David Rothera, CCIE #38338
Well it's started to settle in now so I suppose its time to write the success story! Compared to other stories on here mine is a little different, I'll tell you why..... In comparison to some of the guys on here I am a relative newcomer to the industry, I have been doing it around 4 years and in that time have picked up my CCNA, CCNP, CCIP and now my CCIE. The CCIE leg of my journey started in the middle of 2011 when I made a decision that carrying on from my CCIP I would go for the CCIE Written and then see if I fancied doing the lab at a later stage. It took me a while to get the written over and done with but it finally bit the dust on the 25th November 2011 (I only know this so well from logging onto the CCIE portal :P). I started studying immediately using a mixture of home grown labs and the INE VolI workbooks. Due to a number of things, my studying slowed right down and then in around June, I decided to go for it full speed. I was lucky enough to be sent on the INE 2-week bootcamp in London hosted by Brian Dennis in August, this was before I made an attempt at the lab. The bootcamp I cannot recommend highly enough, it was a true eye-opener in some areas and I met some awesome guys that I am still in contact with now. Having face time with your peers really is invaluable when studying- it really is! My first attempt which came as part of the INE bootcamp package was on the 8th November 2012 in Brussels, I stayed from Tues-Fri on this attempt to make my time a bit more relaxing, I failed this attempt as I suspected I would due to a combination of time management and being weak in a number of areas, I was basically kicked out of the room at the end of the day and received the FAIL at 3am the next morning. I went back to the studying using more of the INE TS topologies and a mixture of the VolI, VolII and VolIII labs to try and improve my core knowledge along with the periphery subjects. I had wanted to take the second attempt at bang on the 30-day resit period but the lab was booked for the whole of december so I had to make do with the 7th January. This time I just did a quick stay over on the Sunday before the exam on the Monday, I felt a little more confident with the result but I knew I had fluffed one of the 3-point TS tickets so was on thin ice, this time the result came through at 8pm the same day to say that I had failed again, this time a pass on config and a fail on trouble-shooting. This time I went home and polished up on the subjects I felt weak on in the second attempt and booked for just over 30-days later, this time would be on the 11th Feb. I did the same again as before with a flight on the Sunday and then flew straight back after the exam. This time I felt confident, I finished everything with 3 hours to spare just leaving one topic that I didnt want to even try, I totted up my points to ensure I was well over the required 80% and then checked, re-checked, rebooted, re-re-checked and then made a final check before leaving about 1hr30 before the end of the exam. This time I was feeling confident, I might not have said it to anyone else but I was confident so therefore when I got an email at 11pm and opened it to find a FAIL I was a little devastated. I moped around for the next 24-hours and didn't really know what to do with myself, I couldn't see how I had scored so low in the L2 section given that I checked everything multiple times. I made the choice to take a re-read as it had been offered, I knew that the chances were slim so I didnt get my hopes up but I would have kicked myself if I didnt take them up on the offer. Fast forward to 2 weeks after my invoice date (when the re-read request is put in the queue) and my score report disappeared and my score went from FAIL to --, I didn't know what this meant or why it had disappeared but the only things I could find online were saying that this happened before they got their FAIL turned to a PASS. At this point it was hard not to get excited so I spent the whole of the weekend constantly checking my email but nothing ever came, the whole of Monday came and went much the same so my email checking started to get less and less. When I woke up this morning there was an email from the certification support guys saying that my re-read had been completed and my result had been uploaded to the portal but that it had changed from FAIL to PASS and congratulating me as such. So that takes us to now, I am #38338 and a happy man! I can't thank the guys over at INE enough, the ATC videos, the workbooks, the bootcamp, the one-on-one time to run through things makes them hands down the best training company I've used and would recommend them hands down without a thought.