Hello, and welcome to the first post of my CCIE blog J
My name is Richard Bannister, I am twenty three, and live in Lancashire (England). I live with my beautiful and very supportive wife Leanne-Ashley and we are parents to two children; a four year old girl named Carys (yes we were young…), and a one year old girl named Bryony.
I have been working in the Cisco ‘arena’ for three and a half years, this followed a two year first-line IT support Modern Apprenticeship with Blackpool Council during which I studied for the CCNA exam and passed it shortly after being promoted to a network technician. I quickly established myself within Blackpool Council who kindly supported me during my CCNP studies over the next two years; I passed the last of fours exams in January 2007. A year has now passed and I have moved to a senior post within Findel PLC. Blackpool Council and I parted on good terms and I have to mention that my old colleagues at Blackpool Council were great role models during my journey from a sixteen year old boy to the present day. I’m settling in at Findel PLC and again I have great people around me and I have decided now is the time to go for CCIE status.
I have written articles in the past for the ConfigureTerminal.com newsletter and that is where the relationship with ConfigureTerminal has stemmed from.
My main motives are personal, I didn’t feel like I was fully stretched during the CCNP learning track and I didn’t get a great deal of satisfaction when I acquired it – it was a bit of an anti-climax to be honest. The CCIE represents the pinnacle of the industry I work in and something that I know will push me to the limits. I have other motives which will be obvious to most people reading this; I have two dependants and I would love to give them the best I can and if I push myself over the short term (whilst they are still young) I believe it can benefit us all in the long term. I am very lucky to have Leanne-Ashley backing me, she was sent from the heavens.
When approaching the CCIE I decided that I would keep the lab and written exams quite separate, from previous experience of Cisco exams I believe the written exams do require knowledge from ‘real-life’ but it’s mainly about knowing the theory. I have created a study plan for the written exam and the lab exam study plan will basically be a continuation of it, the lab exam is all about turning the theory into practice and will involve a lot of hands-on study time. I was lucky enough to discover what I believe is my best learning method during the CCNA and CCNP learning experiences and that involves reading through the subject material and making notes of important information and ‘I didn’t know that’ items, and then the key step is to do-it! I also type up my written notes into electronic format and that really helps lodge concepts in my head. It’s probably not anything different but it works for me.
UPDATE Jan 2009:
I thought it was about time I updated this page as a lot has changed since I originally wrote this. I don’t want to overwrite where I started so here’s what has happened over the last year or so…
– I passed the 350-001 CCIE R&S Written Exam on 18 November 2008 and I have now stepped-up my lab efforts after lowering them over Christmas and New Year
– I am now working @ Cisco as a Systems Engineer in the NW of England; I was approached during mid-2008 and I simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work @ Cisco. A great big thank you from me to my ex-colleagues at Findel, and to my very welcoming new colleagues at Cisco.
– I’m helping the guys @ ConfigureTerminal with the development of the CCIECommandMemorizer as part of my study efforts
– We’ve all had a birthday
– I have some new study resources available at Cisco that should really help J
What’s not changed?
– We’ve still got 2 children which is definitely enough!! I’m outnumbered 3:1 and it shows J