The Art of Network Engineering

Ep 147 - Interview with Sr Technical Advocates Quinn Snyder and Jason Belk

June 05, 2024 A.J., Andy, Dan, Tim, and Kevin Episode 147
Ep 147 - Interview with Sr Technical Advocates Quinn Snyder and Jason Belk
The Art of Network Engineering
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The Art of Network Engineering
Ep 147 - Interview with Sr Technical Advocates Quinn Snyder and Jason Belk
Jun 05, 2024 Episode 147
A.J., Andy, Dan, Tim, and Kevin

This episode was recorded March 21, 2024.

Ever wondered how to weave through the labyrinth of network engineering? That's exactly what we're unpacking in this episode with the help of Cisco's Learning and Certifications mavens, Quinn Snyder and Jason Belk. They join our newly minted co-host, Kevin, and resonate with Tim's tales of TikTok trials and mindfulness explorations. Together, we dissect the essence of community, mentorship, and the seismic shift personal anecdotes can bring to one's career trajectory, all while dissecting the tech underpinnings that keep us sharp in our ever-evolving digital landscape.

Diving headfirst into the world of network engineering can feel like navigating uncharted waters, but our guests are here with a compass. From Kevin's revelatory induction into the Cisco Insider Champions to my own pivot from Excel spreadsheets to network operations, we share the exhilarating plunge into new roles and the tools that powered our journeys – think NetMeko, Ansible, and more. It's not just about the technical know-how; it's the storytelling of our growth, the embracing of teaching talents, and the power of vulnerability that transforms knowledge into wisdom.

In our final musings, we stitch together the narrative of community-driven growth and the delicate dance of work-life synergy. We shine a light on the important role that local Network User Groups play and sprinkle in personal passions like road cycling and retro gaming to illustrate the balancing act of mental well-being. As we conclude, we leave you with the reminder to nurture not only your technical acumen but also the community and mental health that sustain it. For those hungry for more, find us stirring conversations and igniting minds on the Cisco Learning Network and beyond.

Important Links from the show:
Free Tutorials from Cisco U - https://u.cisco.com/explore/tutorials
The U hands on tutorials Video Series  - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2AuQ_ZjCjsrL3LTRVaGrvjZ0YWmFXy02

More from Quinn:
https://twitter.com/qsnyder
https://www.linkedin.com/in/qsnyder/

More from Jason:
https://twitter.com/renobelk
https://www.linkedin.com/in/renobelk/

Jason's CLUS sessions:
BRKCRT-2021 - Prepare for the DevNet Professional DEVCOR Exam
DEVNET-1085 - Learning YANG Data Modeling By Playing in the NSO Playground
and a CIsco U Theater session
CISCOU-2034 - Splunk Essentials: Monitor & Analyze Cisco Networks

Find everything AONE right here: https://linktr.ee/artofneteng

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode was recorded March 21, 2024.

Ever wondered how to weave through the labyrinth of network engineering? That's exactly what we're unpacking in this episode with the help of Cisco's Learning and Certifications mavens, Quinn Snyder and Jason Belk. They join our newly minted co-host, Kevin, and resonate with Tim's tales of TikTok trials and mindfulness explorations. Together, we dissect the essence of community, mentorship, and the seismic shift personal anecdotes can bring to one's career trajectory, all while dissecting the tech underpinnings that keep us sharp in our ever-evolving digital landscape.

Diving headfirst into the world of network engineering can feel like navigating uncharted waters, but our guests are here with a compass. From Kevin's revelatory induction into the Cisco Insider Champions to my own pivot from Excel spreadsheets to network operations, we share the exhilarating plunge into new roles and the tools that powered our journeys – think NetMeko, Ansible, and more. It's not just about the technical know-how; it's the storytelling of our growth, the embracing of teaching talents, and the power of vulnerability that transforms knowledge into wisdom.

In our final musings, we stitch together the narrative of community-driven growth and the delicate dance of work-life synergy. We shine a light on the important role that local Network User Groups play and sprinkle in personal passions like road cycling and retro gaming to illustrate the balancing act of mental well-being. As we conclude, we leave you with the reminder to nurture not only your technical acumen but also the community and mental health that sustain it. For those hungry for more, find us stirring conversations and igniting minds on the Cisco Learning Network and beyond.

