Back in May, our resident LearnKey expert Jason Manibog wrote about some changes that were coming to the Cisco certification exams. These changes necessitated the creation of new courses to cover the updated content, and later this week we will be releasing the first of those new courses, Cisco Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 1. I recently caught up with Jason to ask him a few questions about this new course and its second half, set for release next month.
- What tests do the Routing and Switching Fundamentals courses cover? These two courses cover the two new Cisco Routing and Switching Fundamentals exams. The part one course is mapped to the Cisco Interconnecting Network Devices (ICND) part one exam, exam 100-105. The part two course is mapped to the Cisco Interconnecting Network Devices (ICND) part two exam, exam 200-105.
- What advice would you someone taking the Cisco ICND exams for the first time? Be ready for a lot of “real-life” troubleshooting questions. The most important skill in that is to be able to read the output of a show command, interpret what is going on, and use that to answer test questions. There are a lot of “Configure, Verify, Troubleshoot” topics in the exam objectives. Don’t just learn the configuring part. Spend time on the verify and troubleshoot parts as well. And, for exam objectives which start with the word “Describe,” know the terms, definitions, and concepts on those topics. And, make sure to get some hands-on practice. I know, most of you will not have Cisco equipment lying around to use. That is no problem, as there are a lot of simulation tools out there to help you get some practice. We highly recommend the Boson NetSim simulation tool, and we feature it prominently in the course.
- What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating this course? Basically, a student who is interested in learning about Cisco routers and switches and how to use them in a network, and students interested in getting their Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification or, at the very least, the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certification, which one gets upon passing the 100-105 exam.
- If a student has very little experience with computer networking, how would you recommend they start using our training? I would start with the Network+ course, as that course lays a very good foundation for all things networking. Some of that knowledge will carry over to the Routing and Switching Fundamentals courses. To put this another way, it’s kind of like learning about cars in general (the Network+ course) and then learning about particular models (the Routing and Switching Fundamentals courses). Funny that I would make that comparison when I can’t even find a dip stick in a car (but that’s a separate issue, obviously).
- What are some of the major changes between the new ICND exams and the previous versions? I’ve outlined those changes in a previous blog, The new Cisco ICND Series: Some More Details. And I’ve got labs up with some information and interactive exercises on our resources page.
- How do the ICND exams differ from the Cisco IINS exam? The ICND exams are general exams for Cisco routers and switches while the IINS exam focuses primarily on one topic: Security.
- What was your favorite thing about filming this course? That there are a lot of simulation tools out there to make it easier for people to get some good, hands-on, practice, and that we are able to use Boson NetSim, which is an excellent simulation tool.