Well the post that I have been dreaming of writing since the start of this blog is actually being written.
I passed the CCIE Lab Exam in Routing and Switching v5 in Brussels last week and am now CCIE #50038
It has been a journey and as readers of this blog will know it is not my first or second attempt, but I have got there in the end.
My journey started many years ago and has spanned two versions of the lab exam with my first attempt in April 2013
Previous to my first attempt I had used INE materials and attended two bootcamps.
My second attempt was at the mobile lab in London and due to many factors apart from being not on top of troubleshooting again and running out of time was a really bad nights sleep. Do not underestimate this - it can really ruin your day.
I then made one more attempt at V4 and managed to get a very rare seat days before the version change hoping to nail it but again this time I had L2 issues and then ran out of time in the config with no time to verify.
So I then moved onto version 5 - I was not going to jump straight in as I had some new technologies to learn, mainly DMVPN.
I also had to really work on my config strategy which I had spent a lot of time on, the main strategy to this is to not do the configuration in the order of questions presented to you, spend some time at the beginning of the lab going through all the questions and grouping together some common configuration tasks relating to groups of devices. This is a much more efficient way of approaching the configuration section and by putting all your config in notepad first before pasting into the devices you can visually check it for minor errors.
Using this approach gave me the time I needed in my passing attempt to verify everything and you would be surprised how many small errors and missed config you pick up, I would say that on my verification run I probably picked up about 8 points which is the difference between passing and failing.
So finally in August 2015 I passed the lab exam and am now looking forward to my next challenge.
I will continue with the blog but the topics will be more varied now and not purely focussed on CCIE related material.