When Did You Know?

BardlebeeBardlebee Member Posts: 264 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey guys!

I know everyone on here and everywhere is different on their game plan/execution. Previously when I posted here about 3 months ago I was shooting for a 10 month lab attempt and pass. Obviously keeping in mind that this lab attempt could very easily and most likely be a failure, I'm just a realist. :)

However, I am 3 months in and I am just curious on what you guys think was the moment for you when you said "I'm ready" and suited up for the lab exam. Was there a time frame you always shot for? Was it that you were doing labs so well and that you had every technology in such a rote memorization you had to just go do it?

I've just seen such wild figures, from people taking 10 years to people taking 6 months, which I find either very rare or suspicious depending on the candidates background. I have a gut feeling, maybe its optimism. That I can make my first lab attempt and have a good chance 4-5 months from now. Hitting the under 10 month mark I want. But this is all new ground for me.

I have a kid on the way, first one. And I do know that this will cut back my hours significantly, but I'll still try to get 6 hours a day or more every day at least after things settle down. This won't be for 6 months, but its definitely the life factor coming into play here.

Anyway, main point of this thread is to ask how you CCIE's knew or what was the tipping point of your passing the lab? Also, is it important to get like 8-10 hour blocks of labbing near the end or will 6-8 suffice or even 4-6 a day? I would love to do 8-10 but yeah, well kid coming so... unlikely. I am more likely to want to be a good dad then a good student. :)

Thoughts?

Comments

  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    Hmmm... I'm infamous for overstudying sometimes so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I would say I "knew" I should be taking the exam when I had read all the materials, done every workbook with ease, stopped seeing things that really confused me in daily troubleshooting with UCS/SAN/NX-OS, and when I was answering all the questions for my peers in the IPExpert bootcamps I went to. In reality, I probably could have taken the exam a few months prior to when I did. I definitely got really bored with the subject matter.

    Most people who take 10+ years is because they lack consistency. They'll start and stop or get discouraged. The CCIE is a marathon, not a sprint. Anyone treating it as such usually gets burnt out.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    Don't underestimate how hard a new child will be. It's probably safest to say that for at least the first 3 months you won't have any time at all for meaningful study, and just getting through the work day can be a challenge. It might even be longer than that depending on all those various factors that depend from person to person, and things that can't be predicted.

    Maybe double down why you have the time now.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    18 months was what it took for me when I really did it but fading in and out for 3.5 years prior to that. So you could say 5 overall. Maybe. Funnily enough I found some old MSN transcripts on a 60GB IDE disk in my dads garage that I was running in 2005 and I mentioned then that it was a dream of mine to do CCIE. I didn't even think I was aware of Cisco in 2005 but obviously I did. Going back and seeing that I was thinking about it 10 years ago really makes it all worth achieving it.

    And now I'm slowly starting to gear up for #2
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I can't edit my above comment, I'm on my mobile - but I took 5 weeks off work and was labbing 12 hours a day almost everyday. It was the key to passing - that - and the keyboard I practiced on. I bought the one they use in the labs.
  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    For me it was after I went over every topic in the blueprint (by reading and labbing), passed the written, finished the workbooks for at least 1 vendor and then I booked the lab. Yes, I think 8-10 hour block is important during the last month or so. Also, I would recommend doing over 10 hours in the last 2 weeks just to get used to the mental endurance required during your first lab attempt.
    Follow my CCDE journey at www.routingnull0.com
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    gorebrush wrote: »
    and the keyboard I practiced on. I bought the one they use in the labs.

    That actually sounds like good advice. I find that using an unfamiliar keyboard really upsets my typing rhythm.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    San Jose has Logitech K120s. RTP had some crappy Dell ones :)

    Not that I would know or anything...

