One question anyone who is pursuing the CCIE Certification will always ask is, “Are CCIE Bootcamps worth it?”
The short answer to this is yes but there are a lot of other things to be taken into consideration when supporting this answer.
Firstly for any readers who are not sure what a CCIE Bootcamp is, it is basically you and up to 30 other CCIE candidates in a room with a CCIE Instructor from one of the main vendors. I am not going to get into a who is best bootcamp discussion as I have only attended one and that was run by INE.
This discussion focusses on the question are ccie bootcamps worth it? I said YES and my reasons are below.
- Firstly you are away from home most likely booked into a hotel for 2 weeks with nothing else to do but study CCIE
- You will be getting high level instruction for up to 10 hours a day, sometimes more
- You get to meet up with other candidates who are doing the same as you, some will become good friends.
- Once the bootcamp is finished you will have been through the blueprint end to end, you will have learnt so much new stuff that you never even knew you didn’t know and you will have a group of contacts all focussed on taking the ccie lab in the next 6 months
Why are CCIE Bootcamps not worth it?
For all the positives of the CCIE Bootcamp there is always the other side of the argument. So here are the reasons why a CCIE bootcamp might not be worth it, you can then make your own decisions.
- They are expensive - most bootcamps cost between $3000-6000
- You have to take 2 weeks off work
- You have to pay for 2 weeks in a hotel
- You have to deal with all the home life and any arrangements you need to make
- You have to ask yourself would you learn any more or study any more if you locked yourself in your study for 2 weeks?
For the lucky ones all the financial elements and the 2 weeks off work can be taken care of by your employer so you only have to worry about the home life.
As for the 2 weeks locked in your study and if you would learn any more, this is a very good argument but realistically would you study 10-12 hours a day for 2 weeks?
Personally I still say yes, I was lucky enough to get my employer to fund mine and give me 2 weeks off work, but after going through the bootcamp experience I would highly recommend it, I met some great guys and it really puts you in the zone and shows you were you need to be to become a CCIE. The only problem is you have to come back to the real world and continue your study. Ideally you should take a bootcamp twice, once at the start of your preparations to show you where you need to be and once more at the very end of your preparations about 2 months out just to really hone your skills.
Most vendors will offer you a free re-sit on another boot camp if there are places, but you have to be careful with dates as some are only run once or twice and most are only run in the US and the UK
After using their materials for over 6 months now I decided it was time to attend a CCIE Bootcamp – Run by www.ine.com the course takes the form of a 6 or 12 day experience.
I have booked onto the 12 day course which is actually 2 x 6 day courses. The first 6 days are technology based with some focussed lectures and then focussed labs.
So far we have done Layer 2, Internal routing, external routing, multicast, IPv6. tmw is IP services and QOS and then Saturday is MPLS.
Week 2 is mock lab time with 6 x full labs which are timed and marked with a review at then end of each day on the lab in question.
The ccie bootcamp was held in the Devere Hotel in Newport Pagnell and the days run from 9am until everyone is ready to leave – so far the days have been finishing around 8-9pm. With some of the guys staying later to finish a particular topic. Our instructor is Marvin Greenlee a triple CCIE who is on hand all day to answer any questions to which he does admirably.
The major benefit to this ccie bootcamp is staying in the hotel and being away from the distractions of work / travel / home life and being able to focus 100% on study.
There are 8 candidates on my course all of whom are in their late stages of preparation for the lab and most hoping to sit the lab within the next 4-8 months.
I will post more after a few more days have passed as IPV6 has fried my brain tonight.
CCIE Bootcamp Cost
The cost for a ccie bootcamp is not cheap, for 2 weeks of training it was $5000 add into this 2 weeks in a hotel and the cost of being of work for 2 weeks and it dows mount up. The ideal way is to get your employer to pay for it, which for the candidates that were there they did. There were however 2 guys who had funded it themselves which as dedication! It certainly focuses your mind.
They are long days but worth it.
Luckily there is unlimited coffee and coke to keep us going!
8 days to go!
I also re-sat the INE bootcamp in London, this time run by Brian Dennis - read my INE Bootcamp Review here.
I have great admiration for anyone who self-funds a ccie bootcamp as this shows great dedication and self sacrifice.
We all know the path to the CCIE Certification is a long one and I admire anyone who takes it on.
Good luck to all fellow CCIE Candidates.