Friday, August 31, 2007

Triple CCIE, History in the Making

This journey took place between August 13 2001 to August 13 2007.

First CCIE track:
Routing & Switching
Number of attempts: 2 (two)
CCIE Lab location(s):
Brussels, August 13 2001 and Tokyo, September 13 2001
CCIE Lab format: 2-day exam (both)
Sponsored by: company (IBM, both)
Written Exam: January 26 2001
Total number of practice lab hours: 900+
Primary CCIE Workbook: CCbootcamp
Classroom training taken:
Cisco ICND (2000), in the very beginning of the journey
Short story:
Went to Brussels for the first time after about 6 months preparation, failed in Troubleshooting section (second day last part), couldn’t sleep after failure, went to Tokyo exactly 1 month after the first attempt, passed the lab with still 1 hour time left
Moments to remember:
- Sleep in the office for 9 months
- Start practice lab with only 2 routers and lots of loopback interfaces
- Must “borrow” routers from customer premises to build the lab
- First time flying to Europe, first Schengen Visa
- First time flying with Business Class
- Able to take 2nd attempt even the company policy was flying freeze
- Japanese proctor with little English to communicate
- Japanese Keyboard, Japanese Windows
- Get the CCIE number in yellow color post-it paper
- Want to drink Sake after passing, but get lost in the middle of Tokyo, eventually end up in McDonald
Inspiring quote: “There is no spoon” (The Matrix)

Second CCIE track: Security
Number of attempts: 2 (two)
CCIE Lab location(s):
Brussels, December 8 2005 and Brussels, January 25 2006
CCIE Lab format: 1-day exam (both)
Sponsored by: self funding (both)
Written Exam: June 23 2005
Total number of practice lab hours: 600+
Primary CCIE Workbook: Trinetnt (now part of CCbootcamp)
Classroom training taken: none
Short story:
Tried to impress Cisco by taking the lab, had many years experience in security but actually wanted to learn more into SP technology, went to Brussels after about 4 months preparation, failed with already above 70% score, couldn’t believe it and got into denial state, went back to Brussels about 6 weeks later, passed the lab this time
Moments to remember:
- Spend countless hours in Ebay to buy personal equipments
- Going back and forth UAE post office to fight for the equipments
- Self funded, so working hard to track expenditure and lab hour
- Again, must “borrow” some equipments from customer premises :)
- Pass Cisco CCIP in the middle of CCIE Security preparation
- Get 9 days off due to the sad demise of UAE sheikh
- The most balanced life between family time and CCIE preparation
- First snowfall in life during second lab attempt
- Lunch in Chinese Restaurant next to Brussels Grand Place after passing. Proper food after eating only ramen noodles for few days.
Inspiring quote: “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you” (Batman Begins)

Third CCIE track: Service Provider
Number of attempts: 1 (one)
CCIE Lab location(s): Brussels, August 13 2007
CCIE Lab format: 1-day exam
Sponsored by: company (Cisco)
Written Exam: February 27 2006 (Metro Ethernet)
Total number of practice lab hours: 240+
Primary CCIE workbook: Internetwork Expert
Classroom training taken: none
Short story:
The track that I have been dying to complete for years, only with about 2 months extensive preparation, relied completely to Internetwork Expert for video on demand and workbook, the toughest CCIE preparation with very less spare time from projects and travels, slept maximum 2 to 3 hours every day in the last few weeks before the lab, passed the lab in first attempt
Moments to remember:
- The toughest CCIE track from the availability of time to study
- The most fun at the same time since I really love the topics
- No personal expense at all from lab fee, trip, workbook, lab
- Sleep 2 to 3 hours maximum everyday anywhere I can: in the taxi, during the flight
- Flying 16 hours to Brussels, 21 hours to go back to Singapore
- Spend whole time in Cisco office to study from 2 days before the lab
- Spend lots of time trying to find soft drinks, fruits, chocolates and any food available during the study in that weekend in Cisco office
- Great feeling when the unicast and multicast traffic really work across different AS in the my lab day around 2 pm
- Stay until 2 am in Cisco office waiting for the result
- The feeling when I really pass it in first attempt
Inspiring quote: No specific quotes from 300 movie, but the movie itself is really inspiring. If you insist for the quote, it might be “No sacrifice, no victory” (Transformers)

First CCIE, is for my family and to send the message to the world that even a mere mortal like me can pass the lab.
Second CCIE, is to impress Cisco so I can join Advanced Services (well, I guess I did impress them since I’m in Cisco AS now).
Third CCIE, is for myself.

Triple CCIE gets inspired at all time by the music from Linkin Park


Anonymous said...

neh! I got the first one and obviously it did not impress Cisco! Now into SP and will see if that works! ;-) Whether Cisco likes or not, I need to get the 5 sets for me, I and myself! :)

The point where you had to fight the post to get your equipment in Dubai made me laugh loud! :) Don't you miss Dubai man?! You should go to Mustafa Center get the same breeeeeeeeeeze! :) I hope you know where it is by now! ;-)

Anonymous said...

well, reading your post so far, from start to here, I thought I have leave some comments. deeply respect you. and now you stands as success model in my next few years.

ccie-dreamers said...

hey i liked it very much ,how did you manage time between family and prep ?
all the best and gud luck ..

saud khan

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Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

ms said...

Oh, great job man, what next, i know cisco will not hire for single ccie these days.

Meru said...

wow. mantap!

gw lagi mo ambil CCNP btw. pas lagi iseng2 buka2 kaskus di forum cisco, ada yg ngasii link ke blog loe.

very inspiring indeed =)

MyFirst said...

Well man,

very inspiring blog.

Found yours after i had lost my self's direction in career.

Now, time to wake up and spend the time wisely to achieve the top.


Mukesh Kumar said...

excellent knowledged share information....a very inspiring blog..thanks:-)

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SeoXovac said...

Good post.. and yes cracking CCIE is not a child's play.. it requires lots of dedication and determination!! Keep up the good work..