty detailed lesson on how the transition will work and I did get a better understanding. However I must admit I feel overwhelmed at times. I also spend a decent amount of time looking at network diagrams to familiarize myself with the infrastructure. Again though I feel overwhelmed since I have never done something like this before. I feel like a lot of the technology just goes right over my head.
One downfall that I have seen to the job is that I do have some small desktop support work that I am responsible for such as creating packages for imaging machines. To be honest with you though I feel that its best for me to start slow and build my way up. If they just threw me in and told me go configure that Nexus for blah blah blah I would crap myself. So I mean overall I am happy because these past few days I feel that I have learned a ton already and I am very excited on what is yet to come.
So I finished up on remote connectivity rather quickly. I finished it in about two days. Unfortunately their was not much lab work for me to do that goes along with it so I started on IPv6. I watched the entire Bryant Advantage video series last night, which was about two hours or so. Today I started on the IPv6 labs. I did run into some trouble though because four of my routers did not support IPv6. So I had to update their IOS which took me about an hour and a half. After getting all the IOS stuff straightened out I started on the SLM labs. I finished the first three labs and plan to complete the last two tomorrow. On Saturday and Sunday I hope to finish up the IPv6 labs from the 101 CCNP labs workbook. They usually take a bit of time so I won’t be too bummed if I don’t finish it all by the end of the weekend.