So I’ve decided to start blogging again…

If you’re here, you probably know me as @ciscovoicedude on twitter, and have watched me rant and rave like a madman over there, and I can assure you that this blog will continue to live up to that expectation.  This isn’t my first time blogging, in fact, in some form or another, I’ve been blogging for the good part of a decade.  For whatever reason I always seem to lose steam, and the blog falls to the wayside.  I won’t promise that this time will be any different, but I’m back on the horse, so to speak.

I’m not going to really structure the site any one specific way – I’m a voice engineer by day, so obviously there will be plenty of that stuff here.  I’m also a technical trainer, so some of that might flow over here – heck, we might even get into some mini video blogs.  We shall see, no promises…

Peace out for now.

@ciscovoicedude (Twitter)

What it’s like working for a partner…

Those of you who know me personally know that I’ve gone through a recent job transition.   I’ve spent the majority of the past 15 years working in the enterprise. I’ve been a server dude, a network engineer, systems management aficionado – you name it – but it’s always been for myself.  By ‘myself’ I mean, my employer. I’ve always had one management team to keep happy, one goal to aim for.  But now it’s different.

You see, a few months ago I took a job as an engineer with a Cisco partner.  We install and sell Cisco solutions.  My primary focus is in Unified Communications, but I get to touch wireless, firewalls, data networking, really whatever I’m interested in.  Now working with these technologies is nothing new – I’ve spent the last decade and a half doing it – but never as a partner engineer.

So what do I think???  Well – let me tell you.  There were a lot of politics in the enterprise. There was always some middle manager trying to tell me what to do and how to do it.  Sometimes they had good ideas, many times they did not. I could write all the strategies I wanted, and it was all good on paper, but when push came to shove, we would always ‘make an exception’ and do things the easy way instead of the right way.  Its not like that anymore.

As a partner engineer, I represent my customers and their interests.   Their projects are my projects, and we work together as a team to solve their business problems.  They’re interested in what I bring to the table, and they (more often than not) move heaven and earth to help me accomplish what I’ve been hired to do.  No longer are my coworkers competing against each other to ‘look better’ than the other guy – I work with a team of engineers that are all about helping each other.  We’re connected at the hips, we swap emails on the weekends, and there’s always somebody willing to jump in and take a peek or lend a hand.  I’m no longer the ‘smart guy in the room’ – but instead I’m surrounded by brilliant minds, and I’m learning something new from somebody else who has ‘been there, done that’ almost every day.  I’m LOVING it!

I’m so glad I’ve made this move.  These people are family and I feel valued as part of the team.  I feel like they want me there, and everybody is always smiling. Sure, the hours are long, the pace is fast, and the stress levels can get high…. but I’m down with that.  I love what I do , it’s fun, it’s something new every day, and I’m giddy as a schoolgirl about it.   Thanks to Netech for the opportunity you have given me, and I look forward to the road ahead.  Lets do this!

That is all :)


Si4375 testing

So I’ve been playing around with the idea of creating an arduino based FM radio kit, with my own little twist, and I’m happy to say that things are starting to fall into place. After a lot of hairpulling with an oddball FM tuner chip that just didn’t like to speak I2C, I’ve been playing with the SI4735 chip, and things are going pretty well. I picked up one of the shields from sparkfun and I’ve been playing with it. Now that the sample code is working, I’m going to be writing some of my own routines for things, and start interfacing the display…. Fun stuff to come.

Pursuing a new opportunity…

Ok guys, so here it goes.   My last day with the current employer will be tomorrow.  Over the past year and a half, I’ve gone back and forth with levels of seriousness about pursing my CCIE Voice… I’ll get in a groove for a while, and then my lab will be inadequite, so I’ll fizz out.   I’ve decided that to truly get involved at the level of depth I feel is going to be necessary to pass this thing, I’ve got to immerse myself in it.  So I’ve hooked up with some really great guys at a Cisco partner in the area, and I’m going to give the partner thing a try.  I can think of no better way to immerse myself in what I love the most – technology.   I hope to find opportunity to touch things I’ve never touched, and plan to use the experiences I gain as not only a training tool, but as a means to inspire additional blog postings.  I want to share what I learn with the community, and take this journey to the next level…. Soo…. here goes.  I’m really excited.

UCCX Failover Testing – Success

I was working on a client project last night, and it was finally time to test out the Fault Tolerance of UCCX… and it worked WONDERFULLY!  I can’t say enough how happy I was that things ‘just worked’ and impressed to boot.  Be sure to read the UCCX SRND to get an understanding of fault tolerance behavior, my expectations were modified (in a positive way) after reading the doc – I thought I understood it before from reading other literature, but the SRND spelled it out for me and really helped to clear some things up.

Using the Adtran Atlas 550 as a PSTN Simulator

Ok this is just a quick teaser of something I’m going to be working on – I’ve owned an Adtran Atlas 550 for a really long time now, it’s a fantastic piece of equipment that can do SOOOO many cool things – Currently I’m using mine as a PSTN Emulator (or an ISDN switch) as part of my home voice lab. It’s not the most intuitive box to use, and there’s not a lot of user documentation on how to do what I’m doing – so I’m going to be creating a video blog explaining the process.  Stay tuned, it shouldn’t be more than a couple of days.

Updated:   Here it is


My blog has a new home!

Thanks to my laziness in renewing my domain names, and a domain registrar who likes to be a squatter and is keeping me from getting my old domain back (yes, GoDaddy – I’m talking about you), I’ve decided to re-launch my blog on a new url – this time, the dot COM version of my name (lol). While only a minor annoyance, it’s actually an opportunity for me to let somebody else do the hosting for once, and I can focus on content instead of keeping the lights on. Please bear with me as I get the new site set up.