The Journey to CCIE Certification, a Private Story

The Journey to CCIE Certification, a Private Story

This visitor submit was authored by Cisco Designated VIP Christian Kellerer. 

For those who’re an aspiring CCIE, you already know that reaching this prestigious certification requires onerous work, self-discipline, and persistence. My identify is Chris Kellerer, and as a Cisco Studying Community VIP, I’ve efficiently climbed the Cisco certification mountain from backside to prime. I hope that my story offers helpful perception and inspiration that will help you attain your individual CCIE certification targets.  

From apprentice to discovering Cisco certifications 

My networking journey started after I completed my apprenticeship in 2014, however I used to be nonetheless uncertain of my long-term profession path at that time. Then, in 2017, I discovered myself working alongside a CCIE-certified contractor on a posh networking undertaking.  

He patiently taught me superior networking applied sciences similar to NX-OS, ASA, FirePOWER, ISE, and PRIME. After sharing his personal CCIE Lab expertise, it was the recommendation he gave subsequent that began my certification journey.  

“For those who actually need to change into licensed, you want the fervour for it and should do it step-by-step. Begin on the backside. First, get your CCNA, after which if you happen to’re nonetheless , do the CCNP. Lastly, if you happen to actually need to dig deep, get the CCIE.”  

That’s what began me down the trail to certification. 

Tackling the primary hurdles: CCNA and CCNP 

Utilizing Cisco whitepapers and official E-learning programs, I started my CCNA Routing & Switching research (now merely known as the CCNA) in early 2018. I accomplished it in simply six months. After passing the exams, I instantly dove proper into the CCNP Routing & Switching (now CCNP Enterprise) certification, finishing it by March 2019.  

I discovered TSHOOT to be essentially the most satisfying examination, and looking back, it felt like a teeny-tiny child model of the CCIE lab examination. Whereas passing the exams boosted my confidence, I used to be nonetheless unsure about my profession route.  

Cisco Stay and the redesigned CCIE Certification Program 

My journey was not with out its roadblocks. Regardless of my early success with CCNA and CCNP, it was at this level that I discovered myself caught and unsure about my profession path. Not solely was the CCIE blueprint intimidating, nevertheless it additionally felt considerably outdated from a expertise viewpoint.  

I finished finding out for a couple of months. Nevertheless, that every one modified when Cisco Stay 2019 introduced the readability and motivation I wanted to proceed. That yr, Cisco introduced the approaching of a redesigned certification program, together with the successor to the CCIE Routing & Switching: The newly named CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure (CCIE EI) monitor.  

The up to date blueprint included conventional networking whereas additionally introducing fashionable subjects like SDx and programming/automation. That’s the second I grew to become decided to take the subsequent step and earn my CCIE.  

The CCIE lab examination: First, second, and third makes an attempt 

My first try on the CCIE Lab in October 2020 was a nerve-wracking expertise. Though I felt ready for some facets, I felt underprepared for others.  

I discovered myself fighting the duties, going by them in an unordered sequence—to not point out the big variety of duties was intimidating. The redesigned CCIE program added to the problem, because the new lab surroundings was nonetheless in its early phases. Disenchanted in my efficiency, I acquired the information that I had failed each modules. The failure hit me onerous, and with the lab’s uncertainty because of the pandemic, I finished finding out for a number of months.  

After I restarted my research in January 2021, I used to be extra decided than ever. This time, I developed a “easy” 7-step technique for the CCIE lab examination itself: 

  1. Learn the fabric.
  2. Learn the fabric once more.
  3. Reply the query.
  4. Learn the fabric once more.
  5. Test the reply.
  6. Learn the fabric once more.
  7. Recheck the reply. 

My second try in July 2021 went higher than the primary, however as I approached the two.5-hour mark within the DOO module, I panicked. I noticed I had made some errors and executed some illogical issues which induced me to expire of time and solely end 2/3 of the duties.  

After the second lab, I once more knew I had failed nevertheless it was due to easy errors and overconfidence. However after I acquired my scores the subsequent morning, I noticed my preparation had massively elevated my scores this time round: I handed the DESIGN module, however nonetheless failed the DOO module.  

For my third try in September 2021, I booked the examination simply seven days after the second strive.  

The additional preparation paid off. The DESIGN module went effectively, and I felt assured approaching the DOO module. Regardless of getting caught at one level, I pushed by.  

On the very finish, with solely 25 minutes on the clock and nearly not one of the duties having been reviewed, I made a daring choice. I made a decision to avoid wasting the working configuration to the startup configuration for each machine, ensuring they had been all in privileged EXEC mode, and used the remaining time to do no less than a little bit little bit of configuration verification. With solely 10 seconds to spare, I hit the Finish Examination button.  

After my greatest try but, I acquired the information by 5 p.m. that very same day. I had handed the examination and earned my CCIE EI certification! The journey had been lengthy and difficult, however the setbacks solely made the win extra satisfying.  

Life after CCIE: Embracing new alternatives and private targets 

Changing into a CCIE requires onerous work, self-discipline, and persistence. It wasn’t with out its challenges, to not point out the substantial funding of time, vitality, and price. With my CCIE in hand and newfound free time, I’ve rediscovered my previous hobbies and passions of enjoying piano… and at last getting again to my non-public life. I’m excited to find the place my studying journey will take me subsequent. I’ll all the time be grateful to the CCIE contractor who launched me to the world of Cisco certification.   

For those who’re thinking about pursuing a CCIE certification your self, I invite you to learn CCIE Examine Supplies, Prices, and Preparation Suggestions. There you could find my examine suggestions, price breakdowns, and different helpful suggestions that I gathered alongside my very own CCIE certification journey. I additionally made my lab notes accessible to everybody at Whether or not you’re simply beginning out or effectively into your research, I hope you discover these assets useful in your pursuit of this difficult certification. Better of luck! 

Hear Christian Kellerer inform the story of how he grew to become CCIE #65551 on the Cisco Studying Community Podcast.

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 Learn subsequent: “What It Takes to Turn out to be a CCIE” by Yusuf Bhaiji, Director of Cisco Certifications. Learn weblog.


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