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Interview: Lynn Maynes and Gary Heap, CCNA Practical Studies

To help IT professionals earn the CCNA, canada sale authors Gary Heap and Lynn Maynes, both CCIEs, have teamed up to write CCNA Practical Studies, which offers a hands-on self-study approach to gaining the necessary expertise.

Interview: Lynn Maynes and Gary Heap
Co-Authors of CCNA Practical Studies

The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is the gateway certification to the entire Cisco certification program. Even for individuals who don't aspire to eventually earn the top-tier CCIE title, a CCNA credential can prove to be a valuable career asset. To help IT professionals earn the CCNA, authors Gary Heap and Lynn Maynes, both CCIEs, have teamed up to write CCNA Practical Studies, which offers a hands-on self-study approach to gaining the necessary expertise. Here's what they have to say about their book, and the CCNA exam.

GoCertify: How is your book different from other CCNA preparation books?

CCNA Practical Studies

Maynes Both Gary & I came up through the ranks of earning our CCNA, CCNP and CCIE certifications. During that process we realized that often we would memorize concepts but that these concepts were easily forgotten when not put into practice. Conversely, concepts that we had learned and were then able to apply in real world scenarios or a lab environment seemed to "stick" and our retention of these principles was greater.

We particularly noticed this disparity when we were preparing for our CCIE certifications doing hours & hours of lab work in conjuction with our everyday work responsibilities. Only then, did we start to grasp many of the topics that we had read about so many times before. We would often comment on how beneficial it would be to have had more practical experience along the way from CCNA, to CCNP and finally to the CCIE certification. There is no substitute for experience and practical knowledge, our book is designed to get you there sooner - to get people past the "paper" CCNA moniker.

GoCertify: What is the target audience for this book? What degree of experience and knowledge should they have?

Maynes CCNA Practical studies was written with a few groups in mind. The book is intended to help individuals prepare for the performance-based portion of the CCNA exam. The book provides a structure which if followed, will allow a reader to put book knowledge into practical experience. The goal is that by so doing, individuals will begin to really understand how the various technologies actually operate. Instead of just reading about network theory and attempting to memorize concepts, they can see the technology in practice and understand the operation of those concepts. Thus, individuals preparing for the CCNA exam can benefit as well as those who may have passed the CCNA exam but feel they need more hands on experience to truly understand many of the topics.

GoCertify: Is the new simulation based exam much more difficult than the previous, non-simulation version?

Maynes Yes, because it requires an understanding of IOS commands and how to navigate the CLI (Command Line Interface).

GoCertify: Is it possible to prepare for and pass the CCNA exam without hands on access to Cisco routers?

Maynes It used to be, but now Cisco has done a great job of creating a test that will challenge the candidate's book knowledge as well as their hands-on experience. I would make sure you can comfortably configure a Cisco router up to the topics covered in the CCNA Certification Guide by Cisco Press.