Saturday, November 7, 2009

CCIE first attempt, an expensive lesson

Today I will be flying to Hong Kong to take CCIE lab exam, it will conducted at Cisco office for 8 hours straight. So I've come early to KLIA at 7.30am. My flight would be at 9.15am. After months of preparation, but actually my mission here is to check out for the first time how is the CCIE lab will be conducted and whether pass or fail it is another story....;p

It is my first attempt and because the period of 18 months after written exam has passed, I have no choice but to take this exam anyway, otherwise my CCIE written will expire. So I will try not to be paranoid here as to be honest, I dont hav enough time to cover all chapters.

Anyway, I am going to tell my story here so you can take it as a lesson

My passport and HK immigration form

It looks like I am the one who came early...;p

Arrived at Hong Kong International Airport. After that, I took airport express train to Hong Kong station and it cost me HKD 100. And from there, I took MTR to Wan Chai station, the ticket fare is HKD 4 only

And for muslims out there who arrive at HK Airport, there is a prayer room at the corner of Terminal 1. Read the sign board.

View inside the prayer room, there are also prayer mats for use.

Room at Harbourview Hotel. I booked via online reservation and made an early payment. It cost me HKD 2005 for 3 days 2 nights.

View from window. I can see HK Convention Centre from here and during the night at 8pm sharp, I can watch the symphony of light, so marvelous.

The next day, it is time to take the lab. The Cisco office is situated not far from my hotel where I stayed. From this pic, you can see the black/dark building at the far end on the left road.

Ok, this is the place, Great Eagle Centre.

Take the escalator down to the office lobby.

Now take an elevator to 29th floor and wait outside until CCIE proctor come and greet you.

Now at 29th floor

I wait outside

View inside the office, I wait at the pantry

So, the lab begin, at first I was required to produce my passport as prove of my identity. The next thing to do is to remove anything in my pockets and place them in my backpack. I only allowed to bring in water bottle and light sweater.

OK, we now entered the room and the proctor has given instructions about the lab and how it will be conducted. The lab will now begin at 8.21am and will stop for lunch at 12.21pm.

So, I begin my lab session, the first session would be Open Ended Question, 4 questions in total need to be answered within 30 minutes.

Than move on to Troubleshooting session, at first when I was looking all the questions and the topology. I said to myself, "My God, I don't prepare for this...haha" I laughed in shock...there are 11 incidents and I took very very long time to answer the questions. To be honest, I am lack of speed and my fingers are not very strong to stroke keyboard keys for straight 8 hours. And no need to tell about how is my performance here, because I am very disappointed of my own performance...;(. This session is capped to 2 hours only.

Lunch would be half an hour only and the proctor will bring in the food, but as a muslim, the proctor has asked me what kind of the food I am allowed to consume. Actually I never realize that I can bring my own lunch pack, so I have no choice but to request any vegetarian food. So he asked me whether I can consume egg or fish. So I just replied both would be fine.

After that, I continue to the main lab. And this is how I am going to die in shock....I only practiced Internetwork Expert labs for couple weeks and surely it is not enough to train myself to gain speed and deep comprehension. I only rely on my knowledge in theory and surely it doesn't help much and of coz, the behavior of those switches and routers are not as we expected. I only managed to go thru half of the lab questions because time is almost up. I am too slow....;(

So, people might ask, if I am not ready enough, why do I take this lab, the answer is in the second paragraph and I am now hav 18 months left to pursue this certification. And honestly I don't like to write about my preparation because people tend to put pressure on me by wishing me luck and hope I will pass the lab. My objective here is not to just pass the lab but to gain knowledge and deep understanding along the way and the certificate is just the end of the journey.

During my stay in Hong Kong there is a small restaurant I went for Halal food. It just walking distance from the hotel. The name of the restaurant is Ebeenezer (I don't know whether my spelling is right)

You can read the Halal sign next to the counter.

The next day, before going back to Kuala Lumpur, I went out to Hong Kong Convention Centre that is just walking distance from the hotel.

The Bohemia flower at in front of HK Convention Centre

View at in front of HKCC

I have learned the lesson, the expensive one and so my preparation for second attempt would be conducted in secrecy and I am not telling where and date of my next attempt....;p. So be passion ok, I will write once I am done. And sorry for my english as it is not my native language...;p


Anonymous said...

can share some troubleshooting and open endded question?

Le Chevalier said...

i am sorry. i can not reveal any questions asked during the exam because it will breach NDA.