“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
I came back to work in the first week of Jan, so the working time let me little time to study compared with December 2020 when I had many days off.
My excel tracker file accounts for 114 hours of study during January, being the 3rd week the weakest with only 23h of study. Getting more than 100h per month is a good measure that I have a chance to pass my exam next year.
Notion.io: This month I started to try to use Notion as a secondary application to take notes. I have to say that I’m very happily surprised about how it works and what kind of things it allows you to do.
Anki: I focused more hours this month in building my own Anki decks, currently I have 265 cards that cover most of the L2 topics, EIGRP and OSPF. I have still pending to add the other topics to the list of cards. I started to practice with my own deck to keep refreshing information.
Excel: The primary tool where I put all the study hours, books I read, labs I do. All is here.
Udemy: I’m doing little by little a David Bombal’s course about Automation for network engineers. Highly recommended.
Theory topics for January
Big topics for January were QoS, Multicast and MPLS. By the last days I touched briefly SDWAN and EVPN.
I’m still struggling with QoS, I’ll have to read a specialized book and do more labs to start to feel comfortable.
Multicast, that ugly monster, however I’m starting to like it. It is not as scary as it looks like once that you know the monster a little better.
MPLS is very interesting, as you can have OSPF and BGP inside and play with it. Which is a good refresher of both protocols.
SDWAN is a huge topic and I’m starting to understand it better; same happens with EVPN.
Lab topics for January
I’m following Narbik’s book: Bridging the gap between CCNP and CCIE for some labs but the constant change of topology even inside the same topic is very time consuming. Labs are short and interesting, learnt a few things. Only negative is the time spent by changing topologies.
Also, I’m did more Orhan Ergun labs, this month I played with Multicast and QoS. QoS lab is somewhat short but it covers many topics.
I did also some Automation for network engineers course by David Bombal(find it in Udemy) where I touched automation with Python, Netmiko and NAPALM. Highly interesting course to find how little is needed to start automating stuff in your network.
Materials used for January
Routing TCP/IP Vol 2 by Jeff Doyle: Second volume focus very heavily into BGP and Multicast. I didn’t finish it yet, but almost done. I did not enjoy it as much as the Vol1, I don’t know why. Is very detailed book indeed.
MPLS fundamentals: I have read most of the beginning that includes pure MPLS and CEF information, until it starts talking about MPLS TE which is a service provide track topic. Great insight into the MPLS world.
Tips/lessons for January
- Very important to review past content, you will be sadly surprised when you realize you forgot much content from last month.
- Anki is a very useful tool to help the facts and information to stick for longer in the memory. Keep using it.
- Spend time to balance with your partner for the study hours, I had some conflicts due to study hours.
What can I do better:
- Try to waste less time, I’m starting to get burn a little so I tend to evade more with time wasters.
- Interact more with the community, this month I interacted more than December actually.
- Recover the discipline of waking up earlier, some days I just not wanted to get up at the correct time.
- Some days I did not fee like it studying, but still I managed to push myself to watch some video and do labs.
- Use Anki flashcards more often to cement the memory.
To study 114 h in January is a crazy number for many people, even for me I cannot believe it.
I managed to get over 100h a week for the second month in a row, so that’s itself some steps into the path.
I still have a huge monster to fight that’s is Automation. But soon enough…
How was your month?
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