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Networking 101 – What is OpenFlow?

(All credit goes to Cisco for making this video)

Decided to start Chris Bryant CCNP course early

So two days ago I decided I was going to start the Chris Bryant CCNP Route series a few days early. The reason for this is because I really wanted to start getting back into my home lab and personally I enjoy following along with Chris Bryant as he configures throughout his lectures. Basically my plan is to do 3 lectures a day and lab along with them (1-2 hours). After that I will work through the 101 CCNP Labs workbook (1-2 hours per day). This book is a beast. I printed it out and it was over 1700 pages!! I have to take a picture of this monster and show you guys, and yes I did print double sided.

At this point I have gone through about 6 lectures and have been enjoying them a lot. Chris Bryant is very knowledgable and I really like his teaching style. However, I do wish the eBooks were included with the purchase of the course. So far I have gone through a review of routing fundamentals and EIGRP fundamentals. Both sections were a nice review of the basics. I hope to move into Advanced Eigrp lectures tomorrow since tonight I will be going out with a friend.

Lastly I do recommend the Chris Bryant CCNP series for anyone considering going for their CCNP. You will not be disappointed, I promise.


Saying goodbye to your current employer

So this morning I decided it was time to give my two weeks notice. I was extremely nervous and anxious because I have never done something like this before. As you know I am still young and have only held one IT job. I talked to a few family members and they gave me some good advice on how to approach the situation. I wanted to be as honest as I could with my employer because I knew this would be the last time that I could get things off of my chest. Obviously I would do this in a professional manner.

So when I went into my managers office and told him about the new job I have accepted he was surprisingly happy for me. He even said that he didn’t expect me to be working here very long because of how driven I was to work in the networking field. This calmed my nerves a lot and I really do hope to keep in contact with him. I really will miss the people I currently work with. Of course there are ups and downs but I do genuinely like the people and work I get. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye, but I know I am making the right decision to accelerate my career.

Offer Accepted – I am a Network Engineer!

So I finally got my offer letter for the position of Network Engineer. I am super excited about the position; it has been what I have been working towards for the past year. I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity because I am still very young and also do not have much real-life IT experience. However the company that is willing to give me a chance sees the potential I have and is willing to give me a shot. I study very hard just about everyday and certification is very important to me. The company sees this passion I have and they think it will be of added value to their network team. They even told me that I can setup a lab at work so I can practice topics in my free time. Finally! A company that encourages me to go towards higher level certifications! I really hope I exceed expectations in this new position, but I know it will be a huge transition for me. I only have about two years IT experience (1 year interning, and 1 year as desktop support). I believe that as long as I continue working hard in my studies everything will work out for me and I will grow into a great Network Engineer. Wish me luck. :)

CCNP Route Study Update – 4/2/13

Just wanted to make a quick update on where I am at in my CCNP Route studies. Yesterday night I finished up with IPv6. For the rest of the week I am going to be reading Chapter 1 and 7 from the CiscoPress FLG Route guide. The following week is where I will begin Phase 2 of my study plan (I have a post with my study plan attached). Phase 2 will consist of me going through Chris Bryant’s CCNP Route video series along with labing each day for about two hours. This should take a little more than a month to complete.  I will continue update the blog periodically.

Suit Up and Show Up

So I have been coming across this question quite often lately. “Should I wear a suit to my interview?”; we are strictly talking about IT jobs here ranging from a helpdesk to director interviews. Personally, I wore a suit to both IT interviews I have had. One was for a desktop engineer position and another was for a network engineer (I got the job both times). I have read comments online saying that suits aren’t necessary for any kind of IT support role rather a suit should only be worn when going to interview for a management position. My response to this is that it is better to be over dressed than under dressed. Don’t you think an employer wants to hire someone that knows when/how to dress professionally?

I am going to be honest, I actually do really enjoy wearing a suit whenever I get the chance. I feel that it gives me added confidence during the interview. Even if the position allows the employees to “dress-down” I think the suit is still the way to go for the interview. Perfect example is Google, they allow all their employees to wear jeans and t-shirts to work, however they expect all their interviewees to be dressed professionally.

You have nothing to lose wearing a suit to an interview so I recommend you go out and buy yourself a nice tailored suit. It does not need to be super expensive or made by some famous designer. Their are plenty of alternatives including Jos A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse. I personally recommend Jos A. Bank because they always have great deals and offers year round.

Caught between a Rock and a Hard place

Caught between a rock and a hard place…an expression I never fully understood until I began my Cisco Certification journey. I often find myself having to make tough decisions, for example, going to the bars with my friends or staying in for the night and working towards my CCNP. Just a little over a year ago I wouldn’t have even thought twice about the answer to this question; I would be out having a good ol’ time with my friends.  However since graduating college I feel that I have changed, and personally I think it is for the better. Most of my free time now is filled with studying/labing various Cisco topics. I usually give myself one free day a week to go out with friends, sadly though going out to the bars is no longer as appealing to me. People always tell me that I spend to much time in the books and that I need to go out and “enjoy” life. Why does going out to bars and drinking mean your enjoying life? I just don’t get it.  I want to make a good life for myself and for my future family (I am still young, 23).  I want to be able to travel and visit beautiful parts of the world, which thankfully I have been able to do once a year for most of my life. I need to push through with my studies, the results are already showing everyday.  Job calls are coming in daily, and without my determination and motivation I know for a fact I wouldn’t have half the success I have now.

