Over this recent weekend I finally sat and and passed the ccnp switch exam. I am very pleased as I feel this has been been a work in progress for much longer than it should have been. I have sat for this exam multiple times however I believe the reason for my lack of success was my method of study or rather a very disjointed, stop/start study approach, due in part to changing jobs, work responsibilities and commitments. Over the course of this year I started a new job, decided that it was not for me, moved on and undertook some consulting work and most recently I was offered a position at a large company which I accepted.
I am very excited to be starting this new position, the new role is a hands on operations role and I am looking forward to the learning opportunities and challenges.
While I learnt a lot by studying for and passing the switch exam, I also found it difficult in that it covered such a wide variety of technologies often ones that I had not experienced in the production environments I am used to working on. This was a good thing as it took me out of my comfort zone and I also have since had the opportunity to introduce some of the features and technologies into these networks and get a better understanding of the use cases and implementation pitfalls and gotchas when used in production.
I wont deny that there were times when I struggled to keep up the motivation and entertained the thought that I may not be good enough or that I would have been better served studying for the route exam instead, but ultimately, finally passing and putting those frustrations to bed I think has awoken more drive than ever to learn and excel in the networking field in both my new position as well as structuring my study for the route exam. As much as I wanted (and still want) the routing knowledge and as I questioned continuing with switch I am very pleased I stuck at it and passed switch first. Now I am one third of the way to ccnp and I can get to planning my attack on the route exam.
I have not forgotten about my BGP blog series there are still a couple of posts to come in this, I will be spending this week tidying up in my current role and preparing to start my new position, however I now have a daily three hour commute so once the new role settles down I will hopefully be using this time to study and write some more blog posts.