Well… Scott, Petr, and I finally made the plunge today and attempted the first ever Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) Beta Practical Exam today in Chicago.
The day started at 7:30am local time here in Chicago, with the 20 or 30 candidates at the testing center, along with me, eagerly awaiting our doom. After arrival we were all assigned numbers to check in with. Petr was number 7, I was number 8. We were all just hoping that the number assignments wouldn’t directly correlate to our scores for the day
After a brief introduction about our plan for the day the key question of the morning was… where is the coffee?! Unfortunately the Pearson Vue testing center wasn’t as highly equipped for an extensively caffeinated day as the CCIE Lab locations are, but we were all able to make do. At about 8am we were all led into the testing to face our fate.
The workstations all had 24 inch widescreen monitors, which were a nice advantage considering all the different windows with diagrams and emails that were simultaneously open throughout the day. There were a few minor blips in the testing engine itself, but otherwise the platform that the exam is delivered on is impressive. Kudos to the Cisco development team for their work on the testing engine, and a special thanks to Fiona from Pearson Vue for her help throughout the day with the minor issues that we ran into.
As for the content itself… WOW… but more on that later.
Right now we’re all off to the CCDE after party at the John Hancock building’s Signature Room on the 95th floor, and to watch the Chicago Cubs not get swept from the first round of the playoffs again this year. I’m sure after a few hours of open bar sponsored by Cisco, Scott, Petr, and I will have some even more interesting details to report!
GO CUBS GO!
About Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13:
Brian McGahan was one of the youngest engineers in the world to obtain the CCIE, having achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching at the age of 20 in 2002. Brian has been teaching and developing CCIE training courses for over 10 years, and has assisted thousands of engineers in obtaining their CCIE certification. When not teaching or developing new products Brian consults with large ISPs and enterprise customers in the midwest region of the United States.
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