A great practical book, not just to prepare for the CCNA certification exam
As a software developer, I’m not the main audience of this two-volume series. I’ve no plans to pass the exam. I just write code that sends and receives network packets and I wanted to better understand how these packets reach their destinations from a practical viewpoint. I wanted to understand what it means to operate switches and routers from a low-level perspective. This book clearly answered (most of) my questions.
The chapters are divided into two parts (or split into two chapters for large topics). The first section of every chapter is Cisco-agnostic. It’s an introduction, richly illustrated, to explain the different standards. I found the explanations always clear even if networking is one of my weaknesses. The second section is Cisco-specific. The author introduces the hardware and the main commands through practical examples illustrated with their outputs.
The two volumes are both excellent technical books. The number of pages is tantamount but I strongly prefer a book with too many pages that I understand than one with too few pages that left me puzzled. These books are excellent educational resources, not just to prepare for the CCNA exam, but also if you’re looking for a practical introduction to networking.
Compared to Network Warrior, which covers even more topics and even more Cisco devices, this series is, for sure, less practical for a network engineer, but preferable for a beginner looking to become more familiar with the content of the certification.