This blog has now seen 200k views since I started it. It started out slow but after a year
or so it gained some pace. The blog started out describing my journey to the CCIE which I
accomplished 6 months ago.
In the future I will try to blog more about datacenter technologies like CSR and Nexus1kv.
If you have something you want covered post in comments and I’ll have a look at it. Thanks
I’m sorry for the lack of updates lately. I have been very focused
on finishing as much as possible at work as I’m going on a long leave
to take care of my kids.
Lately I’ve been dealing with some SP technologies and I find it really
interesting so in 2013 expect posts on things like MVPN, ISIS, MPLS TE
and things like that.
I wish everyone a merry christmas and a happy new year!
So I’m enjoying the time at home with my family. It’s great not having to spend
all the evenings studying.
That said I can’t just slack off and do nothing. I still want to learn. I have
a commute to work and I’ll spend that time studying for CCDP.
Why CCDP? I’m already a CCDA and my work involves doing designs so it won’t
hurt to go deeper in that direction. From what I’ve seen so far the CCDP seems
far more interesting than the CCDA.
I’ll try to write about things I pick up from the book. I don’t always agree 100%
with the book and in those cases I might write about it here and argue why I
don’t agree with the book.
Hope you guy guys are sticking around for my next journey
I’m interested to hear from you what you want to see from this blog in the future. As I have passed the CCIE lab it won’t be only CCIE related things. Would you like to see some troubleshooting labs? Technical articles? Posts on other certifications that I pursue? I’m probably doing the CCDP in the future but I don’t expect that to generate a lot of posts. Looking forward to hear from you.
So by now you know that I passed my lab in Brussels yesterday. Here is my story.
I arrived at monday in Brussels around 13.30. I took a walk in the beautiful
weather to the lab location. By now I have no problems finding it but it’s
just kind of a routine. I spent the day doing some final reviews and then
visited the gym at NH hotel. It’s good to clear your head and to get sleep
in the evening if your body is tired. I did not sleep that great however.
I woke up at around 03.30 and then I went back to sleep and woke up at 5 AM
again. I got around 7h sleep so it wasn’t too bad anyway. It’s normal if
you don’t sleep that well. Don’t make too much of a deal of it.
I arrived just before 8 AM to the Cisco building and checked in at the reception
as usual. I was waiting for the proctor to come get us. The proctor goes through
the guidelines for the exam and you get assigned a rack number. It was now time
for the TS section.
I put my earplugs in and went to work. I think it is good to use earplugs for
zoning out from the environment around you. I always start by trying to solve tickets
that look easier. These are usually the ones that contain only a few devices.
The reasoning behind this is to build your confidence and to get the feeling
that time is not running out on you. For TS especially time management is
everything. As engineers we have a narrow mindset when troubleshooting and
we want to solve something before moving on. This can be your pitfall in the
TS. You MUST move on after spending 10 minutes on a ticket. Usually if you
think about something else for a while your mind starts thinking more
creatively and you can find a solution to what seemed impossible earlier.
For the TS it is very important to have a good understanding of the protocols.
You are expected to know what show output looks like so that you can gather
information from that. You need to user proper tools and don’t go hunting
with sh run. Sh run interface and sh run | section are useful though. I solved
all the tickets with about 50 min to go and then spent 15 minutes verifying
that they were still all working. Pay close attention to the restrictions
and don’t skip reading the guidelines in the beginning to save time!
It was now time for the configuration. I ate a banana to refuel some energy.
You are allowed to bring snacks to your desk if you like. I started looking
through the entire lab for dependencies and to see if any devices would need
to be reloaded. Always do this at the beginning! I started with the L2 section
and things were moving on smoothly. I used the L3 diagram to see what VLANs
I needed to configure where. You need to be comfortable with this, don’t expect
to have anything served, it’s all up to you! I did a lot more verification as
I moved along compared to my earlier attempts, don’t blindly trust your config!
I then moved on to the L3 section and that went well. I just finished the L3
section before lunch.
