Terry Slattery - the very first Cisco CCIE in history

Terry's Blog
Many people express curiosity about who actually was the very first person to earn Cisco's highly coveted CCIE certification. Buried under sprawling cobwebs in a dusty corner of the Cisco News Archive, found this choice nugget:
Cisco CCIE Program Announcement
Cisco Offers Certified Internetwork Expert Program Identifies Best-in-Class Troubleshooters Sept. 27, 1993 -- Cisco Systems has inaugurated a program to identify individuals within its customer and partner organizations who can effectively diagnose and resolve the problems inherent in today's large and complex internetworks.
The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) program recognizes the `best-in-class' engineers who possess the technical knowledge and skills to troubleshoot internetworks, and creates a special relationship between these experts and Cisco's support team. "The CCIE Program begins where other vendors' certification programs leave off," said John Chambers, Cisco senior vice president. "It can be compared to completing a university course versus taking college entrance exams." "Prospective CCIE candidates must be highly qualified just to enter the program, and then, after taking an intensive troubleshooting course, must pass a rigorous hands-on lab test conducted by senior support engineers." "This very stringent set of requirements ensures that only the best professionals are selected." On successful completion of the program, the candidate receives a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert registry number, certificate and award. The CCIE program expects to certify approximately 300 students during its first year.
John Chambers
So the extremely prestigious Cisco CCIE program was launched by none other than Cisco's venerable Chairman and CEO - John Chambers, back in the day when he was a mere vice president. Perhaps his CCIE program idea had something to do with Chambers eventually earning promotion to Cisco Chairman and CEO. View current worldwide CCIE statistics - usually out-of-date by a couple of months.

And just what the heck is it with CCIE numbering? Well, Cisco thru out numerical convention, after all, this was a company on a new type of "alien" growth steroid. So rather than start out with something called Number 1, Cisco instead assigned the very first CCIE number - CCIE # 1024 to its own Cisco testing lab, placing a plaque with the number on its door. Brad Wright was the new CCIE program manager who tasked Cisco senior customer engineer - Stuart Biggs, to write up the CCIE test and assemble gear for the CCIE test lab. Cisco didn't have switches at the time, so the lab gear consisted of AGS, AGS+ and MGS routers. Stuart Biggs was awarded the second number - CCIE # 1025, because afterall, Stuart created both the CCIE written test as well as the CCIE lab test.

So who really was the very first Cisco CCIE in history? Terrance Slattery - CCIE # 1026 certified 03-Aug-1993.

Terry Slattery
Terry was helping lead CLI development and training (learn the history of Cisco CLI) as a consultant to Cisco in 1993 when he first heard about the CCIE program and inquired about participating. Brad Wright (the CCIE program manager) told Terry what he needed to do. So Terry quickly re-worked his schedule, took the written CCIE qualification test, attended the Cisco troubleshooting class and setup a time for the hands-on test, all within two weeks.

In those days, the hands-on test was two days. One day of build-it and one day of fix-it after they break it. Terry passed the hands-on test, designing and building the network in one day, then fixing the things that Stuart Biggs (the lab test creator) broke in just over half a day. Terry Slattery was awarded the third number - CCIE # 1026, in August 1993, the first non-Cisco person to achieve the CCIE and the first person to pass both the written CCIE test as well as the hands-on CCIE lab test, making Terry Slattery the first real CCIE. A bunch of Cisco employees soon followed and many of them are still working at Cisco. Something like five of the first ten CCIEs work in the same building at Cisco.

Today, Terry Slattery is the Founder and CTO of Netcordia. Terry invented NetMRI, which enables organizations to maximize network effectiveness and ensure compliance by utilizing built-in expert rules to assess, audit, and proactively detect hidden and harmful problems throughout any multi-vendor infrastructure. As a consultant to Cisco who helped lead development of the Cisco IOS command line interface (CLI), as well as having earned the first real Cisco CCIE number in history, CCIE # 1026, Terry Slattery has become a very revered historical figure within the world of Cisco networking.

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