Ever Changing Direction and CCIEv5 Prep

Over the past 5 months or so my CCIE R&S studies have been up in the air and stop-and-go. Between moving into a new job, hardware issues in my home lab and life in general getting in the way I shifted focus back to my CCIE Written about a month ago.

My thoughts were to set my study schedule aside and focus on the written while everything settled down and I could get my home lab back into shape. I also got the idea that I should book at least one lab attempt before the CCIE version 5 announcement came out. Knowing all dates would fill up once the announcement was made I wanted my attempts set before the announcement.

Over the past few weeks I’ve started questioning if this is the best approach or if I would just be wasting time and money trying to get a pass before CCIEv5 is released. Also if the rumor mill is correct, we are looking at a March/April release date for the CCIEv5 so that leaves me with 6 months to finish preparation for my first CCIE attempt.

Any way I cut it I don’t have the cycles to get through my studies to make a solid attempt within 6 months. Even if I did I have never wanted to rush my CCIE studies. Also since it looks like I am self-funding my CCIE from here on I don’t have the money to throw around for a $1200 lunch.

So with all that said I have decided to back off the written studies and focus back in on my core CCIE study schedule (which if you are interested you can download here). I'm not even going to attempt the v4 written or lab and will instead adjust to the CCIEv5 once announced and develop a game plan from that point. Knowing there will not be a vast change in the blueprint (OSPF is still OSPF) I should not have to shift my focus too much after the announcement.

Over the next week or so I will adjust my schedule as needed and build in time for both blogging of most topics and deep-dives into the areas I am the weakest. Is it any surprise that QoS and multicast or on that list?

So why the hell am I telling you this?

Well, mostly to get my thoughts organized and written down and also to share my strategy for approaching the CCIEv4 / CCIEv5 transition with anyone who cares.

Best of luck to everyone on their CCIE journey and as always feedback is welcome.


  1. Hey Ryan, for what its worth I think I remember that happening to me also. The great thing is there are so many emerging things to learn between now and then. You clearly have the right strategy either way and its learning and evolving your skills.

    Take care!

    1. Thanks for the reply!

      Got a Nexus project going on now and also getting exposure to Cisco UCS, voice and wireless so there is a lot on my plate to learn. Gotta also keep the SDN and virtualization knowledge at a trickle so I dont fall behind with it.

      Fun times!!

  2. I am in same situation as you but going the other way . I think the problem here is that with the current version , there are people and vendors out there with vast experience of it to help you pass, also the topology is pretty standard and everyone has the lab or can do via GNS3. Once they put out the CCIEv5 - its all new territory with new ios and kits aswell. This is why i want go for it now -- i don't want to waste the time i have already invested mastering such gems as frame relay , that to me is 100 years of my life gone to waste lol

  3. I hear yah and for most all CCNP level certs and below I would agree. Heck some of the CCIEs such DC I would too as that technology is in a huge flux at the moment.

    For R&S though the major topics are still going to be the same. OSPF can only be tested in so many different ways and the same can be said for the majority of topics.

    Topics such as security, network services, etc might change a bit but I dont see taking that much focus on ones studies to make a difference.

    I wish you the best of luck and hope you earn those digests!!

    and thanks for taking for the comments


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