I've gotten past two with "the Evil Bastard".
I received a nice compliment yesterday - for a couple of issue spotting exercises.
He really kicked me pretty hard on Monday - his labs are so... unique and challenging.
He really makes you think, he gives you the
opportunity to eat your own foot in addition to the nasty little tricksssseeesss that he waiting for the unwary student.
All the while he watches everything you do... It is quite interactive and he does things as you go...makes comments on your speed, he has a lab of backbone devices that enhance the overall experience...
I gave him a surprise yesterday that came in the form of a beautiful young lady with a spectacular voice...
He won't forget the expereince any time soon... Nope strike 1 for Darby...
So I took advantage of doing my homework before the visit...
However he did introduce me to a form that he said I would be begging to sign by the end of the week...
It is an interesteng form and it reads capitulation...
Unlike Caslow or the Brians - Apparently no one has ever completed a single lab of his in 8 hours on the first try, nor have they passed it obviously...
While some traps seem obvious, others are subtle and you must have a keen eye, but that keen eye can cost you points... and precious time and yet you cannot look away easily since you can feel something crawling...
Your actual performance is not graded till the last day when you receive the Answer Keys for labs...
I started getting sick and am suffering a bad cough, the weather here, while nice, is different than Orlando and couple with no sleep has left me with a painful chest cough, headache, fever and nausia. Not the best had to be dealt when one is up against the likes of Heinz Ulm...
In any event, my failures are my own. I do not yet have scores to report, his style took getting used to but have slowed me down considerably. Lots of things to look at reach for along the way, I suppose - lots of pretty... flowers...
The fruit is bittersweet sometimes and one cannot survive on what has been challenged on before alone...
The man is a genius and he is mean, cruel, calm ,and cool, and all at the same time...
He keep picture of those he has tortured before and have surrendered and have therefore known defeat... at his hands and his labs...
All in all, a refreshing difference than any of his competitors...
And even the Brians who have quite a list of CCIE's may be hard-presseed to actually account for the number of CCIE's Heinz has on his site... over 450... and he undoubtedly has the most "1st Time Passers overall"...
Many of which are quite simply "FIRST-TIME PASSERS" -
With over 450 CCIE's to date some of whom you may see on other sites (since they either bought a workbook from one or more or even taken a class with...) but you need to dig a little deeper, how many sought out Mr. Heinz...
I ran into one guy before he left the 3-Week Bootcamp and I aksed him why he went to Heinz Ulm's Camp and he said "My co-workers and friends said there was but one place to go to learn what you need to learn to pass the CCIE Lab the first time, so here I am"...
Heinz does not accept everyone is seems... He likes a picture of his victims fresh for and from the slaughter... I think it a before and after comparison.
But they leave his camp ready to take on the Lab and mostly anything else...
Most sit the lab within a few days of class and others not much longer...
The guy has a knack for tearing a person down, making them acknowledge their own demons, and finally forging a well-made sword capable of not only meeting the beast but taking him down in but a flick of the wrist... or so it would seem... I'll find out when I am ready...
There is no doubt that the sheer magnitutude of work coupled by the demand and expectation are simply unheard of...
He has a hard time understanding how his competitors can even consider a Boot Camp in only 5-days...
His students seem to agree wholeheartedly...
I'm only on day-2 and I am beginning to understand myself...
I managed to spot many but not all of not all issues today, but I sensed there were a few things that were going to trip me up.
My health has failed me today and tonight... I need rest and it shows...
The guy sitting to my immediate left is a survivor of the 3-Week Camp and his eyes are red and bloodshot and the toll on his soul, paid in blood, sweat, and tears can be seen in his BLOOD RED EYES and his fiurrowed brow...
Heinz does something to you... He transforms you.... He makes you more than you are or even thought you could be...
An interesting transformation to watch as students come out of their own cocoon and emerge as butterflies...
I have three days to go - it is 3:49 am here in Denver and I am starting to get sick, so I need to stop and sleep now and let the medicines take their effect as I try to heal before I go to get carved up more...
The guy next to me mumbles almost incoherently about "The Dirty Bastard" and Heinz only smiles and sinks back in his chair easily satisfied by his work....and his latest tormented victim...
I do believe he customizes things a bit... as you go through his maze... He might as well be called the Minotaur...
Today I caught one "issue" and he quickly offered another - seemingly same, I feinted and easily defended my reasoning for not choosing the option he readily offered... He smiled as he agreed with my line of reasoning... He complimented me on another
issue that I found - naturally he challenged my line of thought... I defended it genuinely and he offered me a compliment citing his entire class from the week before had not considered what I had...
