Here’s my story and how the command memorizers began….
I took my CCIE R&S lab exam in January 2003 and passed on my first attempt. What a great day it was when I go the news!
This is how the CCIE command memorizer helped me and why I am a believer in this product.
When I took the CCIE lab exam, the equipment was in a remote location. This resulted in a 1 to 2 second delay between typing a character and seeing what was typed appear on the screen (no fast internet speeds like today). So, relying on question mark (?) would have been very difficult and time consuming.
To save time, I would read the question, and then type part of the configuration into notepad for my various routers / switches. Fortunately because of the command memorizer, I was able to do this from memory. I then pasted the configs into the routers/switches and while it took a while for them to be updated, I would continue with the next device’s config, read the next question, or start working on the next part of the required config in notepad.
I completed most of the lab in this fashion.
I believe that by doing this, I was able to finish the lab within 6 hours. I was still really nervous and would never have forgiven myself for leaving early and failing, so – I spent the remaining time checking everything.
Now, that may not apply to you, but I am sure that knowing the commands from memory will help you with your speed on your lab.
I developed the CCIE command memorizer in conjunction with spending many hours working on real physical equipment. I experienced what a lot of us do – not seeing family much and far too many hours a day studying etc.
One of the issues I encountered was that setting up a lab took a long time. To actually practice a specific section – like BGP for example, required lots of other set up. It was frustrating and time consuming, as I wanted to concentrate on my weak areas – not re-cable and build an entire lab first.
The command memorizer allowed me to practice specific sections or subsections without a whole lab being built first.
GNS3 helps reduce the hassle of cabling, but you still need to create labs and lots of configurations, or load configurations before you can practice a specific section or topic.
GNS3 also doesn’t support a lot of switching commands and switching capability.
I found that just reading books didn’t force me to learn commands. I would recognize the command when shown it in a book, but when asked to enable something without any guidance/hints, I couldn’t remember the command to use.
I found that reading can be very passive.
The command memorizer forced me to type the command without guidance, which quickly made me learn the required commands. I found that this interactive method of learning enabled me to learn quicker, stay awake, and my mind wouldn’t drift as quickly as when just reading.
To sum up:
The advantages of the command memorizer in this regard for me are:
1. I could practice a specific section without building an entire lab first
2. The application quickly showed me which sections required more studying and practice
3. I could practice a section when I only have a few minutes available
4. I could practice commands even when on a train or plane
5. I could practice offline and away from the lab
There will always be someone that disagrees…
I have seen some criticism online that one should not “memorize” commands, but understand the technology. That is true, but it doesn’t help to know the theory of a technology and then not know what commands to use on a router to enable that technology.
At the end of the day, you as a Cisco engineer need to know which commands to type in a given situation when configuring or troubleshooting. The command memorizer will help you learn some of those commands.
Does the command memorizer replace books and real equipment? No, I don’t think so, it just compliments them. Use multiple learning methods to gain knowledge.
This is just another learning medium.
Why does it exist?
It’s important to remember that the CCIE command memorizer was originally developed only for me. I had no plans to sell it.
However, after passing my exam, I showed others the software and everyone I showed it to wanted a copy… and that is why it exists today as a commercial product.
That’s my 2 cents.
I wish you all the best with your studies, no matter what you use to help you learn!
Note – there is NO other product like this on the market today.
So – use both GNS3 and the command memorizers to help you with your studies.
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