Imposing Artificial Limitations to Develop Skills
I'm a big fan of imposing artificial limitations on yourself in order to aid skill development. Here are some quick ideas:
- When troubleshooting network devices from the CLI, try not to look at the configuration. Use only "show" or "debug" commands instead. I found this enormously beneficial when practicing for CCIE.
- When troubleshooting larger operational issues or learning a new environment, try not to log into individual devices at all. Force yourself to use only your network management system, NetFlow, packet captures, or host-based tools like ping, traceroute, or nmap.
- When learning automation or orchestration skills, force yourself to write scripts, run API calls, or use your favorite orchestration tool to do simple things, even if it doesn't seem like they merit the extra effort.