Mike Marx, CCIE #42713


I have held my CCNP for over 5 years now. Getting my CCIE had come up every once and a while, and my wife and I had talked about it several times. I had two good college friends who now held the R&S, but I really wasn't so sure I wanted to go for it. Around two years ago, I got an exciting new position at a Cisco gold partner/ISP with the possibility of them supporting a CCIE. My wife and I had our first child and I quickly realized that if I wanted to ever get the IE ? now was the time. The time sacrifice is immense, and I knew I didn't want to sacrifice the time with my family later. At least while my daughter was little (less than a year)? she really wouldn't realize that I wasn't around because I was studying all the time. So I talked to my boss and after a bit of magic on his side the stage was set for me to begin the journey. Both of the friends had used INE for their training, and spoke very highly of it. I knew right away that?s the route I wanted to go, and I was not disappointed. I found the labs and the video content to be very good. I also highly recommended the R&S graded troubleshooting labs - and found the mock labs to also be helpful in preparation. I knew I wanted to make the journey to the CCIE and quick as possible. I would rather sacrifice more for a short time, to get it done. So I choose a 5-6 month time frame for my first test ? with the explicit goal of passing on my first attempt. I took the studying plan that Brian Dennis laid out in this blog post (, but I adapted it to fit my schedule. I had Dave Smith as my instructor, and to be honest, I was pretty disappointed when I found out my instructor?s name was not Brian something. But, I was very happy to learn that my disappointment was unfounded. Dave was a great instructor. He really knew his stuff well, and was not afraid to dig into anything we asked about, and he was just a nice guy. Fun to talk to and engaging in his teaching. He did a great job of not just showing us what works, but instead walking us right into problems and helping us understand why it doesn't work. Once you understand that, fixing it is easy. So overall, the bootcamp was excellent. I learned quite a few things, solidified my understanding of some others, and built a bit of confidence on a number of things I already knew. I would recommend the bootcamp to anyone in a heartbeat. I was unsuccessful on my first attempt - mostly because of strategy issues. I worked on my weaknesses and tested again 3 months later. I passed on my second attempt - and owe a great deal of gratitude to INE and Dave Smith. Thanks! :)

- Mike Marx, CCIE #42713 (CCIE Routing & Switching)

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