CCDA 640-864 Attempt #2, Passed

I did pass the CCDA this morning, and though I am proud of myself and ready to move forward with the CCNP, I wouldn’t say I “mastered” the test by any means.This test, I feel, is more difficult than the CCNA by quite a bit because with the CCNA, you are dealing with strictly correct or incorrect answers. The majority of the questions on the CCDA are more subjective; it’s all about context and “The Cisco Way” of doing things. I would guess that only about 15% of the questions are straight factual right or wrong answers (such as the proper way to abbreviate an IPv6 address — there are rules in place that determine exactly what the correct answer is with no ambiguity). The rest of the questions are essentially testing “correct” and “less correct” though not necessarily wrong.

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Know Your Equipment!

Today, I have learned a very valuable network engineering lesson: know the capabilities of your equipment!

In the spirit of the CCDA, I have spent nearly the entire day working on a new network design proposal for a multi-site company that I help to support. At the heart of the proposal was to replace their existing routers which have occasional reliability issues with a Catalyst 3550 Layer 3 switch. The idea was to connect their Internet (cable modem) directly to one of the switch ports and then perform the routing with the switch. Unfortunately….

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Cisco 640-864 CCDA Exam, Attempt #2, Scheduled.

I’ve finally reached both the confidence and funding to schedule the second attempt at the Cisco Certified Design Associate certification exam. My first attempt was just over one year ago, on Oct. 14, 2011. The knowledge and confidence I have gained in the last year has been quite life-changing, as mentioned in my previous post, and I am going to be walking into this exam not just believing I can pass, but knowing that I will. It’s quite a different mindset, and it feels great. We’ll find out for sure on Oct. 29.

If for some reason I don’t pass, I will still be a little sore over losing the $200, because that is still quite a lot of money for me, but I don’t believe I will feel as let down as I did one year ago. I’ve read that this is one of the more difficult exams, even though it is at the “associate” level, simply due to the fact that this particular exam is not all about memorizing different commands and technical specifications. It is much more about understanding the concepts of how network are supposed to be designed, according to the “Cisco way” of doing things.

In the mean time, I’ve been posting and reviewing my notes for the CCDA. Just in case anyone reading this is curious as to why the notes aren’t more complete, I wanted to take a more personal approach to building this site. This site is for me and my studies, and so my notes will generally reflect information that I feel I need to know. For example, since I have been studying for the CCDA for so long, my notes don’t reflect the “complete” contents of the chapters, but only that information that I feel I should brush up on. Future notes, such as those for the CCNP, would be considered more complete as I’ll be going through the material for the first time.

The Quest Continues…

For over ten years, neckercube.com has served primarily as the repository for the music I had created under that name. The old site, along with all the music I had released, is still available here.

As I write this, I am 32 years old and am beginning my career as a computer network engineer.

I have been interested in computers since my grandfather bought me a TRS-80 in 1988 when I was eight years old. This computer was known as the “CoCo2” and was essentially the Radio Shack version of the Commodore 64. You had to program everything yourself for it to do anything, and your work was saved not on floppy disks, but on cassette tapes.

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