CCIE Lab Changes Deep vs Wide 2010 and Other Shorts
We’ve been pushing through this rather long series on how to build a CCNP lab, and we’re about half way through. It seemed like a good time for a week off from the lab details for some other topics. Long story short, I came up with a bunch of small things, so hopefully there’s something for everyone. Today, a ramble: from CCIE lab changes, to the broad vs. deep discussion, some cool IOS CLI tips, and other stuff.
First, Cisco CCNA Training announced that the CCIE R/S and Voice labs will no longer include open-ended questions. For those of you unaware of these questions, the labs here of late included 30 minutes to answer 4 open-ended questions to begin the lab. If you flunked this section, you flunked for the day, and it’s my understanding that you were sent home without doing the rest of the lab (although I’ve never talked to anyone that experienced that.) The scary part was that with just 4 questions, maybe you get 2 on topics where you’re weak, but you know the important stuff really well – but you flunk the lab, without even getting to practice by taking the real lab. I know of no one who liked this part of the exam outside of Cisco. Hoorah, Cisco, for losing these questions!
FYI, still on the CCIE labs: mechanics-wise, what was formerly .5/2/5.5 hours for questions/troubleshooting/config are now 2/6 for tshoot/config.
Next: Go broad or go deep in 2010 after getting your CCNA? Last year, we kicked around the idea of whether it made sense to go broad by getting CCNA concentration certs, or to go deep by moving on to CCNP (or CCSP, CCVP, etc). What’s been rattling around my head this spring is whether the new CCNP has any impact on this decision. So, let me expound a bit as to why.
Some articles over these last few years have claimed that broader skills are better than deep but narrower skills, particularly if those skills included more business process and soft skills. So we discussed for instance whether multiple CCxP were better than one CCIE, and whether multiple CCNA were better than one CCxP, in particular as compared to CCNP, which is the CCxP cert most similar to CCNA.
Last year, CCNP was still pretty broad. So, comparing the CCNP to the CCNA concentrations option, CCNP was some deeper and some wider. The CCNA Certification concentrations, unchanged since last year, versus the new CCNP, makes a starker contract: CCNP is deeper, and certainly not as wide. So I’ve been wondering if that has impacted the deep vs. wide choice for those wrapping up CCNA? Those of you who read this blog regularly know what I’m going to do: poll. Let me know what you think!