Saturday, 25 April 2009

To Bootcamp or Not to Boot Camp

Okay so the opportunity for me to go on a CCIE boot camp has come up. I was having a look on the Micronics website following some posts I saw on the CCIE Candidate blog and I saw that there was a boot camp running from the 18th of May in London. (The location is not really London, it is outside London but that is better for me because the Big Smoke is ridiculously expensive for those of us who do not get paid Big Smoke salaries.)

Anyhow I would not normally consider myself ready for a boot camp as you have probably seen my preparation so far has been a bit lacking to say the least. However I saw some interesting comments once again on the CCIE Candidate website where some people had gone on the boot camp without having done any full scale labs because of Narbik's free re-take policy (however there might not be any more classes in the UK that I can attend so it might become very expensive should I want to re-take). So that made me wonder whether I should contemplate the boot camp to kick start my studying again.

Obviously only I can make the final decision on whether to go for it but I thought I would get the opinions of the one of two people who still read this blog to help me solidify my decision. So I thought I would be honest about my situation and see what the rest of the CCIE community think.

My main issue at the moment is time, as I have previously mentioned in other posts I have two very young children and it would be unfair to leave their mother to care for them both all day every day. (Much as I would love it if she did agree to do this and returned them to me when they could go to the toilet themselves :-) ) This lack of time during the day would not be so bad because my wife has agreed that I can do some work in the evenings when one of them has gone to bed, but the problem is I also have a very demanding job at the moment. I work a lot of overtime in the evenings because I need to and I need the money at the moment. It looks like work will get even more hectic in the future months as I am in the middle of a very large project.

I was going to let things meander a long and try get some studying in when I could, with the hope I could now be ready for a November lab date. However the rumors about the lab changes that have appeared in recent days have got me scared. I could do without learning new stuff and since I do not work in an ISP environment (which I believe is the best possible place to learn about networking) I am not keen on having to do MPLS. So if I want to get anywhere near a lab attempt before any changes come into force I need to get cracking. I was thinking that maybe the boot camp would be an ideal way to propel me forward in my studies.

Money is a bit tight at the moment but I have some money from an inheritance that I could use to pay for the course as it would all have to be self funded. So it would be a quite an investment when I would still have to pay for the lab exam and the flights to get to the lab exam.

On the money front I have previously invested in quite a lot of training materials. I have the IPExpert Blended Learning Solution, as well as the Internetwork Expert CoD and Boot Camp CoD. In workbook terms I have electronic copies of the IPExpert stuff and the Internetwork Expert workbooks as well as hard copies of Narbik's Advanced Technologies workbook. So maybe I have enough material and should really focus on making best use of what I already have. I must admit I do find my concentration wanders quite a lot in the CoD's and getting through them seems to take a bit longer then you would think. So maybe a boot camp would be a better option for me.

So what I would like to hear is the opinions of people as to what they think. There are plenty of people who have passed with out going on a boot camp and I certainly seem to have enough material. However there are plenty of people who rave about the boot camps and especially Narbik's one. The other question is how do the CoD's compare to the real thing? So let me know what you think to help me make up my mind.


Anonymous said...

You have enough material to pass CCIE so my suggestion use them rather than purchase everything from the market. No one can ready you within 5 days bootcamp.

if you prepare with Internetworkexpert V5-I and Narbik workbook + InterEx v4-III then you more than ready for lab


Roy Waterman (routeleaker) said...

Hi mate

Well im going on this bootcamp in Milton Keynes.
I too have more than enough material in which to pass ( i have ipexpert & ie), however, the chance to experience Narbiks bootcamp so close to where I live was too enticing to miss.
Everyone raves about Narbiks bootcamp.

Im hoping that the bootcamp will accelerate my progress to sitting the lab as soon as possible.

Plus there is always the option of sitting his lab again in the future at no cost (well no bootcamp cost anyway).

This is a head vs heart decision man :)
What pushed it for me was that I am under pressure to get the ie as quickly as possible. Not that I will be ready after 5 days, but it can only help things.

Roy said...

Following up on my previous post this is not head vs heart, its money.
If you can afford to go, go.
Simple as that :)

If you do go, u will get his revised 2.0 material.