As I mentioned in my first posting, Cisco requires their active CCIEs to recertify every two years by passing any active CCIE written exam. This past February, I opted to take the voice written exam, primarily due to the fact that my job has been very heavily UC-centric in the past two years.
The idea of adding a second “IE” to my resume is certainly intriguing. From one perspective, I relish the challenge; the idea of defeating “the beast” a second time would certainly be something to savor. It would also add another layer of credibility to my resume of existing certifications and formal education. And, no doubt, I would hope of gain an additional bit of “financial ROI”. Probably my biggest concern about accepting the challenge is the time burden. Make no mistake, preparing for the exam, especially as I assess my current practical skills, would be a significant time investment. I would estimate, without having yet actually created a detail project plan or study chart, it would require:
- 2 – 3 hours of study 4 weekday evenings each week
- one or two full weekend days per month
- for about a year, before I would be ready to sit for the lab.
Factor in the daily trials and tribulations of everyday life (and I am single with no children), and you can certainly imagine and respect the time and commitment required to prepare for the exam. And of course, the above does not include the financial commitments of building a lab (or renting lab time), nor any guarantee of passing the first time (or second time, for that matter!)
Based on the above, I would expect that I may be ready to sit for the lab sometime in the summer of 2009. I attended the Cisco Networkers CCIE Voice Power Session a few weeks ago in Orlando, and it was strongly suggested that by then, the lab would be testing UCM 6.x. About time! As I prepare my study plan, I will likely focus on UCM 6.x, Unity 5.x, MPE, and UCCX 5.0; look for my thoughts on my personal study plan in a coming posting. Check out Brian Dennis’s posting on Internetwork Expert’s blog, dated June 22, for some additional comments on this topic. I agree with Dennis's suggestion of renaming the Voice CCIE to the UC CCIE or Unified Communications CCIE. Any thoughts or comments?
Next post: either a review of my home lab or my high-level study plan…