Cisco began the CCIE program back in 1993 as a way to single out those professionals who had the ability to support their solutions. Originally there was only the CCIE certification and it was earned by taking a written exam and then a two day lab in San Jose. The original proctor Stuart Biggs was awarded the second CCIE number, #1025 after the first number was awarded to the room the lab was held in, in San Jose. So #1024 is part of a plaque which was moved from the original lab to a newer lab in the same campus. The first CCIE was Terry Slattery #1026 an ambitious and energetic network engineer who was at the time working with a team to develop the CLI (command line interface) used to configure or program routers. The program became popular as more IT professionals were drawn to the technologies which made data communications work. The prerequisite for taking the exam and lab was experience because there were no commercially available training resources available in the beginning of the program. There was a training program offered at Cisco but it was focused on those individuals who already had a good degree of experience.