As part of my prep for the exam, I attended the Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks training course in Manchester this week. The course was run by QA Training and delivered by an instructor from Fast Lane. The course follows the official Cisco curriculum and for the lab exercises the students work in pairs on actual Cisco switches and routers hosted at Fast Lane’s data centre in Berlin.
The course itself was very enjoyable, if a little hard going at times. There’s a lot of ground to cover in five days, but the instructor did a great job of delivering the content in a way that kept your interest and attention. Having said that, there’s only so many hours you can take of going round and round the intricacies of STP before your brain starts blocking data – boom boom!! See what I did there, fellow network geeks?
The instructor also did a fantastic job of coping with the fact that we had not one, not two, but THREE power cuts during the week!! It’s surprising how much you can cover with a whiteboard and marker pen when you have to, and this clearly demonstrated the fact that the instructor really knew his stuff! In fairness to QA, they did all they could to ensure the power cuts were as short as possible, and even threw in free lunches each day to apologise!
Overall, I’d have to say that I really enjoyed the course and definitely got a lot out of it. I feel much better prepared for the SWITCH exam than I did at the start of the week and I would definitely recommend QA as a training company. I certainly hope to use them again for the ROUTE course later this year.
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