9 Replies Latest reply: May 5, 2012 4:10 PM by Ronald Angello RSS

    Ok, here we go!

    Steve Means - CCIE #30108

      It's not been a year since passing my IE and I've moved into a "dream" position where I work on challenging projects with good bit of downtime in between. I really enjoy learning new things and honing my craft and I think it's important. I kicked around the idea of doing another IE such as R&S, but the whole idea really doesn't get me going.


      So, I decided the CCDE is going to be the next project for me. I really want to expose myself to some topics and tech that I haven't worked with much in my career. My eventual goal is to move towards an architect type of role, most likely still on the reseller side of things because you're exposed to so many more networks rather than just one.


      Unlike the IE, this one is going to be more about the journey rather than just getting the cert. I plan on doing a bunch more reading and "case study" type of things as I move through the material I have.


      Right now I'm going through the cisco press BGP design/implementation book and modding some of the case studies within. I do have a techie mind so it helps my understanding a lot to lab things through rather than just reading about whether you should do this or that regardless of whether the test itself will be that way.


      Any input is welcome, I'd love to know how others are studying for this.



        • 1. Re: Ok, here we go!

          A couple of things that you might want to consider for your journey (if you haven't done so already), as it could be a very different one to that of your predecessors:



          Either way I wish you every success!

          • 2. Re: Ok, here we go!
            Ronald Angello

            Hey Steve,


            You're definitely right about the journey, although I really want it to finally come to an end!  Been at it since 2008 and have learned quite a bit along the way...  I've been in an architect role for the past 4 years, and that's where it's at (IMO).


            I'm sure that you've heard this before, but just focus on the "why" when reading.  Case studies are best...  Understand why a particular technology was chosen over something else, why something was configured in a particular order, etc.  Get into the habit of reading something and then asking yourself why...


            BGP Design and Implementation is a good one.  Some others that I would recommend are Optimal Routing Design, Definitive MPLS Network Designs, QoS Exam Guide, Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPNs, and L2 VPN Architectures.


            Good luck!



            • 3. Re: Ok, here we go!
              Ronald Angello

              Honestly not sure how helpful these would be or how much time I would invest in them...  Just my opinion / 2 cents.



              • 4. Re: Ok, here we go!

                Yep, not many do and as I see it one of the problems, but then I think it all depends on your of view on whether IT is self-serving or there to serve.


                I would sincerely hope that the CCDE was a little more than just knowing where to apply which protocol.

                • 5. Re: Ok, here we go!
                  Ronald Angello

                  Well, thank goodness the exam is primarily focused on L3 network design.  I've taken it 4 times now (not sure if that's good or bad), and I know that I won't be focusing on those areas if I have to take it again.


                  This topic came up in a previous thread, and Russ White weighed in on it -


                  "I don't think the project management pieces are so deep as to require ITIL, LEAN, 6SIGMA, or any of this other training. The "project management" pieces are really high level, and mostly focused on the technical aspects of implementation, rather than the "real PM" pieces.





                  Good luck with your studies!



                  • 6. Re: Ok, here we go!
                    Steve Means - CCIE #30108

                    Thanks for the tips gents. I'll certainly look into the PM/compliance/business material even if my goal isnt certification or deep knowledge. In the real world outside of testing I often run up against not just tecnical and design issues but political, procedural and compliance issues. It helps to know where the PM/auditor/policy maker is coming from, at least conceptually.

                    • 7. Re: Ok, here we go!
                      Ronald Angello

                      Another thing that I've tried to do is to get into the habit of quickly reading through a lot of information and pulling out the useful details.  This skill is critical on the practical exam.  There hasn't been an attempt where I didn't run into time management issues.  You're presented with a lot of information and have to pull the important details - technical/functional requirements, business requirements/constraints, etc.



                      • 8. Re: Ok, here we go!

                        Sort of highlights my point, the blueprint is so vague its open to interpretation, not only that, but it was fairly recently updated and now specifically refers to both ITIL and TOGAF. Although it doesn't specify being ‘certified in’, it almost certainly implies having a ‘familiarity of.


                        Not having made any attempts myself, I couldn’t say with any authority which sections of the new blueprint were safe to disregard and no offence to you, but I myself would definitely not attempt it more than twice.

                        • 9. Re: Ok, here we go!
                          Ronald Angello

                          Ohhh, my bad...  You're referring to the written exam.  I'm talking about the practical.  I haven't taken the 2.0 written exam, so I can't speak on that.  You may want to spend a good chunk of time on that then. 


                          Some of the best engineers that I know passed the practical exam after 2 or 3 tries, and some gave up after 3 unsuccessful attempts.  Some guys passed on their first attempt, which is pretty impressive.  Only ~65 in the world have passed since 2007, so no offense taken.