Journey to 20yr old CCIE

Hey Guys!

At last with the blessing of GOD, I manged to pass CCIE exam at brussels.This was my third attempt.Yea,I am 20 but I am not boasting but rather feeling proud for this accomplishment in the conditions I been through while preparing.Its been a long journey.I want to say Thanks to Brians,Darby for this tips and Scott,Narbik for their endless help rather it be direct or indirect as most of the help and information I got to my problems was by searching the old archives and most of the archives were from Scott and Narbik :).Also want to say thanks to Alexie for his posts in Netmasclass,the thing in which I was getting which was redistribution,he pulled out a topic from Group Study posted by Bruce from Netmasterclass way back,it was huge post on Redistribution which really opened my mind in that particular area.I can post that link later if someone is interested.Also want to say thanks to Eric and Bruno,the proctors of Brussels which really helped me(Cheers! if you are reading this post 🙂 and to Manoj for talking with me on phone for helping me out in my problems and giving me tips for the Lab.

This is a Huge post.I just want to tell everyone that never ever give up!!.Always remember:-

“Winners never Quit & Quitters never win!!”

I struggled a lot during my journey to CCIE.It took me 3 years! I started studying for CCIE back in 2004 after passing my CCNP when I was just 17.My career started when I was studying in 9th grade and was working as part time in my areas’s local ISP company.I use to do installations of Modems,cables for New customers.My interest started to grow after I saw Network Engineer f our company configuring RIP on Router.My ambition started to grow,I wanted to be like him,sitting on chair and configuring Network Equiptments remotely.Then I asked him how to learn those kind of things and then he recommended me Wendel Odom’s CCNA book,that’s when my career in Cisco started.I managed to pass CCNA and started helping that same Engineer in his work of configuring routeres and learn new things from him.Later on I managed to pass CCNP.

My hunger for Networking started to grow,that’s when I joined a big company out of the state where I was living,which really helped me in studying.I worked there and meanwhile started studying for CCIE in 2004.But at that time was also most worst part because when people use to lookup at me in India(thats where I worked and grew up) they use to mock me “17 year old kid doing CCIE?!!! HAHAHA”,They use to mock me on my back which also worked as spilling petrol in fire for me in my studies due to which my determination grew and I wanted to show them that I can do it.But at that time I was not upto the mark for CCIE.I took traning in Bangalore,it was 2005 mid by then.Then I got know about IE’s Brian and I saw their sample labs and then I realized that there was so much out there to learn.But I didnt had that much finance to pay Brian or for my training.So I made up my mind to work hard and collect money.After doing 9 to 5 job,I use to Design Websites and do Web hosting for many customers.

That business really boosted my income and till the ended of 2005 and with some financial help from my parents I planned to buy my rack and then I posted at GS in Dec 2005 I believe for getting help for setting up Rack,Then brian McGahan came forward to help me and I bought full Rack of routers and CCIE End to End from Brians on which they gave me discount after due to my financial condition.I am really grateful for them.I started learn technologies more deeply by studying Brian’s COD and their workbook and meanwhile studying CCIE Practical studies Vol 1 & 2(I already completed TCP/IP Vol I & II by this time).

But finance was always problem for me,so I had to work meanwhile for collecting money for CCIE Lab exam.But 2006 wasnt really good year for me.Due to some personal problems at home I had to sell my rack.My CCIE written exam was going to be expired.So I gave my written exam again and then I needed to practise on Rack.But the Rack rentals price for 20-30 days and training of Bangalore for CCIE turned out to be same,HAHA,So I thought I should rather go to banglore,this way I got rack access for 1 month physical access (My employer really helped me and gave me leave).

But then after reading that how people fails in GS,I was really shocked and I made up my mind to take Bootcamp.My friend Manoj whom I met in GS recommended me to go Cyscoexpert where Naren Mehta who is Co-Author of Book “CCIE Routing and Switching Official Exam Certification Guide” and bahram were giving one to one training in US.So I decided to go there,so I started collecting money and did various projects meanwhile and did programming/designing for website,also hosted Live broadcsting events.At last I was ready to go.