Previously I had only done the L2 before lunch so I knew
I was in a much better position this time. I kept doing all of the tasks
and didn’t run into any major issues. I finished with a lot of time to spare
and now comes the most important part, verification! You need some time at
the end to do extra verification, account for this! You WILL do some mistakes
just due to stress or mistyping. I went through every task and every single
bullet point and made 100% sure that I was meeting the requirement. This took
a while but it was worth it. I still had an hour to go after this so I asked
the proctor if it was possible to start the grading early but he told me that
the grading is not done by them. I decided to stay the full time and did
an extra round of verification. I actually found a small mistake in this round
of verification so my advice is to stick around even if you finish early to
make sure you have done everything that you possibly can.
It was time to head home and I had a good feeling but I did not want to think
too much about it because if you get too high then you come crashing down hard
if you fail. After I landed in Gothenburg I checked my phone and saw that I had
received an e-mail. I rushed through the air port to check my mail on the computer
and to login to the portal. To access the CCIE portal you need your CSCO number, written
date and passing score. I did not know this for my first attempt and you don’t want
to be stranded not being able to login to check your score
I had received the e-mail around 19.30 and I had a good feeling that I got the score
fast but I have heard both good and bad examples of receiving a fast score. I logged
in and I saw PASS. At first I thought it might be the written so I didn’t want to
take anything for granted but then I clicked it and there it was! My number!
You all know I’ve worked hard for a long time for this and I am grateful to everyone
that has helped me on the way. I am not abandoning the blog but it might not only
be CCIE focused from now. If you have things you want me to write about make a suggestion
and if it is interesting to me I might write about it. As I don’t have to focus on
studies only now I can explore more interesting technologies and write about them.
Thanks for following on this great journey!
I’m back from Brussels and I passed the lab! I am now CCIE #37149. I’ll write a longer post tomorrow
On sunday I’m leaving for London. I’m attending INEs 10 day bootcamp. Hopefully this will be the next step in my studies. I hope to learn a lot and to meet a few new buddies as well. I’m going to meet up with Darren in the weekend so he can show me a bit of London.
If I learn anything cool I’ll try to keep you posted The class is taught by Brian Dennis.
This site just hit 100 000 visitors! I have been blogging for roughly 2 years now and I never expected the site to grow to the size that it has today. Unfortunately I don’t have the CCIE yet but I am working on that I want to thank everyone for visiting and I hope in the future we can create great things together. I have some interesting plans for the future but that will have to wait until I pass the lab
Just home to pack some things. Yesterday at 14.31 me and my fiancee got a beautiful baby girl weighing 3720 grams and 50 cm long. I’ll be back in a couple of days.
So by now I have been to the lab twice and I have a lot of experience. Unfortunately I didn’t pass yet even though I felt I had enough technology to be able to pass. This will learn you some things.
- CCIE is not only about technology. It is also about strategy and even a bit of luck.
- You have to master the TS. Without it the config means nothing.
- Try using the proctor but don’t count on him knowing anything or giving you any information.
- Verification is everything!
So I haven’t studied very much since I got back home but I’m going to resume soon. For the next time I’m going to try to live a more normal life and I have resumed training at the gym something I could not find time for before. I am going to do a few sessions per week which will be high quality studying and I will be mostly focusing on Vol3 labs and TS.
I feel I have a good grasp of the TS but you can never take anything for granted. From my last attempt I felt I knew pretty much all topics but I still couldn’t pass and that is partly due to speed. Blasting away at Vol3 should take care of that. The second thing I need to to work at is verification. I know how to configure most features and I know how it should be configured so lets say I put in all the right commands, everything is fine? Wrong, unless you verify it you are not sure it is behaving as expected. I could have gained a lot of more points if I verified more, this will be crucial for my next attempt.
So for now I’m going to take care of the family as we are expecting another family member soon. After that I’m going to start studying again and if everything goes well I’ll do another attempt in the fall or winter. There is no need to rush anything now.
I know I have a good base to stand on so now I only need to improve in some areas and I should be able to give this thing a match.