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Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

I don't know why I never thought to check SA for this thread before.

I put in 3 months of self-study for the N+ exam and just passed it today. I'm working 40 hours a week, taking 9 credit hours towards my associates year-round, and have a 7 month kid at home so finding spare time was not easy.

I decided to pick up Glen Clarke's Net+ book set published by McGraw-Hill when I started. 850 page textbook, 250 page practice test book, and a CD Rom with videos and more practice tests. For anybody who happens across this book set and considers buying it, good loving luck.

The book was very unfocused and often delved into complicated topics you frankly don't need to know. I wasted a lot of extra time on this stuff, though I guess it helps to have the background knowledge for a future IT job. The practice tests are also extremely easy, straight forward, and self explanatory compared to the types of questions I actually came across on the test (choose the BEST answer questions suck when you've only practiced answering the one correct option listed).

Anyway, I'm in contact with a project manager at an IT company who is kindly guiding me through the certification track to getting a job. She says A+ isn't worthwhile, Sec+ is a more "specialized" cert, and CCNA is undoubtedly the way to go. With my busy schedule, I'll be taking the CCNET route first.

Can anybody recommend the absolutely definitive best book to read to prepare?

e- Also, how much is each CCNA test if you go the two-test route?

Judge Schnoopy fucked around with this message at 01:18 on Jul 11, 2013

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Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

I live in a semi-small university town out in the endless Illinois corn. There are a couple IT jobs open that I'm applying for, but in your (the internet's) experience is the Net+ cert enough to get me in the door? I've worked 3 years in customer service / sales / phone support, but nothing related to direct IT experience.

Should I be hoping for a starting position soon or am I more likely to suffer another winter of sales while achieving my associates degree / CCNA?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

The main job I'm hunting now is titled "Technical Support Analyst" at a local hospital. It sounds like a runner / "fix simple stuff i dont have time for" for a current senior level IT admin.

I guess though from one job to the next, the type of IT they expect you to do can be vastly different. All I can do is apply and hope.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

KetTarma posted:

After reading the recent posts, I decided to go ahead and schedule a test date for N+ for next Thursday. Hopefully I don't end up wasting 240$

I found that wikipedia studying of cables, ports, and 802 standards right before the test saved my rear end. If you can correctly wire and crimp an Ethernet cable, write a table of 10 common ports, and name all the current 802s everything else is pretty standard scenario questions.

VPNs also threw me off some but after rereading the questions and making sense of the answers I don't think I missed any of them. The test uses as much short-hand abbreviations as possible but when you think of the actual names they represent it's easier to find the answer.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

What's the best way to list certs on a resume to make them look the most professional without overstating what they represent? For example, the net+ cert:

CompTIA Network+ Certified, July 2013

Or have some of you found a better way to emphasize these certs that seem to land interviews?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

horchata posted:

So I'm thinking of quitting my dead-end call center job and finally pursuing getting an A+ and N+ certification since I've always wanted to get into IT. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to assembling/disassembling computers and basic troubleshooting. Should I bother taking classes or is buying a study guide and studying for the text all I really need. The only reason I ask is the adult school 5 minutes away offers classes for fairly cheap.

I've got 2.5 years of upper end call center experience and my N+ has so far netted me no interviews. Still, working 40 hours a week with a 7 month old and taking 9 credit hours a semester (non IT related) I finished the N+ in 3 months.

I'm on CCENT now, hoping it takes 3 months, then full CCNA 3 months after that. It gives you enough time to study and practice without burdening your schedule.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

along the way posted:

Yeah, I have both the Net+ and CCNA (ICND1/2) and I can confirm the (soon-to-be) old CCENT material is basically Net+ with some additional Cisco specific topics. Don't waste your time with Net+ if you're getting the CCNA.

Just got the Sybex MCSA 2012 book in and its very well organized and readable. Breaks down the exam topics by chapters so you can focus only on what you need. Given the overlapping nature of the topics though, I'll probably just read the entire thing and start testing.

Then again if you're like me and going 0 to certified, the Net+ is a great way to get an introductory overview of the topics you'll learn more about down the road. For me it was a great Network 101 study which is making the CCENT so much easier since I'm basically only learning Cisco commands and reviewing everything else.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Having job experience is definitely worth more than the N+ so I get what you're saying.

