14 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2009 7:16 PM by Hank Yeomans RSS

    CCIE ‘long or short route’

    Darwin R CCNA/CCDA



      What if you have an individual with about 9 years of experience and knowledge in quite a few areas of Cisco Routing and Switching. With a grain of salt, the individual was able to pick up quite a few areas of this technology with somewhat relative ease.




      Do you think this individual would be better served taking the longer but assured learning path with concern to current exam intensity…absorbing knowledge in increments (one level at a time) and being prepared not only mentally with added confidence of every exam passing, but also repetition in areas of study that will give additional experiences along the way?


      Or straight to the head of the class (so to speak) for the CCIE…providing a semi-comfortable due date of study completion in addition to scheduling exam dates to lend extra intensity to the studying efforts?


      I’m sure these questions are wide open without prior knowledge of exact particulars, but I’m curious to see the general consensus…one way or the.





        • 1. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’

          So, I'm assuming you mean either going from CCNA---->CCNP----->CCIE or going straight into CCIE.  I personally would judge your own expertise and training.  If you want to take the shortcut go for it.  If you really want the certs then take the long route if you can afford it and have the time.  With 9 years of experience I think that will definitely help the CCIE route.  I personally will begin that journey next year and I don't have nearly that amount of experience.  I have a friend of mine who had a CCNA back in 2001 that expired and last year tested and passed on 1 try for the CCIE written and lab.  So taking the proper 'route' isn't always the best way to get to your goal.  Sure, he doesn't have a CCNA or CCNP but he has a CCIE.

          • 2. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
            Darwin R CCNA/CCDA

            You're correct about the path.


            In a way, I like the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing you can fall back on having the associate/professional level cert(s) if all doesn't go well. Then the challenge in any individual says 'go for it tiger'... .


            Thanks a lot,



            • 3. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’

              Yeah, I agree.  Having that CCNA or CCNP sure does look like.  As long as you keep it up dated!  At the very least, if you have your CCNP every time you pass the CCIE R&S written it updates both certifications.  It's really kind of a toss up.  I am taking the long route.  i got my CCNA and CCNP.  i'm working on gaining some work experience before I try to do the CCIE R&S written.  It really is a matter of preference.  i just like to do things the 'normal' way without skipping steps.  I feel I have a better understanding of the technologies that way.  that's why for voice I'm starting out at CCNA voice.

              • 4. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                Darwin R CCNA/CCDA



                I took the CCDE written beta without any preperation and of course I failed miserably . I was totally floored with the amount of information on the test that was familiar. I actually thought about trying it again after careful study of recommended training material, but thank goodness work threw me off course. That's when everyone would see a grown man cry...

                • 5. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                  Darwin R CCNA/CCDA

                  Forgot the last line....


                  If I had failed again...

                  • 6. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’

                    Were you close at all for passing the CCDE written exam?  I'd imagine it would s uck not passing a CCIE exam.  But they are the expert exams!

                    • 7. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                      Darwin R CCNA/CCDA



                      HAHA!!! When I said 'miserably', I meant it.


                      Since I wasn't at all prepared and the test was free, it was more of a mission of curiosity. After it was all said and done, I realized that I defeated myself from the first time the test was presented to me initially. I did have about 3 months to prepare, but I think I did more watching the '3 Stooges' than even thinking about being prepared.


                      It had been some years since I had taken a certification test...actually, I allowed my initial CCNA to expire. When I took the CCDE written exam and failed, it prompted a sort of challenge to begin re-certification. I studied, studied and studied for about 3 months which consisted of 2 to 4 hour intense days. I took the CCNA first and then the CCDA couple of weeks later and I fill good to say...GOT EM BOTH!!!


                      A milestone that has blocked further study has passed and I think I'm ready to get back on the 'bronco' once again.



                      • 8. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’

                        Hi Darwin


                        I think we need to look at that nine years experience. Draw  a two by two box and label the top  Cisco and non-Cisco; label the side Required and not required and then distribute that experience over the four boxes. Next look at the blue print and make sure you have competence in the subjets. Interesting there is no IS-IS. Note also the trouble solving and recommendation sections. OK so you can pass the written but what about the lab. Do you know the commands without even thinking or do you have to look them up. Once you have been honest with yourself then you know whether to go directly to CCIE.


                        Scott's comment will be welcome.


                        Regards Conwyn

                        • 9. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                          Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE

                          Well....  9 years experience is good in general but (and don't take this personally) how good is the experience?  How varied is the experience?  How deep is the experience?


