There is some actual content here, but first – a few drips of sap. The title is a nerdy rendering of the adage ‘its the journey, not the destination’. The decision to take time from study and blog had to do with this very thing – reserving time for reflection along the way.
While taking a break this week from some technical aspects of Path MTU (why the designers of IPv6 thought the proliferation of ATM circuits would make this a good idea), my mind scratched on the surface of something important and drew it out: I’m ACTUALLY DOING this. Everything leading up to working on a CCIE and everything that represents: I’m ON THAT PATH. Layers are being peeled back. Innards are being exposed. Secrets are being revealed.
I felt like pinching myself. There have been plenty of times in years past that doubts and fears have crept in and overshadowed aspirations of even attempting this. Yet, here I am, diving to deeper depths than ever before, and it already feels like an accomplishment. Getting to that CCIE number is the goal; the destination address in the header. There are certainly no guarantees. But the payload – the things I’m learning now- that’s the important part.
For the last two weeks I’ve been reading “Internetworking with TCP/IP Volume One” by Douglas E. Comer. This book is magic; a real page turner. Whenever I can steal away, even for just a few minutes, my nose is back in it. I’m drawn to it; all the while feverishly taking notes. You’d think I was trying to copy a delicate old treasure map that at any moment might disintegrate into dust.
I only wish I had read it years ago. Unlike physicians or attorneys, in our trade we usually begin as journeyman or apprentices, slowly progressing to become independent artisans of our craft. While we may have a college degree(s), often, as in my case, it has little to do with actual engineering. True mastery is achieved by combining the applied(practical) knowledge with the theoretical. The information in this book feels to me like that level of theoretical knowledge. Better late than never!
Staying on Course
I’m having such a good time reading this book that I’m feeling a bit guilty about not adhering so strictly to the blueprint. Am I being indulgent with the reading time? No lab router has been touched. I’ve decided I’m OK with that. It is just a blueprint, after all. And, I’ve promised myself that each point on the outline will be studied. This first book is just one part of the study program – there are a number of books, videos, and workbooks that will zigzag around the blueprint outline. Isn’t book learning what the written exam is about, anyway?