Making Time for Study
Luciano Moraes learned the hard way that you need to put in a significant amount of study time to pass the CCIE lab.
“Time was the biggest obstacle,” says Luciano Moraes, a solutions design and delivery manager for British Telecom Global Services, who does not hesitate for a moment when asked about the biggest challenge to earning a CCIE® certification. Luciano, who achieved expert status in 2002 in the Routing and Switching track, found it difficult to find enough time to study for the exam and fulfill his job duties at the company that required Luciano to become CCIE-certified. It wasn’t until his third attempt on the lab exam that Luciano developed a study plan that secured his success. “I spent 30 days straight in the lab studying to pass the exam. From eight in the morning until ten at night. For 30 days.”
Such time commitments are necessary to earn the certification, Luciano says, because of the sheer volume of information a successful candidate must master. “I think you have to be one hundred percent committed . . . a perfectionist. Because there is a lot of information you need to be aware of.” But Luciano does not think this is an unreasonable demand. “It’s the same in real life. If you aren’t aware of all the details of the network in your mind, it makes it difficult to build a successful solution for your customer.”
“[On my third try] I spent 30 days straight in the lab, studying to pass the exam. From eight in the morning until ten at night. For 30 days.”
Luciano, who plans to attempt his second CCIE exam in the Voice track later this year, learned his diligent study habits the hard way. “When I took the lab exam the first time, it was a total disaster. I didn’t have enough time to study. I wasn’t ready. I tried to prepare more the second time, working during the day and studying at night.” But that still did not prove to be enough. It was not until his third attempt—after the grueling 30-day stretch of 18-hour study days—that Luciano’s efforts finally paid off. “The third attempt was really amazing. I finished the exam an hour early . . . but I had to wait for 14 hours to get my final results. That was tough.”
But well worth it for Luciano, who feels the results of those long hours of study time even today. “I feel more confident after getting the certification because I had to study so many different technologies. Most of my customers . . . look at me as a trusted advisor. And I feel more comfortable when a customer needs an out-of-the-box solution.”
The tough road Luciano Moraes traveled to earn a CCIE certification brought with it an element of pride as well. “I earned my CCIE on July 31, 2002. I can forget my birthday,” he jokes, “but I won’t forget that date.”