Israel Lima, CCIE #37873


As everbody that has gone for their CCIE or is currently in the process of working towards it knows, it is no easy road and has many bumps. Circumstances are different and challenges will be different. In my case i started my studying and preparation at the end of 2011. I started gathering many materials and put a plan together to buid my own lab. I scouted for a long time items on ebay and other places. I started purchasing items until i received my last piece of hardware. I build my rack with more power than what is required in the Cisco Blueprint as i did not want to have any issues with capacity. I assembled my rack and then went on to build a base configuration so that all devices would communicate and the network was setup. Build my virtual machines to be able to start labs fresh and at certain specific points. Was meticulous about keeping track of all my files and snapshots. After that, other battles were about time, time for my life. At the end of 2011 i had a one year old baby at home and a teenager so needless to say, had many issues with my family asking for time to spend with me. this was one of the hardest sacrificies for me as i had to set some time for them and use the rest for my preparation, including staying up some nights unitl 2 am and getting up next day at 7am. Countless weekends, holidas and PTO used for labs. I put so much on hold and to stay pretty focused on my preparation for months. I took my first attempt in June of 2012 and failed it. Kept at it and took my second attempt in September. Scores increased significantly. After these 2 attempts i knew what areas i needed to focus on and tackled them hard. Still I had some questions and documentation helped to a certain point. I was presented with the opportunity to go to a boot camp beginning of October and went to the 2 week bootcamp in Seattle. I had purchased the Cisco 360 program which was very good for labs and also my employeer bought a co-worker and myself a set of workbooks from IPExpert, yet Taking this bootcampt was helpful as it polished for me the final details i needed on the long road i had taken. For me, the personal interaction with an instructor that can answer questions I have in real life experience and situations was very helpful. After that, I came back home and used 2 weeks before the actual cisco lab to practice in my own lab every day similar scenarios. I build my own workbook for practice and followed it every day for 15 days straight. I had scheduled even for some days 2 labs starting at 7am and finishing at 11pm if needed. The day came for my third attempt on Dec 19th, 2012. I was nervous and stressed not so much for the lab itself but for the consequences if i failed it as i would have to go back to my family and tell them i was going to be busy again for next 2-3 months. Something i kept in mind was what Mark said one day at the bootcamp. You are already an expert and just need to go and proove it to Cisco to get your cert. A lot of confidence is required, no cockyness but confidence that comes from hard work and experience. The next day i flew back home and as soon as i landed, started returning vmails and checking email. One email was already there from Cisco stating i had a grade report available for viewing. Could not wait to check it but at the same time did not want to rush it. Checked my report and it was a PASS. Thankfulness, Relief, Happiness, Pride. Thanks to my God, My Family, My Boss & co-workers and to those that provided instruction and technical direction. Israel Lima CCIE #37873

- Israel Lima, CCIE #37873 (CCIE Voice)

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