What I’m I doing here discussing such a huge topic? – well when I started going the path of studying to advance my career and making a difference (Still working on the latter), I noticed that I ended up wasting lots of time on things that will not bring me any value. Unfortunately, I was able to find out very late.
This is no surprise for anybody, we mostly go through things like this every day. Today I would like to make sure I cover a couple of things that I think are good resources
The engineering answer!
It all depends, this one is a bit complex, you have the visual learners, the readers, and the doers (I’m not sure if this is a real thing, but I just came up with my 3 categories)
If you are a visual learner
If you are a person that consumes most of your training by watching videos, I have great news for you, because there are excellent tools that can help you accelerate your learning, my recommendations are as follows:
Cisco Live On-Demand Library – To the best of my knowledge, this resource is FREE of charge and it has been FREE for a long time. The advantage in my personal opinion is that is the best way for you to keep up with the latest Cisco technologies, it overcomes the technology gap between Certification studying Vs. Latest Technologies Training **Concept that I think I will address at some point as a separate blog post
The Learning Network Training Videos – This resource has been very nice, I have used the hell out of it for the last 8 months now, I even subscribed to the feed of multiple posts and discussions (I know emails are killing me), but it gives me the perspective of what people are learning and helps me to engage with others as possible.
If you are a reader
Hmmm, how do I come up with something that does not imply $$$ – in this case Good resources are always at a cost, but good resources are also, the Deployment Guides from Cisco, the Admin Guides and the Configuration examples and Tech Notes. We can sit and argue all we want on documentation and how we don’t like to read it, but in the end, this is a very great resource (I know a bit dry but great in the end)
A good example could be Cisco Expressway Series – Configuration Guide – I use this to Plan, Design and Implement Expressway solutions.
Other paid options include subscriptions to books, like SafariBooks, which is a great resource if you are looking for Certification Studying and some Latest Technologies Training
If you are a doer
This one is my favorite, resources on this one are limited or infinite, depending on the way you look at it. It also the depends on the type of person you are. If you are like me, you will have a lab, if you don’t like equipment on your garage or closet somewhere in your house, definitely Rack Rentals or DCloud, which is an excellent resource from Cisco – They have multiple labs, demonstrations and always new stuff to help you test your knowledge and grow it as well.
About the Author:
Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 13 years of experience, Andres is specialized in the Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.