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Passed the CCIE R&S Lab on 24th Nov 2006 in Bangalore posted 11/27/2006
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Hello Friends,

This is Rakesh G Bharadwaj from Bangalore(India).
On 24th Nov
2006 I took my first lab attempt in Bangalore &
got my number. The CCIE number
is 17242.
Its been hard to believe that I have made this in my first attempt,
but it surely feels good after all the hard work.


About my preparation:

I
had to quit my job to pursue the certification.
This cert had been a dream for
me for quite some years.
I was preparing even before I quit my job, but this
was
not going in full swing.
I realised that I needed complete dedication &
time to complete this certification.
But my employers were enable to process
my leave request due to some 
internal problems & I had to make a decision.
After I quit, it took nearly four months of hard core preparation to take my
first lab attempt in Bangalore/India.
My only agenda for this four months &
before was to stick to the my task, think, dream about the cert & how to
achieve the same ASAP.
I would come out with new plans & ideas as I progressed
....

I mainly used three work books to prepare [IE, IP Experts & NMC].
But my
personal preference & my core was Internetwork Experts.
The other work books
IP Experts & NMC were good too, they have got their own difficulties &
challenges.
I used them as additional resources & tried to extract
info/knowledge as much as possible.
Thanks to Scott Morris & Andrew Bruce
Caslow, you both have done a good job too.

Mr.Brian Dennis & Mr.Brian McGahan
have done a wonderful job from my point of view. Please keep the excellent
work going.
Your knowledge has been & would be the lifeline of many students
like me. I would like to thank you personally & hope to meet you folks 
at
least once in my life to seek your blessings.
You both are undoubtedly my
GURU's.

I have done this only by self studying & have not attended any 
work
shops, classes, others ....
So guys who are preparing can do it too & take my
case as 
a bench mark. If I can do it, why not others.

I had good friends
like Oletu, Kumar Guru, Seetharaman, Others .....

Oletu also known as
"Godswill Oletu "has always been encouraging me from the initial days & he
also let me use his home rack 
which was very much vital for my preparation.
It has been my pleasure to have him as my good friend for now 
& for the rest
of my life.
Oletu, I really dont know how to "THANK U".
Without you this
certification might have remained as a dream to me.
Thanks a ton, men.

Kumar
Guru, Seetharaman, & others - Thank you very much for your
support & help.
                                    You guys have been great.
About the exam:

In Bangalore we had the older version of the exam.
They had
not introduced the two 3560 switches & other changes ....
The exam on the
whole was not too tough, but I wasted lot 
of time initially.
This was more
than an hour, since this was my first attempt.
Later we got an extra time, due
to some problem in the 
backbone devices.
This was a major turning point,
since additional time 
is of great valuable in the exam.

During & after the
exam I realised that Cisco is testing the candidates
only on hard core basics,
basic troubleshooting & some twists/tweaks.
I personally feel that this is the
right way to do, since giving only
high funda tasks does NO Good if the
candidate has got gaps in 
their basic knowledge.
If a person has a sound
knowledge on the basics, he/she can build a skyscraper with not much of
difficulty. This has been my golden rule 
& I always stick to the basics.
Cisco has been doing a wonderful job by testing heavily on the basics.
Hence
their is no doubt that CCIE's are valued so much
in the industry/market.

Good
job Cisco & team, keep it up.

We were really lucky to get the older version,
extra time, a 
very good proctor & others ....
This was really a blessing in
disguise & I am really thankful 
to the Almighty.


