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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Know-how Porter at Your Service

Should you didn’t make it to Cisco Stay Europe in Amsterdam this 12 months, you could be shocked to see my title connected to a unique crew. For the previous three years, I’ve been virtually singularly targeted on informing anybody keen to hear in regards to the energy of programmability, APIs, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) as a part of the Cisco Developer Relations crew. Over these years, I realized so much in regards to the energy of neighborhood—how we are able to all come collectively to assist one another obtain greater than we might on our personal and the way impactful, related, and well timed studying alternatives are to progress and development.

I used to be additionally in a position to see the battle of neighborhood members as they simply tried to maintain up with the tempo of expertise and specializations, not to mention devour the infrastructure they have been tasked with managing in a programmable or codified means. So, as somebody with the flexibility and suppleness to assist, I made a decision to embody the change I needed to see.

I moved over to the Cisco Studying and Certifications crew as a senior technical advocate. On this position, I can nonetheless work together with you, our extremely various neighborhood of learners and technical specialists. Nonetheless, I’ll be capable to help your journey via a much wider scope of applied sciences, platforms, and modalities. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Perhaps I ought to re-introduce myself

Whereas I do know some crossover exists between communities, I’m positive some people aren’t acquainted with me or my historical past.

I’ve been related to Cisco Networking since 2002 after I attended the Cisco Networking Academy in highschool. Via my training in that program, I labored as a Cisco Gold Companion, specializing in engineering (and later structure and design) of service supplier, utility, and huge information middle networks.

After that, I used to be a pre-sales methods engineer at Cisco, overlaying comparable utility and monetary companies networks. Then I fully shifted to programmability, becoming a member of Cisco DevNet as a developer advocate targeted on information middle networking applied sciences.

Quick ahead to right now: I’m a Cisco Press writer of the Cisco DEVCOR Official Certification Information and a Cisco Stay Distinguished Speaker. (You may catch a few of my recorded classes right here and right here.) Once I’m not working, you’ll find me behind a grill, a digicam lens, or the handlebars of my street bike within the lovely suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, the place I reside with my spouse (of ten years this September), two children, and two little “floofy” canines.

Technical advocacy as your certification porter

I’d prefer to broaden a bit on this well-written weblog from Kareem that discusses the Cisco Studying and Certifications Technical Advocacy crew and its perform. It jogs my memory of a methods engineering pal’s analogy about people who provide help to all through life. These influential folks may be divided into three classes: mentors, shepherds, and porters. Every has a unique objective in your private progress and development.


Mentors are there to supply steering and perception over the long run. The mentor/mentee relationship is commonly formal, targeted on the mentee’s long-tail growth,  and generally lasts years—and even a long time. The mentor isn’t there to inform a person what to do however merely to supply suggestions and perception from their very own experiences and perspective.


Shepherds are virtually the other of mentors; their sole job is to shield the flock. We will see these traits in our lecturers and educators, as they supply prescriptive steering and steps to develop a given talent. These relationships are typically shorter, with a restricted capability to customise the training and steering as a result of they’re solely there for a specific kind of training at a particular time.

Every of those teams is important in our studying and growth. Nonetheless, generally we’d like short-term help from somebody who can present perception from their very own journey with out the strict confines of prescriptive training. That is the place porters come into play.


Porters have interaction with us to make sure we are able to develop and study in our personal methods, helping as wanted and educating from sensible data and expertise. These porters assist us carry the load and lighten the burden till we attain our subsequent vacation spot, at which level they return to assist others. We encounter porters all through our lifetimes. And every helps with a small a part of our growth till we are able to transfer ahead independently.

I see technical advocates as Cisco expertise porters inside a holistic studying and certification expertise. We’re expert practitioners with hands-on data of the platforms, applied sciences, and instruments you might be requested to know. We will additionally break down these ideas into strategies that will let you study in your individual means, in a modality that fits your type. We’re not a one-size-fits-all crew; we pleasure ourselves on discovering each means potential to make your journey simpler. I’ve seen the facility of neighborhood firsthand, and I’m excited to see how a lot our crew will help the neighborhood obtain its objectives and extra.

Tech Advocates at your service

Should you need assistance carrying something in your certification or studying journey, I’m all the time out there. You may depart a remark under or attain out to me on Twitter: @qsnyder. And when you occur to be at a Cisco Stay occasion, I’m all the time excited to study extra about what you’re studying, the way you’re studying it, and what doorways have opened in your skilled profession. Till subsequent time, blissful studying!

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