My aunt's friend is a project manager for a networking company and is guiding me along which certifications to get in order to land a job the fastest. She advised the N+ as network 101 to make the CCNA easier. Upon nearing the end of the N+ I started looking at jobs, and asked "Is the A+ worth picking up?" She said not to waste my time, the CCNA will land me a job I want and the A+ will land me in Hell Desk where I would work up to that job I want.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much IPv6 appears on the CCENT (ccna 101) exam? I've got 100 pages left in this book dedicated to IPv6 and I don't know if I should read it to a good understanding, or practice it to the point of real world application. It could be the difference between weeks of studying.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

workape posted:

Is anyone else having issues with signing up for tests? Of the 10 testing centers in my area ALL of them are completely booked out for Cisco Tests until December. I've got a test slated at a location that is literally an hour from my house now for a test that is going to likely take me about 45 minutes to pump out. *sigh*

I ran into this with the Comptia N+ test. After calling the test centers, I realized that some locations only have one or three test days per year. The website shows this as the test being booked or not available until a certain month, then not until a certain day in that month.

I eventually found a generic state education testing center 45 minutes away that offered daily tests in the morning. The lady that checked me in had no idea what CompTia was, I think most of their tests are teacher certifications or school placement based on the other people I saw there.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

workape posted:

Are you loving kidding me? Jesus christ. That's beyond loving retarded. Although, it does explain the weird schedules I was seeing at some of the locations where they were only allowing testing to occur on Tuesday or Thursdays. Why not just open up the schedule to let anything go at any time? Fuckity gently caress gently caress.

Pearson Vue requires the testing center to have a proctor on-site that's "pearson certified" to uphold the integrity of the testing sites. This means most community colleges or small test centers ship in a proctor from a bigger test center on a certain day of whatever month. If they can only administer 5 tests it wouldn't pay the proctor for the day, so places will do 1 test every 3 months to turn a profit.

The testing center I went to must have been a proctor's home office since testing was available monday - saturday 8 to noon.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

I'm in that terrible position where I'm done studying for the ccna but I can't tell if I'm ready for the test. I read through Odom's icnd1 book and competed a 30 hour video course on udemy, following along in the packet tracer. I can set up a test lab with three routers, 9 switches, and 3 vlans, without looking at my notes.

But every free practice test I take catches me up on inane minutia of a specific services that doesn't have anything to do with a network configuration. It's a huge demotivation to bomb these unofficial and likely misleading tests.

Can anybody reassure me as to whether a good conceptual understanding and practical skills will get me through the test? Or do I need to hit the books again to memorize the acronyms associated with the phases of PPP?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Ccna holders: how hard is the test itself, really, on a scale of 1 to 10

Judge Schnoopy fucked around with this message at 01:06 on Jun 13, 2015

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

OhDearGodNo posted:

There's no way to answer this. For all I know you're a complete idiot and as such I'd say it'll be insanely difficult.

I probably am if only because I can't get up the courage to take it.

Just looking for personal anecdotes on whether people feel they over or under prepared after taking the test. I've put a lot of studying and practice in but if the consensus is that the test is still really hard I'll hit the books again. If not, I'll take it Monday.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Inspector_666 posted:

God, this is the exact same boat I'm in.

Well if it makes you feel better I scheduled my test for tomorrow. I looked over my notes and over my practice tests and realized there's nothing left for me to learn. I'll either pass the test, or something about the exam will catch me off-guard and I'll fail miserably, then wait it out and pass on the retake.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

crunk dork posted:

Also cram as much as you can into your short term memory immediately before you test and use most of the 15 min tutorial they give you to regurgitate whatever onto the lil dry erase sheet they give you

While the information I wrote down didn't help (factors of 16 for easy network address identification and powers of 2 with accompanying cidrs, layers of osi), the stuff I crammed regarding terms and details of each service definitely helped a ton.

Passed the CCNA! Only had 2 sims which I thought was weird, I heard there would be 3 and budgeted my time accordingly.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

wca posted:

Newbie here with a couple of questions.

Do you get a certify passing the 100-101 ICND1 CCENT exam? Do they send you a psychical certification paper after the passing the exam? Or do you have to pass 200-101 ICND2 in order to be fully certified? I will be taking the Net+ exam next month and I want to start preparing for CCNA certs but not sure where to start.

