Hi there! I am Alfred from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

I am Alfred Dah, a system engineer in an american agency.
I am working in Ouagadoudou Burkina Fas, West Africa.
I have 16 Years experience in Networking. I am studying now for CISSP, CISA and dual CCIE (R&S and Security). That is my objective in 2019 !
As background, I am a A+ and MCP since 2002. Now I am CCNA (R&S and Security) certified. I have a vaucher of CCDA and i am looking for study tool to sit for this exam as soon as possible. I am just testing NetworkLessons.com and after my 7 days, I will see if I can continue with you ? Hi to you all !

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Hello Alfred Dah,

Welcome on board! CCIE R&S + security is a big goal, quite some stuff to study :grin:

If you need any help, you know where to find us. Good luck studying!


Hi Rene,
I bought your 3 books and I am a little bit lost with a huge topics to master.
I read carrefully your advices to master these topics but i need more guidance about Xmind Zen use.
I started with the switching section. Do you sample topics to share with me ?

Hello Alfred Dah,

There is a lot of stuff to learn so it can be overwhelming in the beginning.

Did you see this post?

I’ll take a look at Xmind Zen, I’m familiar with Xmind 8 but Zen seems to be new(er).

Whatever tool you use (mindmapping or an outliner), here’s what I would do:

  1. Write down all main topics. You can use the chapters of the book or the main units in the courses I have here on networklessons.
  2. When you go through a chapter, write down the sub-topics.
  3. For each sub-topic, write down the things you learn in your own words.
  4. Once you finish a chapter, re-order the things you wrote down so it makes sense to you.

Here is a quick example:

  • Switching
    • VLANs
      • By default, there is 1 VLAN so all switchports can communicate with each other.
      • With VLANs, we can create a “logical” separation.
      • Switchports in the same VLAN can communicate with each other.
    • Trunks
    • Spanning-Tree

You can create the example above in either xmind or an outliner like dynalist. Try both, see what you like.

For configuration snippets, you can try Dynalist or Evernote.

Nowadays, I use Dynalist to create summaries / notes in my own words and I use Evernote to store configuration snippets / examples.

I hope this helps, if not let me know ok?

Good luck studying. Keep in mind you don’t have to understand everything in a week…it takes time :slight_smile:


I quickly tried Xmind Zen. It looks nice, you can switch between mindmap and outliner mode. Here’s a quick example:

You can also create relationships between items (like I did with trunking and VLANs). I’m not sure how useful that is. It’s easy to create a mess.