Expertise Porter at Your Service


Should you didn’t make it to Cisco Dwell Europe in Amsterdam this yr, you could be shocked to see my identify hooked up to a special group. For the previous three years, I’ve been virtually singularly centered on informing anybody keen to hear in regards to the energy of programmability, APIs, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) as a part of the Cisco Developer Relations group. Over these years, I discovered quite a bit in regards to the energy of group—how we will 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 capable of see the wrestle of group members as they only 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 method. So, as somebody with the flexibility and adaptability to assist, I made a decision to embody the change I wished to see.

I moved over to the Cisco Studying and Certifications group as a senior technical advocate. On this position, I can nonetheless work together with you, our extremely various group of learners and technical consultants. Nonetheless, I’ll be capable to help your journey by means of a 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 certain some of us aren’t accustomed to me or my historical past.

I’ve been related to Cisco Networking since 2002 after I attended the Cisco Networking Academy in highschool. By my training in that program, I labored as a Cisco Gold Associate, specializing in engineering (and later structure and design) of service supplier, utility, and huge information heart networks.

After that, I used to be a pre-sales methods engineer at Cisco, masking comparable utility and monetary companies networks. Then I utterly shifted to programmability, becoming a member of Cisco DevNet as a developer advocate centered on information heart networking applied sciences.

Quick ahead to in the present day: I’m a Cisco Press writer of the Cisco DEVCOR Official Certification Information and a Cisco Dwell Distinguished Speaker. (You possibly can catch a few of my recorded classes right here and right here.) Once I’m not working, you could find 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” canines.

Technical advocacy as your certification porter

I’d prefer to increase a bit on this well-written weblog from Kareem that discusses the Cisco Studying and Certifications Technical Advocacy group and its perform. It jogs my memory of a methods engineering buddy’s analogy about people who provide help to all through life. These influential folks could be divided into three classes: mentors, shepherds, and porters. Every has a special goal in your private progress and development.


Mentors are there to offer steerage and perception over the long run. The mentor/mentee relationship is usually formal, centered on the mentee’s long-tail improvement,  and typically lasts years—and even a long time. The mentor isn’t there to inform a person what to do however merely to offer suggestions and perception from their very own experiences and perspective.


Shepherds are virtually the alternative of mentors; their sole job is to shield the flock. We will see these traits in our lecturers and educators, as they supply prescriptive steerage and steps to develop a given talent. These relationships are usually shorter, with a restricted means to customise the educational and steerage as a result of they’re solely there for a specific sort of training at a particular time.

Every of those teams is significant in our studying and improvement. Nonetheless, typically we want short-term help from somebody who can present perception from their very own journey with out the strict confines of prescriptive training. That is the place porters come into play.


Porters have interaction with us to make sure we will develop and study in our personal methods, aiding as wanted and instructing 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 improvement till we will 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’re requested to know. We will additionally break down these ideas into strategies that permit you to study in your individual method, in a modality that fits your type. We’re not a one-size-fits-all group; we pleasure ourselves on discovering each method doable to make your journey simpler. I’ve seen the ability of group firsthand, and I’m excited to see how a lot our group may also 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 all the time out there. You possibly can depart a remark under or attain out to me on Twitter: @qsnyder. And in the event you occur to be at a Cisco Dwell occasion, I’m all the time excited to study 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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