I just wanted to take a few moments to air my views on the CIVND 210-065 exam and a general certification rant...
I have worked very hard for about 4 or so years going from CCNA Voice to CCNP Collaboration, (Almost 10 years when I add in my CCNP R&S efforts) I eventually cleared all of the CCNP Collaboration exams, retiring the Voice track didn't help, but such is life... Anyway I found out that as the CCNA Voice was not valid to cover Video, so I had to go back and pass the CIVND exam to obtain my CCNP Collaboration. (I managed to somehow clear CAPPS, which was another nightmare to prepare for, but I won't go into that here) Back to CIVND... frustrating yes that I have to do this, but what the heck, it can't be that hard right? WRONG!! This one is absolutely the worst Cisco exam I have ever prepared for in nearly 10 years. Luckily for me there is light at the end of the tunnel with obtaining my CCNP Collaboration and also next year I will be preparing for CCIE Collaboration finally and at present I have positive thoughts around that, so there is some reward for clearing this exam, but little actual value and a slightly lighter wallet of course.
A few thoughts...
- A lot of the content is end of life and no longer used in the Cisco world (Surveillance, Digital Signs, legacy MCU, CTS endpoints, legacy TC endpoints, other legacy....) - so I have to ask, 'what is the point?' I mean seriously? Why test people on content that isn't applicable to the real world? I wish someone at Cisco could actually comment on this. Why not just keep the exam content in alignment with what you sell to customers? People spend a lot of cash on these exams and examples like this make me question the whole thing.
- I do understand that there are people out there still using the legacy equipment, but for me that isn't good enough. Test on that and then move the exam forward with the current times, especially with products that Cisco have sold off elsewhere!
- The blueprint again is ambiguous and doesn't specify what we need to spend our study time focusing on.
- 'Describe video product models' - OK which ones please Cisco? Current models or EoL ones? This is completely unfair and no-one can prepare for questions on this with that kind of requirement. (Again you would have to read A LOT of admin/install guides to cover endpoints from the early TC/CTS days to modern times)
- 'Describe MCUs' - Again, which ones? Are you honestly expecting someone to read all of the documentation on all of your MCU products?
This is how I am preparing:
- Read the Study Guide over and over
- The Study Guide is good this time around, but as always is not enough to pass the exam
- Give Cisco my hard earned cash for their 'official' CIVND offering
- Dig into EVERYTHING on any product mentioned in the book (Install/Admin Guides etc from Cisco.com - read everything as you could be tested on anything)
- Sit the exam and hope for the best
- Hopefully clear the exam
- Use probably 1/3 of the content in the real world
I honestly feel that as time has gone on in the Cisco exam world, the exams are really losing their value and purpose. When I started my Cisco journey with CCNA R&S, it was an incredible learning experience, full of value and I was extremely proud when I cleared that certification. (As with CCNP R&S)
CIVND is absolutely the worst of the bunch and I can't wait until my 'journey' comes to an end so I can be done with all this nonsense.