I was CCNA, CCNA Security, CCDA certified and finished all the study for the CCNP before I became distracted with a successful audio-visual staging company (www.coastalav.com.au) that I have since liquidated due to three bulging discs. I've decided to return to IT - I was a L3 engineer for a very large WISP for 6 months before my mother passed away - unfortunately it was a poor fit, the culture was bad, the pay very low - but I was fortunate enough to work with some truly gifted young engineers. At 53, I have decided to go down the training route; I'm not interested in the stress (and weird hours) of being an engineer and CCIE is obviously a fantastic foundation for being a (hopefully) good teacher. I'm also quite familiar with Python (I was an AS2 Flash Dev for 10 years) and have enjoyed David Bombal's many videos on the subject. I used my networking skills to design some very large IP based audio-visual solutions around the country over the last decade.
Rather than re-certify incrementally, and given my financial independence (mortgage paid and money in the bank), I have decided to go for broke and attempt the CCIE full time (40+ hours per week of study). My reasoning for this is because if I find that I'm not smart enough, or lack the experience, to successfully complete the CCIE after the 12 months (or perhaps less) of study, it should be somewhat of a breeze to re-certify the three CCNAs and CCNP, which will still give me enough qualifications to teach networking at TAFE (Australian technical college) or for a private provider (with the addition of a Training and Assessment certification). I taught CCNA at a private IT school in Sydney and thoroughly enjoyed it.
From spending the last fortnight researching study plans, I stumbled across Jed Casey's incredibly in depth mind-map, flash cards and comprehensive study guide at:
I have subscribed to the INE All Access Pass and wonderful workbooks and will also pay the money for the Basic and Advanced CELT mini bundles, giving me a good feel for the actual Lab exam (I believe that it is delivered in the same environment as CELT).
From what I can glean, the hardest part of CCIE studies are:
- a good study plan (which I think I have covered from INE, CELT and Jed's resources)
- the dedication (I simply will live and breath networking and really do enjoy a challenge)
- juggling a full time job and family (my wife is working full time and studying her masters and my daughter is an adult, so I really can spend 40-50 hours per week on this for the next 12 months)
I've been surprised at how much knowledge I've retained from both my prior studies and my tenure as a L3 engineer for an ISP, so I'm cautiously optimistic about a successful outcome.
Any advice is welcome!