Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why it all started

For quite a few years the CCIE certification was strolling in my mind. It was like a magic trick that many had tried, but very few had succeeded on it. It was the last year that i took the decision that i should give it a try now, otherwise i wasn't going to try it never.

There are many reasons for taking that decision at that time, but the 5 most important were:

  1. I wanted to do it in order to test my skills/knowledge. Just a bet with myself.
  2. During that time my work schedule was light (quite strange for me).
  3. There have been quite a few (unofficial) proposals for a much better salary from other employers, even without the CCIE in my hands (possibly due to my networking experience). I guess a CCIE would make them even higher.
  4. I just wanted to confute one of the excuses of my employer for not giving me the salary i was asking.
  5. I had tried Dynamips/Dynagen and i was excited about them. I could practice at home using only a PC.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How it all started

For the last 9 years i work in the telecoms & service provider business for a well known local ISP.
Around end of November 2006, i decided something that was already in my mind for a long time.

Go for the ultimate certification regarding my occupation...Cisco's CCIE.

It took me around 2 weeks in order to find information about the certification and all the other steps i could follow in order to be prepared as much as possible.

The history so far...

Start Day : 16 Dec 2006

  • 640-801 (CCNA): 18 Dec 2006
End day : 18 Dec 2006

Start day: 20 Dec 2006
  • 642-811 (BCMSN): 27 Dec 2006
  • 642-821 (BCRAN): 27 Dec 2006
  • 642-831 (CIT): 28 Dec 2006
  • 642-901 (BCSI): 4 Jan 2007
End day: 4 Jan 2007

CCIE R&S Written
Start day: 10 Jan 2007
  • 350-001 (CCIE R&S): 7 Feb 2007
End day: 7 Feb 2007

Most of the CCNA/CCNP topics were very well known to me, because in my work i'm responsible for ~200 switches, ~100 routers (dial/isdn & bras), multicast, aaa/radius/tacacs and most of the new services implementations.

BCMSN & BCRAN were the easiest. BCSI was the hardest one, because i had to dig deeper into IS-IS, EIGRP & BGP. CCIE written was a sum of all the CCNPs plus some extras which weren't too difficult.

A lot of work during the next months makes me abandon the idea of a lab around June.
Before the end of summer 2007 i'm starting to look for an available CCIE lab date during November.
As soon as i book it, new projects come into play in my work, so the lab date gets rescheduled for Jan 2008 (hoping that this time it will be final).

During September i inform my employer about my decision and that i'm going to give priority to it. It went well ;)
Immediately afterwards i order some books about CCIE practice labs (i already had bought a few about the written test), i find some sample scenarios on IE's site (great info there) and i start to prepare my personal lab.

On Oct 19th i'm ready to start playing with my virtual lab (thanks to the dynamips author). The journey had begun...

Start day: 19 Oct 2007
  • Lab: ?
End day: ?

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.