    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • BardlebeeBardlebee Member Posts: 264 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the good insight guys. I am 3 months in still looking up a mountain here. But I know with consistency in my studies and labbing it'll be here in no time. I just have maybe 6 months to go.... at least I hope so.
  • cshkurucshkuru The details of my life are quite inconsequential Member Posts: 246 ■■■■□□□□□□
    see that the nice thing about being a 1 finger typist. Every keyboard is the same to me.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    The picture of the one Iris posted above is what you want - US Layout Logitech K120. If you are used to a different layout, as I am in my case... There are some very specific keys in the wrong places. Backslash is the big one for me - I pipe everything for the relevant output so having that in the wrong place (and an enter key that was half the damn size) was something I needed to get over.
  • bermovickbermovick Member Posts: 1,135 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah, my new keyboard at my house has the backslash up between the + and backspace horizontally rather than between the backspace and enter key vertically. I end up hitting the enter key with my pinky every time I reach to hit the \ or |
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    When you are sick of reading the same stuff, take the Written. When you are sick of labbing the same stuff, take the Lab :)
  • BardlebeeBardlebee Member Posts: 264 ■■■□□□□□□□
    lrb wrote: »
    When you are sick of reading the same stuff, take the Written. When you are sick of labbing the same stuff, take the Lab :)

    I'd actually like to get some insight on this. I am done of all the INE videos/labs (except for the mocks/foundationals) and I've been wondering if I should take the written only when I'm ready for the lab. Or just go ahead and read up on the small parts not in the lab and take the written like in a few weeks. What would you guys recommend? When should I take the written?

    Reason I ask is INE recommends to just wait until you're so good for the lab that you take the written with no problem and you won't be pressed for time as it were...
  • CCIE #50693CCIE #50693 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I studied for the written and passed that. Then I focused for the lab. It took me 15 months and 3 attempts to finally get over the hurdle. Very happy to be finally done with it. I am an author at INE, I would recommend taking the written shortly before the lab. It's up to you though.
  • BardlebeeBardlebee Member Posts: 264 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I know who you are by your number. ;)

    I've seen your videos on youtube, you do good work. Just to be clear, you did the written just before your lab you are saying? Or did you do the written and then you studied for the lab and that leg took you 15 months?

    Thanks for talking to the community and for your youtube channel! :)

    EDIT: Re-reading your post its clear what you meant. You studied separately, did written first then studied for lab for 15 months. Good to know, I'll think about your advice here. I am quickly getting to a point where I need to make a choice as I'm running out of the one-off labs and I either need to just keep labbing or start studying the other non-lab topics to knock out the written.
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Bardlebee wrote: »
    I know who you are by your number. ;)

    I've seen your videos on youtube, you do good work. Just to be clear, you did the written just before your lab you are saying? Or did you do the written and then you studied for the lab and that leg took you 15 months?

    Thanks for talking to the community and for your youtube channel! :)

    EDIT: Re-reading your post its clear what you meant. You studied separately, did written first then studied for lab for 15 months. Good to know, I'll think about your advice here. I am quickly getting to a point where I need to make a choice as I'm running out of the one-off labs and I either need to just keep labbing or start studying the other non-lab topics to knock out the written.


    He's a great mentor too, I wonder to whom... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • bermovickbermovick Member Posts: 1,135 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would agree on not taking the written too early, thinking "I've got 18 months; that's PLENTY of time" cause stuff gets in the way. Then you think "12 months is enough!" And before you know it you see that you only have 6 months, then 3 months, then less than a month left and you realize you're gonna have to take the written again anyway.
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    Narbik also recommended taking the Written right before the Lab also and to be honest its probably the best way to do it. However, this doesn't work for some tracks like CCIE-DC where the availability in some areas is booked months out. I don't think R&S will have the same problem though.
  • BardlebeeBardlebee Member Posts: 264 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've decided today that I'll take the written in the next couple of weeks. My reasoning is to get it behind me more then anything. I will be doing the lab come hell or high water before 18 months so I don't think that is a deterrent. For me, I will be using the written as a spring board to focus on the lab only. While the written should be nothing if I did it later, I just want to swat it out of the way so I can focus in. I have a real natural problem with making a game plan, so this will help me with that, personally.

    Thanks for all the advice guys! I think I am in phase 2 of 3 in my journey. Phase 2: Lab Till Your Eyes Bleed (after passing the written)
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