Important Links from the show:
Free Tutorials from Cisco U - https://u.cisco.com/explore/tutorials
The U hands on tutorials Video Series  - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2AuQ_ZjCjsrL3LTRVaGrvjZ0YWmFXy02

More from Quinn:
https://twitter.com/qsnyder
https://www.linkedin.com/in/qsnyder/

More from Jason:
https://twitter.com/renobelk
https://www.linkedin.com/in/renobelk/

Jason's CLUS sessions:
BRKCRT-2021 - Prepare for the DevNet Professional DEVCOR Exam
DEVNET-1085 - Learning YANG Data Modeling By Playing in the NSO Playground
and a CIsco U Theater session
CISCOU-2034 - Splunk Essentials: Monitor & Analyze Cisco Networks

Find everything AONE right here: https://linktr.ee/artofneteng

Speaker 1:

I would love to know what exactly is a senior technical advocate.

Speaker 2:

Why are you guys laughing?

Speaker 1:

This is the Art of Network Engineering podcast. In this podcast, we explore tools, technologies and talented people. We aim to bring you information that will expand your skill sets and toolbox and share the stories of fellow network engineers. Welcome to the Art of Network Engineering. I am AJ Murray and I am very excited for this evening. We have a couple of fun guests, but before we get to them, I want to get to Kevin. Kevin, our newest co-host. We let the cat out of the bag this week. It's public. It was really fun to tell everybody on the internet and, of course, by the time this episode releases, you'll have already been on a few episodes, but as we live and breathe, we just told the world that you are a co-host of the Art of Network Engineering.

Speaker 3:

It was a lot of fun. It's been a fun week. It's been a fun week, man. We had the announcement that I'm joining as a co-host. My episode dropped, like last week, so it's been a whirlwind of a lot of congratulations, people reaching out and going oh, we heard your episode. It was so cool, that kind of stuff. So heard the episode, it was so cool, that kind of stuff. So it's been a really good week for me and I got into Cisco Insider Champions for the first time. Congratulations, lots of wins for me this week.

Speaker 1:

It's a very bittersweet week for me, as I see everybody posting those emails like oh, I got it. Unfortunately, I work for the competition.

Speaker 4:

I can't be a.

Speaker 1:

Cisco Insider Champion anymore, so it's like I'm on the other side of the window waving. I miss you.

Speaker 2:

It's okay, AJ. I work for them and I can't be a part of it.

Speaker 5:

Well, the downside of that is, if you actually show up to Cisco Live for those events, you get to have dinner with us as a champion. So, like it's kind of like, count your blessings of what you do and don't get to do.

Speaker 3:

Be careful what you wish for. I get it Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Nice Tim, tim Bertino, how are you, tim?

Speaker 2:

I'm good, buddy, great to see you all. A couple of things, first off, I've been trying the TikTok thing, and, like many other things in my life, I have no idea what I'm doing, but but I did get a like on one of my videos from a very prolific, just one. It was just one, very prolific TikToker, is that what they're called? I don't know.

Speaker 3:

There is no no doubt Okay.

Speaker 2:

But very, very influential person, very popular guy by the name of adjacent node. If you know who he is, I'm not sure, but he seems like he knows what he's talking about and I got a video like from him.

Speaker 2:

So I got that going for me. And secondly, I've been trying since about the beginning of this year I've been trying to get into the mindfulness thing. I got the Fitbit and I'm going through the mindfulness app and you know they're so the voices on on there, they're so kind and gentle. You know they say if you're in the middle of those meditations and they're like you know, if your mind starts to wander, that's okay, just gently, gently, bring it back, don't, don't get upset with yourself. And I'm like that's good, because if you didn't say that, I'd be cussing myself out because these thoughts are like ping pong balls in a blender inside my head. But no, it's been just trying to find balance, that balance that all of us seem to be chasing, other than that man. I'm good. How are you AJ?

