PASSED RS! #50117

Holy hell has this been a journey!


Sat for attempt number four yesterday in RTP. Good news is dual monitors are being prepped now and was told maybe by the end of the year.


Attempt one was eye-opening and gave me a glimps of what I was up aginst. I failed both TS and Config. I still feel one of my biggest mistakes was not sitting this one sooner. I came out of my INE bootcamp and sat this test 4 months later. I should have done it one to two months. 


Attempt two I made a ton of strides and cleared Config with almost 2 hours to spare. Speed and stratagy is key for this section. TS I missed by a single ticket and just needed 2 more minutes. Stratagy also killed me here as I spent too much time on a massive 4-pointer. 


Now the 90 day wait...


80 days in they lift the 90 day wait :)


Attempt 3 was bad all around. That long of a wait when being that close on number two killed me and my stride. TS I cleared but failed Config big time along with Diag. Dont under-estimate diag! Config I bombed even though I had full functionality and finished early. Very odd but I chalk it up to small screw-ups and oversights on my part. I just was not in the right mind-set that day.


So the PASS. Cleared TS no problem, Still couldnt get that damn 4-pointer fully functioning. Diag was stressful but I made it. Config was smooth until a large section of my lab would not come online. Id go into detail but NDA... This was not good and I knew right there it would cost me my test. I set it aside and finished the rest of the lab as quickly as possible. I spent well over an hour troubleshooting this section and still no dice. Rebuilt config, rebooted, I tried everything. Nothing... So I accepted my loss, wr mem and clicked End Exam.


Went to bed last night 99% sure I failed. Woke up this morning to the infamous email clicked it and nearly shit myself when I was my digits. Pass!!


4 attempts at the written and 4 attempts at the lab. Did I mention I suck at taking test? :) But persistence paid off!




Study Strategy.


I started this journey almost 3 years ago with a 2 year old daughter and another on the way. 1 month before attempt number one we had my first son. This made this journey a lot harder but its still do-able. Instead of a personal journey it had to be a family journey and I give a ton of respect to my wife and parents for what they put into this.


Study schedule and organization are key. Build out a schedule and hold yourself to it. But know its going to change multiple times along the way. 


I started my lab studies while v4 was still active. My study schedule was built around INEs old approach with the v4 workbooks. I had ran through all volume 2 and most volume 3 workbooks twice before v5 went active. I could have made an attempt at v4 but not two. So I backed off and focused on core technologies and deep-dives of weak areas until v5 material started to surface. 


After attempt one and two I had several home built labs that mimicked what I saw and those where the large bulk of my labbing from there on. I would throw in a INE or 360 lab once a week or so just to keep sharp. 


Adding up the hours spent labbing I almost hit 2000 I think. 




My lab


My v5 lab has always been CSR ontop of an ESXi box with a GNS3 lab at work. My custom labs I built in WebIOU and ran them on every device I could get my hands on. 




As I mentioned before Im not a good test taker nor am I the sharpest engineer out there. That along with having 3 small kids and a busy work load made this journey seem almost impossible. Luckily I have a hard head and butt-loads of persistence and that is what got me through this. Its do-able to get these digits in any situation. Everyone will have their own set of challenges that you have to work through. Its part of the process.


My full journey can be found in more detail on my blog and Ill be posting more up there when I get time in the next few days. 




Thank you INE for your amazing content and bootcamp. IEOC is great and has been a valuable resource in my journey. Thank you guys!!


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