Hello Everyone, I am not much of a writer so please ignore all the mistakes in my story. And I don't know from where to begin, it is a very long story but I would like to share the most adventurous part of it, yeah. Me and my 4 friends, we have studied together but in small groups as per the availability of the other and today all 5 of us are CCIEs. I'll share my part of the story. 2009, winter, New Delhi, India Everything was lined up, wake up at 5:30 am because shift starts at 06:30 am, didn't tell anyone at work that I am preparing for CCIE, and then leave office at 16:00 but it always took me an hour more to leave, then me and my friend drive to the lab and reach there around 18:00, now after doing 10.5 hours shift my brain was completely ready for the rest, I made a habit of taking a power nap for 10-15 minutes and after that I was ready to work for next 10 hours without any break.(My GOD I miss those days..!! :-)). After doing practice/study we come back around 23:00 or late On weekends I was full ON. NO WORK NO REST NO SLEEP Only LAB. And only then you realize that half an hour ride on bike to reach the lab costs you another one hour because your fingers shiver on the keyboard and after sometime you realize that your whole body is shivering, you need to warm up before doing anything, so added 'NO HOME' to my weekends. No matter how much one practices, it always looks so lees that nobody wants to take any chance. Life starts revolving around the TCP/IP protocol suite, when you don't want to listen to somebody rather than telling him to stop talking, you just say stub area...stub external routes please and look at the irony, the person bothering you is also a CCIE candidate and you both continue your work after a good laugh at that moment. It continued like that for months and months and finally it was the day. Although, it was like every other day but a bit different, I was ready to take CCIE Exam, my shift was over at 16:00 and I left the office around 17:00. I came back around 17:30 to discuss the leaves required before the examination date, with my boss. He was more that happy to know that one of his team member is going for CCIE. He asked him for 2 weeks leave after 10 days and he agreed to it. But when reached at my friends place he told me that exam seats are filling up very fast. I booked one that suited me best and called my boss to inform him that now I need those 2 weeks after 4 days, he was a bit angry but given the situation he granted it. I took my exam in Bangalore. My flight I went to sleep at 23:00 but woke up around 03:00 am and I was much tensed about the exam. I reached the Cisco Office at 08:00 AM; there were other candidates as well. The proctor came at 08:15; He took us to the lab and briefed us about the exam. ------------- Tips for Exam: ------------- ## As you know that this is an 8 hour exam, there are a lot of candies at the reception, if not, ask the receptionist to arrange it. Fill your pockets with lots and lots of them, trust me it will help you in the exam. Second, keep 2-4 bottles of water and one small cup, drink water at regular intervals. ## The exam started at 09:00 AM and there it is, CCIE EXAM. The exam was good; I had some trouble in understanding a couple of things but sorted them out with the help of the proctor. Around 13:00 we were called for lunch, No offense to Cisco, it was something like boiled spinach wrapped with bread, I think they wanted to make spinach sandwich, whatever it was, I ate it all just because of spinach, I thought that I am taking medicine. But who cares about lunch when you're giving CCIE exam, even I realized it after the exam. The exam was great and I got the result at 22:00 same day. And there was my CCIE number. CCIE#28809. Thanks are not enough for INE. You are great. And I must say that INE labs are the Best for CCIE. A year ago, it was just like a dream and today I am a CCIE. Proud to be a CCIE..!! Regards, Hemant Sharma CCIE#28809

- HEMANT SHARMA, CCIE #28809 (CCIE Routing & Switching)