While I wouldn’t call it a New Year’s resolution, I’ve made the mental commitment you have to have to go for your CCIE. I know I want to do it, and I’ve begun preparations. I’m going for the Routing & Switching CCIE, like most other folks.
My strategy is pretty simple. First things first – I have to pass the written exam. I know a bit about passing Cisco exams. I’ve passed 12 of them along the way to getting my CCNA, CCNP and CCSP. But the last Cisco exam I took was 3 years ago. I allowed my CCNP and CCSP to expire over this past year, as I had no incentive to renew them, and lacked the personal motivation. So, I don’t know how much the tests have changed in Cisco-land. It doesn’t matter that much to me. I know what the test is. 100 multiple choice questions that cover a wide variety of topics, all in depth. You have to know a lot about a lot to pass the test.
Once the test is passed, I’m going to start doing practice labs. I’m going to build a lab at work that should get me possibly all the way with what I need for lab equipment. If not all the way, probably pretty close. I’ll rent a vrack if I need to supplement for something like using a frame-relay switch. I may use the Cisco Press CCIE Practical Studies stuff, but I’m also thinking about the IPExpert.com material, which seems well-regarded.
Once I think I’m 80% ready for the lab, I’m going to take Cisco’s Online CCIE Lab Assessor, just to see if I’m kidding myself. If the Assessor tells me a happy story, I’ll go ahead and schedule the lab in (hopefully) RTP, NC.