I took the same route of n+ and prep for the ccent. If you pass the n+ with a good score and you have the time (already have a job) I recommend skipping the ccent and going straight for CCNA. There's a lot of overlap between the n+ and ccent, plus some command specific stuff, and once you're learning Cisco ios it's not much extra effort to get to CCNA level.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

I took the composite and don't regret it. The stress was crazy because I couldn't afford to lose 300, but the idea is that you have 50 less questions to answer. The mile wide inch deep content of the icnd1 has to take a back seat to the icnd2 questions, and the harder icnd2 takes a back seat to questions making sure you understand concepts. You essentially avoid the fringe stuff for a 'core' test in which you can float your icnd2 score with easy icnd1 stuff.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

DreddyMatt posted:

What's the goon consensus on ccna security? I've just finished my ccna r&s and my tutor recommends specialising, And security is the most interesting topic. Any advice as to how it's viewed in the industry?

Are you me? I finished CCNA r&s last Tuesday and started CCNA security today. CCNP looks daunting and wireless seems way underappreciated. My other option was ccda but I don't want to get sucked into a sales/support job.

I just hope the CCNA security boosts my resume enough to be worth the time investment.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

BaseballPCHiker posted:

I just got an email from CompTIA. Apparently it's not enough to have passed the CCNA since I've gotten my Network+. They also require a $147 3 year renewal fee! What a crock of poo poo. I dont even think it's worth getting reimbursed by my employer for. Any negative consequences if I let it lapse? I mean I could still list it on my resume if need be right?

I think it's so compTIA can grab $50 a year from DoD employed S+ holders who aren't allowed to let the cert lapse.

I did the same thing you did after getting my CCNA and there's no way I'm paying $150 just to keep my n+ active. I don't plan on taking it off my resume either.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Irritated Goat posted:

Sitting my ICND1 Wednesday. Currently trying not to breathe through a bag the closer it gets

How much studying have you done?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Irritated Goat posted:

A week worth of class. Decent amount of reading and subnet practice. The latter is still beating me up.

I don't want to scare you or anything but I hope you have some hands on experience to back up a week of studying. I would consider a month satisfactory unless you're rainman or something.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

SaltLick posted:

Maybe try one of the Chris Bryant videos from Udemy? The short segments may be easier to follow and you can lab along side it seems.

I did the Laz Diaz CCNA course on udemy for $10, it was long winded and I disliked the guy in general but I passed on my first attempt so I have to give him some credit.

I'm doing Chris Bryant's CCNA security course now (again, coupon deal for $10), and it's pretty fast paced. He definitely assumes you have a good amount of background knowledge and experience.

Overall they're fantastic resources and cost less than a book.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Sheep posted:

Look at community colleges throughout the state which may offer it online. Spend $200 on a home lab off of Craigslist and then there's really no reason at all to physically attend classes.

The Cisco packet tracer can handle absolutely everything necessary for the CCNA, with the benefit of being able to configure complex eigrp, spanning tree, and NAT setups. I would easily recommend finding the packet tracer somewhere over buying a home lab.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Race Realists posted:

Is GNS3 enough for passing the CCNA?

No, you will need specific practice with switches. If you don't own the hardware you can't legally use the ios files, at which point you might as well find the Cisco packet tracer because it's much easier to learn on. Host configuration is super simple and watching packets move step by step is a great way to understand how devices respond.

I hope I'm not overstepping any boundaries for but those that recommend gns3 will eventually tell you to rip off the ios images anyway.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Japanese Dating Sim posted:


Not super concerned but CompTIA's site is still showing my A+ and Net+ as about to expire on July 20 (I kinda waited until the last minute). I'm sure everything will go through fine as far as my Sec+ pass refreshing them, but it'd be nice to see.

Congrats! I think I'm going to put the CCNA security on hold and pick up the S+ real quick to help on resumes.

Have you paid your renewal fees for the N+ and A+? In addition to the continued education credits you need to pay $50 a year each to keep them active

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Race Realists posted:

Caved in and got both Packet Tracer AND GNS3.

So... anyone know of any good lab exercise books/sites?

For which test?

For CCNA, configure three routers with eigrp, three switches with spanning tree customized so the one closest to the router is the root, mix six hosts on 4 vlans, pick one router to do nat and throw another router on the 'outside'. Then configure whatever acl rules you feel like.

Do this until you can get it configured from memory and you should be good as far as labs go

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Collaboration has replaced the individual voice and video certs with some mobile management thrown in. It's basically the content services cert.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Do you want to be an A/V engineer? Most one-job-fits-all 'system admin' jobs require A/V setup so it will be useful but I doubt HR knows or cares what it is. Many C levels will also assume that if you can configure a firewall and replace a hard drive you must surely know how to set up a voip phone and start a WebEx conference.

If the job you want isn't asking for it and you don't find it necessary to know the collaboration curriculum I think you have better options for your time.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

I'm looking through jobs and I'm finding my certifications are being overlooked for lack of job experience. I'm 3 months shy of 2 years at a small msp, wearer of all hats IT work, and I can't get a response out of job openings above 'help desk'.

