This part is only to give some background information about me and where I come from. It does not have anything to do with the CCIE so feel free to skip to the next part if you want!
So my history in computing started at a pretty early age. Not like the toddlers with iPads like today (ha! that bunch will never understand social interaction), but it’s still a big part of my childhood I would say (I’ll never understand social interaction either). I loved playing games on the computer, and also got interested in how to create my own games. I started using the map/level editors to create my own scenarios in games, and I also tried a program called Klik & Play which allowed you to create your own games without knowing how to program. Then I started learning to program in C++ to write my own games for real, it was so cool to have created your own .exe file that you could distribute! I always wanted to be some kind of programmer or game developer when I grew up, but as often in life it didn’t really turn out like you expect.
I also loved going to LAN-parties and playing computer games with my friends on the weekends. This was the time before people had broadband connections at home so you had to gather at someones house or at local venue and connect all the computers with hubs and switches to play together. I guess this is where my interest in computer networks started, but I still didn’t think of it as a career at the time.
Somewhere around here I also started picking up Linux. I experimented with all of the Linux-distributions available on my computer and compiled my own kernels and everything. Of course you also need a nice stable Linux box to host your web pages on! 🙂
When it was time to go to university I naturally chose a program with lots of low-level programming which I thought was right for me. It turned out it was a bit too heavy in maths and electronics for me, which I also find interesting but it’s not really something I want to spend my life doing. I couldn’t really motivate myself to put down the time required and ended up dropping out.
At this point I was in a bit of a crossroads, I could continue my path to become a programmer at another program which was more focused on the high-level programming and not the electronics stuff, or or choose to do something completely different. And for some reason I can’t really explain I ended up at another university studying a shorter 2 year program focused on computer networking and server management. The courses was mapped closely to the CCNA RS and CCNP RS materials and we had Cisco Netacademy instructors and materials, but we never really got certified.
I graduated and started working for an outsourcing company mostly doing Linux server management to start with, but then moved into networking which is my main thing today. Before starting on this CCIE journey I had about 6 years of experience working in the IT field.