Chris Racaza, CCIE #37571
First of all I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude to INE team. Their existence has evolved into years of providing the tool sets in gaining the knowledge and skills that a demanding environment requires. I am a graduate of BS Information Technology and my career started way back 2005 few months after my graduation and evolves at a different perspective since I started. I got my first job at a Local Systems integrator but had started from ground-zero. So doing some odd jobs like giving leaflets on computer promos with printer packages, printer cleaning, computer repair as well as delivery. But one thing that struck me was when I was asked to be with the cabling guys. At the very first moment I touched those copper wires ? UTP thing ? then it was where the journey into networking was conceptualized. Doing cabling works wasn?t an easy job. You will be in either inside the manhole, above the ceiling or in the ground doing the cable pulling. So basically it?s a civil work thing. This is it!!! I enrolled a CNAP ( Cisco Networking Academy Program ) and attended after office hours and took me a year to complete it. When my supervisor knew that I was into the CNAP, he asked me if I?m willing to be assign to one of the Telecom/ISP as an in-house support engineer? YES was my answer in just a millisecond responds. Now, by the time I was assign to one of their ISP client then the chain of reaction continues. I?m not neither a network engineer who does Routing and Switching thing but as a technical support who still do PC and Printer thing. But there we?re few loads that we?re added, Active Directory( password reset ) Exchange Server ( tape backup ) and helpdesk role as well. Good thing is I had the change to met those Network Guys and started showing to them my interest in networking. I asked one of the guys to let me see just the running-configs on how it looks compare to what I have in CNAP. That?s the time I was able to see routers and switches in production and Frame-Relay is still on it?s peak during that time. Now networking comes into realization and that time I didn?t waste my time and took the CCNA. So I was given the chance to deploy routers and switches to remote sites. During those times, I?m curios of these guys coming into the office(client site) doing some network things. I asked one of them what are you doing in here? The answer was they we?re the provider for networking equipment?s. Ahah! So there?s my second question and guess what? ? Do you have any hiring? Then the guy said YES and at instant my CV has been ready 24/7. So in March of 2008, I join that company which was a Gold partner of Cisco. That was where I had the real opportunity to do network implementation although it may not be that real complex compare to those projects which were in the Head-office. In those times I had completed my CCNP and CCIP as well as CCDA. By 2011, I join another company which was more into NOC operations but it didn?t last long since after 3 months with them I join a global company which I had the chance to work in a project for a Global Financial company at the same time doing my CCIE written. End of 2011 then I had another opportunity to work overseas which provides better capabilities in financing my long-term dream of becoming a CCIE. So I was then working here in UAE and in the first quarter of 2012 first lab failure comes into an embrace. Very devastated but the journey continues, I made a bank loan to finance my 2nd and probably worst case on which attempt it will be completed. Sigh!!! So end of 2012, I took my 2nd attempt and gladly become a CCIE for Routing and Switching but the quest still continues. There are still so many things to learn and I have so many ? Fill-in-the-gaps ? . My partnership with INE will continues together with the journey of learning on becoming a better engineer. More power to you all!!!