Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CCIE Lab - Back To Business

My post to finish out my CCIE journey is here.

Alright -- I passed the CCIE route/switch written. Which is awesome. There is a great deal of information and concepts in that test, and all the tests and study that've brought me to this point. I'm proud of myself and my accomplishment. My total is around 1600 hours of study thus far.

Damn right I'm proud

But that's behind me. I've taken two weeks off, and now it's time to start getting ready to face the dragon. The CCIE route/switch lab is a heck of a test. 8 hour long practical in a distant state, with many different rules and requirements that cost points and can fail an exam.

The failure rate on the first attempt is 90-95%
The failure rate for any attempt is around 80%

I've been using video on demand through CBTNuggets, and I've bought several books that cover the certification. Every single one says to expect to fail. The odds are so harsh, and it's so hurtful to a tester's confidence to expect to succeed and then fail, they all say that the first try is a 'practice' attempt.

A $1600 practice attempt!

I don't intend to take this test twice, but I'm not going to let that eat at me. The goal is to get the certification. If I have to test twice, 3x, 4x, I'm going to get it. But my wallet and my lovely wife would be thankful if, on this first attempt, I'd fall into that exceedingly qualified 5-10% that pass on the first try.

So it's back to studying. My studying schedule for around the past 18 months has been unchanged:
* M-F - study over my lunch hour, then 7-9:30 after work
* Saturday: Study 9-3, date night with Lindsey
* Sunday: 9-3, house chores, groceries, cooking

A part-time job would consume less time

It's almost 30 hours each week if I stick to my schedule. I invariably skimp on a single night, or take some extra time off to spend time with friends, but it's close.

The goal is still to get the CCIE number by Thanksgiving of this year. It's an aggressive, challenging goal. If I make it, I'll be around CCIE #50,000 in the world.

Wish me luck!