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RE: 22023 R&S posted 09/23/2008
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Grats! Nicely done!

John Lewis

-----Original Message-----
From: nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 12:25 PM
To: Cisco certification
Subject: 22023 R&S

Hi Guys,

Well I've been dreaming of writing this email for quite a while and now

I started going for the written in August 2006. Passed that okay and
that I'd move on to what I thought would be the easy part as I'm a hands
kind of guy.....hhhmmmm, started okay but there were a few bumps on the

I used the IE labs and thought okay, great I'm ready. Went for my first
attempt on September 2007. The exam had a kind of IE feel to it and I
pretty well, although no cigar. I wasn't quick enough and I didn't get
enough sleep the night before so my concentration suffered.

Thought okay, good first attempt, get back in there quick. Oh boy what a
shock, very different exam and at the time I thought mind blowing. I
took a
big kick in the balls on that one and it took me a good two months
before I
could pick up the books.

Although the IE stuff was good, I realised that it wasn't the oracle and
bought Narbiks work books, lots of stuff I'd covered but also lots of
things too. At the end of the day you need all the ammo you can get and
picked up some new info.

Went in the 3rd time, well prepared, learnt loads extra, got my speed up
even more but on the day had real butter fingers. Got stuck on a real
multicast problem right at the beginning of the section which I wasted
much time on. My brain started to suffer and I made some silly mistakes,
plus at the time I was smoking which meant the my concentration was
suffering through lack of nicotine.
Score report compared to my mental calculations of the day meant that I
about 6-8 points short

Okay, I'm gonna nail this thing if it's the last thing I do. I must
admit I
only found group study just before my second attempt. I read the stuff
never really went majorly deep into all the posts as I was too busy
to learn stuff from my labs. For the forth attempt I read everything and
labbed everything I thought was of interest. I got my speed up and went
using alias exec commands. Guys, I can't stress enough how much time you
save using alias', plus you don't make silly typos like cofn t instead
conf t etc...
Just remember to remove them at the end of the day.

Quit smoking, you just can't smoke like I used to and sit in a room all
I had to get the nicotine out of my system.

Had a good exam, not easy by any stretch but yet perversely
on you your worst...I eat these kinds of labs for breakfast.
tricky questions, but yet I kept a cool head and made sure I confirmed
checked stuff. That's where I realised my previous mistakes. I'd entered
commands thought they were good and moved on. Only when I'd got my speed
did I have time to check and realise I'd made a couple of really dumb
mistakes which would have cost me the lab.
Got back home, didn't sleep much, kept checking every hour, at 06:50 I
up my wife and the whole apartment block with my cries of joy.

Since quitting being an Electrician many years ago, I starting off in IT
operations doing back ups and batch runs, learning how to use things
email (hey, trust me, when you are used to working on cold building
with drills and god knows what whilst trying not to electrocute yourself
email is a pretty cool thing to suddenly discover :)  )
Anyways, I worked nights, weekends for a few years learning about the IT
industry and a couple of very cool guys in Networks let me sit with them
my days off and I started to learn networks. After a while although
thought I worked in the networks team I spent so much time there I got a
in the networks department.

Studied for CCNA then CCNP and with experience thought of myself as a
okay engineer. But I always looked at CCIE's and thought, those guys are
daddies. Although I always fancied going for CCIE I'm more of a learn by
experience kind of guy and not much of a reader. Anyways, a few years
by and I moved to a new county with my wife. I was enjoying myself but I
up against testking CCNP's and these guys would work for silly crap
money. I
came from working for an investment bank earning good money and then
out on jobs in my adopted country because the unemployment is high and
were low....this is no good thinks I, I need to earn some proper money.
company contacted me, asked me to join them and offered me the chance to
for CCIE, I warned the wife and jumped at the chance. Finally, to get to
top of my industry and move to the bracket were only the worthy get the
title. This is no digs at CCNP's ( I was one long enough) , just a dig
the cheating ones.

Since starting to study, I've got married to a truly amazing woman who I
couldn't have done it without, bought an apartment and had to say good
to my Dad who passed away after a long illness last August.

The poor old Fella never knew I'd started out on the CCIE path but I
that he would have been proud of my achievement and I dedicate it all to
Dad and Wife.

Tips for you guys.
Don't rely on one work book, get as many views as you can.
Play with things, make things up, break things and fix them using all
non obvious methods. You may be a good engineer but CCIE lab will have
questions to get you to do things and not allow you to use obvious
Mock labs, IE are very good although sometimes you wish there was a
to clarify things, but you then realise how the real lab could be
Also net master class mock labs, real toughees, but you pick up some
things too.
If you are doing your lab in Brussels, stay at the holiday inn. More
expensive than the NH, but they have a pool, sauna, steam room
way to de-stress the night before your exam. Man, a Sauna and then a
plop in
the freezing cold plunge pool was bliss.
Plus you can blag it if you say you have business with Cisco, I got a
preferential rate.
At the end of the day, it's a long, hard, tough road but the goal makes
all worth while. You just have to role with the punches and tame the
and you will get your number.

For my next project I'm now gonna carry on working on my Dad's old motor
boat and get her ready for some fishing next year after a 16 year rest
of the water, she's getting on for 40 years old but she's a tough old
and holds some very fond memories of when my Dad and I used to head out
some fishing. I shall be drinking a beer in his honour when I get her
to her former glory and back on the water.

Sorry for the long mail but after two years of study you need to get a
of stuff off your chest :)

Good luck to the guys starting out, I shall stick around for a bit
and help out where I can.

CCIE 22023

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