About the proctor:

We had
Mr.Maurilio Gorito as our proctor from Brussels.
Since this was my first
attempt, I had never had any experience 
with the proctors & indeed this was
my best experience.
Mr.Maurilio Gorito is a very very nice person.
He is very
kind, co-operative, friendly, ..... .
This was his first chance to proctor in
Bangalore & I felt that all the candidates were blessed to have him as our
proctor.
He is really a nice person & we should all wish that people like him
come as our proctors.
This I am saying not because I got through my lab, but
because of a very good attitude & kind hearted person Mr.Maurilio Gorito is.
I
donot have enough words to praise this gentlemen.
If he ever gets a chance to
see this Email, I would like to 
say a big thanks to him & would request him
to conduct more labs 
& be a full time proctor in Bangalore.
I personally feel
that having a good proctor is one of the key 
to pass the lab & Mr.Maurilio
Gorito is surely one among them.
Cisco should also make a note of this point.
Mr.Maurilio Gorito - Sir, I would like to thank you once more.
[If anyone has
his Email id/contact, please pass it on to him.]


About Group Study People:
I have been a passive member of this group.
Have been through most of Email
chains for the past few months, 
this has indeed been a great learning
resource.
Many people have shared their experience after the lab
even if they
donot make it. This is some thing nice & a great help to 
other candidates who
are preparing.
The people in this group are always willing to help & go the
extra mile. This is one of the greats things which I have observed & the
knowledge which you guys hold is truely awesome.
I wonder where do you acquire
this from.
But anyways its really great to have you folks.

I would like to
personally thank one & all in the group.

I would like to wish "GOOD LUCK" for
all the people who have yet to get their numbers. You guys can do it & its
very much possible.


Key to success:

1. Please be a master in your basic
knowledge & basic troubleshooting  
  (Know how things work & fit in).
2. The
core portion of the lab must be a piece of cake to you & the 
  rest will fall
in line.
3. Know the Doc CD in & out.
4. Acquire knowledge as much as possible
(Knowledge is priceless).
5. Dont try do LAB every thing & from different work
books, rather 
  understand what is the requirement & you should know on the
top of 
  your head how to solve the same.
6. I was slow in typing, hence when
I started my preparation I had  
  been to a computer typing course to improve
my speed & this has    
  come really handy.
7. You should have Patience,
determination, confidence, good planning, 
  focus, ... to complete this
course.
  This is because at times its very frustation when you are preparing
& this is my personal experience.
8. One of the key challenges in the lab is
the level of stress & 
  strain you are able to bear. Its really a mind game
as people have 
  said earlier. So try to go with an open mind & remain calm
as much 
  as possible.
9. Be humble & kind. You will get the same kind of
response from 
  others.
10. Make wise decisions when needed.
    For example
- If you have got stuck in a problem for some time, 
                  then
you should think whether this will affect you  
                  core routing
or not. If it does affect
                  then you should attend to it
immediately if not 
                  make a note of it & have a look at it
once you are 
                  through with the others. This will save
valuable 
                  time.
11. Having good friends who will lead you in
the right direction is 
    very important.
    Oletu stands on top in the
list.
12. Luck is another major factor, but hardwork & effort is needed.
Luck alone will not be sufficient.
13. Getting a good proctor is another
14.
Most of the points which I have mentioned have already been told 
    by
others in GS.
    Kindly go through this as an refresher & please donot mind.
15. Blessings of Almighty & Elders are very much needed.


What Next:

I will
have to start looking for a job & this is required for making 
a living (just
kidding).
If you guys come across any suitable opening kindly let me know 
& I
am willing to relocate.
I have around seven years of decent experience.
You
can also reach me at rakesh_g_b@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
It would be really kind of you
folks.


Thanks Again:

I would like to thank one & all for being part of my
journey to success.
Their is still a ton of things to achieve in life.
Achieving CCIE R&S is not the end of the journey to success, 
its just the
beginning. So lets move on.

I would like to thank my Grand Mother, Parents,
Brother, Relatives, Friends & Others ... who have always stood with me.

My
special thanks to my Grand Mother, without her I wouldn't have come this far.
She was the person who infact motivated me when I failed my first MCSE exam in
1999 & told me that I should always learn from my failures & move on. She gave
me money for my next attempt & from then on I have been flying.
I would like
to dedicate this CCIE R&S Certification to her.

Have a great day & the coming
years ahead.
Take care, bye.


Regards,
Rakesh G Bharadwaj
[CCIE R&S - 17242]