Tuesday, 14 October 2008

CCIE Shorts 14/10/08

Okay first of all a belated congratulations to Jo Knight of CCIE Lab Preparation who managed to pass his CCIE on the 7th of October. Nice one well done Jo I have been meaning to write a post to congratulate you but work got in the way of blogging time. Anyhow if you move at the speed of a sloth like me then head over to his blog to congratulate him, or if you are yawning that is old news like most of you probably will be then make sure you check out his great posts on the lab. He even has a post on what he is planning to learn next which includes Turkish. Turkish or some other foreign language is what my brain seems to think half the IOS commands are written in :-). Anyhow nice one well done Jo!!

Next thing of interest that seems to be going on in CCIE land is the fact that Cisco is introducing it's own CCIE training program. Thanks to CCIE pursuit for pointing this out to me, head over to his blog to check out the full story. Now this is big news in my opinion and so is the fact that Cisco wants 3 million certified engineers by 2012 up from 1 million now.

Both the Cisco CCIE training program and the 3 million certified engineers are something I disagree with. According to the various articles Cisco is designing the program to compete head on with 3rd party bootcamps that are not up to par. So I wonder which 3rd party bootcamps are not up to par? Most of vendors that people seem to use in passing their CCIE's seem to have been up to scratch, as how have some many people passed their CCIE's up until this point?

Companies like Cisco and Microsoft survive and prosper because they have millions of smaller companies supporting their products and providing innovative products/solutions that address the short comings in their own products. Now when the demands for growth mean the Cisco and Microsoft's of this world start eating their own children so to speak then I get a bit upset. Innovation and product improvements do not generally come from large companies they come from small companies that spot a niche in the market. So surely these smaller companies should be rewarded by the corporate giants for supporting them rather than being trampled all over. I mean how much can the CCIE training market be worth to Cisco? Surely not that much where as to companies like IPExpert and Internetwork Expert it is their livelyhood. Also as soon as the corporate giant has established a monopoly in an area then they tend to innovate less which is bad for us consumers.

The other worry I have with Cisco entering the CCIE training market is will they develop a course that spoonfeds candidates? Previously Cisco guarded the intergrity of the CCIE and they did not actually produce any training material for it (oaky a few Ciscopress books aside). However now they have a program to sell they will obviously want to sell more of their training courses than the competition. So one of the best ways to do this is to have a higher pass rate than the competition and if you write the exam and the training material does this not mean that you might be tempted to load your training material with all the information to pass the CCIE? So could the commercial pressure of Cisco wanting to sell training programs lead to their program becoming a complete this course and you will be guarenteed of passing your CCIE type of program?

Would Cisco devalue the CCIE in this way? Do they really care about the CCIE or are they just intrested in getting as many engineers out there as possible who have knowledge of their products and thus act as marketers for their products? I mean why target a specfic number of engineers you want to produce? Instead of setting a target of 3 million engineers why do they not instead insist on improving the quality of the engineers they certify? I do not know what everyone else's experiences are but whenever a company I have worked for has wanted to recruit a new engineer we have never starved for lack of candidates. We have however had severe droughts of quality candidates. Even people who work at Cisco have admitted to me their problem is not the lack of candidates it is the lack of quality people. So what does everyone else think is this a good move by Cisco? Is there a shortage of engineers or is it the quality of the engineers that is in short supply?

Finally as for the demise of the USA that Network World seems to go on about in my opinion that is still a long way off. There is a inovative streak and a remarkable capcaity to reinvent itself in the eagle that the dragon and the tiger with their billion strong populations still have not achieved. On day they will get there but I do not think the US will be brushed aside just yet. Besides the US is still growing and it could hit half a billion people fairly soon, but I digress mental note to self this is a CCIE blog not a currnet affairs blog :-)

3 comments:

Jo K said...

Thanks! It was hard work, but am pleased to have passed - Im hoping that Turkish will be a bit easier.
Whenever my wife took a look over my shoulder when I was studying she often said that IOS looked like a foreign language to her!

The Ferret said...

I bet you are pleased well done and good luck with the Turkish

Darby said...

OK -

NetMasterClass dumped all their old customers cold… I guess it may have been in the small print but no other vendor did it previously - except maybe… Mentor Labs…

Anyone ever see the labs from ECP-1 and ECP-2? Do they look a lot like… NMC-1 and NMC-2?

Hmmm..

Yes, I thought so too… So much that I own them both and yep… Pretty much the same product +/- ip addresses…

Next networkers remind to bring my print copies of all of the above…

You see this is all “DEJA VU”!!!!

It happened before… back when Mentor Technologies took a dive… Anyone remember where the NMC team came from before they became the NMC team?

Yep.

So here’s the scoop:

1. Sell the product at a high dollar price and refuse to budge… typos and bad English notwithstanding… even to the point of being down right noticeable and disturbing.

2. Offer the product for say 6 months… but let customers have access for much longer till they are ready drop the bomb again.

That way they can be dazed and confused… and maybe come back to spend another $10,000 - $20,000 on the second or third round of “THE GREATEST CCIE CERTIFICATION SCAM” going…

3. Here’s the skinny on what you will get with the Cisco 360 Program:

1. The NMC Tech Library (limited time only) - Careful it’s got errors. An if you circle every time something is repeated more than 3 times… you will get become “HIGH AS A KITE”… seriously… how many times does the same sentence need to be repeated… really?

