I haven’t been posting much about my studies for the CCIE this time around. My studies have been all consuming as I have been trying to get in 30 hours a week on top of my normal work. I may start blogging my notes, but have not made the decision yet. It would be nice to share my notes with others as I have worked extremely hard on them, but many of my notes are quotes from sources whom I do not remember.
After taking Narbik’s class I wanted to give my thoughts on the class. First, the class will be international with a wide range of abilities. Here are is a list of guys in my class.
George from Sydney Australia
Martin from Holland
Dustin from South Dakota
Me from Alabama
Denis from Canada
Dennis from California
Mike from California
Martin from California
Joe (not his real name) from the NSA
We were broken into basically three groups. There were three of the class that were a few months away taking the lab, there were three of us that were 6 to 9 months away from the lab and three that needed to decide if they were ready to dedicate the time needed.
The class starts with the traditional, tell the class about yourself. Narbik also invites each student to detail what you need to work on. Do not be shy. In fact I would make a list before you get to class of your strengths and weaknesses because this cumulative list sets the structure of the class.
The class is also designed for each student to get out of it as much as they put into it. If decide to slack on the labs, it will only hurt yourself. The first few days are some theory, but the focus is on configuration labs. As you lab into the night or morning, Narbik gets an idea of where each student is in their studies.
I also believe each student should make a concerted effort to finish most of the Micornics Training workbooks before you get there. As I have done different labs, I have taken notes to jog my memory or clarify my understanding of a technology. Many times I recognized the technology and topology we were discussing from labs I had done and was updating my personal notes from Narbik’s notes on the board.
If a CCNA attended Narbik’s class, from the lectures they would not think the CCIE is that difficult. Narbik focuses on portions of the technologies that he has seen students not understand correctly. I had multiple “ah hah” moments where I had a misunderstanding that I corrected in my notes. But the lectures are short and to the point, doesn’t go over the basics, the class is more about fine tuning your understanding.
The first “big” lab is Thursday night, you can work as late into the next morning as you would like. Most of our class left by 3:00am Friday morning. Saturday is the big assessment lab. One student decided to wait and save the big assessment lab for when he was better prepared. I thought that was a wise decision, and in retrospect it might have been good for me to as well, but it also helped me highlight gaps in my preparation.
The second week of classes is where I got the most benefit. While there are still lectures, the labs shift from technology labs to troubleshooting labs. While I could not get all of the tickets, the labs were designed to highlight technological misunderstandings. I enjoyed these more than the configuration labs as they helped drive home portions of the technologies.
I recommend Narbik’s class. My personal opinion is that students should be close to taking the lab and probably have passed the written. I am neither of these, but the experience has changed some of my training plans, and that is invaluable.