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Thinking of switching to SP

Posted by Jo on July 31, 2009

As regular visitors will know, I have been preparing for the written exam for over the past month or so. I have been making decent enough progress going through the CCBootcamp Voice Written Study Guide and also trawling through the Voice SRND’s and information on the Cisco documentation site. I was aiming to take the exam in a few weeks time, but am now having second thoughts about it.

While I have been studying for the written I started off putting in 2-3 hours a night of reading, this has now dropped off to 2-3 hours one or twice a week as I feel I have learned as much as I can. I am also finding myself getting bored of the content, maybe this is a sign that I am ready to take the exam. I am also thinking about the practical side of things, and while I do have a stack of Proctor Labs vRack vouchers, I just dont have the time to schedule in full 8 hour sessions after work and at the weekends to go through the workbooks. I also miss the CLI – I know that voice has a great deal of CLI configuration involved, but thats a way off down the line for where I am in my prep.

So, what does all this mean? Well, I may put the voice studies on hold for a while (I still want to do it), and look at SP instead. Since I passed the R&S I feel that I have zoned out a little on the more complex technologies and routing protocols that I dont work with on a day to day basis, such as BGP and VRF’s etc. Of course SP will have its own challenges, but I think that I am more suited to it at present and should be able to make good progress. I will also be able to do a lot of the workbooks on Dynamips, which appeals greatly to me – I will be able to do shorter sessions of 2-4 hours and then longer ones when required – plus I get to go deeper and build on my R&S knowledge.

Jared wrote a good post on the IPexpert blog about doing SP after R&S which makes sense to me. Im hoping that there isnt a major change in the next 6 months or so, but something tells me there may be seeing as Cisco are making changes to all the other tracks, so I will see how I get on.

I have not yet decided on the workbooks to use, but Rick recommends the INE Volume I and II, and also the IPexpert Volume II labs. I will decide on this once I get done with the written exam.

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2 Responses to “Thinking of switching to SP”

  1. skybaba said

    Hey Buddy,

    Since you’ve been studying for the voice written for a bit, I’d say take the written exam and get it out of the way.

    I’ve also read Jared’s post and I think it makes sense to go the SP way after R&S……but like I said, get the voice written out of the way…..you never know, you may be gunning for a third CCIE after you pass your SP šŸ˜‰

    • Jo said

      Hi Ayo,

      Thanks for the comment. Part of me wants to take the voice written, and I think that I could probably do it, and it would be good to get it out of the way.

      It comes down to cost at the end of the day, Im probably going to need to invest in a workbook for the SP, so could use the money for that I save on the voice written test to pay for those – Ive spoken to Mike and can get a good deal on the SP workbooks.

      Im hoping that I can get the SP done within 5-6 months or so, so the sooner I do the SP written the sooner I can get prepped for the lab (before they add loads of new stuff to it!!). If I were to have it by the end of 2009 then Im sure that I would be able to brush up on the voice written topics again (although there may be a written blueprint change due) which isnt such a bad thing.

      Im still not 100% decided, but Ive been playing around with some MPLS VPN labs today on my laptop today, and its feeling so much easier to get to grips with. Lots of it is second nature, which for voice just wasnt the case.

      Im also waiting for IPexpert to release the new BLS content for Voice 3.0 and I am sure by then it will be a fully matured product which should get me more motivated to study for it.

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