do u guys redo advanced tech labs?

Just thinking out loud here - I've gotten pretty deep into the IGP's and redistribution and am about to go to BGP - which is a big jump and all

I started redoing the old L2 and IGP labs - with very few exceptions (smartport macros and a reliable policy) - I've been pretty much been able to knock thru them or use the doco to knck thru them in two days -

i'm just thinking it's not a waste of time to be sure I remember this stuff and re-refresh it in my mind - then I write down stuff I forgot - like oh duh, 

Did you CCIE's do this?  I know I have to go back and refresh during the process or else I'll forget it all -



  • I think this is a good question. I am not a CCIE as of yet however, I am going through the ATC labs (mid RIP). My strategy is to go through each lab and take a mental note of anything I find interesting. Once I have finished a major section, I will go back through each lab a little bit deeper - I try to find other commands that may help my brain connect the dots or Ill try to use debug commands in various points in the network to understand what is happening. There have been a few times where I would just focus on using the tools like tclsh scripts for connectivity or using only notepad to make my configs. I dont think its a waiste of time I just keep thinking how daunting this is with such a breadth of topics.

    Anyway I am curious to hear what others are doing as well and just to piggy-back on this question a little bit - How do you know that you have gone deep enough on the topic anyway? food for thought I guess


  • JoeMJoeM ✭✭✭

     Of course, going back and reviewing is great in any endeavour.  Repetition is good for memory.  Yes, it is a normal part of the process.

    But it is better to keep moving forward.  Learn other technologies, and start doing the mixed labs, as this helps with jumping back-n-forth between technologies.

    I believe that it is good to study something intensely and then move on....coming back will reinforce......move forward....come back and reinforce.  But don't get stuck in a rut of only reviewing IGP.

    Troubleshooting studies are also excellent for understanding how technologies break.  This will reinforce configuration.  (repeat -- but keep moving forward).


    The other thing to do for preparation, is learn the CiscoDoc locations for each technology. This will relieve a lot of anxiety for the lab exam.  There is not a lot of time to do research, but if you know where the example configurations are, you will have a fallback (and piece of mind).


    And finally, you will never know everything.   This came directly from a 7xCCIE.   Not possible for normal beings.   Understanding that you will never remember (or learn) everything, will allow you to book your first lab exam.   So BOOK the lab, and keep moving forward with your studies.  Don't be stuck for months (years) on IGP or any other technology.    


    I am sure that almost all CCIE's can think of ways the journey could have been smoother/quicker.  They will all have similar stories.


    Keep it up and book the lab now.



  • Im just fnishing up my second run through the ATC.  This is after reading all the books in the list and watching all the ATC vids.  My first run through I marked each and every lab with a number betwene 1-5.  Anything a 5 was "man this took me three days of study and I still dont get it".  4 was "well I got through by having to look at the answer because I couldnt work it out for myself but once I got the answer I was fine" etc etc - you get the drift.  Anything 4 and 5 after the first run through I will do a thrid time.  The second run was to make sure I could look at the lab and do it quickly.  I got through the first round in about 9 months.  the second run in about 2 months.  The problem with the ATC labs is the essentially give you the answer in the title of the lab.  That can make it tricky to know if you know what you would need to do without that title. Sometmie you can go straight to the answer using the title, if that makes sense.  You have to work on making sure you understand, which is kind of obvious I guess.

    Next in line for me is the foundation labs.  For each of these I will spend one weekend (hopefully :) on each, marking each task with the same principle.  Anything 4 and 5 I will go through the ATC AGAIN during the week because I wouldnt have got it first, or I have forgotten.  The hard thing is remembering.  Im looking at things during my second run and the number of times I have had an "oh, far out, thats right!!" moment is unreal and very nerve racking.  It just take repitition.  Im no CCIE yet, and I swear Ill be bleeding out my eyes for the number of times I have to do "router ospf 1", but I guess its what you have to do.

    Point being, they dont say it take 1500-2000hrs labing time to get your CCIE on average for nothing. Repitition, repitition, repitition...pun intended :)

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