                          The CCIE is a fairly intense skillset even for people who have been doing this stuff an awfully long time!  The reason for that is simple.  In real life, we do things (generally) the easy way.  We have no aversion to things like static routes or default routing!  Those things, however, may may great networks that we run, but they do not make us experts on the technology!


                          Quite honestly, the CCNA and CCNP still leave very large gaps in knowledge as well.  So if you have "general" experience with most areas of the blueprint, you are likely at a professional level.  So it's an equal choice then!  But it also means it's time to dive in and do some serious work!


                          The written exam can be daunting.  And involves work.  The good part is that the work you do here (unlike in my day) will serve to help you on the lab exam also! 


                          I'd say go for it!  Just prepare to be humbled now and then!




                          • 10. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’

                            I do agree with scott that there are large gaps in the CCNP track.  I found myself really disappointed with the lack of BGP and MPLS on the BSCI exam I took.  It seems like some people read up in the service provider track to get these skill sets.  I even talked to an R&S IE from back in the day and he had to go to the service provider track to learn about MPLS.

                            • 11. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                              Darwin R CCNA/CCDA



                              I'm humbled already....


                              I do appreciate the words of wisdom.


                              What's funny is when I think about configurations I've placed together in the past for production and I've gone over them with a fine tooth comb just to find out 1 segment of the network is inaccessible from the device I'm working on. I'm troubleshooting until the cows jump over the moon (debug, begging...etc). Backing out of this change work is not even a consideration in my book, but the thought crosses my mind as my time limit comes into view. Sweat is not even the look....it's pouring buckets off of my forehead. All is well after I call one of the resident technical experts explaining 'I am so sorry for waking you from your ancient slumber' and how last years Chrismas gift is actually in the mail. After about 5 or 10 minutes of concerned murmurs from the expert, I hear...'don't you realize you're missing a route map.


                              Ultimately, I validated connectivity and wasted more time thanking this individual versus asking more about the solution and what I missed with troubleshooting.


                              These are things I think about if I ever were in a position to take an IE lab or written. Another funny thing is if I were the one going for an IE, you all would probably go on vacation from CLN because I can hear you saying...OH MY GOODNESS...NOT DARWIN ASKING A QUESTION AGAIN...


                              Thanks guys...keep it coming,



                              • 12. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                                Darwin R CCNA/CCDA



                                Thanks....that's really good information to know.



                                • 13. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                                  Hank Yeomans

                                  I think it has a lot to do with analytical skills along with simply learning what you need to pass the test.  Case in point, someone who passes the CCIE might not know anything about the 6500 switch, is operation and its nuances because its not on the lab.  With a good deal of 'natural' talent and analytical skills those nuances wont matter as much and can be picked up quickly. 


                                  A better analogy is, I am aweful at baseball, no matter how hard I try I will never be paid a multi-million dollar contract to play ball.  I might like it but is not for me at that level.  CCIE/CCDE and CCA aren't for everyone the same as anything else.  Some people will take even the long route and will never get there. More importantly they won't recognize that they may need to find success in different methods.


                                  I consider myself to have a good amount of experience in different areas and I chose to skip NA/NP/DA/DP all together.  I took and passed the CCIE and I took and pass this year the CCDE written.  The CCDE was a great deal of study and I have been working on MPLS deployments.  Thats me though, and that works for me because I I can't do things step step.  That won't work for a lot of people though.

                                  • 14. Re: CCIE ‘long or short route’
                                    Darwin R CCNA/CCDA

                                    Hello Hank,


                                    Congratulations on your accomplishments.


                                    Your point is well made. I find myself wondering from time to time if this is simply just a means to an end . I do enjoy the challenge and intrigue of troubleshooting and configuration manipulation. Then, there are times when I feel like a carpenter that performs great work for others, but his own home is falling apart. My meaning is that I perform diligently at my place of employment, but durring leasure time, I have to prod myself in order to engage in the most simple study habit. I'm not sure if it's 'burn out' or something else. One thing I do know is that when the 'chips' are down my mind is like a 'steal trap' mulling over countless possibilities to resolve and issue. Is that passion for this type work or like any other test at hand such as catching a mouse ? This will take careful consideration and soul searching on my part. I definitely don't want a situation like taking the time to study to become a doctor,  but then I get sick and tired of dealing with ill people.


                                    I truly appreciate yours and everyone's comments,