End of year review 2012

Introduction

Wow, what a year this has been. Both at the same time, I seem to have learned so much and yet so little. I’ve made a lot of new contacts in the world of networking both online and in that scary thing called real life. It makes sense for me to have an end of year review.

Goals

Back in January, I made one of my first posts outlining what I hoped to achieve by the end of 2012 from a certification point of view. The four items listed were:

  1. CCNP ROUTE
  2. CCNP TSHOOT
  3. CCDA
  4. CCNA Specialism

Achievments

So how did those targets match up with my achievements? Well, I passed the ROUTE and TSHOOT exams to gain my CCNP which made me about as proud as when I got my 2003 MCSE:Security some years back. I set out to do the CCDA and after going through the INE video series and half of the Cisco Press book, I found the material to be very dry. Rather than pushing on, I decided to shelve the CCDA for now, quite possibly returning in the future to complete it.

I do a fair amount of my day-to-day work on Cisco ASAs so it made sense at that point to start working towards the CCNP Security. This has a prerequisite of the CCNA Security, which I attained in October, letting me tick number 4 off the list. I’ve also since passed the first of the four CCNP Security exams, SECURE and am now studying towards the FIREWALL exam.

So all in all, not too bad. I dropped the CCDA but managed another exam in its place and will return to the CCDA once I get a bit more network design experience under my belt. I think it has been very useful to post my goals for this year. I found that referring to it every now and again gave me the boost in motivation required to keep on track.

Outside of the realm of certification, I have also had the good fortune to start expanding my existing knowledge on topics such as Wireshark, NMap, Solarwinds, UCS, VSS and many others. I fully intend on casting my knowledge net much further over the next 12 months.

Blogging

As regards to my blog, I would ideally have liked to post far more often but when the priorities have been lined up, blogging hasn’t been at the top unfortunately. I am hoping to post more frequently next year, quite probably starting 2013 off with another ‘resolutions’ post to keep me right.

In the new year, I will probably be changing the theme of the site. When I added it, I thought it looked a bit different from a lot of others but after 12 months, it looks a bit dark to me and could do with brightening up a bit. Depends on me finding something I like. On top of that, I’ve just updated WordPress and the banner graphic is out of sync for some reason.

Summary

Finally, I would like to thank everybody who has spent time coming here to read my musings. I hope you found something that was of use to you or at least put a smile on your face. Please feel free to contact me at vegaskid@vegaskid.net if you have any requests for posts, suggestions for the site or simply to ask a question or touch base. I would also like to thank everybody on Twitter\LinkedIn\etc. who has helped me out\engaged with me along the way. It’s great to know there is a large community of helpful and witty people out there.

Happy holidays to you all and here’s hoping we all have a great 2013!

Till the next time.

3 Replies to “End of year review 2012”

  1. Hi,
    Congratz on your certifications.
    I’ve had a similar scenario, passed all 3 CCNP exams.
    I bought the CCDA book but after reading about the EXAM itself on Cisco Learning Network, I decided that this needs a little more time and effort so I went and did the CCNA Security.
    I now want to try the CCNP Security.
    What do you think about the ways of achieving this.
    1. CCNP SECURE
    2. CCNP FIREWALL
    3. CCNP VPN
    4. CCNP IPS

    I’ve bought the VPN book and I don’t know if i should start with this, seems like secure and firewall are better off to start

    1. Hi Ed, as I stated in my direct reply, you have the same plan as myself regarding the order of the exams. I am more familiar with ASAs so am looking forward to exams 2 and 3 but haven’t done much on Cisco IPS beyond the CCNA Security level stuff. Hoping to get the CCNP Security by Q3 2013.

Please let me know your thoughts!