Monday, June 27, 2011

Helooo CCIE !!

Finally after a long struggle I am now a CCIe in R&S :)

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have directly or indirectly helped me along the way.

Its been quite a journey to get here. Countless hours of labbing and studying, multiple sleepless nights, no personal life, many a sacrifice from myself and from my family and a significant investment of money to get here. All I can now say is it was worth it !!

So here is my story !!

Attempt 1:

It was the v3 of the lab. Had scheduled it it 2009 october. For all I know I thought I was ready, I thought I knew it all. Well I thought wrong !!

Had my story posted here:

Attempt 2:

I took a month break and after a lot of review I bought NMC volume 2 labs. Man this was the game changer for me. The way the labs were laid out were simply superb. I really liked the way the tasks were laid out. Even better was the way the solution to the tasks were given. I learnt a lot and many of the grey areas i had were answered. I loved the troubleshooting tasks. After 8 months of labbing and studying I went to take up my lab.

This was my first go at the v4 of the exam. The first two hours troubleshooting went well. I thought I had the lab nailed but was startled to see the score report. First i was confused I thought I had done well. But eventually i knew where I had gone wrong. QOS was a weak area for me and I had to improve. My spirits were still high because I knew I was very close to being a CCIE.

Had my story posted here:

Attempt 3:

I was on a high and I wanted my CCIE very badly. I booked my lab again for the 3rd attempt. I really practiced hard in my weak areas. Once done I thought I was ready. I got bummed in troubleshooting. Configuration went well. Failed the troubleshooting and passed my configuration. There went another 1400$ :(

This was a turning point in my journey. I decided to go slow and not be overconfident. I took 2 months off enjoyed Christmas and waited for 2011.
January through March all i did was practice and learn technology. I dint leave out one bit of the DOC-CD. I ensured I went though all the sections at least once. I did a lot of reading. I did not race against time this time. I made configurations, broke them, understood all possible errors message meant and where to look for config issues. I revamped my strategy for troubleshooting. For any given scenario I had created a min of 4 to 5 show commands. April to June I worked out all my practice lab irrespective of how comfortable I was with a particular lab or technology. I did a lot of DOC-CD reading. Went through a lot of mails in group-study. I reviewed my labs inside out.

I cut down on blogging, cut down on my social life, no video-games. I made a prison for myself. would go to work, come back and hit the racks. Nothing else. My only focus was the lab.

Attempt 4:

I had my weakness covered. But now I was little scared and my confidence was a little low.

On the day of exam was feeling fresh. When I reached cisco office I was the 3rd person to join the group. It was the first time that there was no RnS other than me. The proctor came in and took us in. We went through the regular briefing session. We entered the terminal room and sat in our seats awaiting our login. I was sweating profusely and my hands were shivering. I failed to login to the system twice. I took a deep breath sat calmly for two mins and logged in again.


I had made up mind to not spend more than 8mins per ticket. I opened the troubleshooting and I spent 10 mins for the first ticket. I told my self I need to be a little more faster. I did well and exceeded my expectations. I started to troubleshoot and resolve issues. I was smokin fast on the issue and it felt good. I still had 3 tickets to solve. The one i was trying to resolve dint give me any leads so i skipped it. went to the other tickets and solved them all. I just had the one i was stuck with and I have 35 mins on the clock. After 20 mins i had my ticket resolved Hee Haw !! So there I was 15mins to go. so i decided to review my tickets I had realized i had overlooked one ticket, tried to fix the issue and unfortunately I was not able to finish that in the remaining time I had. The window just closed out. But by now I was feeling good and confident that this had gone well. Although one of the ticket was wrong I felt good about the other and thought it was enough to get me through.


I went washed my face, got myself some tea. My anxiety had died down and I was feeling confident. I went through the lab scenario for 30 mins in which I Made notes, drew diagrams. Then I started configuring. L2 went well I verified all the section to ensure I dint miss out on any. I zipped though L3 verified my pings at which the proctor called it lunch-in-10mins. I saved my configs rebooted every device and verified my pings again. I was feeling good :)

Had a good lunch. Everyone were silent. Relaxed for 10 mins. After which we had re-grouped. We went in and took our seats. Just to be sure I re verified my pings. 4 hours to go now. I started with BGP and went through other sections non stop for one hour. I wanted a break. saved-reboot-verified-pings. got some tea for myself. Then i resumed with the rest of the config which went well. I was weary of one section, which i skipped hoping that it wont hurt me much.

I had completed my lab and still had 90 mins to go. I verified the entire lab starting from the beginning till the end. saved-reboot-verified-pings. At this point i was feeling good but still had butterflies in my stomach. I thought I dint have anything more to do. I saved my config one last time. Thanked the proctor returned the items issued, took m bad and walked out with still 20mins on the clock :)

I caught up with my friends in the evening, had dinner and started home by 2130. I enjoyed the evening and I still dint have any result by then. Traveled through the night.

0530 in the checked my mail there it was score-result. What was it going to be ?? I logged in to find out that I had Passed !!!

I am finally a CCIE :)

1 comment:

  1. Yo man... Your narration of your hard work was so good that I had a lump in my throat at the end of the post. Really very happy for you. Am in the beginning stages of CCIE preparation. Still trying to get out of my comfort zone which is need to become CCIE. But I know I will be a CCIE in 2 years. Cheers!!


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