Passed CCIE written, have a "life" question

Unanswered Question
Feb 4th, 2007

So I passed the CCIE R&S written yesterday. My question is regarding what to do next. I have until August 3, 2008 to attempt the lab. But this year, my wife and I are buying our first house and our first baby is due at the end of July/beginning of August. Has anyone here started and completed the CCIE R&S lab while also handling such life-changing events? I'm afraid that I won't have the time needed to study and pass the lab if I wait until the kid is born. Plus, I am the kind of person that can't "sit still". If I were to wait until Sept/Oct to start on the lab, I would have to do something in between now and then. I am doing some more firewall stuff at work, maybe a CCSP would be a good "filler" over the next 4 months. What do you think?

I have this problem too.
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Chris Deren Sun, 02/04/2007 - 14:19

I passed my lab while I had 4 year old and 9 month old kinds, so it can be done. It probably took me about 4-5 months of intense preparation, besides real work expereince. Off course it makes it more challanging as you have to be able to balance study, work and personal life. Obviuosily your wife has to be understanding and fully commited just like you. My advise is to really eveluate your situation to figure out how much study time you think you'll need to dedicate, and then make a decision whether to go for it now, or perhaps take a short brake and focus on your family.


jcrussell Sun, 02/04/2007 - 14:27

That's the thing I am having a hard time doing. I can't figure out how much time I will need. Everyone says you need years of experience and tons of study time. I have only been a network engineer since August. But I passed the CCNP in 2 months and spent only 1 month studying for the CCIE written. I've always been a quick learner. But this lab seems different. It costs so much, I just want to be sure I am ready before going in.

Thanks for the reply.

leonvd79 Mon, 02/05/2007 - 02:13


I can't comment on working on CCIE while having a child on it's way, but you cannot compare the CCIE Lab exam with the qualification test.

I am working on my lab since last April, when I passed my CCIE written. Since then I have invested a lot of time to study all the topics on the blueprint including 500+ hours of hands-on lab scenario's.

To date I have attended two exams in a six month time span and found that I am (still) not ready for it.

I advise you to read the archives at to get insight on what it takes to prepare for the lab. There are many success stories that will tell you that it will not be a one way trip to the exam center.

The bottom line is that you need to have a plan how to approach this exam. With a good plan you know how much you can take at a time. I would recommend learning as much as you can from the documentation site ( and explore unknown territory.

As you have passed CCNP and CCIE written exams you are familliar with the core topics of the exam, however most of us are tripped up by the non-core topics such as IOS features, QoS, Security and Multicast.

Again, take your time and know your stuff, don't rush it and pick a good learning provider that'll take you there. It will save you a both a great deal of time and money.

Best of luck on your endeavour.


oliverlag Mon, 02/05/2007 - 13:27

"But I passed the CCNP in 2 months and spent only 1 month studying for the CCIE written. I've always been a quick learner"

Hi James,

sorry.. I don't have an answer for you question.. but.. How did you pass the CCNP in 2 months?? You're great! and CCIE written in 1 month... How can you? how many hours do you study per day? How many years of hand on experiece do you have?

Thanks very much and good luck for you baby ;-)


jcrussell Mon, 02/05/2007 - 16:21


I usually study 4-6 hours a day during the week and 6-10+ hours a day on the weekend. The first time I ever touched a Cisco device was August of 2006. I did the CCNA with just simulators.

joemichelo Wed, 02/07/2007 - 04:48

Hi There,

I have no advise for you except to congratulate you and wish you the very best. Am a CCNP and a Firewall specialist. Am not sure when i will give a go at CCIE but with networkers like you posting your achievements like this, we will certainly get there too



jcrussell Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:59

Well, I have decided to do it. I'm just not the kind of person that can sit around a wait. I know I want this CCIE and I know it will help my career and family, so here I go. Thanks to anyone who chimed in!

oliverlag Wed, 02/07/2007 - 13:10

So, you're great! Good luck and be careful to balance study, job and private life.. all it's very important!!

gaurav_dixit06 Wed, 02/07/2007 - 20:37

Dear All,

i have done my CCIE W R&S in 18 FEB 2006 then what would be Expiry date for CCIE W .

suppose if i will do CCIE Lab with till april 2007 then what will be the expiry date .

kindly clarify my query .

thanks in advance .


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