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It was announced yesterday that Scott Morris was starting up his own training initiative with NovaDataCom. Which as anyone could expect, created a good amount of buzz. It you want to read the full release it can be found here. A blog post by Jose Leitao over at Initial Draft started a good discussion on the topic itself. It kind of morphed into vendor discussion about material once again from all sides. Which is leading me to my post here.

It is excellent to see another vendor popping up because I honestly believe it helps keep everyone honest and competition is always healthy in any marketplace. Does it shake up the CCIE training arena? I guess only time will tell. One thing I will say though is everyone’s material out there seems to have their pros and cons, right? I have used almost everyone’s material in my preparation. I have sat INE’s 6 day bootcamp live online, Narbik’s five day bootcamp, and I still have to sit my IPexpert’s five day bootcamp. When I completed Narbik’s bootcamp I walked away thinking he was the best teacher I have ever encountered, not just with Cisco, but with any education I have ever had. His workbooks are great as well. Know what though? I still failed my lab two months later. Not because of Narbik, but because of what my point is going to be next. No matter who’s material you use or are going to use, unless you put in the work yourself, it isn’t going to matter one bit.

I failed my lab because I didn’t put enough effort in leading up to the lab. I beat the lab on my core topics, but got destroyed on everything else simply because I didn’t do enough. Prior to sitting Narbiks, I went through INE’s older ten day cod multiple times (which I still think is the best cod material out there.) I did multiple INE mock labs, and most of the vol 2 labs. I still got beat simply because I didn’t put forth enough effort into reading outside the vendor material. I didn’t spend enough time reading Cisco’s documentation, or my Cisco Press material. I simply got beat because I failed myself.

If I took the lab right now I would get beat outright again. This is even with doing all of IPexpert vol 3 mock labs (which I think are the best mock labs you can sit). See a theme here? I can pick out parts of each vendors curriculum and say, in my humble opinion, I think they have the best of… It just doesn’t matter though, you have to do you own work. No vendor is going to have the magic bullet for anyone.

So after all that rambling, make sure you pick the vendor you are comfortable with using. Who is going to give you the most for your training dollars? Who do you feel good about using? Again, every vendor has their pros and cons. Get a sample of anyone’s material first and see how it works for you. For myself, I know some trainers don’t work well for me, but for other people they work great. Just make sure you do you own reading outside the box so to speak!

Comments

8 Responses to “Scott Morris’s New Initiative over @ NovaData”

  1. Daniel on February 9th, 2011 8:14 am

    Interesting way of thinking. You are a smart guy ;)… Why? because you think the same way that I do! 😀

    Your experience with multiple vendors is the same that I have, and that’s what I think Cisco is trying to kill with all this tricks like to skip Open Ended Question (I know they are gone for R&S), free retake, etc. Now they are “buying” a bunch of instructors from other vendors.

    As you said, “only time will tell”, but I hope that vendor diversity does not disappear from the CCIE training arena.

    Regards,

  2. CCIE Journey on February 9th, 2011 9:27 am

    If I was INE/IPX I wouldn’t start to get concerned unless Cisco brings down the price of their offerings to match them and allows you lifetime access to the material. The cost and the 18 month time frame to me is an issue.

    It will be interesting to see what changes Scott has hinted at though…

  3. JL on February 9th, 2011 10:29 am

    Yes, monopoly = bad and the instructor on a bootcamp makes all the difference in the world.

  4. Daniel on February 9th, 2011 11:49 am

    Yes, It can be the difference between “BAD” and “meh” 🙂

  5. CCIE Journey on February 9th, 2011 12:02 pm

    Teaching is a skill, even some of the smartest guys out there can’t grasp it :/

  6. Tweets that mention Scott Morris’s New Initiative over @ NovaData : CCIE Journey -- Topsy.com on February 10th, 2011 3:52 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brandon Carroll, rodney newsfeeder. rodney newsfeeder said: Scott Morris’s New Initiative over @ NovaData: It was announced yesterday that Scott Morris was starting up his own… http://goo.gl/fb/5WVy8 […]

  7. Rowell on February 11th, 2011 2:27 pm

    I’m glad I subscribed to your site else I wouldn’t have heard about this. I think this is great because now it will only make training material better.

  8. Jonathan Holmes on October 16th, 2011 4:09 pm

    Has anyone spoken to Scott lately? I wonder if they are still going to continue running Nova Datacom’s education services…

    It seems that Alex Cho, the Founder and CTO of Nova Datacom, as well as the former Vice President of Operations, Ted Hallas, were recently arrested in a bribery and kickback scheme involving contract officers within the government. If this is true it appears they are going to be facing some pretty stiff penalties… I wonder how this will affect Scott, Keith, and Marvin…

    Some of the articles I found are here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/former-nova-datacom-executive-admits-to-falsifying-information-for-federal-bids/2011/10/13/gIQANpUmiL_story.html

    and

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/prosecutor-to-judge-detain-men-in-army-corps-scheme/2011/10/06/gIQAVvM8PL_blog.html

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