Next there was a matter of spotting an entire
slaughterhouse of "issues" - It think I spotted them all - carefully defended each and everyone and offered other secondary or tertiary ways to do them if the first one or two techniques should fail scutiny...
Cause you know he asked...
He liked this... but the clock was ticking...
I did find two ways to do two other tasks, he slid my carefully worded blades aside with a quick and sure parry.... and said he would note those options and would rule them out on future labs...
The guy is good, witty, accomplished, and quite striking...
He challenges you over lunch to test how your mental facilities are holding up or if your senses have dulled.... again very personal very detailed... he never misses an opportunity to poke you and prod you and check your gums to see if they are bleeding... He
sniffs for weaknesses relentlessly and being tired or exhausted is simply not exusable... The man does not stop... You are in his house and he owns the house; lock, stock, and barrel...
The man just does not relent... If he even thinks you slack he asks you what you did and why... over and over...one thing after another... if you miss a keyword in an ACL.... if you pause... if you use the question mark... he asks why and if you don't know he
easily suggest the CCO and only the CCO...
Excellent one-on-one tutelege and advisement - such interactivity are rare... and none have I yet to experience are this intent or so genuine...
The man has one attention and it is his students... never does his phone ring, his site is secret he gives it only to students who are immediately attending class...
For the time you are with him, he owns you and you know it... Each day he sizes you up, cuts you down and chides on what you did, did not do, or could do better...
He is truly masterful in the art of instruction...
His classes are priced fairly and competitively - $8000.00 for 3-weeks or just $2800.00 for one week such as a week of mock labs...
He has one and two week options, but strongly
recommends that serious students take the 3-week if they can manage it any way possible...
For the three week students they also get another week of rack access...
$10,800.00 will buy you 5 Weeks of Heinzware.... And apparently IF you survive the experience you will get a T-shirt as well...
4 Weeks instructor lead - ok instructor over your shoulder watching everything you do and every move you make.... and taunting you to make you ask yourself why, what for, what are you going to accomlish by your moves in this evil game of Cat and Mouse...
I've just never seen such attention... no
Just you... the rack.... and the Evil Bastard watching over your screen... in cruel delight...
Everything one might expect from a CCIE #1561...
When he took his students to meet Jeff Doyle in
person... the student said that Heinz told them... he
did not have time to be concerned with such "HIGH
NUMBERED" CCIE's... jokingly... but the truth
palpatable... Heinz is a legend and if you ever meet
his and encounter his instruction you'd know why...
Not many instructors today can boast the success of
Heinz.... there is a reason...
He is a one stop shop. Others can be end-to-end....
but their students sometimes find their way into his
classes and when they do they pass the lab... and it
inevitably is... THE END for them... I have yet to
find a person who needed other instruction AFTER they
attnded Heinz and those that cite him will tell you
plainly... Heinz is the "WHY".
Each and every time... there's simply no other
Others barely have time to give you... Heinz takes
everything from you... but he gives you time and
attention... and he remembers... everyone and
everything, what they did, their style and
character... He's an elephant with his memory...
And yet... so humble and down to earth...
It not only feels and tastes like one-on-one
instruction.... simply take it for what it is...
Who can even compete with that... others can try but
let's be honest - tutelege of this caliber is really
the end of the rainbow...
Here's the facts of the matter:
1. Heinz is a man, simple flesh and blood.
2. He asks that you come to his class prepared to dothe tasks that you have come to do. He will teach you since that is the ultimate goal, but remember he does have a reputation to uphold.
3. He breaks you down as you realize where you are truthfully with regard to your skills. He then builds you up. He creates an "Espirit de Corp" that I have not seen since hanging out with the MARDET back in my Navy days. His students are loyal. They come as clients and leave as friends.
4. He gives you tasks that are both doable and obtainable. He simply asks that you do them or at least try. He does not care for "apathy" and is clearly posted. He brings all the most recommended book and asks that you use them. He teaches his students to embrace the UNIVERCD and if a student is caught using the ? to continue, he will likely ask him "Why?"?
5. He is honest with his students. He will give his
students the wealth of his experience. This is what
you are coming to his camp for in the first place.
6. I've seen many questions on GS about what to ask
the proctor. The students of Heinz Ulm are drilled
every single day on not only what to ask, but when to
ask, and why to ask. They are taught to make an
impression on the proctor that they did not come to
take the lab exam, but instead that they are fully
prepared for the lab exam and they simply came to the
Cisco facility to collect their digits.
7. The students leave empowered, they understand the
nature of the lab exam. They know what to expect and
do not expect a free lunch (it is $1250.00) and they
are fully prepared to sit down at their pod and work
for 8 hours straight non-stop and get the job done.
