Just finished chapter 1; we’re on a lunch break. The class is pretty fast paced, as there’s a ton of material to cover in just 5 10 hour days. We’ve got a really good instructor named Muhamed Ali (no relation ;) who is quite prone to making sure that people are paying attention to pick up the important bits… the thing is, it’s almost all important bits :)
Already today I’ve done more handwriting than I have in the past several years… 12 pages of legal sized paper filled with notes and diagrams. I think I’ll probably end up scanning them in for reference of the curious. They provided us with a Cisco book called Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, which is pretty much exactly the material of the exam. The training director made a cameo appearance this morning to tell us that the CCNA exam has been recently changed; now it is mostly simulation based, as opposed to a more traditional standardized test style. The passing threshold also got raised from 70% to 85%, and the training director said that the CCNA is now considered the most difficult exam in any of the Cisco certification tracks (I’m sure he means that in a relative fashion; obviously each level builds upon the previous).
The shuttle from the hotel to the training center supposedly left at 7:30 instead of 8:30; thus myself and three others who are staying at the hotel arrived about 10 minutes late. Clearly the hotel people are mistaken on the drop off / pickup times.
I’m also feeling quite rested; nothing like a full night’s sleep + a very narrow focus. That’s what makes this bootcamp thing such an attractive idea; you’re in a hotel away from everything, doing nothing but this stuff all day – no distractions, no work… very easy to handle this correctly.
Chapter 1 covered mostly the OSI model, which is pretty important conceptually. Much of it was review for me (Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away :) Hopefully we’ll get into some of the hands-on stuff soon. There’s two full racks of Cisco gear in the corner of the training lab; switches, routers, etc, so I’m sure we’ll be tinkering on it before long.
Back to the hotel after the first day of class… right after lunch we started to get into actual router practice; each student has his own 2500. We did all the basic stuff as far as setup / config. The instructor had us broken into groups of three, and we set up connections between the routers in each pod. Fun stuff :) Even though this exam is supposedly harder now, I feel very confident now after the first day that I will pass without a problem. The guy sitting next to me is pretty quick; we were the first pod to get our links to each other up and start hax0ring each other’s routers… heh.
Now I shall start reviewing today’s stuff… lots of information :)