I am actually enjoying studying for CCNP SWITCH. Or; that’s what I have to keep telling myself, anyway. I enjoy the sense of satisfaction I gain from completing a reading and answering the chapter questions correctly, or being able to discuss finer details with colleagues. I think the reason that, overall, I am not particularly keen on the exam is because I am deathly afraid of failing. It took me too many tries to pass the ROUTE exam. I did eventually pass it, but not without a loss of motivation. In fact, I think motivation is not quite correct. I feel I have lost the thrill of completing something. It’s confusing me even as I write this blog (in an attempt to rationalise my internal dilemma); I simply can’t figure out why my desire to do the exam is so … missing.
I am happy to read the chapters and implement the things I learn all day every day; this kind of behaviour is a much more natural learning experience for me. Memorising tables, commands and state diagrams is not. Nor is playing dodge-ball with the sometimes extremely “Cisco-ified” questions wherein a slight misunderstanding of the wording can get you thinking in the wrong direction and ultimately missing the entire point of the question. This kind of misdirection in questions is the absolute worst way for me to incorrectly answer a question. It makes me feel cheated and contempt toward Cisco. Of course the cynical side of me would say that they have to do something to make the exams difficult, albeit the methods they use aren’t genuine. Single-word differences between two command syntaxes isn’t exactly testing the knowledge you would expect a CCNP-level technician to possess. The command interface on every Cisco device is interactive and has tab completion at a bare minimum, so as long as you know the first 3-5 letters of every command you wish to use, you can TAB-complete your entire 6,000 line configuration. Disingenuous. That’s a good word to describe this kind of exam question trickery.
Anyway, I should stop procrastinating on my blog and get back to it.