2. The RSCCIE-1 aka NMC-1 aka ECP-1…

Let me save you a week here

- Buy the CCIE Assessor and get 2 labs with a lot of feedback for the price… of about $400.00

- Get the Book by Szigeti Cisco Press End-to-End QoS and maybe Wendell Odom’s book on QoS Certification. Ok - You covered what they will spend 1 to 1.5 days of bootcamp on. And if you do the exercises you will get more paractice anyway…. which they will tell you to go do on your own anyway - BTW… Love that part.

Ok - So you spend another $125.00 on books…

- BGP - Famous all-time 1/2 day topic. They give this away in their FREE PDF handouts. Basically a few labs that go over… stuff like “Next-Hop-Self, EBGP Multi-Hop, and Update-Source… Also Peer-Groups gets a quick review, Confederations, and Route-Reflectors…

But if you are slow in your labs… during class you will likely be doing these alone anyway… I guess that might be where the other $10,000.00 in mentoring comes along.

Did you notice this is covered in the DOC CD too… yep.

Not a bad find if you can read…. English. Kidding, but it’s FREE.

Let’s see… IPv6 - They offered a nice paper on IPv6 that covered a lot of good stuff… but this is covered by oh so many others and to a larger degree…

Personally, if you can configure RIP, OSPF, and a few tunnels in IPv6… you can work for me. So this is really a filler topic meant to cover space.

I do understand Switching is covered in more depth now that 4 Switches are in use? This is a big MAYBE?

My recommendation - Get a little book by Cisco Press called “Builing IP Resilient Networks” and you get HSRP, IP SLB, VRRP, Spanning-Treee that makes sense and you can actually see how it is applied in the real world.

Wow! That’s a $50-60.00 book.

Look you are probably going to be referred to Doyle V1 and V2. Pick up Solie since he tells you how to setup a home lab and build solid test tools… like Route Genrators, Terminal Servers, and Frame Switches. Useful for a candidate.

Ok…

what else - well… IP SLA is a nice to know feature and is useful in live environments but the LAB is only 8 Hours…

Learning a TCL Script or Ping Macro is quickly available on Google… I posted my variations a few times all over the web…. same for the Frame Switch and the Terminal Server.

Let’s see…

The last day or 1/2 day is really a graded lab.

It’s seems this is no longer offered for sale either… so…

Get one one from IPExpert or IE or other reputable vendor.

Lots of great feedback and realistic labs.

Remember the graded labs from NMC were kind of like:

15 points for BGP 10 Points for QoS, etc.

In the real lab and in various vendor’s labs mentioned above… it’s like this 1 point for these tasks and 2 points for those tasks, etc. We call this realistic.

So… there you have it…

As for Week-2… just buy the labs and get them graded.

Would you spend $5000.00 for 4 graded labs?

Why would you go to a class to spend $5000.00 for graded labs and get just about 2.5 hours of feedback per lab that highlight the common problems and those may NOT be your specific problems anyway?

Right?

So if you can buy graded labs for say.. $130 - $250.00 each and 4 of them would cost you $520.00 to $1000.00…

Why would you pay $5000.00 just for the privilege of doing them on premises?

Yes… I fell for it too.

I like the guys and all but when they slammed not just me but a lot of other guys I know (I guess everybody…) IT REALLY SUCKED!!!

Up to now, I’ve just taken my lumps and layed down about it, pretty much.

Look ultimately NMC sold out to Cisco.

I spoke with a proctor who seemed a bit suprised by my words… about what was covered and what was not covered by NMC in thier materials…

They are going to have to up the standards…

Also if you have 3 instructors in class? What are the other 2 doing? If they are not teaching or coaching/helping students…

I’m going to make like Count Chocula here…

You have “1″ Instructor in the class who is “Instructing”…

Not 3…

If one is doing reasearch. If the other is grading labs… for other things…

You only have 1+ instructors when the other instructors are have time for you.

Whew!

Anyway…

All other vendors never DUMPED their entire clientelle.

It seems this is DEJA VU and the question is now if the Cisco 360 Program fails… as it very well might, then are you going to lose.. $5000.00, $10,000.00 or up to $20,000.00 with a program that has already dumped its clients at least once (just now) and basically back when Mentor Labs went out of business…

Understand that Mentor Labs was not Bruce and Vals business as I understand it… however they started teaching the from the same materials…

Remember I’ve taken the time to collect ECP-1 and ECP-2 and it is a lot like NMC-1 and NMC-2, which is going to be pretty much what you get with CCIERS-1 and CCIERS-2 from the 360 Program.

Hell you might just shop Ebay and wait for them to turn up.

Did you notice…

They do not really cover the following topics in NMC-1 aside from the Day-1 Diagnostic Lab that so many struggle with till late Monday night anyway…

Frame
Bridging
Switching
RIP
EIGRP
OSPF
Redistribution does get covered heavily in the review and in the last day review of the lab given on that day.

So…

Careful…

BUYER BEWARE!

Let me say that again CAVEAT EMPTOR…

Not the EMPTOR looks a lot like “Empty-handed”… as is left HIGH and DRY!!!

Anyone still need more clarification… look me up.