CCIE Studies Update

My head is spinning.  Sometimes it seems like I’m just cramming new stuff into my head at the expense of the stuff that I learned a month ago.  I’m learning more and more that one of the big reasons this certification is so challenging is because of the vast wealth of information that is covered.  Learning this stuff the first time around is a meager challenge when compared to the idea of mastering it well enough to remember everything you need to remember, especially given the fact that you might have months go by before you pick up a certain topic again.  Still, I know that just about every CCIE has felt this way at some point, and it does no good to sit around feeling sorry for the self-imposed challenge.

It’s a bit surprising for me to see how easy it is to do that though.  “Feeling sorry for myself” isn’t exactly the right way to put it.  It’s more just that I’m realizing that feeling overwhelmed is something I’m going to have to cope with through the entirety of this process.  I just keep reminding myself of the fact that studying is its own reward.  I’m not just doing this to become a CCIE.  I’m doing this to truly become an expert.  Getting my CCIE number will just come as a byproduct of that expertise.  In the meantime, it has already been incredibly rewarding to be able to put some of these concepts to use at work.  Being able to raise my game now, today… that’s a great feeling, and absolutely one that is helping to carry me through.

My wife continues to be relentlessly supportive.  There are no words for how much that really means to me.  That whole “Behind every successful man is an exhausted woman” thing is overwhelmingly true for us.  The very first thing I’m going to do when I pass will be to take her on a special vacation.  She deserves it, and so much more!

As far as an update on what I’ve actually been studying – first of all, I have my next two technical topic posts written up for the most part – I just need to do some proofreading and clean up work.  So it’s safe to say that I’ve been staying on the exam blueprint topics.  I’ve also just finished reading through the Cisco Press CCIE Volume 2 book which released earlier this month.  My first readthrough was just kind of a teaser, to gain some passing familiarity of the topics, especially things I’ve never really worked with before, like MPLS.  Doing a quick readthrough is a nice way to whet your appetite for the next topics and keep things fresh and new.

One final thing I’ll say – writing here has been a real treat.  It’s exciting to see the increased traffic and interest from those of you out there on the interwebs.  Thank you for stopping by – your interest is both validating and motivating.  I look forward to continuing in sharing the community experience here, and you all have our genuine gratitude for being a part of it!

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