Rex Spell, CCIE #44550
First off I work on optical networks so I have no day to day Service Provider experience. I have been going after this certification for over 4 years. My first attempt was just after the switch to version 3, and I had all of 2 weeks prep on XR before taking the lab. I went back and tried again within about 3 months, and had a little bit better experience but was still dejected. I didn't touch anything SP related for at least 6 months. Somewhere during this time I decided to purchase the INE study material for the SP lab. After going through all of the videos, I discovered that I had been doing it all wrong. I was using the inverted pyramid and trying to learn via lab. I started and stopped multiple times over the last 2 years and even had to go retake the written test. About 6 months back I finally got serious and started going through all of the material again. I felt good about most of it, and was able to talk my boss into sending me to the Bootcamp to the finishing touches on my preparations. Brian McGahan was an excellent instructor and answered every question that we had. I took the lab about 4 weeks after the Bootcamp, and was very close to passing. I rescheduled for 6 weeks later and passed it today in San Jose. My thanks to Brian and INE for putting together such amazing study materials and putting in the effort of having Bootcamps.