Today, I attempted CCIE written and failed with 20 points short of 790. It was a beautiful experience anyhow considering this as my re-initiation into the Cisco universe. My previous official encounter was passing CCNA (~5 years ago); and I was 16 then. I feel as if it is a quantum leap for me now to even incorporate CCIE into my dreams. About my academic and professional background; I am almost in the verge of graduating my engineering degree in Mechatronics and apart from that, did a few networking and IT security related contract jobs along the years; but nothing anywhere serious enough to instill an inspiration to pursue CCIE.
Somehow, I got that inspiration almost a month back when I met a guy who successfully passed CCIE Voice written and he was sitting next to my exam cubicle at the Vue center where I was attempting my CEH exam at the same time. We had a small talk after the exams and heard from him that he is going after his third CCIE (phew.. ) and that he works at Cisco systems, etc.etc... That was the moment, when I realized with a slight regret that I should have carried on after my CCNA, at least for the sake of an intellectual challenge. Motivated and overwhelming (in a naive manner), I scheduled the CCIE R&S that day itself for March 26 at 10 AM. I studied around 2 hours devotedly for 5 days a week till day before yesterday. I slept well yesterday and took the exam rather casually and successfully failed it.
No regrets whatsoever about that and only very glad to realize that its very much doable in every regard and today's exam itself proved to be a priceless compendium of pointers; one of them being the necessity to supplement or perhaps even more precisely, "co-implement" the practical studies with the theory and the inevitable readings for the written exam. My studies were wholly consisted of reading and reading and theoretical understanding, which is obviously not enough.
Glad to share my experience here and I thank the folks here, for at least some bits and chunks of knowledge, advices and wisdom.
Anyhow, wish me luck in the pursuit of knowledge and the next exam attempts.