CCIE Collaboration Lab Recommendations and Strategy [The aftermath of my first attempt]

While my experience on my first attempt was not the brightest one because I failed, I was able to open my mind and think on endless possibilities and maybe potential recommendations. I hope this helps other with their studies and strategies.

Studying and Muscle Memory:
Do you studying… I think many instructors across the globe could not stress this one enough… but its right, going into the Lab with just few practice is not enough, muscle memory plays and interesting role on your experience. The need to know your IOS commands without Context Sensitive help is key (this one got me very bad).

Relax, and yes for at least couple of days before:
I found myself very stressed out trying to study the day before the exam, I was very nervous and very anxious, I think this is part of the journey but if you have self control, and can take care of your emotions do so!!

The Device Approach:
Be careful with this one (you may feel tempted to slip and test every time you bang a solution… sadly my case), the key on this one is to make sure you know what you are doing is right. After reading of many success stories of people passing the exam I went ahead and took a look at this method. Really this method makes you go thru all your exam, review every single point and read the whole thing. while you are doing that make sure you are able to use your scratch paper and create a title for every device you will need to work on based on the questions. In other words the idea is not to have to go back to the same device again (in some cases) to do a different question.

Time to test your Solution:
As many have said it, you need to be able to test, and if you are going to use the Device approach you need to do so with whatever time you have left after configuring everything on your lab.

Whatever your result may be just wait patiently:
I found myself very stressed out even after I was coming back home… I was not able to truly rest for a minute until I received my results. Honestly I was even more stressed after thinking what I could have done better and why I failed.

A study group… maybe?
I have not used this one but I will be looking forward to it.

To conclude with this post I think that this is a very possible test and that anyone that has gone thru all the study material, and the appropriate training can pass. My plan will be to attempt by the end of February or based on availability by beginning of March.

Also I wanted to invite everyone that reads this post to recommend any approach.


About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 13 years of experience, Andres is specialized in the Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook

9 thoughts on “CCIE Collaboration Lab Recommendations and Strategy [The aftermath of my first attempt]”

    1. Unfortunately I will not be able to help with your request since I’m bind to the Cisco NDA, but I can tell you that it is a very hard exam but is a possible one based on my experience. lots of studying and lots of practice will help… I hope this helps

  1. Thanks for the story. I think despite what we all know about our speed deficiencies and what we try to do to improve, getting ready for attempt #1 is more about grasping the technology and feeling like you could pass, but the time factor will probably get you.

    Perhaps subsequent attempts your preparation will be less about concepts since they should be second nature by that point…..instead its about organization, finding patterns in your process and letting it work for you. A CCIE bootcamp 7 day session probably couldnt hurt as well.

    I take my first attempt in May 2015….so im going through the same frustrations and long nights that you are doing as well. Best of luck to us both. 🙂

  2. Nicholas Platt

    Hi, thanks for the post.

    I was wondering if you could give me a little more info on the device approach? I’m only just beginning to head down this path and am looking for any info I can find. Also, I hope your subsequent attempt this year was successful.

    1. Hi there,
      I know its been more than 20 days and could not reply before… I’m planing myself in a sort of interactive way of doing the device approach, for my benefit and the benefit of my readers. Here is the basic concept on the device approach:
      From the premisse that the exam has many of sections and all or some of the sections depend, or not from one another, you will need to focus on reading all the test before starting any configuration. From what you have read you will define a list of the devices you need to work with, and list the tasks for every device. This way you can start with the very first device and work on the requirements for that device. This way you will not longer have to come back to it to make any type of configurations, because you tackled all requirements by doing that.
      I know it may sound weird and maybe requires one more reading of the above explanation. Just in case you are a visual person, I looked for the following video: which lists the device approach.
      As far of my second attempt life has happened to me and I have postponed it few times since my last attempt, but its all to get stronger and to get more ready to do it once again.
      I wish you all the luck and hope to hear back from you!
      Thank you

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