2nd Attempt -but not out of the Collaboration woods yet

Hi all,

Here is an update on my second and unsuccessful attempt. Things to think about and others to ignore.

This time the results were less effective and the score one to be ashamed of, however I learned few things of me and some “don’t try this at the lab” things that can be useful for many out there in the same path.

This the lab hit me with different questions and stuff from my previous attempt, which got the best of me and made me loose tremendous amount of time. I will do my best to summarize how everything went, off course without breaking my NDA. I hope you enjoy reading this post

My approach (which would have been successful by sticking to it)

Phase I (90 mins):

  • Switch Configuration
  • Router 1 Configuration
  • Router 2 Configuration
  • Router 3 Configuration
  • CUE Configuration

Phase II (120 mins)


Phase III (90 mins)

  • HQ-CUC
  • HQ-IMP

Phase IV (180 mins)

  • Troubleshooting
  • Testing Solution

Initially this was the idea and it was going fine until I got nervous and noticed that it was close to 11AM and had none of my phones registered.

I moved to start making my stuff register and then that is where I started loosing it. I had so many issues with one of the phones at the CME configuration which was not cooperating at all!!!. Then I decided that I needed to keep moving and complete the rest of the stuff.

When Lunch Kills your Mojo

Yes I went to lunch after 11:30 and was feeling great. But when I went back inside I had disconnected too much and relaxed too much that I forgot what I was doing. Then I started what in IT is called the “Shoot from the hip” approach – and started configuring linearly based on the questions/requirements. One of the things that I was avoiding at all times, but fell victim for it again.

Troubleshooting by the Lab, Also the troubleshooting nightmares you introduce to yourself.

Its great that the lab introduces you with nice troubleshooting cases and issues so that you can attempt to fix and be successful, those are nice, very predictable and easy to resolve. However there are other troubleshooting cases where you set yourself up and end up setting you up, like in my case, made horrible stupid mistakes that by the time they were fixed you had spent so much of the valuable time in the exam.

Things that I think I need to work on the most

I need to take advantage of more laboratories and more preparation, that is the true and I feel a bit embarrassed by admitting it, but really practice is what makes you a  master. Lots of labs is never enough.

I will need to organize my time and keep doing labs. Which is where I will find the most of the results.

Attention span, if you know me, you know that my attention span is very short, sometimes this plays in my favor and most of the times against me. I’m the kind of person that get distracted so easy and getting back into what I was doing is hard to accomplish.

Next steps to prepare!

Stop beating myself out and keep going, at this point I have spent lots of time, effort and money that is too late to forget about this goal. I will keep going and will not let go until I pass this exam.

I have not clear when I will attempt next but one thing I’m sure it will be very soon, maybe in 30 days or at the beginning of the year. This time I’m not waiting and will not give up and feel bad like last time.

Next attempt is when?

Pretty soon – Most of the people around my think that I need to take a break and get back with more time. I really think that needs to happen sooner than later, I need to be able to continue with my objective and finish all my goals, I know there is a life after the CCIE Collaboration and I know will come soon.

Also CCIE Collaboration is not my last goal, there are more goals to accomplish after this one. I should post a list pretty soon so that I can keep track and to keep me honest all the time.

As always thank you for reading and for your support.



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

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