I came accross this old article, and found it quite inspiring.
Brad Wright was the new CCIE program manager who tasked Cisco senior customer engineer – Stuart Biggs- to write up the CCIE test and assemble the 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.
The first lab was assigned the first number, CCIE # 1024, and originally they placed a plaque with that number on the lab room door. They have since moved it to bldg K – ground floor by the lifts.
Stuart Biggs was awarded the second number, CCIE # 1025, because afterall, Stuart created both the CCIE written test and the CCIE lab test.
So who really was the very first Cisco CCIE in history?
Terrance Slattery – CCIE # 1026 certified 03-Aug-1993
Terry was helping lead Cisco CLI development and training 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 lasted 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 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. Apparently five of the first ten CCIEs worked in the same building at Cisco.