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Book Review : CCIE Security v4.0 Practice Labs by Natalie Timms

I have been studying for my CCIE Security since late last year, with a short hiatus after Cisco Live due to health issues – more on that in a later post. When I saw that Natalie Timms – former manager for the CCIE Security exam program, was writing a book focused on practical labs for the exam, I was thrilled! I had to get my hands on a copy.

I had met Natalie a few years ago in San Diego at Cisco Live, and she is simply an awesome lady. Sharp, funny and very talented; needless to say I had high expectations of her book.

I did not get a copy of the book in time for it to help much with my lab studies for an attempt in mid-June, but walking out of the lab and then reading this book was eye opening.

All CCIE Security candidates want to read this book. It provides a focus on the scope and types of tasks you will face on the real lab, without going anywhere near actually teaching the exam. You cannot memorize this book and pass the lab – you WILL fail if you try. It is a very fine line to walk and the author nailed it! Read More »

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Summary: Don’t be a networking Lizard

Who’s more intelligent a rocket scientist or a lizard?

Well it’s a matter of perspective. I’ll grant you that a lizard is less likely to design a spaceship capable of inter stellar flight, but if you put that same rocket scientist in the desert, I know who my money would be on to survive the longest, the point being that the lizard has exactly the right level of skills and knowledge that it requires for its particular environment.

Read the rest of Colin’s article, Don’t Be a Networking Lizard, on the UK & Ireland blog.


Value of Cisco Certifications: Making Money Vs. Study

Imagine that you see a Tweet today inviting you to apply for a part-time networking job, something you can do in addition to your normal job. You appear to be qualified for the job, and the work looks interesting as well. However, it requires enough of your time so that you would have to set aside your current professional development plans, including study for that next Cisco certification. The job lasts one year.

Would you take the job, setting aside your certification plans for a year? How much money would you need to make in that job before it would entice you to abandon your learning and certification plans for a year?

This post works through a couple of ideas (like the above) about how to quantify the value of a certification. Many people expect that more skills and certifications will give them more Read More »

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Is Networking Cool — Again? Yup!

I don’t think that anyone can deny that being in the IT industry at this time is exciting and interesting. It’s also exhausting. There is a ton of hyperbole floating about on Twitter and the Blogosphere concerning the need for network engineers to become programmers, and that ‘whatever’ technology du jour is only minutes away from capturing the market and being the de-facto standard. Oh by the way, all networking gear will be white box gear too — didn’t you hear? I’ve tried to NOT write a post that I fear will be read and dismissed as mere rhetoric, but here I am anyway.

As of late, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to work with some very cool customers who are Read More »

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Alternative Learning Tactics for the Busy Professional

When it comes to career development, time is a currency that must be spent wisely. I myself am a full-time dad, a full-time network engineer, and that leaves little time for personal endeavors. However we must still allocate time to develop our skillsets outside of work. Here are some tips for doing just that. Read More »

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