Anyone here already did CCNA? I would be glad if they could share their experiences.
I did several years ago. I really loved networking, especially routing, so it was probably my most enjoyable certification process ever.
I used the CCNA press books - two books I believe. Total time spent studying was 4-5 months. I brought the books everywhere with me like it was my bible. The books had questions in them and also visual/audio explanations which were really good. The CISCO press is probably the best out there. Additionally, I had access to some router sims, which were very useful. I had also taken the first 2 of the 4 CCNA college classes adminstered by a certified instiution. I got a 956 out of a 1000 on my exam. The questions were very similar to the ones in the book. In all, the only material beside the router sims were the cisco press books and the software tham came with them.
After that I bought the 1601(?) and 2501(?) router and a 1900series switch with a crossover cable as I began studying for the CCNP routing exam, which I never took. It is really essential to have real routers/switches for the CCNP exams if you odn't have access to them at work. For the CCNA it is not, but I'd still highly recommend, especially if you don't take any Cisco classes and get some hands on with some routers/switches.
While I took my exam a ways back, I did take a ccna switching class (class 3 of the four) a couple years ago and though they changed the version of the exam and the books much of the ocntent was literally verbatim from the ccn 2.0 i passed. Probably a few commands and router defs along with more emphasis on switching, i think, is the only very minor difference.
I stopped that networking route to focus on programming and because i became disgusted at the fact that ciso expires, not retires, their exams every 3 years. It's something to think about, though there really isn't an alternative (juniper certs exist?? who cares if so ;-). Basically by them expiring it as far as I know the only thing you can't do is use their logo, but you can certainly still put on your resume that you passes xyz exam.
Hope that helps. Don't think you'll be gettin' many responses on Java froum.