Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Know-how Porter at Your Service

Should you didn’t make it to Cisco Stay Europe in Amsterdam this 12 months, you may be stunned to see my identify connected to a distinct crew. For the previous three years, I’ve been nearly singularly centered on informing anybody prepared to pay attention concerning the energy of programmability, APIs, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) as a part of the Cisco Developer Relations crew. Over these years, I discovered so much concerning the energy of group—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 group members as they simply tried to maintain up with the tempo of expertise and specializations, not to mention devour the infrastructure they had been tasked with managing in a programmable or codified means. So, as somebody with the power 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 numerous group of learners and technical specialists. Nonetheless, I’ll be capable of assist your journey by a much wider scope of applied sciences, platforms, and modalities. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Possibly I ought to re-introduce myself

Whereas I do know some crossover exists between communities, I’m positive some of us aren’t accustomed to me or my historical past.

I’ve been related to Cisco Networking since 2002 once I attended the Cisco Networking Academy in highschool. Via my schooling in that program, I labored as a Cisco Gold Accomplice, specializing in engineering (and later structure and design) of service supplier, utility, and enormous information heart networks.

After that, I used to be a pre-sales techniques engineer at Cisco, protecting related utility and monetary providers networks. Then I fully shifted to programmability, becoming a member of Cisco DevNet as a developer advocate centered on information heart networking applied sciences.

Quick ahead to at the moment: 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 will discover 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 youngsters, and two little “floofy” canine.

Technical advocacy as your certification porter

I’d wish 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 techniques engineering pal’s analogy about people who enable you all through life. These influential individuals could be divided into three classes: mentors, shepherds, and porters. Every has a distinct function in your private progress and development.


Mentors are there to supply steerage and perception over the long run. The mentor/mentee relationship is usually formal, centered 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 nearly the other of mentors; their sole job is to defend the flock. We will see these traits in our academics and educators, as they supply prescriptive steerage and steps to develop a given talent. These relationships are typically shorter, with a restricted capacity to customise the educational and steerage as a result of they’re solely there for a selected kind of schooling at a particular time.

Every of those teams is important in our studying and growth. Nevertheless, 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 schooling. That is the place porters come into play.


Porters have interaction with us to make sure we are able to develop and be taught 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 be taught in your personal means, in a modality that fits your model. We’re not a one-size-fits-all crew; we pleasure ourselves on discovering each means attainable to make your journey simpler. I’ve seen the facility of group firsthand, and I’m excited to see how a lot our crew might help the group obtain its objectives and extra.

Tech Advocates at your service

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

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