Making the Change from the enterprise to a var

My longest ‘run’ in an IT  job was an 8-Year stint with a managed healthcare provider called CareSource. I joined their team circa 2002 as a systems engineer with a yet-to-be defined mission. It wasn’t long before I found myself knee deep in literally every technology within the enterprise space.  I was pretty skilled at the wide range of technology solutions that I interacted with, but over the course of the job, eventually ending up as network architect, I never felt like I had the opportunity to truly master any one technology. I got good at being a generalist. In 2011 I accepted a position with a cisco integrator, and my life completely changed.  I found myself immersed in all of the technologies that’s I had been wanting to explore in depth, but never could previously.  As I began to move from project to project, my skills began to rapidly accelerate in the area of my focus, but also began to rapidly deteriorate in other areas I had previously considered myself relevant in.  It’s not all bad, the skills of a generalist in the enterprise have really helped me perform well in the role of a partner engineer. But now I get to focus on one technology area (collaboration for me), and it’s been amazing.  For years i have considered and pursued various professional certifications but now I find myself at the juncture and seriously considering the ccie collaboration.  I’ve  already made my mind up that I will at a minimum be tackling the written.  My opinion on the lab is still taking shape, but that’s for another blog post…

On going to Cisco Live

I first started attending Cisco Networkers back in the mid 2000s (Vegas I think) and got my first exposure to the technical content and session information . Over the next few years I would come back again and again, but still spent most of my time in breakout sessions. In 2010 I changed jobs which led to a 5 year hiatus from Cisco Live, but I back this year and doing things completely differently.  Over the past five years I’ve been spending an insane amount of time on social media, predominately twitter, and have met a lot of friends that run in the same circles.  This year, not only am I attending the breakout sessions, but I’m spending a ton of time networking with my peers.  Let me tell you, this is invaluable! I will definitely be back, and strongly recommend to anybody who is considering going to just do it!  As always, cisco live never fails to deliver immense value to me. Now to get back, and play with some of the things I’ve learned this week :)