What is Your CCIE R&S Practice Rack?

April 15, 2015 at 3:08 am

I am really looking forward to the Layer 2 IOS and ASAv coming to Cisco VIRL Personal Edition this month (April 2015). This will permit me to lab up scenarios for my students of R&S that include switching and also to have great practice with many Security technologies at the same time.


I would love to hear from those of you on the CCIE R&S track regarding your practice rack currently…are you doing GNS3 with IOU, rack rentals, your own rack in the basement, Cisco Learning Network Store?

Let me know in the comments below and be as specific. You might also share any negatives or positives with your practice equipment approach. This will benefit many of our readers I believe…

Make CCIE Prep a Habit!

April 13, 2015 at 1:17 am

One pushup a day – that is how Stephen Guise got himself into shape. Soon enough, that one pushup became many, then all of a sudden he was at the gym and taking on a full workout regimen.

Stephen Guise started “stupid small” as he puts it, in his new book “Mini Habits”.

Here in this post, I will go through some of his tips for you, while slanting things toward our mutual goal of CCIE.

  • Imagine – determine where habits can improve your life and happiness. Of course, for us that is easy. We are so excited for the CCIE and we realize that making prep for it a habit can make a big difference.
  • Solidify – take your big vision of achieving the CCIE and break it up into achievable targets. Habits help you jump from vague to hop-to-it.
  • Train your brain – habits work because they form neural pathways associated with the behavior.
  • Be patient – there is no set rule for how long it takes something to become a habit – it can vary from 18 days to 254 days.
  • Slice and dice – set up mini-goals for something huge like achieving your CCIE.
  • Inch up – if you are struggling with a task, break ip up into even smaller parts. This reminds me of taking something like the L3 MPLS VPN and breaking it up into much smaller pieces as we study, like how about just the MPLS part itself in the cloud first.
  • Leap routinely – string several of your small actions together and now you have a powerful routine. For many students, this might mean, practice questions, reading, then a video viewing, then some lab practice. Every wonder why a CBT Nugget is about 10 minutes long? 🙂
  • Start big – to be more productive all day, jump start it with some really important studying in the first 20 minutes or so…of course, just make sure you are actually awake!
  • Keep it simple – don’t try and add too many new routines to your life too quickly.
  • Map it out – be sure to track your progress as we have stressed here at our coaching site.

I hope this post has been informative for you, and I would like to thank you for reading!


Tracking Your Progress Through an IT Cert

April 11, 2015 at 9:45 pm


What is Your CCIE Study Schedule and Do You Have Permission?

April 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

OK – I need to know your planned study schedule. Please post as many details as you like in the comments below. Please consider helpful tips you have for our group surrounding the study scheduling.

For me, just being very realistic about how much I am willing to study and really planning it is important. If I do not “hard plan”, I am one of those types that will never do it. I have so many interests, something else will definitely get in the way.

Notice I also need to know if you have permission for this schedule from your friends and family. For example, just today I received permission from my wife to start the 7 day a week phase. I will be doing 1 to 3 hours per day in this phase every day.

Without her permission…errrr…it would not have worked. 🙂

OK…get typing in the comments below…if you do not have a plan, now is time to draft one!


Need a Coach for Your CCIE Pursuit?

April 9, 2015 at 10:32 pm

I have found the power of coaching to be incredible. In the last three years, I have achieved great success at work, in my studies, and with physical fitness through the power of excellent coaching.


Tennis coach – check!

Running coach – check!

CBT Nugget coach – check!

CCIE Security coach – check!

Martial arts, personal firearms, physical fitness coach – check!

Flight coach – check!

I would love to give back. If you are studying for any CCIE track, let me try and help with the new CCIE Coaching section of this website. Interact with me through the comments section of each post!

Today’s assignment – Please introduce yourself in the public comments below and update me with where you are at today with your CCIE pursuit. Don’t forget to let me know details like track and current progress (written/lab). Also, don’t be embarrassed if you are at the CCNA level or even pre-CCNA, we all need to start somewhere! I look forward to meeting you and helping in any way I can!