This year instead of a recap of my activities (there was a lot of drinking and a lot of technology involved) I have decided to present some awards. There are a range of categories and a clear winner in each one.
Best time to arrive and method of transport to the event: Driving in on Saturday!
I got into town Saturday afternoon and by doing so I was able to get registered, checked into my hotel, and prepared for my session the following morning. It also gave me time to deal with the data center power outage experienced back at work; spending most of the evening recovering VMs that lost connection to their disks.
Longest session about the CCIE Wireless exam: TECCCIE-8006!
I spent the first day of Cisco Live, from 8am to 5pm, gorging myself in wireless networking information. Most of it specifically focused around the CCIE Wireless exam but there were a lot of good tidbits thrown in. Having never sat an IE level lab exam this gave me a bit of insight into how it works.
Best free exam: Any one you pick!
At Cisco Live you get a free Cisco exam with your full conference pass. It’s a great way to renew your certifications or try out something you’ve been meaning to take. Even if you haven’t had the time to prepare for a specific one (due to a work project getting in the way of studying for the past 9 months), you can hop in and try your hand at something new. I chose to take the CCIE Wireless written exam on Monday morning and boy was that a doozie. Now I know what I’m in for and where my weak areas in wireless are. Just be sure to register early, they fill up quick.
Most social place to hang out: Tom’s Corner!
This year Cisco set aside an area just for us and handed over their hashtag graciously. The #CLUS tweetups happened wherever any of us congregated, but mostly by Hall G with all of the beanbag chairs, couches, and TVs. The social media lounge was also provided by Cisco in the World of Solutions hall where you could check up on the leader boards and see all of the twitter activity focused around Cisco Live.
Biggest announcement of the week: onePK and the future of SDN!
Cisco made it clear they will not only not be left behind when it comes to SDN, they are going to pave the way to a new future of network engineering. I am extremely excited for all of this, I am already dreaming of a time when I am able to adjust my network programmatically and have it interacting with applications instead of just reacting to them. I am fully on board with the idea, as long as they add support for the scripting languages (Perl and PHP mainly but I’ll throw Python in to appease some of my less evolved friends). I mean, c’mon, network engineers aren’t typically programmers, but name one engineer worth his salt that doesn’t know a scripting language of some kind.
Best panel moment of the week: Me talking BYOD with some other guys.
It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I did it. I will have a post of my feelings and apprehensions of public speaking soon.
Biggest "meh" moment of the week: Me after giving my presentation.
I was really underwhelmed with how I felt and how I think I did in my session. More to come in another post (probably the same one mentioned in the above award).
Best event of the week featuring Weezer: The Customer Appreciation Event at Petco Park!
This was amazing, not really much more to say. To top off the festivities, the #CLUS group had their own box too. I have to say I found myself in a position I never really thought I would be in… Down on the field dancing and
singing screaming along to Weezer with @sfoskett, @jenniferlucille, and @blakekrone. It was a bit surreal since these are people that I look to for advice and guidance, but it was so much fun. Unfortunately due to a forced software upgrade (Apple released iOS6 so I had to upgrade) I lost the video of Jennifer and Blake rocking out to the DJ after Weezer left…
Worst moment of the week: Leaving.
For a week you’re immersed in an environment that screams "networking nerd" and you have 17,000 other people who are all there for the same thing. Thursday night everyone gathers up for one last meal and said their goodbyes until next year. It’s pretty tough to head back to the real world to take what you’ve absorbed from the week and apply it where you can.
Best company having a conference in San Diego from June 10-14: Cisco!
Thanks Cisco, I can’t wait for next year.