The Journey to CCIE Certification, a Private Story

This visitor put up was authored by Cisco Designated VIP Christian Kellerer. 

When you’re an aspiring CCIE, you realize that attaining this prestigious certification requires arduous work, self-discipline, and persistence. My identify is Chris Kellerer, and as a Cisco Studying Community VIP, I’ve efficiently climbed the Cisco certification mountain from backside to high. I hope that my story offers useful perception and inspiration that will help you attain your personal CCIE certification objectives.  

From apprentice to discovering Cisco certifications 

My networking journey started after I completed my apprenticeship in 2014, however I used to be nonetheless not sure of my long-term profession path at that time. Then, in 2017, I discovered myself working alongside a CCIE-certified contractor on a fancy networking venture.  

He patiently taught me superior networking applied sciences corresponding to NX-OS, ASA, FirePOWER, ISE, and PRIME. After sharing his personal CCIE Lab expertise, it was the recommendation he gave subsequent that began my certification journey.  

“When you actually wish to turn out to be licensed, you want the fervour for it and should do it step-by-step. Begin on the backside. First, get your CCNA, after which should you’re nonetheless , do the CCNP. Lastly, should you actually wish to dig deep, get the CCIE.”  

That’s what began me down the trail to certification. 

Tackling the primary hurdles: CCNA and CCNP 

Utilizing Cisco whitepapers and official E-learning programs, I started my CCNA Routing & Switching research (now merely referred to as the CCNA) in early 2018. I accomplished it in simply six months. After passing the exams, I instantly dove proper into the CCNP Routing & Switching (now CCNP Enterprise) certification, finishing it by March 2019.  

I discovered TSHOOT to be essentially the most pleasing examination, and looking back, it felt like a teeny-tiny child model of the CCIE lab examination. Whereas passing the exams boosted my confidence, I used to be nonetheless unsure about my profession route.  

Cisco Reside and the redesigned CCIE Certification Program 

My journey was not with out its roadblocks. Regardless of my early success with CCNA and CCNP, it was at this level that I discovered myself caught and unsure about my profession path. Not solely was the CCIE blueprint intimidating, but it surely additionally felt considerably outdated from a know-how viewpoint.  

I ended learning for a couple of months. Nevertheless, that every one modified when Cisco Reside 2019 introduced the readability and motivation I wanted to proceed. That 12 months, Cisco introduced the approaching of a redesigned certification program, together with the successor to the CCIE Routing & Switching: The newly named CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure (CCIE EI) monitor.  

The up to date blueprint included conventional networking whereas additionally introducing fashionable subjects like SDx and programming/automation. That’s the second I grew to become decided to take the subsequent step and earn my CCIE.  

The CCIE lab examination: First, second, and third makes an attempt 

My first try on the CCIE Lab in October 2020 was a nerve-wracking expertise. Despite the fact that I felt ready for some points, I felt underprepared for others.  

I discovered myself battling the duties, going by way of them in an unordered sequence—to not point out the massive variety of duties was intimidating. The redesigned CCIE program added to the problem, because the new lab atmosphere was nonetheless in its early phases. Dissatisfied in my efficiency, I acquired the information that I had failed each modules. The failure hit me arduous, and with the lab’s uncertainty because of the pandemic, I ended learning for a number of months.  

After I restarted my research in January 2021, I used to be extra decided than ever. This time, I developed a “easy” 7-step technique for the CCIE lab examination itself: 

  1. Learn the fabric.
  2. Learn the fabric once more.
  3. Reply the query.
  4. Learn the fabric once more.
  5. Test the reply.
  6. Learn the fabric once more.
  7. Recheck the reply. 

My second try in July 2021 went higher than the primary, however as I approached the two.5-hour mark within the DOO module, I panicked. I spotted I had made some errors and accomplished some illogical issues which brought about me to expire of time and solely end 2/3 of the duties.  

After the second lab, I once more knew I had failed but it surely was due to easy errors and overconfidence. However after I acquired my scores the subsequent morning, I noticed my preparation had massively elevated my scores this time round: I handed the DESIGN module, however nonetheless failed the DOO module.  

For my third try in September 2021, I booked the examination simply seven days after the second attempt.  

The additional preparation paid off. The DESIGN module went properly, and I felt assured approaching the DOO module. Regardless of getting caught at one level, I pushed by way of.  

On the very finish, with solely 25 minutes on the clock and nearly not one of the duties having been reviewed, I made a daring resolution. I made a decision to avoid wasting the operating configuration to the startup configuration for each gadget, ensuring they have been all in privileged EXEC mode, and used the remaining time to do at the very least somewhat little bit of configuration verification. With solely 10 seconds to spare, I hit the Finish Examination button.  

After my greatest try but, I acquired the information by 5 p.m. that very same day. I had handed the examination and earned my CCIE EI certification! The journey had been lengthy and difficult, however the setbacks solely made the win extra satisfying.  

Life after CCIE: Embracing new alternatives and private objectives 

Changing into a CCIE requires arduous work, self-discipline, and persistence. It wasn’t with out its challenges, to not point out the substantial funding of time, power, and value. With my CCIE in hand and newfound free time, I’ve rediscovered my outdated hobbies and passions of enjoying piano… and eventually getting again to my personal life. I’m excited to find the place my studying journey will take me subsequent. I’ll at all times be grateful to the CCIE contractor who launched me to the world of Cisco certification.   

When you’re considering pursuing a CCIE certification your self, I invite you to learn CCIE Research Supplies, Prices, and Preparation Suggestions. There you could find my examine ideas, value breakdowns, and different helpful ideas that I gathered alongside my very own CCIE certification journey. I additionally made my lab notes obtainable to everybody at Whether or not you’re simply beginning out or properly into your research, I hope you discover these sources useful in your pursuit of this difficult certification. Better of luck! 

Hear Christian Kellerer inform the story of how he grew to become CCIE #65551 on the Cisco Studying Community Podcast.

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 Learn subsequent: “What It Takes to Change into a CCIE” by Yusuf Bhaiji, Director of Cisco Certifications. Learn weblog.


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