Pablo Lucena, CCIE #38211
Last week, December 6th 2013, I took and passed the SP lab. About 1 year ago, I took my 1st attempt at the R&S lab. I failed my first attempt, but came back a couple of months later and passed it on my second attempt. After passing the R&S lab, I decided to NOT stop studying, and just continue my focus on SP. I literally started my journey with SP the day after taking the 2nd attempt at the RS lab (I did not know at that moment that I passed). I started on the airport watching some of the SP ATCs (the l2vpn ones to be specific). While studying for RS, I used the ATC videos of other tracks to complement. For example, I used the ATC Voice videos when I was learning L2 QoS stuff. I also used the SP ATC videos when I was studying MPLS/BGP. I always thought that the SP track looked very interesting, but while doing RS I never got the change to dig deeper. This ended up being the perfect match for me! After just passing RS and being "fresh" on things, I found that there is vast overlap between the 2 tracks. It definitely helped out that I was fresh on core topics (IGP/BGP/Multicast). Everything that I was learning while studying for SP was "an addition" to what I already knew. I went to the 5 day bootcamp with Brian McGahan on September, but did not have my lab date set by this time. Coming out of the bootcamp made me feel confident that my skill set was ready to take the lab. I booked my lab a few weeks after I got back home. There came a point when I felt that I had booked too far away! The last month seemed like an eternity as I just counted down the days. There are only so many times one can go through a lab (I probably went through Lab 4 a good 6 times...each time doing things a little different). The end was very monotone for me, as I felt that I had covered all of the material that I needed. I still studied every single day nevertheless, just to keep the engine going. Throughout my studies I used several books, INE's ATC SP videos (both the old and the new), INE SP Workbook (again, both old and new). I also used the 7 sample labs that are on the Cisco learning network. The next thing that is getting my attention is OpenStack and the Neutron project...I'll be spending my "free time" studying some of these new additions to the industry. Learning and labbing is what I enjoy doing, guess you can call that my "hobby". There are a bunch of new exiting changes happening in the industry and I'm very happy to be able to begin getting my feet wet with all of this new stuff.