11 Chapters of personal experience to help you pass the CCIE Lab Exam
Get the answers to all the questions you wanted to know, but didn’t know who to ask.
Discover my CCIE Study Plan and how to save yourself time, money and heartache.
The CCIE Blueprint is not a technical guide, you will not learn anything about OSPF in here.
It is a guide which will take you through my CCIE journey covering the failures and setbacks to the final destination, your CCIE Digits.
Most study guides are just technical, teaching you about OSPF areas or BGP neighbors, there is very little material available that actually walks you through the real life struggles of someone preparing for and passing the CCIE Lab Exam
The great thing about the CCIE Blueprint is..
It gives you a clear idea of what is required to pass the CCIE lab exam. It dispels myths and it provides sound advice, for example on how to fund the endeavor.
I think that the biggest contribution it makes is to save you time and money, by showing you which pitfalls to avoid. You now know that you need to focus your studies and don’t need to read every page of every text book for example.
The personal viewpoint, and details on when to book your exams, is very helpful.
Roger’s book hits the spot for two reasons…
Firstly, because it is really helpful to see someone elses journey to the certification. Small details just like daily routine, type of gear used during the preparation, balance between preparation and family and etc. All of them were to me simply precious. From this information I have a much better idea on how much effort becoming a CCIE demands. When we are just used to the exams (CCNA; CCNP and so), it is indeed a big help!
Secondly, Roger is not a super hero, but a person just like you and me. That leads me to think that I am also capable of achieving it!
Karl Rogers Muller
Network Engineer at Nexinto GmbH
An honest, well written real life experience…
Preparing and going through the CCIE lab exam is a long process.
Through his struggles Roger tries and succeeds to tell, warn and advise on every aspect of his preparation.
He brings the tough reality in front of you, and for that this book will definitely benefit everyone on the same path.
Sr. Network Engineer – Morgan Stanley – New York City
What you get in my CCIE Study Plan
Chapter 1 - My Journey
From start to finish read about when I decided to become a CCIE and all through my failed attempts. How long did it take? Would I do it differently if I did it again?
The money, the time, the family issues and finally, the digits.
Chapter 2 - When to book the Lab / Written exam
One of the biggest questions is when to book the Lab and also when to book the written. I talk over the options and advise on the best timings for this. The main one is don't book the written exam too soon!
Chapter 3 - Study Resources
What materials are available to you, how much do they cost and is it worth spending the money
Chapter 4 - CCIE Bootcamps – Are they worth it?
I attended three bootcamps, read about my experiences and if I think attending a CCIE Bootcamp is a worthwhile investment
Chapter 5 - How to fund your CCIE journeyThis is one of the biggest hurdles to most people embarking on their CCIE journey. "Who is going to pay for it?" If you are lucky you will get your employer to pay for it, if not and you have to fund it yourself, you need to make 100% sure you are ready for the exam. I have experienced both employer funded and self funded, which you will read about in the book.
Chapter 6 - When to Study, Where to Study, What to StudyThis is personal to everyone but there are some key experiences that I discovered on this journey that most people overlook, "you can't study on the kitchen table!" Learn about where I studied and how you have to separate yourself from life if you are going to succeed.
Chapter 7 - How to build speedWhen all the technology has been learnt, the CCIE Lab Exam comes down to one thing - how fast can you get the config onto the devices. This is the key point which not many people explain. You need to be giving yourself enough time to go back and troubleshoot and verify and the only way you are going to get that time is to finish the configuration section as quickly as you can. I explain a few key concepts that not many people do. This one technique probably saved me over an hour in configuration time!
Chapter 8 - You are not there to make friends!This is self explanatory, but you are not there to make friends, chat with people after the lab. Before the lab and during lunch you need to be focussed. It's not being rude it is focussing on the job in hand.
Chapter 9 - Screen ManagementWhen I took the CCIE Lab exam I only had one screen, nowadays you have 2 screens so this chapter is not as essential to your success but even so, you need to learn some good screen management techniques.
Chapter 10 - The CCIE is designed to make you failThis might sound harsh, but the CCIE Lab Exam is designed to trip you up along the way, you need to be able to spot those questions and make sure you configure it correctly.
Chapter 11 - CCIE or Python?
It is true that the CCIE does not hold the status it did 10 years ago, but it is still a very coveted certification and looked on very highly by employers. However in the new world of Network Automation this chapter discusses the benefits of devoting years to studying for the CCIE over learning something like Python.
How do I get the book?
The book is delivered instantly to your inbox following purchase and is around 10,000 words. Each chapter contains helpful and to the point information that will help you become a CCIE
This is just a book of all the answers to all the questions I was asked after passing and during my preparations for the CCIE. It does not break any rules or reveal any questions it is simply my personal experiences shared.
If after reading the book you might decide that the CCIE is not for you, and that is fine. It's a long and expensive journey which you need to be sure you want to undertake.
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Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to study for CCIE?
This all depends on how much time you have available to you. My personal journey took me 5 years from start to finish, some of that time I was studying 40 hours a week and others it was nothing at all. It also depends on your current skills. Most people on average will allocate at least a year or 18 months to this exam, and if you are focussed and dedicated I would say you could do it in a year. But the key to passing the CCIE Lab Exam is that it is a journey and you study at your own pace and when you feel ready - take the exam.
Is it hard to get CCIE?
This all depends on your definition of hard. The CCIE is considered to be the hardest certification to pass in the IT industry. It consists of an 8 hour lab exam and takes many people years of study. However if you are dedicated and it is something you really want to achieve then go for it, if you learn and understand the material the exam will not be hard, but remember it is very time critical so it's more about efficient configuration.
How many CCIE are there in the world?
This number does vary and the figures are not published that often but there are roughly about 60,000 CCIE's in the world