8. The students are taught if the lab looks too easy
or if it is completed early to look for what is wrong
with the picture. Every lab has a challenge, have
they identified the challenge in their lab. They are
taught to use show and debug commands to verify their
work to 100% completion with verification.
9. The student is taught strategy and to make no
assumptions. In other camps, one may "told" to make
no assumptions; Heinz takes this a step further and
demonstrates at every single opportunity what
assumptions can be made and what questions are the
correct questions to ask. The student is taught
strategy and a careful strategy involves rigorous
hands-on lab time followed by solving complex network
configurations that Heinz or one of his "MINI-ME's"
have concocted for each student. Yes, I am telling you
that he studies you as you progress through his labs,
and he customizes the labs you are presented each day
in a methodical fashion of helping each student not
only realize his weaknesses, but also learning from
them and even turning them into strengths. Be
prepared he does not neglect what you thought were
your strengths either.
10. In comparison to other training that I have
attended, I would say this is the "MOST" personal
training I have yet to attend. It is very customized
and it is very unique. I did only attend the 5-Day
Mock Lab that includes 4 individual Mock Labs and a
sealed container with a 5th Mock Lab. However, due to
what I have seen, I am now going to pursue the 3-Week
option as well. I did speak to two student from the
3-Week Bootcamp and both were favorable impressed (not
very suprising as they were both "Survivors"). One
was the bloody red-eyed class mate to my left, I had
mentioned in an earlier post.
11. The Lab exam is ultimately a test of reading
comprehension and time management tied to your ability
to perform the tasks correctly as presented given
whatever limitations are in effect. Heinz teaches
each of these principles. He teaches you to use the
tools you have available in the lab. He teaches you
the ?, the UNIVERCD, and he teaches you how to
leverage the Proctor - perhaps the most underutilized
tool in our toolkits. His tasks force you to embrace
the UNIVERCD and sometimes you will cling to the ? for
help. But unlike others vendors who may tell you
these tools are important to your success and the
final outcome of your lab results, Heinz explains to
you EXACTLY why and EXACTLY how to use each of these
tools to your best advantage. Your lab preparation is
not a game to Heinz, he takes it seriously and he
intends that you pass the lab exam by knowing any and
all obstacles that might impair your chances for
success. He wants you to use what you have and this
does include hard work and hard study, but it also
includes the Proctor, the UNIVERCD, and even the
12. In terms of costs the Heinzulm.com Bootcamp is
extremely competitive. The hotel rate is only $63.00 (Sept 2007: it is 40 $ now, btw)
per night and includes all of the amenities (I have
paid up to $175.00 per night to be close to other
training facilities). I know the various training
companies do not control what hotels cost, but Heinz
is a negotiator and figured that he would be booking
the hotels for a lot of nights and so he bargained and
saved a lot for his students.
In terms of costs: $2800 per week of training or
$8000.00 for 3-Weeks of training. Shop around and
you'll quickly find the cost to be competitive with
other vendors. His week of mock labs retail for
He offered a 20% discount to some students this year.
Again it made it even more affordable.
My overall impression was quite favorable. He is a
humble man who only has one mission and that is to
prepare CCIE Candidates to take the CCIE Lab and be
prepared to pass it. Apparently he does this well.
He will ask you questions. He will engage you. He
will ask you to explain yourself, even if you are
right, you must still know why...
If you consider this painful or torture then it is
what it is. However, consider this: his students,
time after time, remain motivated to work heavy into
the night and into the morning each and every day and
each and every class to try to complete the tasks they
have been assigned. His students forego sleep as a
rule. They are so intent into whatever he is
teaching; whatever he has assigned them; and whatever
he has asked them to do. He has an uncanny undeniable
ability to simply motivate his students to go one step
further and each student just does whatever is
Also consider this: His students respect his work, he
is one of the lowest numbers CCIE instructors (CCIE
#1561) and has been teaching for 10 years or so and
yet not a scrap of his labs can be found anywhere from
one end of the net to the other. It would not make a
difference in any event since his labs are somewhat
customized per student.
He works hard and this is not to say that any of the
other vendors do not work equally hard, because we all
know they do. This is more to say what he does
differently than others and apparently it works for
This "Mock Lab Summary" is not meant to detract from
anyone least of all any of those who have made their
own life's work helping us all to earn our CCIE's.
This is simply to shed a little light on what is the
mystery of a Heinz Ulm Bootcamp experience.
FYI - Apparently he is a workaholic and enjoys it, but
do not expect him to reply immediately to any emails -
he only checks them twice per day and after a 4-Week
series of classes he may be out of town for a couple