Trying to get over the CCIE studying slump

I was pretty psyched all through my CCIE v4 studies. I worked relatively hard at my first attempt, starting right after passing my CCIE Routing and SwitchingI failed the security lab, but that’s OK. Straight afterward I was ready to get back on the horse and crack on with the new CCIE Security v5. However, it has been hard to attack this second attempt with the same enthusiasm as the first. It is the CCIE slump.

What we have here is a lack of motivation

I took a bit of a side-step to write a book for Packt Publishing, the Cisco ACI Cookbook. It was a fun endeavor, but I think cost me the momentum I had built up.

Work has also been busy, with PCI audits and BAU stuff, so all of this has added to the drop in my ability to “beast mode” it.

Then there is also the fact that I have been studying non-stop for the last few years, and, quite frankly, it’s tiring.

CCIE Slump

Overcoming the CCIE slump…

…through courses

There are a number of new topics which I knew I would find challenging, so signed up for the Micronics Zero to Hero Security course. It is a good course (so far) and is certainly the kick up the arse that I need.

That said, it is a big commitment, every Saturday from 2 pm till 9 pm, though it is recorded so can be watched later on. Useful when you go to a BBQ at the boss’s house or a party at your own house.

Paying for a course is not the same as having motivation, however. It’s on the right track, but it’s not the same.

What I am missing is the correct mindset.

…with friends

Social media is a great tool. Through that, I have met (virtually through a monitor and keyboard) a cool bunch of people. There are some who actively encourage me to pull my finger out (Hi Katie!), and to these people, I am eternally grateful, and it is helping, slowly. I see them studying (in a beast mode fashion) and know I need to pick up the pace.

I am just not ready yet.

…on your own

It’s down to me, really. No point pushing for something if you are not ready. I did this with the V4, and failed because of it. My R&S certification does not expire till 2019, so I still have time, but cannot leave it till the last minute, otherwise, I could lose the digits I worked hard for because I left it too late.

So, I have no book writing on the horizon (despite being asked to write another), I do have the time, and I am making the investment. The commitment is there, but procrastination is a hard mistress (as you can probably tell as I have only made seven posts on the blog this year). Giving up is never an option. Even though my work environment may (as it looks to be) move away from a Cisco-centric architecture to a more heterogeneous one, my goal is still to get another one (or two CCIEs, before going emeritus, because I am lazy, and after ten years, well, that’s quite enough studying for anyone).

I need to start planning. I need to start reading. I need to start labbing at home again.

Hopefully, this cathartic post may start to push me in the right direction.

How was your slump?

So how do you guys get over the slump? I’d like to know!


  1. Troy Tarazon July 19, 2017
    • Stuart Fordham July 19, 2017
  2. Rj Pitts July 19, 2017