Archive for March, 2009


Monday, March 9th, 2009

Well, I’m finally a CCNA! It only took 9 years! Seriously, I took a 4 semester Cisco Networking Academy back in high school but didn’t pursue it much after that. See, I took the CCNA exam 9 years ago and just barely missed passing. The problem is, I didn’t pay enough attention in high school, so I didn’t get all that I needed to out of that great oppurtunity.

Right after high school, I started working for a local government IT department, this job has grown into what is now my career. I love the job and I have learned so much more on the job than I ever did in any classroom. My job, doesn’t really require me to pass any certifications but, about 3 years ago, I started really getting into self study mode.  I ended up learning so many valuable things from my self study that I didn’t know from on-the job experience. The MCSE studying especially, help me.

After all these years though, I had never thought about attempting Cisco again… I didn’t have much I had to do with any Cisco devices at work, so it never really played that much of a role in my job anyway. Well, last year, I finally decided that I wanted to take another crack at it. This time, I wouldn’t be relying on a classrom environment, but rather self-study. I soon found that I really enjoyed studying for Cisco exams… They are a lot more hands on then MS exams and they are not as dry (yet).

Last October, I finished the ICND1, but I unfortunately fizzled out… A small break turning into a couple months! I finally picked up the books, and fired up the Cisco equipment again, the first week of February! Today, I passed the ICND2, making me a CCNA. I passed with a fairly high score and felt a confidence going in, that I never felt 9 years ago. I knew, the I knew the material. I spent hours upon hours doing and redoing labs.

I think now, I might lay low on IT certs for a while and finally go back to college, maybe I’ll do the project+ first though… Not sure yet.

If anyone is interested in what I used for study material, Here is a list.

Sybex CCNA book! IMO a very good book!

CCIE lab guide(McGraw Hill) by Stephen Hutnik and Michael Satterlee
-borrowed from my father-in-law! Very awesome lab book, starts from that easiest lab setups and works it’s way up. Lab book
-It has a few typos and a couple small errors, but overall it was very helpful to have.

Packet Tracer 5.1
I used this tool a lot when I wasn’t near any real equipment. Very hand sim to have.

3 x 2600 series routers
1 1710 router
1 2950 switch
1 3550xl switch