There are no shortcuts to success, and don't waste time looking them.
These words come from one of my personal heroes, retired General Colin Powell. His words of advice ring true for soldiers as well as anyone striving to become a CCIE. There exists no single source of CCIE knowledge, no all-in-one book, including this text, that will get you into the ranks of the CCIEs. And as Powell's words echo, "don't waste time looking for them." At the time of this writing, September 2001, Cisco states that there are 6678 active CCIEs in the world. When you compare this number to how Cisco predominates the market, the ranks of the CCIEs still remain very slim.
The CCIE program is constantly changing to reflect current market trends. In 1997, all the tests were made standard. In 1999, Cisco offered more then the core "routing and switching" exam. You could specialize in WAN switching, or SNA and others. These specialization certifications also have changed in recent years. In 2000, voice and ATM where introduced, whereas years before that, switches were emerging in the lab. In 2001, the test moved from a two-day, 16-hour test to a one-day, 8 1/2-hour test. With all the changes the CCIE practical/lab has gone through, one thing does remain the same: Over time, it constantly gets harder. For instance, when I became a CCIE, I did not have to know voice, Token Ring switching, or ATM. This is precisely why there is no single source for CCIE information: The test is and will be ever-changing.
The best place to find the most current information about the CCIE program is on the Web at www.cisco.com/go/ccie.
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