Monday, January 26, 2009

CCIE Lab: Short Answer Questions – Q&A

We all know that Cisco is introducing a new type of “exam” between the CCIE R&S Written and CCIE Lab Exams… The World Famous “Short Answer Questions”! It consists of a series of four or five questions asked to the candidate BEFORE the CCIE R&S Lab exam!

It started in Beijing, the candidates were interviewed and it was an “oral” exam! That was kind freaking me out!

BUT, this morning CCIE Pursuit solved the mistery! The new “Short Answer Questions” exam will not be oral, but it´ll be Computer Based! Check this part of his post:


Cisco Announces Updates to the CCIE Lab and Written Exam

Effective February 1, 2009, Cisco will introduce a new type of question format to CCIE Routing and Switching lab exams. In addition to the live configuration scenarios, candidates will be asked a series of four or five open-ended questions on the computer screen, drawn from a pool of questions based on the material covered on the lab blueprint. No new topics are being added.

Dear Jehanzeb,

Thank you for contacting Certification Support.

They’re computer-base questions, and will be graded by the CCIE lab proctors.

If you have further questions regarding the CCIE Certification Program, please visit or visit the CCIE Instant Answers at

Kind regards,

Certification Support Center


That is AWESOME! I was worried about the interview… but that doesn´t matter if the questions will be computer based, I will be able to read it, and I read MUCH better than I speak english! :) COOL! So no worries! Let the questions come! :)

You can find many other  Q&A in the Cert Support Center, but those listed below are the ones I consider to be the most important (at least to me) regarding the Short Answer Questions exam:






Well… now it´s time to go back to my books! :)


Sunday, January 25, 2009

IPExpert´s vClass 50% Off (JUST THIS WEEKEND)

I don´t know how many of you are unable to travel to US to attend a "decent" bootcamp class just like me!

That´s why I love everything that´s either offered in "On Demand" and "Live, Online" , I can´t afford to go onsite for a class, the class needs to come to me! :)

Both major vendors (IPExpert and Internetwork Expert) offers those type of classes, but, during this weekend (and according to the newsletter this weekend only), if you register for a vClass at IPExpert you´ll receive a 50% discount! WoW!!!! That is nice!!!!

Just use the code "IPXvCLASS" at the checkout and get your vClass bootcamp for half of the price!!

There are 3 types of vClass available:

Option 1: CCIE 5-Day Instructor-Led Boot Camp vClass

Option 2: CCIE 5-Day Technology-Focused Lecture vClass

Option 3: CCIE 1-Week Lab Experience vClass

Those options are not available only to CCIE Rounting & Switching, but for other tracks too!

For those who still have some budget available, this is the time to use it! Hurry up, this promotion is valid for just this weekend!

Follows the original newsletter:

IPexpert Inc.

January 24, 2009

WEEKEND SPECIAL: 50% OFF Any Scheduled vClass

EXTRA Mock Labs ("Last Mile" Prep Kit) for Candidates Focused on CURRENT (v2) Voice or Security Lab Exams

Going for NEW CCIE Voice or Security (v3) Blueprint? We Have Materials and Racks Ready for You!

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook... Benefits for CCIE Candidates

Monday, January 19, 2009

It worths or not?!

During this weekend I was asked by a friend if all the time studying, reading, watching CoD´s, labbing, and everything else, worths it or not!

He got my attention with this question... He went a little further with it, all around the world, with economy the way it is, companies are not willing to pay the way they were before the crises... Also, if you look at job postings nowadays, you´ll see job offerings asking for someone who knows R&S stuff, but also, needs to be specialist in Security, needs solid understanding of Voice, years of experience in Storage, Wireless, also needs to know how to handle projects (PMP), and ITIL... So, he asked... why wasting time doing such a "time consuming" certification, like the CCIE R&S, instead of lots of certifications in lower levels!

I stopped what I was doing... in fact, I don´t even remember what I was doing, probably was answering some emails... anyway... It took me at least a couple minutes to process his question before even think about an answer... Everything was really quiet for those couple minutes...

I asked him: So, you´re saying companies nowadays preffer to hire a  "generalist" type of engineer than "specialists" ?!

He answered: No, I´m saying they want engineers who can handle everything, and not just a part of it! You know the potential of a CCIE, with all his dedication, and efforts along the way, but tell me, if you´re CCIE R&S, that doesn´t mean you know Security, Voice, and other technologies at the same level a CCSP, CCVP guy does... Also, consider a PMP guy, who is able to handle any type of project, no matter which one, he will be there to handle the project at all, puting all resources together and making it happen!

