I attended Narbik Kocharians CCIE R&S bootcamp in Poland last week. I learned a lot and tried to write a little note-to-self every day. What good is a note-to-self, if you don’t read it afterwards.
First things first: Was it worth it? Definitely. Just being in an atmosphere where you can focus 100% of you time and energy on the CCIE really kicks your studies into overdrive. Narbiks methodology really drives home the point that knowing what you are doing pays of.
Key lessons for the lab
If you are stumbling around on the lab and need to reconfigure stuff, you will run out of time. On the other hand, if you configure everything correctly the first time, you shouldn’t have a problem. It really goes to show that you need to go slow to go fast.
This counts for reading the questions, so you don’t miss any bullet points, and for configuring your lab, so you don’t have to troubleshoot your own configuration later. So, you must be methodical on the lab. Some things you can decide beforehand, such as a naming scheme for your route-maps. Then you don’t have to think of one on the exam. Of course, there will still be a time limit on the lab, so you must strike a balance between speed and thoroughness.
When you are still studying theory, don’t just take the authors word for it, lab it up. No author is infallible or the behavior might have changed since the text was written. Apparently, EIGRP’s next-hop-self works differently than I always though from the texts. It took a bit to figure that one out.
Typos and unnecessary complexity are your enemy on the exam. This is something you can really slow yourself down with. So, when it comes to the lab, keep it simple and copy-paste where possible. This point requires you te be well rested when you take the exam. Being tired ups your rate of typos, and lowers your chance of catching them.
Key lessons in general
It is good to know the way protocols work, not just from a theory perspective. See how it works in the real world, try to make it do something it wasn’t designed for. If you can misuse a protocols behavior for something unexpected, you know how it behaves. Play around with the variables you can tune, but please never use it in production that way!
My brainpower is a finite resource. I knew that already, but the point was never clearer than at the end of the boot camp.
Don’t underestimate how much you know already. There will always be people who know more, but that doesn’t make your knowledge any less impressive.
Here are the reviews of the individual days: