Advise on training someone new to Networking/Cisco

Hi Rene et al

My name is Simon I have been working with Cisco for over 15 years, former CCNP and oversee Cisco WAN/LAN network consisting of nearly 200 devices. My boss has asked me to setup a 2 year training plan for a guy who works in 1st line support who wants to get into Networking/Cisco devices. I’m just thinking of what would be a best way to draw out a 2 year plan for this guy (he knows very little on networking and Cisco) would it be a case of getting him on the CCNA training route using the material on this site and later give him some hands on experience (either setting up a small lab or get him on GNS) your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Hello Simon,

Couple of things to think about:

I would get a real physical lab. My experience is that people that are completely new to networking really enjoy the hardware since it helps to visualize things. Some people have never seen a router or switch before so if you start with GNS3 or VIRL, they don’t have any context…they just see some console screens.

Even a cheap lab with 3x 2950 and 2x 2800 routers will be great:

You can practice pretty much everything. For those that worked with Cisco before, virtual labs are great (GNS3 / VIRL).

Also, make him start with CCNA R&S. It covers the basic networking theory with stuff like the OSI model, TCP, UDP, IP, IPv6 and everything he practices will be on Cisco gear.

The plan really depends on what kind of learner he is. Is this someone that came up with the idea to study networking himself or is this something your boss wants? If the motivation comes from the student then you can probably throw some content at him and he’ll work his way through it himself. If he really enjoys it he will come with questions himself and you can help him forward by creating labs or explaining stuff he doesn’t understand. You can always help him forward with some 1:1 teaching. This is ideal, those are the students that tell you they read the entire course over the weekend and ask for mre. You’ll be like a mentor.

If he isn’t really motivated, and your boss is the main reason he is going to do this then you need some more structure. Chop the units of ICND1 in smaller chunks and tell him what he should study every week or what you are going to teach him. Explain what he has to study, give him labs to see if he understands everything. Make sure you assess his skills every few weeks and make reports of it. It can be a pain to teach someone that isn’t motivated and you’ll be more like a teacher that has to keep him in line :wink:


Great thanks for the advice Rene