As many of you already know I’ve been teaching our brand new Routing and Switching CCIE bootcamps for the past couple months. I’ve recently restructured the bootcamp in that mock labs are not done during the second week to allow for expanded coverage of the CCIE blueprint topics. The mock labs are now done after the bootcamp and I give every student 1500 tokens to schedule them. The new structure allows for roughly 100+ hours of hands-on demonstration using my own rack over the course of the two weeks. I start at 9am and go until roughly 8pm each night (Friday’s included). After 8pm the students usually go for dinner and start working on the labs and/or review for the next day. Every topic is covered hands-on by me during the two weeks. Students are given the R&S CCIE ATC Videos free of charge when scheduling the bootcamp because even with 100+ hours we do not have time to cover the basics.
As far as my teaching style goes I do not use PowerPoint slides or just draw on a whiteboard. I break the technologies down, explain how they work and then do everything hands-on. Students learn by actually seeing me configure, verify, and troubleshoot the topics in the CCIE Lab Exam Blueprint. Most students follow along with me using their own dedicated rack that we of course provide. That is the differentiating factor of my style. I do not just tell you how something works using a PowerPoint slide or whiteboard, I show you on the routers and switches. My logic is that if your CCIE instructor can’t do everything hands-on from the CCIE Lab Exam Blueprint right there in the bootcamp, then they shouldn’t be your CCIE instructor. If you walk in Monday morning and they throw you labs to do while they sit there checking their email or browsing the web, then they shouldn’t be your CCIE instructor. If your CCIE instructor wants to waste your time talking about meditation, exercise or what fruits to eat when preparing for your exam, then they shouldn’t be your CCIE instructor. These people may be nice guys but they’re wasting your time and money. At the end of the day you’re in the bootcamp to learn so before buying any CCIE bootcamp make sure you know what exactly will be covered and how much time the instructor will spend teaching. I literally stand up for 10 to 12 hours a day covering the topics not because I like to be hard on my feet but there is so much that I want to cover in the two weeks. In fact I’ve recently added a R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp to spend an additional week focusing purely on the troubleshooting portion of the CCIE Lab Exam. You even get to use the same awful desktop like you will have in the real lab during the Troubleshooting Bootcamp. As you can tell I’m deeply passionate about teaching networking and Cisco in general plus I really enjoy helping people.
In addition to the new structure I’ve built 24 new R&S CCIE racks for the bootcamps. These racks are identical to the Cisco 360 topology. The racks all have 4 x 3560′s and a mix of 1841s, 2811s & 3825s. I of course do not use the Cisco 360 course materials as I have a totally different teaching methodology as mentioned above. During the bootcamp I VPN into my rack to use tools like Wireshark along with EEM Packet Capture to help students get a better understanding of how technologies like PIM, DHCP Relay, etc work in addition to show and debugging commands. I’ve also just added in virtual machines to my rack to generate traffic for the testing and verification of topics like QoS, WCCP, AAA, etc. Just talking about these technologies isn’t enough to truly understand them. Seeing a topic like WCCP implemented (filter and/or caching webpages) helps students get a better understanding of not only how to configure, verify and troubleshoot it but how the technology is used in the real world.
We’ve had a lot of growth recently here at INE. In addition to making Inc 5000’s list of fastest growing education companies (we’ll also make the list next year) we’ve built new classrooms in Bellevue, WA (greater Seattle area). Our new offices and classrooms are on the same floor in the Bellevue City Center building as Cisco. The Cisco employees in my last bootcamp liked being located next to the Cisco office. We’ve added a whole new video production department here in Bellevue and the quality of our new videos really shows.
If anyone has attended an INE R&S CCIE Bootcamp in the past that wasn’t taught by me, I highly recommend that you comeback and sit one of my bootcamps. It’s no cost to you of course to resit the bootcamp. All you need to do is contact sales to get your seat reserved. I would also like to encourage potential students to come audit one of my bootcamps before purchasing. I will be in Dubai, Washington DC, RTP, NYC, London, Seattle and Amsterdam.
Lastly I would like to give back by starting up the CCIE Scholarship Program again for 2012. I will personally select one person from each of the following regions to receive everything they need to pass the CCIE Lab Exam (bootcamp, tokens, workbooks, videos, etc) including paying for their lab exam fee. The regions are Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania as defined by Wikipedia. The details about the Scholarship Program will be posted next week.
About Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210:
Brian Dennis has been in the networking industry for more than 22 years, with a focus on Cisco networking for the past 16 years. Brian achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching in 1996, and is currently the only ten year CCIE that holds five CCIE certifications. Prior to working with INE, Brian taught and developed CCIE preparation courses for various well known training organizations. Brian not only brings his years of teaching experience to the classroom, but also years of real world enterprise and service provider experience.
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