Friday, August 18th was the day. Yup. Just last week. My 2nd attempt at the CCDE written to re-certify my 3 “Es”. To say I was nervous would very much be a decided understatement. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous to take a Cisco written exam ever before. Seriously ever before.
It’s funny… in all these years of taking the recert exams… I pretty much have always had the same pattern and same view on it. My pattern usually is to take the 1st attempt 6-9 months before my 2 years is slated to be up. My view on it has always been that of “time to refresh my broader knowledge again” and make it deep again. There is that old adage “if you don’t use it you lose it”. Teehee… yeah… that is typically IS-IS for me. 🙂
My view this time around was different. And given that my first CCIE was from 1997…. this change in view was a surprise to me. My view was more of it being something I “had to do” instead of “wanted to do”.
Why? Because for the first time… it was exhausting. Exhausting to be studying CCDE material stuff AND try to be learning and working on my new role at Cisco. My new role at Cisco wasn’t staying contained in a 40 hour work week. Making it feel like I was just eat, work, study, sleep… rinse repeat.
….. and then it hit me.
You all go through this all the time! You have your day jobs in an environment of many different vendors and applications. Day jobs that are also not confined to a 40 hour work week. Layer on top of that studying for a recert exam. And then (of course) attempt to squeeze in family, working out, … etc etc.
For years there have been rumors of maybe going the continuing education route. And I must say… I wasn’t a big fan of it. I liked my “forced time” to “reconnect deeply” every 2 years. But you know what? I’m definitely seeing going the continuing education route 2 years from now. 🙂