Staying Focused and Keeping Track of your Goals

Staying focused and keeping track of your goals is often a very hard thing to do, especially during times when you can be easily distracted. Perfect example is the Easter holidays. We often overlook our goals after the holidays end and think that we owe ourselves some sort of vacation. Well not for me, I had a great Easter weekend but now that the family is gone its time to buckle down and get back to studying. Staying determined is a key to your success. Only you control your fate and how successful you can/will become. Also never take for granted the time you have, make every second of everyday count. Exercise your brain every day and never settle for anything but the best. So remember to stay focused, stay determined, and stay CISCO!!!

Cisco Study Motivation

Push through your Cisco studies day in and day out. You WILL persevere! Never give up on any problem you face.

Cisco CCNP Route Study Plan

So I am uploading my Cisco CCNP Route study schedule in hopes that it will help some people out. Feel free to modify this in anyway you see fit. This schedule uses the following study materials:

  • CCNP Route Foundation Learning Guide
  • CBT Nuggets CCNP Series
  • Chris Bryant CCNP Series

(I also plan to make study schedules for CCNP Switch and T-Shoot)

(Please also note that the blank spaces are days where I could not get any studying in, this  schedule should be edited according to your preference)

Week 1 (EIGRP) CBT Nuggets (Lab throughout week) FLG Book Completed
Monday Concepts and Planning 57-83  
Tuesday Implementing Basic EIGRP 83-113  
Wednesday Implementing Adv. EIGRP & Part 2 113-144  
Thursday Best Practices and Design 144-155  
Saturday review+flashcards+ OSPF Foundation Concepts 1 155-179  
Sunday lab eigrp+OSPF Foundation Concepts 2 185-209  
Week 2 (OSPF) CBT Nuggets FLG Book Completed
Monday Implementing Basic OSPF 209-225  
Tuesday OSPF over NBMA & Part 2 (watch p1 twice) 225-244  
Wednesday Area Types and Options 244-281  
Thursday Area Types and Options Part 2+start index cards 281-315  
Saturday flash cards+lab  
Week 3 (IPv4 Redistribution) CBT Nuggets FLG Book Completed
Tuesday  controlling routing updates 325-344  
Wednesday Simple Redistribution 344-373  
Thursday Advanced Redistibution 373-398  
Saturday flashcards+some lab 398-416  
Sunday lab+bgp concepts and planning 471-492  
Week 4 (BGP) CBT Nuggets FLG Book Completed
Monday Basic BGP & Part 2 492-510  
Tuesday Tuning Attributes  
Wednesday Tuning Attributes Part 2 510-534  
Thursday 534-568  
Sunday review+flashcards+lab 568-587  
Week 5 (Path Control) CBT Nuggets FLG Book Completed
Monday BGP flashcards+Configuring Path Control 419-432  
Tuesday 432-446  
Wednesday flashcards 446-467  
Thursday Understand and Implement IPv6  
Saturday IPv6 Routing and Protocols 691-716  
Week 6 (IPv6 Routing) CBT Nuggets FLG Book Completed
Monday IPv6 Routing and Protocols Part 2 716-759  
Tuesday 759-782  
Wednesday Transitioning to IPv6 782-830  
Saturday 824-859
Sunday 859-897
Week 7 (Catch-Up) Catch-Up and review week FLG Chapters not Read Completed
Monday Index Cards for IPv6, first couple cbt nugs. lab it up this week. Chapters 1, 7 need to be read this week
Week 8 (EIGRP) Bryant Videos Labs Completed
Monday Lecture 43,44,45 (55min) Setup Lab
Tuesday Lecture 46,47,48 (50min)
Wednesday Lecture 49,50 (50min)
Thursday Lecture 51,52 (1hr)
Friday Lecture 53,54 (50min)
Saturday Lecture 55,56 (30min)
Sunday review + catchup
Week 9 (OSPF) Bryant Videos Labs Completed
Monday Lecture 57,58,59 (1hr)
Tuesday Lecture 60,61,62 (55min)
Wednesday Lecture 63,64 (1hr)
Thursday Lecture 65,66 (50min)
Friday Lecture 67,68 (30min)
Saturday review + catch up
Sunday review + catch up
Week 10 (BGP) Bryant Videos Labs Completed
Monday Lecture 69,70,71 (1.1hr)
Tuesday Lecture 72,73,74 (45min)
Wednesday Lecture 75,76,77 (1hr)
Thursday Lecture 78,79,80 (1hr)
Friday Lecture 81,82 (35min)
Saturday review + catch up
Sunday review + catch up
Week 11 (Remote Connectivity) Bryant Videos Labs Completed
Monday Lecture 83,84,85 (50min)
Tuesday Lecture 86,87,88,89 (55min)
Wednesday review + catch up
Thursday review + catch up
Friday review + catch up
Saturday review + catch up
Sunday review + catch up
Week 12 (IPv6) Bryant Videos Labs Completed
Monday Lecture 90,91 (35min)
Tuesday Lecture 92,93 (25min)
Wednesday Lecture 94,95 (30min)
Thursday review + catch up
Friday review + catch up
Saturday review + catch up
Sunday review + catch up
Week 13 (IPv4 Redistribution)  Bryant Videos Labs Completed
Monday Lecture 96,97,98 (45min)
Tuesday Lecture 99,100,101 (50min)
Wednesday Lecture 102,103,104,105 (45min)
Thursday Lecture 106,107,108 (45min)
Friday Lecture 109,110,111 (55min)
Saturday review + catch up
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