Man have I been busy! I’ve been lacking on updates… So hopefully this makes up for it a little…
Lots of changes going on at work and the projects don’t stop creating themselves…. On top of all that fun graduate work has not slowed down one bit! Luckily I was able to take a week away from all the madness of my life and was able to attend my first ever Cisco Live!
The trip down was a long one with roughly 9 and a half hours of travel time each way, I will have to say that that was the worst part of the trip (but well worth it). This year Cisco Live was held in San Francisco, California at the Moscone Center. I did take a few pictures on the flights.
Unfortunately I was not able to sign up earlier enough to get one of the choice hotels that Cisco offered at discounted rates and did have to stay about a 45 minute walk away from the convention center.. This wasn’t that big of a deal for me as I was still in the East Cost Time Zone sleep pattern and was waking up at 4am local time every morning so the walk didn’t set me off schedule too badly.
I was able to sign up early enough to be able to sign up for all of the classes that I wanted to take. As this was my first time I wasn’t 100% sure what I was doing so I simply signed up for as many classes I could fit in that seemed interesting to me and did a mix of 1000, 2000, and 3000 level classes (more on that later) as well as a mix of technical seminars and breakout sessions.
Now onto the class levels. The three levels of classes I saw were 1000, 2000, and 3000. The 1000 level classes were introductory on topics and while some did go into the technical standpoint of that technology it mostly was just the surface. I found these classes to be the least beneficial to me personally, but that shouldn’t steer anyone else away from them. The 2000 level were more technical all around. They included core knowledge and “how it works”, these classes seemed to offer the best of both worlds and I didn’t have any problems following along even for topics I knew very little about. The 3000 level classes were the most technical and I would say I definitely learned the most from. They are not for the faint of heart, but are the greatest way to learn a lot quickly. I will sign up for more 3000 level classes the next time I get to attend.
I can go on for hours about all of my wonderful experiences at Cisco Live but I think that I will simply end with a few tips for anyone attending Cisco Live for the first time. I know I will be doing some things differently next time.
- Bring comfy shoes! You will be walking (and running) between classes a lot
- Bring a notebook (or two) to take notes. You will be thrown a lot of information quickly and can be overwhelming. If its written down you can go back to it later and review what you learned.
- Share what you learned with you team! Especially if the company you work for paid for you to go.This is not only helpful to allow those that were not able to go to gain from what you learned. This also shows value into you being sent and can hopefully help in being able to go again.
- Leave your laptop in your bag! I can’t stress this enough, I almost got sucked into answering E-mails and that would have taken away from me being able to learn as much as I did.
- Don’t be afraid to leave a class you don’t think you’ll enjoy or gain anything from. I ended up leaving two classes in the same time slot because they turned out to be not worth while for me.
- Pick alternate classes, this will be handy if you end up leaving a class or change your mind at the last minute.
- Sign up for a class you are interested in, they fill up fast!
- Pack lite, you will be getting a lot of free stuff from the World Of Solutions (Vendor booths). I came back with 13 T-Shirts and could have easily had more.
- Use the Cisco app (Cisco Events) this lets you pull up a map for the convention center, get updates, view your class schedule, and much more.
A few pictures from Cisco Live! 2014:
Soooo many books (more behind the back)
Every year a new hat is given at the Customer Appreciation event
Can’t forget about all the Dr. Pepper 🙂