Yes!!! I passed the Juniper JNCIE lab last year!! It was actually back in May 2016 that I earned my JNCIE-ENT #567 and I wanted to finally take a moment and blog about my experiences, study approach, as well as my overall impression of the certification track.
Let me answer the first question that you may have, what took me so long to blog about my experience as most people who accomplish this shout to the world. Well, that is fairly simple in case you have not noticed my blogging in 2016 started to wane, if not almost disappear. That was primarily due to two things, studying for the JNCIE and work got really really busy. About 50% of every month last year was spent on the road. I had a customer that was doing a big Data Center move and it just kept me overly busy. Much of that has now calmed down and finally allowed me to get this long overdue post out.
The experience of the lab is not as intimidating as the Cisco CCIE lab, perhaps partly because I have already passed the CCIE lab and had a feeling of what I was in for. The other part of that is that the Proctors are more willing to answer questions and help you understand a question. They won’t tell you the answer or give you the path to follow, but they can help you put the pieces together if you know what you are doing. The environment is also vastly different from the CCIE lab exam. Instead of sitting in a small cubicle area with monitors, you are in a nice training room (I took my test in Herndon, VA) where you have some space to spread out and organize yourself. Granted for the exam your computer is a Laptop, but what more do you really need to work a terminal session? When I took my lab, I brought a keyboard, mouse, and a nice 22″ monitor to use – that made all the difference to me as having two monitors is what I am used to.
My study approach was multi-faceted. One way that I studied was by joining a private JNCIE slack group with a few friends who had also been studying. Being able to bounce ideas and topics of discussions of each other is amazing. Just when you think you know something, someone in the groups brings a new way to look at the problem. Friends helping friends study is something, with any exam, that should not be overlooked. It is true, a study partner keeps you studying. I also took the Juniper JNCIE Bootcamp back in November 2014 and used that reference material to go over topics that I knew I needed to focus on. It helped tremendously for sure. My final way of preparing to study was to actually write an unofficial study guide that went over every topic that was on the JNCIE blueprint, explain it and then lab and demo it. Being able to take the time to lab up a concept, test it, and then write about it as well as explain it was an amazing help. It provided me the details that I needed in order to finish the lab and pass on my second attempt. If you want, you can order a copy of the study guide on LeanPub and comes with a 45-day money back guarantee. So if you do not like what you ordered, you can get your money back – pretty cool, eh?. I will continue to update the guide from time to time when new topics are added to the blueprint. I have also talked to a few candidates who used my guide to study for the exam and they have all told me it made the difference.
So what is my overall impression of the JNCIE Certification and the track you may wonder, well I will tell you! I love it and it feels so good! It is a very fair and difficult test, but if you know the topic sand what you are doing, you wont have any problem. Also remember that, just like any major certification goal, achieving what you sent out to do is an amazing feat. I am gearing up for the second JNCIE soon, eyeing up the new
Now its time for me to gear for the second JNCIE soon, eyeing up the new JNCIE-DC that they recently announced. Just need to make the time to study – but as always, work seems to be picking up again!
Until next time, keep studying!