I work for Cisco and I got my R&S back in 1999 but I was stupid and let it expire in 2006. I used to be a BGP developer and after several years of doing BGP fulltime, passing the recert every two years was becoming more and more of a chore. That combined with a case of burnout led to my stupidity in letting my CCIE completely expire
Anyway, in early 2010 took a job in the CPOC lab (Customer Proof Of Concept) in RTP and decided I wanted to get my CCIE again since I was more customer facing in my new job. The INE practice labs were a HUGE help in getting my CCIE again! I ended up doing 12 of the practice labs and reading through the other 8. I passed back in March but forgot to post here...I felt like I should post something since the labs were so good.
Here are my CCIE words of wisdom:
- Learn how to type...I mean really type, not hunt and peck type with two fingers. You are so pressed for time in the config section that being able to type quickly and accurately will be a huge help. Take a month off from studying networking and go through some online typing tutorials. Even after the lab is over think of how useful this skill will be.
- Develop tricks for saving time like using the interface range command, use the same port-channel #s and use BGP peer-groups so you can cut-n-paste configs between routers, etc, etc.
- Don't try to learn every little thing you see on the practice exams. If there is some topic like "configure user-groups so that Fred can only enter 'sh ip route' every other Tuesday" that only crops up one or two times on the INE practice labs just skip it. You could spend a ton of time studying all of these corner case topics that you will probably never see and if you do get one of these you are only out 2 or 3 points. I say spend that time on the core stuff that you are more likely to see.
The lab is much harder now than it was 12 years ago despite it only
being one day long instead of two. When it was two days you configured
everything from scratch right down to setting up the termservers....you
knew that network inside and out by the time you got to the
troubleshooting on day two. The troubleshooting in today's lab is more
realistic (how often do you build the network you are troubleshooting in
the real world entirely yourself?) but that also makes it more
difficult. In terms of the config part I think you are much more
pressed for time in today's lab than the old lab.