At this time I got his point of view... He´s right and wrong at the same time (at least to me)... Really... My answer was something like that to him (and please, do not take me wrong, I´m a generalist type of engineer nowadays too):

Ok buddy... Now tell me, when things starts to go wrong... who the companies will chase after for some "consulting"  time to solve the problems?! A "specialist" or a "generalist" engineer?! They can have their teams full of engineers, but if they don´t have some specialists in their fields (R&S, Voice, Security, etc), well... soon of later things will start to go wrong! You can´t compare the experience of a  CCIE Voice engineer, with years of field experience, working "only" with voice, and voice related issues, with a guy who needs to handle the "security, routing and switching, storage and voice"... It´s really nonsense! By the end of the project both guys can do a good job, but the specialist will do it with less impact, faster, with confidence, while the  generalist engineer (like me), will need to do some "home work", pull out a few contacts to solve doubts, and for sure, it´ll take MUCH longer to do it! But both will do it at the end!

So... what´s the advantage?! Again... to manage a network, services and things like that, it´ll probably work... but not for new implementations, where everything starts from the scratch paper during a business meeting! Companies needs to have BOTH type of engineers! Specialists and Generalists! There´s place to everyone!

You need to love what you do to even think about getting CCIE Certified! If you don´t like, please, step away, think again about your career and choose something that pleases you most! I love it! I want to beat it! And that´s what I´m preparing myself to do!

If companies are hiring CCIEs or not it´s another history... but I want to be the type of guy who come up with solutions, and not doubts to solve! Come on! The economic crises will not be there forever, and also, it´s been used all around the world as an excuse to reduce staff, salaries, and everything else! I bet in a couple years everything will be back to normal... And when that time comes, I will be seating on top!

But, you´re right man! We need the best of both worlds... If during the way to achieve the CCIE, I can learn other technologies, it´ll be great! Thanks for the advice, I´ll work in more than one path during my studies! If possible I´ll get some CCxP level certifications (CCVP, CCSP, CCDP, CCIP)... anyway, that will help me to develop myself during my CCIE studies, and also, will make me more attractive to companies during this time!

In fact... my only concearn right now is to  to be really attractive to the company I work for! It´s really a pleasure work where I do (Orange Business Services), and I love what I do... so... no worries about changes... :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Changes in the CCIE R&S Written and Lab Exam formats!

Well... it seens that all the hoaxes out there are finally becoming truth! Cisco is announcing changes in the CCIE R&S Exam formats!

Starting with the written, according to the newsletter we´ll not be able to skip a question and come back to answer it later in the exam! We´ll need to answer each and every question before moving to the next one! Just like  CCNA/CCNP exams!

Now, the biggest change, prior to the LAB Exam we´ll have an "interview" were they´ll ask us 4 or 5 questions! Ok! I must agree that this is a good thing! BUT! In my opinion, there´s pressure enough over the candidate´s shoulder during the exam! This interview will just put more pressure!

In my opinion, this examination should be a 3 steps, like that:

CCIE Written --> CCIE Interview --> LAB Exam

So, passing the CCIE Written Exam would allow you to schedule the Interview, when you pass the interview you would be able to schedule the lab!

Come on! Questions will be in english (it´s really different to actually READ than LISTENING), that will be a difficult to me, or to anyone else who doesn´t have english as primary language!

Second... what happens if I suck in the interview, and ace the lab!? I can be nervous! That will make me a "cheater" ?!

They could charge like $100.00 for the interview, for sure that would relieve some of the pression over me, it´s better to fail just with $100.00 than $1,400.00!

I´m not against it! I just think it can be done in 3 steps!

Anyone agress ?!

Follows Cisco announcement:


Changes to CCIE Lab and Written Exam Question Format and Scoring

Effective February 1, 2009, Cisco will introduce a new type of question format to CCIE Routing and Switching lab exams. In addition to the live configuration scenarios, candidates will be asked a series of four or five open-ended questions, drawn from a pool of questions based on the material covered on the lab blueprint. No new topics are being added. The exams are not been increased in difficulty and the well-prepared candidate should have no trouble answering the questions. The length of the exam will remain eight hours. Candidates will need to achieve a passing score on both the open-ended questions and the lab portion in order to pass the lab and become certified.  Other CCIE tracks will change over the next year, with exact dates announced in advance.

Effective February 17th, 2009, candidates will also see two other changes in CCIE written exams. First, candidates will now be required to answer each question before moving on to the next question; candidates will no longer be allowed to skip a question and come back to it at a later time. Second, there will be an update to the score report. The overall exam score and the exam passing score will now be reported as a scaled score, on a scale from 300-1000. This change will not affect the difficulty of the current set of exams and will assure CCIE written exams will be consistent with Cisco’s other career certification exams.