CCIE study report #4 March 2021

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”
― Peter Drucker

March thoughts:

March was a month of many changes, total hours number for the month according to my excel counter is 124h which means that I was able to reach 30h a week of study.

I guess is related with a motivation boost or adrenaline boost after a not so productive February month.

My job is starting to be demanding again, dragging my mental resources and stamina for my after-work study times. Several work projects are coming into my daily job, related with huge building hardware expansions and very soon a datacenter project to help to decide how to migrate hardware to a different location.

Also, I keep attending to English 1to1 lessons with a teacher 2h a week, Chinese lessons almost 2h a week also plus Taekwondo lessons twice a week takes a lot of potential study time. Those extra activities they mine my mental and physical stamina even more. I’ve been doing all the above activities for over a year, but now they are affecting I think my study times a little.

Also I started a little extra project to start teaching for free on the weekends, more later in the post.

Tools used:

  • Anki: this month was not heavy with Anki for long term memory retention, but barely an 8% of the month hours were invested in Anki this month.
  • Youtube: still one of my most used tools, I find everyday new great teachers that can cover some gaps that I cannot understand from the book reading.
  • OneNote and Notion: for note taking, still using both of them daily. I started in Notion a section that is called mega summary where I summarize topics in a very short space.

Theory and labs:

  • OSPF: this month I went super deep into OSPF, made my own labs also to try everything. I have much confidence about LSAs and how the loop prevention works. I can explain now OSPF pretty decently.
  • IPv6: I went also into IPv6 books and videos, to get more familiar with it and the new concepts they bring onto the table. I feel now a little more comfortable about it.
  • VPNs: Played quite a lot with DMPVN and its different phases. Did some good tshoting with my own made labs and I found it quite interesting. Played also with some Orhan Ergun labs that showcased the most common VPN solutions as GRE, mGRE, DMVNPN, IPSec, Crypto Maps, VTI, GETVPN, FLEXVPN even…
  • EIGRP: Played a lot also this month with it, mostly made my own labs. Practice a lot the dual redistribution between EIGRP and OSPF and how to fix the loops.

Being disciplined and staying in the path thoughts:

I followed most of the time my own rules of not opening any social media, reply any WhatsApp or Discord message until I finish my study time which I set to be at 10 p.m. So don’t expect me to reply anything or post anything until at least 10 p.m unless is something is on fire.

I noticed how the extra work pressure in my daily job let me to not want to study as much as before, when my work load was more balanced. Starting to use some relax mechanisms as playing videogames after my study time for an hour or two just before bed, not sure if that helps in the long run or not.

Teaching project:

I contacted with my old colleagues and friends from the past jobs, to offer free weekend lessons about different topics related with the CCIE like routing protocols, MPLS, Multicast and so on. The idea was to do 2h sessions on Sundays, once a week and I managed to bring around 10 people for the first lesson. I also recorded myself to share it later and to hear my strong Spanish accent.

Lessons were an interesting experience, they let me find out pretty fast which areas I don’t feel so comfortable to talk about OSPF and put extra effort for next lesson to cover that gaps with correct information.

Once thing is thinking that you know, and other is trying to explain LSA type 4 to a few people with no doubts of what you are saying or drawing. That requires a lot of practice I found.

This month was focused mainly in OSPF, and there were 3 lessons of 2h each, planning the last one in April to continue in April with L2 theory and config. I made a big OSPF tshoot lab to start, first I build it and make it work then I broke it as much as I could. Lab includes redistribution from BGP and EIGRP, and most of the OSPF areas.

Still have few people as I didn’t open at all to a broader public or all my colleagues/friends; I have to do some practice first. Will extend the invitation to other people in a few months.

The tshoot OSPF lab that I made for the lessons:

Total hour count:

According to excel I already put 500h into the study, but I’ll take 50h off the counters as at the beginning I was not counting truthfully as for example as I was adding blog post as study time, which are not.

Saying that, 450 hours already into the journey it’s quite interesting. I don’t feel much wiser, but I do feel more comfortable with many technologies even I’m not at the level of being able to teach about many techonologies, which I consider the last level of knowledge.

Until you are not able to explain it to somebody successfully you do not understand it. I found that very fast in my live teaching lessons.


After doing the hour count and finding I’m almost 50% into the minimum hours I’m going to invest into the study; I don’t feel I’m at 50% of the way yet.

When I do more teaching sessions and I feel confident to explain those technologies and configure them live; then that will be a sign that I’m getting closer to the CCIE level.

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