JNCIA – Epic Win!

Maybe not epic, but a win nonetheless.

My boss is over all the network guys in the company, and that includes guys that support different divisions and departments.  He told me he was tired of waking up at 2am every morning to fix a problem the other groups can’t handle, so he’s working to get the junior guys motivated to learn for themselves.  One technique he’s implemented is to force them to get their CCNAs and JNCIAs by June.  Since he made it part of the job description, that means that everyone above the Analysts has to meet those requirements, too.  I made the deadline with plenty of time to spare.

Do you remember the full day off of work I had to take to sit the CCNP exams?  The 2-hour drive to a prison town, lunch, a 2-hour exam, and 2 hours back?  That sucked.  I live in a major metropolitan area now, so my travel time to the nearest testing center is 45 seconds.  I mean, literally 45 seconds.  It’s right across the street from my apartment complex.  Easy walk if it wasn’t so cold.  That’s good, too, because I showed up this morning, and the center didn’t have any power!  Someone plugged in a coffee maker in the break room, and power went out in a whole wing of the building.  Since I always get there early, I was actually able to drive home, wait for them to fix the problem, and still be there at my scheduled time.  Convenient for sure.

I must say that the exam was pretty darn good.  It may, in fact, be the best IT exam I’ve ever taken.  The breadth of material was awesome; it had questions from the absolute basics to some of the stuff I saw on the CCIE R&S written. Since I’ve been doing networking for so many years and have my string of certs, the exam was pretty easy to me, but I’m sure an absolute network newb would find the material’s scope a little overwhelming.  The exam scores very high on the fairness meter, as well.  The questions were clearly written; the exhibits were legible and well-marked.  Best of all, there were no real trick questions.  They asked what they wanted you to answer and provided the answer to you.  There were no assumptions or judgments involved in trying to figure out what was being asked.

Overall, I was very impressed with the exam.  Two thumbs up.  I can only hope the rest of the exam in the track are this good.  I won’t know until after I pass my CCIE lab, though.  🙂

Send any certification delays questions my way.

Aaron Conaway

I shake my head around sometimes and see what falls out. That's what lands on these pages. If you have any questions, the best way to contact me is through Twitter at @aconaway.

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9 comments for “JNCIA – Epic Win!

  1. February 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Congrats on the pass. Epic work. I think your boss is doing the right thing. It is a shame that you have used the line ” motivated to learn for themselves.” It seems it’s a common thing in the IT industry that there are those who don’t want to learn and be the best they can be.

    Love your blog and your ‘Worthless’ words.


  2. February 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Congrats on the pass, out of curiosity, what materials did you use for studying?

  3. Kenneth Lind
    February 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Good stuff, Aaron–congratulations! The “motivated to learn for themselves” (whether actual quote or not) reminds me of a few other funny/true quotes about learning and teaching and the pitfalls often found in both: I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

  4. That1guy15
    February 10, 2012 at 10:03 am


    As for forcing everyone to certify I feel is the wrong approach. Those that dont want or care to take the time to lear the material will just dump it. Waste of company money IMO. Setting a policy for new-hires and promotions to have a specific certification level would be more motivating.

  5. February 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Congrats Aaron!

    I have been working on Juniper routers for quite sometime now. I too would like to know the materials you used. I’ve heard the Student Guide is good.

  6. AG
    February 17, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Congrats on the pass, did I read correctly that you drove to somewhere that is just across the street?

  7. Dave N
    February 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Congrats! I’ve been going through the fast track documents. I’d also like to know what you used to pass the exam.


  8. March 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

    My company is taking the same stance, they are not however forcing it but encouraging it strongly. I will be attending the JNCIA official training next week for 2 days.

    I have also looked at the fast track stuff, if you take an assessment exam, you can get a %50 discount voucher for pearsonvue!

    Good luck with the lab when are you thinking of doing it, I have set a target of this year


  9. March 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Good luck, Roger. The fast track stuff is more than adequate to pass. I’ll hit the CCIE lab some time this year if I can get back on the study train. 🙂

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