CCNA: Cisco Certified Network
Associate Study Guide, Third Edition
by Todd Lammle
A Must Buy!
An impressive offering, CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study
Guide does a terrific job of making networking basics approachable.
Though written for those already familiar with technology, it nonetheless
manages to clearly explain what makes networks work without
undercutting their inherent complexity. Authors Lammle and Chellis set
the stage by going through such fundamentals as local area network
(LAN) devices, the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, and
various data transport protocols. From there, the book delves into such
topics as network congestion--what causes it and what to do about it--
Internet protocol (IP) addressing and subnetting, interior routing protocols,
and basic routing configuration. As is characteristic of any quality study
guide, each chapter ends with a summary followed by a mountain of
review questions, which are good practice for the written CCNA exam.
Answers are listed in one of the six appendices, which also cover
AppleTalk and related Request for Comments (RFCs). In addition, this
book contains a fantastic 116-page glossary--again, a terrific feature for
networking newcomers. --Sarah L. Roberts-Witt
The most challenging thing a certification test-prep book faces is the way it
invariably will be misused. There is an old saw about using the right tool for
the job, which in essence tells us to use the correct planning, strategy, and
action to get the result we want. The majority of people purchasing a book
like this are planning to take the CCNA exam and want some help
preparing. This makes sense, and this is why I myself purchased Lamle's
book. While it worked, and I passed with a 901, I couldn't help bu t wonder
how much more difficult it would have been without hands-on experience
with the devices, protocols and processes themselves at work. I have not
yet met anyone who studied for, and passed, the CCNA test without any
prior hands-on network experience.
It makes me very nervous to read someone's review suggesting, "This is
the only preparation you need". To pass the test, you will likely need some
experience as well, and to avoid the Catch-22 of requiring experience to
get the job, yet also the job to gain the experience, I would recommend
seeking first a junior position in the field, where you can not only get the
experience, but also the mentoring of senior networking staff.
However, once you pass the test and have the cert, we face another
challenge: "Does the cert verify your ability to apply what you know?" Not
really, but that's why you cannot stop learning and developing your skills
set there. You will likely need the CCNA to get the interview for the
Networking job you seek, but you will need interview skills to get the job,
and you will need to be able to APPLY your technical knowledge to keep it.
Lamle's book is one of the best prep books out there for the CCNA. But if
you plan to have a long-term career in Networking, do not think for a
moment that you can stop there. And I'm not just talking about the next
level of Cisco Certification.
Buy this book and study it, but make sure you maintain a long-term
professional skills development plan, and if you don't already have it, start
building your experience in the field. You'll need it.
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