CISCO EXPERT – CCIE#23373

Ricardo Martins

Archive for January, 2009

Cisco Expert – Got my CCIE R&S and CCNA Voice

Posted by Ricardo Martins on January 31, 2009

Hello everyone,
For now, just let you now that my CCIE journey, lots of hours of studying and hands on live routers just payed off. Yesterday I became CCIE# 23373 in Routing and Switching on Thursday 29th January 2009.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday 27th January, I also got my CCNA Voice, in my opinion, the best and more pleasant certification I ever studied for. Call Manager Express or CUCME like Cisco now calls it is definitely funny to configure. I am starting to think that Voice may be my thing in the future. We will see…

I will update this post over the next few days after I get some hours of sleeping and resting, well deserved.

Story of my life:

All started in February 2007 when I decided to take my first IT cetification MCDST. I attended the MCSE course certification at a Microsoft learning center. On the first day, I knew nothing about IT, only windows XP and that was it. After the first lesson, I knew that certifications was my thing and IT would be my passion.

After my first exam I was a MCP and I jumped so much when I got my certification. After the second exam I got my MCDST. After 6 months I was done with MCSE, then I asked myself, now what?? Well I got some old CBT Nuggets of CCNA of a friend in September 2007  and I started to watch the first video. After 5 min I was like…where are the wizards and all the GUI’s? Didn’t like the feeling, but I kept on going because at the Microsft Center, everybody said that being a MCSE + CCNA was the best thing anyone could be. So I used GNS3 and practice a lot so I got my CCNA. At this point I was in love with Cisco. Worth to mention that, I found no use in taking lessons for Cisco Certs as I did for Microsoft. Found that most places are just trying to sell courses for huge price, and most trainers aren’t even prepared to teach.

After that I took my CCNP, CCSP. CCDP, CCIP. I studied day and night for these certs. After this I got a job in Northern Ireland in HP.

In HP, with all the certs and some experience in the pocket that I already had from a portuguese company I was offered that job. Man, the network here is huge…Anyways, I saved some cash and bought my own rack…and started my CCIE journey.

The next 8 months, used Internetwork Expert Vol 2 and spent 3 hours daily in my rack.

After practicing for a while, I started to feel confident so I went for the CCIE R&S Written exam which I cleared it. After this exam I practiced another 3 months just labbing, labbing, labbing and 12th Nov.2008 arrived fast….I was in Brussels…

“I will be your proctor for the day” – says Bruno

…. Ricardo….Rack 11

The exam started….after 4 hours I had only BGP and Multicast left…so I was relaxed. QOS and Security seemed a bit odd to me but there was a good chance to pass. Spent the whole afteernoon checking the configurations, having drinks, I knew I had a huge chance to be a CCIE…16.30…Lab over.

They say, if you were to pass your results should be available earlier, I’m guessing they run a script and if it says you pass, you passed but if says you have failed probably a proctor will check all your configurations and that takes extra time. Again I have no information on this, I am just guessing.

1:48am in the Hotel…the email came through and I had failed but with a good and very very very close score…QOS and Security was horrible…I say good because most topics I scored 100%, then on QOS and Security a disaster. I was actually happy, I knew if I studied those 2 topics, I would be fine next time…Flew back home and scheduled my 2nd attempt for 29th January…

During this 2.5 months I didnt touch 1 lab from start to end. I just practiced random stuff, OSPF, EIGRP and all the normal easy stuff just to make sure I wouldn’t forget a thing. Now the big secret….I opened the Cisco DOC CD online during my preparation, I read from cover to cover, Ip services, QOS and Security stuff and I labbed everything. Man…this was my salvation. I think IE vol.2 is not very good for Security, IP services and lacks some information for QOS as well.

29th Jan.  2009

This time Istvan if I remember his name correctly was the proctor. I was not nervous like the first time or anything and this time….”Ricardo…Rack 10″…I know I had to do it this time. Found this lab a bit more difficult and tricky than the first attempt but I didnt care, just followed the normal cisco procedures for the problems and troubleshooting they threw at me, and before lunch I finished the lab. In the afternoon, after lunch, I checked the configurations 4 times and all seemed ok. I was a bit afraid of the interpretation of some questions but there was nothing I could do. So I just had 3 drinks, Cecemel, this is some chocolate drink with caramel…if u go to brussels drink this…it is awesome.

Well…I think the say is true…this time at 11:30 I got my result and CCIE# 23373.

My biggest tip is, if you want something really bad you will get it…there are no limits, just study, understand the technologies and pass the lab. Motivaton is the key…

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