This time 1 year ago I had been CCIE-written for about 3 weeks. I had begun talking with Global Knowledge about arranging the Cisco 360 bootcamps in Sweden because I didn't want to go abroad. As it happened they were able to to schedule both CIERS1 and 2 in Sweden and exactly the two weeks that I asked for.
Unfortunately I had asked for CIERS1 and 2 to be scheduled close to each other because I was under the impression that you were supposed to take them both close to the exam. As it turns out CIERS1 is meant to be taken early on and CIERS2 closer to the lab. Neither I or the local GK team knew this so in retrospect I have to say that I wish that the instructor (great guy from Egypt) had talked with the local GK team and explained the best course of action. After all, he did say that he was surprised about the scheduling.
CIERS1 took place late August, 2010. It was me and 4 other guys. I was the first person to buy the 360 package in Sweden (at least according to GK) so these guys must have been #2-4 (the fifth was a german). It was fairly obvious from the beginning that only two of us were by far ready even for the first bootcamp. The week passed and we now had 3 weeks to study before CIERS2.
Thursday of the CIERS1 course my boss called me and said that he had been approached by another team within the company. Long story short, I got "upgraded" and I changed groups. It happened so fast. Those three weeks between CIERS1 and 2 just passed and I didn't have one single study day. But I was still fairly happy with the week. It took place late September and I had originally planned on sitting the lab mid-october. Since I had lost so much study time while changing jobs I had decided to bump it till mid-november and I was fine with that, it felt ok. Buuuuut. New job took all my time. I have no one to blame but myself since my new boss had given an OK for studies. I should and could have studied but I didn't.
2010 passed and in January (December?) I got the next BIG hit right in my face. That one other guy who I felt had potential to pass had gone for his first attempt. He got torn to pieces. A month or so later he went for his second. And got torn to pieces again. This absolutely wrecked my confidence. If HE didn't make it, how could I?
Then in April 2011 he finally passed and became CCIE. Since then we've been been talking. I've been fighting my way through work load and trying to find time for studies. I've had at least 3-4 dates set but I keep cancelling. I keep pushing it further and further away.
In exactly three weeks from now I'll be in my car on the way to the airport. I grabbed my confidence and forced it to schedule. I was shaking so hard when I was entering all the required data. I know that I will probably fail but that's ok. I can't keep pushing the date forward. People keep saying how hard it is but I do honestly believe that many people fail simply because they're not ready. I can't let "rumors" stop me from even going. I MUST give it a shot so that I can get a true feeling about how it is. Can't keep hiding from that FAIL e-mail.
I plan on going back in mid-october and PASS...!
...or maybe it turns out that I've been scared for all the wrong reasons? Maybe 23 days from now I'll be sitting on my porch with a glass of champagne? I'll never know if I don't try..