I've got comptia N+ and CCNA R&S. I'm looking at the CCNA security, but is another cert going to help if I'm still only at 2 years non-specific experience?

My other option is to start down the CISSP route and settle in at my current job for the months it will take me to complete it. Anybody do CISSP through self-study and pass?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Anybody with experience in the certified ethical hacking cert? Is it a pain to get, and does it make an impact on your employment value (higher pay or more job offers)?

I'm worried it's a no-name cert that won't actually help my resume.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

I took it two years ago and yeah the osi model is huge. Also be sure to know every acronym under the sun, a good portion is just testing if you know what three letter acronyms are associated with another three letter acronym.

Subnetting not so much, they don't really make you do work to pass.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Eschatos posted:

Welp, I got my Security+ cert. Now somebody give me an interview so I can get out of this lovely job.

Congrats! What resources did you use and how long did it take?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Set aside an hour a day and consider that your school hour. For me it was making my day longer, optionally staying from 5 to 6 four days a week. All I would do is study for the CCNA with no distractions because I wasn't expected to do work and I wasn't at home with thousands of other things to do.

Finished much faster than I thought I would.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Race Realists posted:

i ask, how expansive are Subnetting sections on CCNA/P exams? Im finding converting to binary to be relatively simple, but the rest is going to take awhile.

My logic that worked well with no binary conversion:

1) 2 ^ (next full octet CIDR - CIDR) = number of addresses in the octet. /27? 32 - 27 = 5. 2^5 = 32, so a /27 is a 32 IP range. It's imperative that you recognize /32, /24, /16, and /8 as the octet cidrs.

2) Know multiples of 16 between 0 and 256. Use these to easily narrow down the network address an IP belongs to (once these numbers are familiar it's easy to know the multiples of 32 and 8, which gives you multiples of 64 and 4, and so on so you're not wasting time using binary to find, say, 176)

3) write these down during the orientation questions before your test starts for easy reference

So let's say you have 172.168.59.1 /21. 24 - 21 = 3, then 2^3 = 8. You have 8 IP addresses in this octet range. We take the .59 portion and find the closest lowest multiple of 16, which is 48. The next multiple of 8 is 56, our network address. Add another 7 (since we already found the first address) and you have 63. The address range is 172.168.56.0 to 172.168.63.255.

Since most of the math is written down on your paper it takes less than a few seconds to knock this out. This is key for those questions of "which of these 5 addresses are part of this CIDR address?"

Judge Schnoopy fucked around with this message at 01:50 on Aug 10, 2015

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

crunk dork posted:

Any last minute advice?

SNMP v1 sucks, v2 is the good one that introduced every new feature, v3 only introduced security measures. SNMP can increase traffic on your network.

Netmon fucks with cpu and can overload your devices. SNMP and logging can not.

Also know your trap orders by name.

Know your route costs by order and number.

Basically if you know the stuff, start thinking about the differences between them because it will help with the answer elimination.

And for the love of God practice spanning tree like it's your only job in the world. These questions can eat up time on the test like no other and if you get frustrated with it you'll start trying to rush through to make up that time.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Alain Post posted:

The only thing that really pissed me off about STP was studying which features were backwards-compatible with which various version of Spanning Tree. In the end I don't think I actually got a question on that, lol.

Yes, there's a lot of study material on rstp. Again, learn the difference between rstp and stp and you'll be fine.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

ChubbyThePhat posted:

I'm planning to write my CEH in the next couple months here. Anyone have any experience with any of the SANS certs? I'm thinking I want a couple before going for a CISSP because I hear that poo poo is rough.

I'll be right behind you so keep me updated. I'm doing CCNA security now, security+ next to re-up my network+ before it expires (and frankly to take a break from the hard poo poo), then I'll be hitting up the ceh because I still won't qualify for the CISSP.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

crunk dork posted:

There were a couple downsides with FHRP stuff not being implemented and one other thing I feel like was missing but I can't recall what it was exactly

Netmon, most functions of SNMP, acl logging but that's more for understanding as your not asked on it for R&S.

Does CCP work through gns3? CCNA security relies on it heavily and the packet tracer isn't compatible at all

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Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Yeah I don't understand Cisco's obsession with CCP when every other gui they make is better. And for that matter, the studies go from "if you understand the command line procedures you can understand any gui" to "command line is meh check out this cool program from 1999 that teaches you nothing!"

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