Chris Jones, CCIE #25655

I posted this after I passed a while back, but INE had stopped giving out their shirts at that point. Glad to see you guys doing this again! ----------------------------------------------------------- I recently passed the CCIE Routing & Switching lab, and Im now known as Chris Jones, CCIE# 25655. Ive only been into networking for a few years and technology in general, only a little while longer than that. I never really got into it, until I went to what I call my thirty-thousand dollar life decision, aka college. The diploma itself was worthless, but it got me interested in networking. I finished my CCNA just before I graduated, after studying for it independently. My CCIE experience was exciting, frustrating at times, and pretty satisfying by the end of it. Quite the roller coaster ride, I have to say. I took the written exam in October 2008, and immediately started studying. I got distracted by Christmas and New Years, and didnt really pick up my books again until around May of 2009. I studied casually for the entire summer, went on vacation in August, and then really bore down with my studies. I labbed every single day in September, which was not fun at all. Work 8-4:30 and then labbed from 4:30-10pm every single weeknight. Add to that about 8-10 hours each Saturday, and a mock lab each Sunday. My Fiance was not happy, but understood it had to be done. My mock lab scores were not good, at all. However, a significant amount of the things I was getting wrong werent a lack of understanding of the technologies, but were instead usually just a mistake. Things I had learned, but had simply forgotten. I actually went into my lab expecting it to be, as a colleague on IRC put it, a recon mission. Just a way to test the waters so as to not be so nervous on the next attempt. There was no nervousness, even after I had sat down at my terminal. That is, until I flipped through my lab. I couldnt believe my eyes! The tasks were not at all what I had expected, and in a good way. That was when the nervousness set in, as I knew I may not get quite so lucky on the second attempt. I ended up having my IGP working by lunch, and was completely done with two hours to spare. The night after my lab I refreshed my email countless times, only to realize once I was half-asleep that I had actually changed my profile to send to a different address. I opened the link, cursed the slow hotel wireless, logged in, and closed my eyes as the page loaded. When I opened them, I couldnt believe it. PASS. I was shocked, but at the same time it wasnt such a surprise, considering how simple the lab was. Thank you to all who have supported me during my quest for the CCIE: Friends, family, and colleagues on both IRC and Twitter!

- Chris Jones, CCIE #25655 (CCIE Routing & Switching)