I have always had a dream to one day become CCIE certified and it has always been just that, a dream. It has always been unclear on how I would do this. There is no road map to becoming a CCIE. So when I sit and dream about becoming a CCIE it makes me a bit anxious. My blood pressure starts to rise, my palms get sweaty, my stomach starts to hurt. I can’t help but be anxious.
I started to groom my conscious thoughts about becoming a CCIE for a few months hoping to set ease by Googling things like, “How to become a CCIE?”, or “What does it take to be a CCIE?” (this really didn’t help). The overwhelming response was, be ready to sacrifice a lot and that it is expensive..great thanks for stating the obvious.
Unfortunately I wouldn’t have a “sponsor” for this journey, which is fine but having an employer assist me in my efforts would be great (This changed July 26th 2018, when I was hired by Cisco). I also didn’t have peers that were of the CCIE status. It wasn’t like I was sitting in a room of other CCIEs that I could ask questions to. So it was hard for me to understand things like, how to start?, where to start?, what are the best resources?
I started to curate a list of resources that I would use for my studies, I even created a work/study schedule that I could use as sort of a soft opening to my studies. I started reading Routing TCP/IP Volume I and II by Jeff Doyle for my soft opening studies as I called it. I would tweak the schedule based on how I felt and after a few months had a good plan in place that compliments work, family, and pleasures.
What did turn out to be useful from my Google searches was that many CCIE achievers started with ensuring that their spouse, family, friends, and others understood the sacrifices and what it would take to achieve their CCIE. Many of them stated that this was key to their success. So for that reason and after a few months I sat to discuss my CCIE aspiration with my wife. My wife already knew about this CCIE dream, so it wasn’t a surprise to her when I brought this up. I was fully transparent about my studies, the cost and the marathon I was about to start. She was fully supporting, and couldn’t have asked for a better support system than her. I then included my friends, family and my employer in my efforts.
As of today April 2, 2018 I will be starting my CCIE journey. I plan to fall in love with the process of becoming great. This journey will be about becoming an expert in my field and as a byproduct achieve my CCIE. I hope to share as much as I can with all of you during this time. I appreciate any and all support.