This story tell about my journey to obtain CCNA Certificate. It is all about my desire to obtain CCNA in 2013, but just realized in 2015. As proverb said, better late than never.
For exam preparation, I have been started since 2013. At that time, I get inspiration from some source about Cisco Certification, that is CCIE. Getting to know how can be so great the CCIE title, me who have been work out of the IT sector, determine to occupy computer networking world once more. Because to obtain the CCIE itself at that time is something impossible, then I think it must be started from entry level that is CCNA.
I try to collecting material to learn networking, especially CCNA. A matter of fact, I feel I need to learn start from the bottom again. My main material at that time is using book from Mr. Todd Lammle that is CCNA Routing and Switching Study Guide. Beside that, I also start to try simulate Cisco IOS using GNS3 and Packet Tracert.
Until 2014, I still busy explore that text book. I start to look for another learning source and I found www.cbtnuggets.com. At that site, I get training material in the form of video which content is good enough, covered about CCNA with interesting approach.
At first I follow training in the form of CCNA theory from Mr. Jeremy Ciora. Afterwards, continue with practice and hands-on lab using GNS3 and Wireshark by Mr. Keith Barker. There are exam walthrough too, thats like try out before exam which is brought by Mr. Keith Barker and Mr. Anthoni Sequiera. The questions are hard enough, so it can trigger more enthusiasm about CCNA material.
To get more confidence, I read the CCNA Routing and Switching 200-120 Official Cert Guide from Mr. Wendell Odom, though just skimming because almost the material have been covered in the Mr. Todd Lammle book. I also use flash card that I get as bonus from Mr. Todd Lammle’s CCNA book.
Beside that, I download some cheat sheet from Mr. Jeremy Stretch’s packetlife.net, which contain summaries from popular networking terminology. I also use some packet tracert trouble ticket study case which I obtain from idn.id, an Indonesian networking consultant.
At last, some stuff from the www.freeccnaworkbook.com. Interesting, because beside CCNA material exist, there are offering live lab that can be accessed, freely available. From there, we can practice hands-on lab using real Cisco device through remote connection.
There are lab replica using GNS3 that can be download. I try to using lab which called stub lab freeccnaworkbook.com to solve challenge offered. Just sign up, booking date to lab, and we can use lab at scheduled time.
The cost to use this lab is free, but if we want to more feature so our lab can be reviewed, we must donate some dollars. It can be usefull to know which points we need to extra study. Not bad to add some hands-on experience.
Here is my reference list that can be material to pass CCNA exam:
- CCNA Routing and Switching Study Guide Book by Todd Lammle
- CCNA Routing and Switching 200-120 Official Cert Guide Book by Wendell Odom
- Training Videos from CBT Nuggets
- Flashcard & Glossary from CCNA R/S Study Guide book bonus
- Cheat Sheet from packetlife.net
- Free CCNA Workbook
- CCNA Packet Tracert Troubleshooting Ticket
After confident enough with material that have been studied, I decided to sign up CCNA exam, with my own money of course. With help from friend who sell CCNA voucher (I know him from internet mailing list) I can get exam price cheaper than normally one.
Something that make me worry, is that the paying method of the exam must use credit card, which I don’t have at this time. But with help from that voucher seller before, I can completing the payment process. And after all administration requirement fullfilled, I can book CCNA exam at November 12th, 2015 in Duta Wacana Christiant University Yogyakarta.
The exam itself took two hours to finish. Some questions are hard and doubtfull to answer. After I submit, the result is immediately appear. Finally, I pass the exam. Then I get temporary notification about passing CCNA as softcopy file. Based on information from the proctor, I will get email from Cisco which contain official softcopy certificate.
But, after I wait almost one month long, I don’t get the certificate as promise before. And I know from my trusted source information, that to get the certificate we must pay extra dollars to download, a less comfort policy that applied by the vendor. But we must follow because without it, we can get our official certificate.
Anyway, something to pay attention more, technically. In this exam, Cisco give more weight about hands-on lab. Therefore, we must do more practice. Then for the theory lab, get to know about material which not covered by syllabus, but still relevant with the networking topic. Myself get hard questions about VSAT and Multiple Spanning Tree, which I guess that question must exist not in CCNA, but for more advanced level, CCNP.
The journey is not over yet, CCNP and CCIE have been waiting. CCNA is only the beginning, and I still lack of experience in the networking world, therefore I still need more knowledge to gain. Who know the next chapter of our life, but hard work and determination is an absolute necessity.