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My journey to CCIE!

Why Cisco Live is awesome!

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Having just got back from my second Cisco Live, I couldn’t help but think about what an amazing event it really is. After all 7+ hours on a plane provided me A LOT of time to think. (Now, If only I thought about typing up this blog post on the plane instead of just thinking about it)

I can sum up how awesome the event was in 2 words ‘The Social Hub’ & the ‘The Tweet Up’ (ok, well maybe that was more than 2 words)!! From the second I walked back into the Social Hub I was greeted by some familiar faces who remembered me from last year! Which I think was the best part, flying out all the way to west coast (from east coast) it was great knowing more than a few people in a new place. Not to mention from what I remember about the Tweet-up and Social Hub last year, it has grown quite a bit! I also got to take part in Tech Field Day, which was awesome. Although it was my first Tech Field Day and I relatively quiet since I wanted to see how they play out. Hopefully I get invited to another at the next Cisco Live. I’ll definitely participate more.

It’s also a great spot to talk shop with many of networking professionals from around the world that I probably would not have met otherwise! I also had to chance to speak with Ethan Banks from Packet Pushers, Ron Fuller from Cisco, Keith Barker & Scott Morris from CBT Nuggets, Brian McGahan and Mark Snow from INE! I’ll admit I was a little star struck since these are some of the people I’ve followed and learned from over the years. Even with four days of Cisco Live there were still a few bloggers and twitter’ers I did not get to meet but definitely next year!

A few other reasons Cisco Live is awesome:

  • Testing Center – Half off exams, what more can I say! This year I was able to knock out the 642-996 & the 640-911, wanted to finish off the CCNA: DC but didn’t have enough time. I guess two exams in four days is still pretty good.
  • Cisco Store – Easy way to pick up some cool Cisco merchandise or Cisco Press books. I just wish they had a better discount on the CiscoPress books during Cisco Live.
  • The TAC ‘Walk-In Clinic’ – Somewhere you go to bounce ideas off Cisco TAC in person. I probably spent at least an hour (or two) here during both Cisco Live’s just to discuss certain situations I have seen in production and what their thoughts were.
  • World Of Solutions – While is this usually a giant exhibition center, it is very easy to get a lot of useful information from here. For one, there are a lot of Cisco technologies on display with employees ready to show you have they work and go through some demo’s. Everything from the Virtual NAM’s to some of the newer SourceFire technologies. Not to mention it is easy enough to ask some of the top vendors how their products work
  • The sessions – These are a given, the technical sessions are truly amazing going into great technical detail and provide you the ability to ask questions throughout the session!
  • There are many more reasons I did even mention.
First Tweet-up Photo

First Tweet-up Photo

Final Group Photo @ the sign. (Which you can barely see)

Final Group Photo @ the sign. (Which you can barely see half of)

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

May 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM

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