One Exam Down

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – Lindsay’s just not that interesting when he’s not on tour, is he? No, no he is not. After having a nice summer tooling around sub-tropical regions, it’s back into work and study for me.

I’ve been wanting to get back into CCIE study, but my company needed to get people VMware-certified. Not just because it’s part of our VMware partnership agreement, but also because it’s part of our strategic direction. This means taking the official course, followed by an exam. It’s not the easiest of exams, and a couple of my colleagues will be needing to take another attempt. I wanted to get it out of the way ASAP, so I could focus on CCIE. That meant the last few weeks have been doing a lot of reading and lab work, in our demo/test lab environment. I booked an exam date, to give myself some pressure. Come exam time, I was feeling nervous, and it wasn’t easy. Had about 20 minutes left to review questions, and I used up all that time. With this sort of test they tell you the result immediately. Just a bit of grinding of the machine, then your result…Pass!

It was a real relief to get through VCP. It’s not that I don’t know anything about it, not at all – it’s just that there is an enormous reading list for the exam, and I didn’t have enough time to give it all the attention it needed. So that meant that I had a good general overview, but some of the very specific questions were tough. It’s one thing to know how virtual Standard Switches work, it’s quite another to remember “Which 3 of the following 5 items appear when you click through to this tab, and enable Advanced Properties?” But it’s done, at least until VCP6 rolls around.

It is taking a while to get back into the swing of CCIE study. I was feeling a bit knocked around from it all last year, and then with two whole months of no study, you get out of the routine. I’ve just been doing a little bit of that over the last few weeks to keep in touch, but now I’m going to be able to focus on it full time. All going well, I won’t be doing any other exams between now and CCIE lab time. This means that I’ve now only got three things to focus on in my life: Work, CCIE study, and Anna. And definitely not in that order.

On that last point, we’re feeling quite grateful that Anna is still with us, after an incident on her bike this week. I’ve ridden tens of thousands of kilometres, in many different countries, yet so far I’ve been lucky to never get knocked off. I always tell people I don’t like riding on New Zealand roads though, poor drivers on crap roads. Anna was riding to university and got knocked off by a car, at a narrow point in the road. She was just lucky with the way she fell, that she didn’t get run over. God knows we have enough other cyclists killed in this country.