Hello everyone! Thank you so much for following my CCIE Security Challenge. I sat the CCIE Security Lab Exam Version 3.0 in RTP North Carolina, USA yesterday.
Overall – what an amazingly enjoyable experience. I hit the Angus Barn the night before with David Blaire, the RTP proctor. What an amazingly awesome person he is. You will be very fortunate if you test at RTP – VERY FORTUNATE. He will make you feel relaxed and well cared for, and is very up front and clear about the ways in which he can help you try and pass. My only complaint was that the night before at Angus Barn – he made me try ostrich. Those poor giant birds. Even they could not escape our hunger for meat! I am complaining because the meat was really good. I am thinking about heading to the Lowry Park Zoo here in Tampa Florida with a really big knife. I figure I can get away with it since we are celebrating Halloween in the USA this weekend.
So if you are reading this, it is at this point where you are probably wondering if I am ever going to speak about my results…well – here goes:
I must have failed – by a few points – probably 8 to 10 points. I was not able to complete three 6 point tasks, so my chances of passing are slim to none. Yes, I fell into the classic case of needing just one more hour and being able to pass the exam with relative ease! As you will see from my rating scale below – it was indeed my technical knowledge (lack thereof) that failed me.
So now I am on to my new challenge! I will be one of the first to pass the new Version 4 blueprint. I am so incredibly excited. So excited in fact, that I started studying on the flight back! (FlexVPN).
By the way – here is how my four Cornerstones of Success held up for me. This is my self rating of how I did on those on a 10 point scale.
1 – Technical Knowledge – 4 (yes, this was indeed my big issue)
2 – Strategy – 8 (I almost passed the lab when I was truly not ready technically!)
3 – Psychology – 9 (my head was “on straight” for this attempt – again it drove me to almost pass)
4 – Physical Wellness – 10 (I slept like a baby the night before – and felt amazing throughout the exam!)
It was so flattering to be recognized for my Cornerstones of Success lecture at Cisco Live by many of the candidates in the lobby waiting to test! Another candidate was thanking me vigorously for teaching him QoS. I never cycled back with him after to see if he actually got those points! :)
So – you are going to watch me here at the blog (blog.ipexpert.com ) as I prepare for Version 4. And watch how technical we dive. Get your scuba gear ready my friends! I am going to get crazy technical (for me) and present challenges that are in the spirit of how Cisco would present them. I have a better sense for that than ever!
I am so glad that there will be plenty of seats for Version 4 in the near future at RTP- now I can go back to the strategy that works best for me – booking the lab the week before I am ready to crush it. I realized this time how much I dislike the approach of booking and then trying to prepare for that date. Yuck. Not my style.
Here are some nuggets for those preparing for their version 3 still:
- The exam consists of 3, 4, 5, and 6 point tasks
- Task value does an excellent job of conveying difficulty or conveying the time it will take you if it is easy
- Troubleshooting is EVERYWHERE – it is crazy – trust the lab paper – do not trust your initials; the TS is NOT restricted to the tasks that are titled TS.
- I do not think you can solve this lab doing the tasks in order and pass (but you knew that I am guessing)
- When you get a task or two that seems really bizarre with a technology you have never heard of – do not panic – everything was really easy to find in the Doc-CD; also that task will most likely only be worth few points. The task was laid there to check you on the DOC-CD and to mess with your strategy.