Muhammad Imtiaz, CCIE #19605
After passing my CCIE R&S and taking a break of few months during which we had a baby as well, i decided to go for 2nd CCIE, SP. I knew that i failed twice in R&S and passed on 3rd attempt but could not afford to fail this time since newly born baby was growing up and i needed to spend time with him, also i knew as he grows, he will need more time and attention, hence i thought to give it my best to pass CCIE SP asap. I started studying, as group with one of my friend, who was with me. We get up early morning, go to work early and study/practice for about 2 hours before starting our work and then study in late evenings. It was do and die situation, my target was 3 months, of-course my daily job stuff helped as i am in SP vendor technologies. SP is tougher than R&S surely, some says R&S is tough but i don't agree. SP has lot to learn and practice. Labs were very difficult, practice ones. But i needed to do it in one shot. 3 months of hard work and study and appeared in exam, during the month of fasting. It was a nice day of September. when i got the lab and started reading it, i knew it is VERY difficult and probably i will fail but i thought to give it my best shot. I started fast, i am pretty good in typing and fast on keyboards. Hence tried to complete the lab, it was very lengthy, took me about 7 hours to complete. Once couple of technologies worked i knew i did something which wasn't easy for me. I came back home, and thinking that most likely it needs another try, i was close and was hoping to "may I pass" situation. I was playing with my kids, then, 4 months old, in the room. I kept the CCIE result page open in browser and was checking every few minutes. It was about 8:30 pm when my wife came in and told me that "you have passed", i looked at her face and thought she is kidding, i said please dont joke around with me. She said, no i am serious, you passed, there is something on her face which made me think that i may have. Rushed towards computer and saw that i have passed. Did not believe it, refreshed the page and same result. Again, same result. I was like, am i dreaming. It was due to the difficulty of the lab questions and time it took me to complete the lab. Anyway, finally i realized i have passed my 2nd CCIE in first attempt. Starting calling friends and receiving calls. Later in night i thought of something, came back to computer, did print-screen of the result, thinking they may change the result next day. That page is still save, with the date and time of that memorable day. Since then, i have believe in myself more and realized if you work hard enough you can achieve your goals. Thanks to my wife obviously to give me space and time for this effort.