Ethan Banks On productivity.

10 Signs You’re Ready For The Lab


It’s the question on the mind of every CCIE candidate:  when am I ready to take the lab?  Here are some signs you’re getting close.

  1. You can do EIGRP metric computations.  With non-default K-values.  In your head.
  2. Your 5 year old knows which piece of practice gear to power cycle when you say “R1”.
  3. You have developed a personal relationship with the proctor that shows up in your dreams.
  4. The word “mutation” makes you think of DSCP, not genetics.
  5. You write your own redistribution practice labs because you think your vendor’s are too easy.
  6. You know Brian Dennis’ CCIE number, his specialties, and when he earned them.
  7. You hate the guy who decided that internal & external OSPF routes should have the same AD by default.
  8. You re-write ACLs at work using non-contiguous wildcard masks, just because you can.
  9. Dueling with a mock lab seems like an excellent way to spend a Saturday.
  10. You have printed over 1,000 pages of DocCD PDFs and read them during lunch hours, neither of which strike you as odd behaviors.

Go ahead and add to my list…


  • When you can’t get to the website because every time you try to type routers you type routers… damn I did it again! :)

  • I’ve got one, and it keeps nailing me too…
    When you go to google and you try to tab auto-completion. My life is so sad…

  • When you stand before the Taj Mahal thinking “Yeah that’s a nice piece of engineering, but nowhere as cool as configuring devices to respond to a traceroute with their loopback 0 addresses.”

  • Cciepursuit now you got me interested :). You can do that? is that by using Policy Based Routing or is it some easy command you can just type in?

  • Amernas – it’s intended to be a humorous article, although it does in fact have something to do with reality. If you were well into your preparations, you’d get the joke a little better. In any case, my apologies if you were expecting special insight into your readiness for the lab.

    Send me an e-mail via the contact form describing your preparations thus far, and I’ll give you my 2 cents as to how ready you might be.

  • When you go to bed at night thinking about the last lab task you worked on, and wake up in the morning continuing on thinking about it as you head to the shower. Maybe just me. :)

  • When you’ve exhausted every pen color known to man which you used to redraw your already redrawn routing topology drawings.

  • When you’re stuck at a configuration option during a lab task, can’t find anything at the DocCD, go to lunch thinking about the problem, come back with the solution and it works..

    Was in that situation in Brussels and I was happy to have a free 30min break (=8.5h Lab time) lol, ah well in the end I passed ;)

By Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks On productivity.

You probably know Ethan Banks because he writes & podcasts about IT. For example, he co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

This site is Ethan on productivity--not tech so much.

Find out more on his about page.