Friday, February 29, 2008

Contingency Plan

I really hope I don't fail. I feel as if I've learned pretty much everything I'm going to learn from the IPExpert an Internetwork Expert labs. I'll be a little unsure as to where to turn next. With the typical CCIE difficulty metric being a 7/10, I feel my knowledge is about 8.5/10 at this point.

I've told my wife I'm only taking 5 attempts. If I don't get it by then I'll give up. That gives me 4 attempts left.

I do get a little frustrated with IPExpert and IE labs. There are a number of mistakes that are obviously from failure to properly upgrade their workbooks over the years. I personally find this to be detremintal to my studying. I've had to get use to assuming things might need to be a little different than they way they are worded. On the actual lab, this is BAD. I need to make sure to assume absolutely nothing.

I don't feel there's anything else to learn with a free retake of the IPexpert bootcamp. Perhaps taking it with Scott for a different perspective would help.

There has been a lot of "testimonials" on the Narbik bootcamp lately. It's to the point that I'm actually steering away from it. From the reviews I'm reading, it's sounding more like he's teaching "stupid router tricks" than anything else. My impression could be wrong, so I'd open up some discussions on Monday if I need to.

I really feel the best preparation for me at this point is the Mock Labs. I've taken all but 2 of the IE mock labs. Another option would be to take the IE Mock Lab bootcamp.

Another possibility would be to swtich to NetMasterClass. A lot of people seem to recommend using them in tandem with IE. Their CheckIt labs are pretty expensive though--$250 each or 3 for $635. They also have a DoIT volume 2 plus 5 CheckIt labs package for $1324, which is about the same cost as a lab attempt.

Since I have been successful at studying at home, I think this would be a good approach to take. It would give me 1 graded lab a weekend and 1 workbook lab a weekend with 5 weekends before another attempt.

So that's my plan of attack. Purchase the $1324 package from NMC and reschedule for a month out.

1 comment:

Ethan Banks said...

I know you're past caring, but I've completed all of Narbik Kocharians' advanced lab workbooks and attended his bootcamp twice. He decidedly does not teach stupid router tricks. I blogged quite a bit about his bootcamps, so if you got that impression from me, I guess I need to write better. Narbik teaches fundamentals. He teaches how the technology works and why, from his historical perspective, having been in the business for 30 years. His OSPF and QoS lectures are the best that I've ever heard, and helped bring home concepts that I've been working with for a long time, but didn't grasp as well as I should have. Narbik is not the "stupid router trick guy".

I am running into problems with IEWB typos that I find maddening. The volume 3 workbook answer keys don't always jive with the lab tasks. In some cases, there are tasks with no answer, and in other cases, answers with no task. I've also had issues with things like backbone routers having protocol authentication enabled, but no instructions in the lab to configure authentication (tough to form an adjacency that way), as well as backbone routers with IP addresses that don't match the network diagram. Those are particularly loathsome problems to have, since the whole point of the IEWB Vol.3 labs is to build speed on core tasks. How do you build speed when you get sucked down a rabbit hole to go after a problem rooted in a bad config? How do you verify that your configuration was 100% correct, if the answer isn't in the answer key? And I've only completed the first 2 labs so far! Grr. IEWB vol.3 has still been profitable, but it's a little frustrating.