2020 – ‘The year ahead’

Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all! So my first blog post of 2020.. ‘the year ahead’. So a bit of background.. I had a ‘moment’ before Xmas around Cisco certifications and specifically the CCIE. Attempting the CCIE has always been an interest of mine, something I have started on a few times and ultimately given up on… so with a new year ahead then why not revisit it?

I also read a book. An amazing book! This non technical book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to know what to expect when taking on the CCIE: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-CCIE-Success-Strategy-Non-Technical/dp/1470103168 This book truly ‘lit the flame’ and helped me reach a decision. I want to obtain my CCIE.

As we all know, Cisco have shaken up the certification tracks and as things stand from Feb 24th 2020 I will be CCNP Enterprise + Collaboration certified. Therefore I could technically attempt a CCIE lab (and would most certainly fail) with the 2 (or 1) valid core exams. However my CCNPs will both expire Dec 4th 2020, so any lab attempt will need to be before then.. which for me personally is not practical and is no way enough time. So what to do….. I need to renew a next level NP core exam that is relevant to the CCIE track I choose. So which track you maybe asking… well the answer (after much thought and possible surprise to you) is the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure. I am not going to go into all the detail as to why, but the high points are ‘modern and relevant’ and also I believe R&S is my core (and strongest) skillset.

Therefore I have spent the last few weeks reading into all things CCIE/Cisco next level certifications:

  1. Old vs new
  2. Recertification policy for NP
  3. Prerequisites
  4. Timescales
  5. Cost
  6. Materials
  7. Strategy
  8. Etc….

Therefore… my high level approach for this year is as follows:

  1. Continue to ‘stay close’ and do as much reading and research about the next level CCIE tracks
  2. Keep updated with CCNP/CCIE training material that is released (Cisco Press/VoD etc…)
  3. Create a study plan and stick to it (Already done a draft of this and need to test run it for a few weeks…Will share my plan with you all)
  4. Study plan will be as follows:
    • ‘Go back’ and study next level CCNA concepts (I’m actually excited about this as it has been a while and also new stuff to learn/master)
    • Study next level CCNP/CCIE concepts (Cisco Press book looks great)
    • Schedule the core CCNP exam (to renew my CCNP for 3 years and therefore gives me plenty of time for the lab prep)
    • Pass the CCNP exam (Confidence!)
    • Celebrate!
  5. All things CCIE 🙂

There is of course more to follow and I fully intend to share this journey with you all.