I did the ccie lab exam on Friday 4th, I got the result this morning:
PASS and CCIE #28129
The journey was long, starting on 2005 with CCNA, CCNP (2008) and CCIP (2009).
On september 2009 started the CCIE preparation with a written course (at EuropaNetworking), after a while I did the written on dec 2009.
Then, the lab preparation was long and hard, I did approx every evening 2/3 hours studying and labbing, and 2 full days every weekend for a year.
The last month I was doing 8 hours labs everyday and attended a bootcamp at EuropaNetworking.
The exam on Feb 4th:
Starting with troubleshooting, I was a little bit nervous, I had to learn a new interface (perhaps easy) and solve the tickets. I got spare 30 minutes from tshoot, and I started really slow the lab, I was scared about that, anyway I try to read the tasks calm, drawing my diagrams, trying to understand the requirements, the topology...
At home usually I take 1 hour to read and do a scheme of a complete lab, well.... everything in the real lab takes a little bit more, maybe you are just more excited, the stress... who knows.
The fact was that lunch time was there, and I barely touched the machines with show commands, when the proctor said something like "lunch time, guys save your configs" in that moment I realized that I had nothing to save, I did just ten lines on notepad.
That's why it was a bad lunch, I felt terrible, I just stick on another candidate and choosed the same dish, the only word I can articulate was "me too", so I landed to our table with a steak and vegetables, and a sparkling water (In normal condition I will never choose sparkling)
During the lunch I said myself "wake up, wake up, you will recover during the afternoon", and that was helpful a little bit.
I was through the whole lab sections in 3 hour and a half, having enough time to review all and catch some little mistakes.
Then reached the end, I was happy, I had all working as expected and walked to my room at NH Hotel very happy.
When I arrived, called my family, had a shower and relaxed but.... some doubts started... and I asked myself over and over "did I configure in this way? or in this one?" in my mind I found 2 or 3 errors on the configuration section, so I wasn't anymore so sure of my result.
I started friday at 10 pm checking my email, no result.
Then I felt sleep and rechecked on 5.00 am, it was supposed to being a result, but nothing, I rechecked every hour..... began Saturday night, nothing.
On Sunday, opened the mail and ccie certification site in the morning, and until midnight clicked on refresh time to time (read: every 15 mins). Nothing, again.
Then finally on monday morning at 7.30 am the email appeared in my gmail account, and the result was there, on the Ccie Certification Status page:
It was a PASS! I Got the #28129 at FIRST ATTEMPT !
It was definitely more stressful waiting the result than doing the exam! :-)
Next CCIE lab I will remember NOT book on Friday.
I have to thank a lot my beautiful wife to have supported me during the long preparation, she was patient and always motivating me on proceed studying.
I have to thank also Rocco Tessicini of Europa Networking for his extremely high dedication on doing my bootcamp, his labs were hard and tricky. His bootcamp was a detailed review of the core technologies on routing and switching, very recommended.
Now next steps will be:
-reading the book: "OSPF and IS-IS: Choosing an IGP for Large-Scale Networks" by Jeff Doyle, Addison Wesley
and the ISIS chapter of Routing TCP/IP vol.1, to have the necessary knowlege of this wonderful protocol, I was keeping it as is not on the RS blueprint, but looks really interesting.
-have some fun and relax with my family