But before going I did Rack rentals from Chris from CiscoLabs,he gave me Rack in damn cheap price.I am thankful to him.I took my training in US from CyscoExpert.That training was just awesome! It really helped me and I thought I was ready for exam and I would pass it.I appeared for my lab on 15th may 2007 at RTP,This was my first attempt and I failed.I was really shocked that what happened as when i came out of the lab I thought Iwas passed.It really shook me.I did’t knew what to do.I posted my experience in Lab during then.When i returned back to India,I met those guys again mocking at me even 2 years after saying that I cant pass the labs.So I felt so guilty and thought I couldnt pass it and they were right.But my parents supported and girl friend supported me and told me to give it another try.After 1 week time my I decided that I wont give up and booked my lab date on 5th July,2007 in Dubai and guess what I failed again which almost made me thing that CCIE is not meant for me and I dint even had the courage to post in GS or appear in GS again.I was really broken in pieces and started to think that those guys were 100% right that CCIE is unattainable for Kid/Teenager like me and I dont deserve that.

But after 2 months I really thought that what am I doing?! Even after doing so much I am quiting?! So finally I decided to give one more attempt again and see my luck.I decided to take Narbik’s bootcamp under his special offer but due to some personal problems I was not able to attend it.I decided to do Netmasterclass,Also Chris from CiscoLabs and my old friend Manoj gave me advise to do it.So I bought Netmaster DoIT and rented Rack from Chirs and started practicing and whole December I practised DoIT,especially on Weekends and during Christmas/New Year Holidays.

By this time my lab was booked on January 29th at Brussels.I went to IE’s COD again.Read the redistribution part which really sometimes put me in trouble from Forum’s of DiscussIT of Netmasterclass by Bruce posted by Alexie,Thanks again for that!! And not to forget my favorite post from Darby in GS with Subject “Lab Approach – Getting Ready for the 3rd Shot at the Title” which really helped me in my 3rd shot ;).Thanks Darby for that.I got problem in many things but it was mostly previously discussed in GS before and was mostly answered by Scott and Narbik,Thanks Narbik and Scott!!!

I also remember the topic “Attack by proctor” from GS which said the Proctors esp. in Brussels do attack in rack,many CCIE candidates came forward and said it.I was also prepared for that even i thought it was stupid thing,thinking that maybe sometime in middle of m lab I would get problem,hehe

So the Final day,when i entered the lab I was totally freeked out.I calmed myself and started my lab and I finished my lab in 5.5 hours which was really good sign for me,then i verified the solutions from first question from Question one to last and then came out of the Lab.I left for the airport from hotel at 5pm.

Now the **Golden Moment**.Just after 1 hr 45 mins,after my lab,exactly at 6:15 pm and I got my result, “19910” and I was like NO WAY! Tears came into my eyes with happiness.I couldnt believe I passed!! Then I called my parents and gave them the news.That was the most precious moment of my life.I thanked GOD which blessed me.

As per my experience in Lab there is nothing known as attack by proctor in MIDDLE of LAB.And yea Bruno & Eric(Proctors of CCIE Lab,Brussels) are not my friends and they neither gave me Belgian Beer to say this,hehe.

The people which really helped me from Day 1 when I started preparing for CCIE are Brians which helped me technically and also financially when I needed help by giving me huge discounts in my bad times. GOD Bless you. guys!

Maybe I bored you guys with my story.But I just want to tell you that no matter how hard the time can be if you want to attain something then go for it,no matter “Whatever it takes”.Even in my case I was being mocked due to my age or even I failed 3 attempts even my financial condition was not good as I was not earning in $ but in India Ruppee which really makes difference,believe me.My pay from past 3 years and money which came from my business of Web Designing/Programming and Broadcasting over IP,all went into this studies.Yea I was stupid enough for this because I just had this one aim in front of me.I took two tranings in bangalore,Rented more than 600 hours of Racktime from different vendors,mainly from Chris,Bootcamp in US,three attempts,End to End from Brians’s CCIE and DoIT from Netmasterclass.I know it looks insane but I was crazy enough to put my 100% efforts as well as finance in this exam as it was my goal and also shut the f**k up of those guys who mocked at me due to my age.They use to say that that they had 12 years of experience(they were CCIE themself) which was nearly equivant ot my age(I was 17 at that time).I respect that they had so much experience and had CCIE but they did not had any right to mock at me.

But I have attained what I dreamt for even it took longer than I expected but I attained it.

My Next Dream …. “CCIE Service Provider”..hehe.. Now I have to dig the way of studiying for this cerfication.I am going to start studying for it in few days time.Any advice or guidance would be helpful :).

Thanks again to Alexie,Bahram,Brians,Bruce,Chris,Manoj(Thanks for taking out time for solving my problems),Naren,Narbik & Scott for their help and support in whichever way I got from them 🙂

–Gobind Singh Gill
CCIE # 19910
(Proudly Writing 🙂 )

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