Speaker 1:

I'm doing very well Now. Tim, our guests tonight are co-workers of yours. I don't want you to go easy on them, though. Don't play easy. Play hardball just like you do every other guest, please Sure Well, and on that note, I am very excited to welcome to the show tonight two senior technical advocates from Cisco's Learning and Certifications Quinn Snyder and Jason Belk. Gentlemen, thank you so much for taking the time tonight. You guys are very active in our Discord. It's all about the journey. I've been wanting to get you on the show for a long time. I'm glad you took the first step and reached out. How are you guys doing this evening, quinn?

Speaker 5:

Doing great. It's a Thursday, we're putting the finishing touches on some stuff that we're working on internally and ready for the weekend, and that mindfulness that Tim was speaking about and just being able to decompress and put everything aside is right around the corner, so we're definitely looking forward to that as well. Awesome, jason.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I just wanted to mention right off the bat long time fan been following you guys since early on, and just excited to be here and really appreciate just what you're doing for the community to make it more accessible and to get people who are already invested to that next step and people who are just checking it out to understand what it really looks like to be in these different industries, because it can look really different depending on whether you're a network engineer in what we're doing or anything in between, really appreciate that, jason.

Speaker 1:

I do remember I'm pretty sure both of you were Patreons early on when we did the Patreon thing. I do appreciate your support and that goes both ways. You guys are here to support that mission of what we're doing to help people get into this thing and share what network engineering careers are all about. So thank you very much Right back at you, I guess. To start things off, I would love to know what exactly is a senior technical advocate?

Speaker 2:

Why are you guys laughing?

Speaker 4:

Because sometimes we do good cop, bad cop. I tend to be the positive person and Quinn tends to be the more realistic person, so I'll give the positive spin. A senior technical advocate is a more general version of developer relations. So if you know DevNet, what they historically have done, devnet's shifted in what they're doing more on APIs Quinn came from the DevNet team, so you can talk more about that shifted in what they're doing more on APIs and Quinn came from the DevNet team, so you can talk more about that.

Speaker 4:

But basically what we're doing is including network engineering, security, all the other aspects of not just developer relations but technical advocacy. And so we're the go-between between the customer, which is all the people out there using our products for learning certifications. That's our certifications, that's our tests, that's that whole learning experience our community. We're trying to be out there in the community like this and understand what people are working with and then taking that feedback back to our product teams, trying to make it as best as possible and also helping define that strategic vision of where we're going for all those different technologies On the side, doing the typical DevRel stuff, creating free content so people can be interested and get plugged in.

Speaker 5:

And I'm laughing because it's one of those things we have kind of an internal joke everything's made up and the points don't matter, barring from whose line is it anyway? Advocacy is one of those things where you know where you're going but you have so many different paths to get there. Like Jason was talking about, we have the community outreach, we have the free content, we have the being able to speak at our events and things like that. But you're able to kind of choose your own journey of how you want to get from point A to point B so somebody may be more prolific in, like the future vision and how we get from you know, engage our community and drive adoption, engagement.

Speaker 5:

And someone like myself, who's you know kind of a, an old, you know neckbeard kind of person, it's like I enjoy the backend stuff. So I'm I love writing tutorials, I love writing content and and and being able to, to ease the, the, the barriers for adoption, for people to to consume or to produce the things that we, we generate, so it ton of things and you kind of make it what you want to be. And that's why I was laughing, because it's like how do you define something that has no real definition, except for the end state.

Speaker 1:

So it's clear that you guys really I mean you'd have to love network engineering if you're going to be an advocate for it, right yeah?

Speaker 1:

I guess I want to go back and now understand what got you guys into network engineering and what about it is makes it such a passion for you that you want to share it with others and create content and help people learn, which I totally vibe with, by the way, I there's nothing I enjoy more than writing a blog article and getting feedback that you know. Hey, I learned how to do this because of something you wrote, kind of thing. So I totally vibe with what you guys are saying. Quinn, let's start with you.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, it's, it's. It's funny that you bring this up because I've had some internal discussions based on some moves that we've had. But I honestly got started as a high school student back in like 2002, 2003. We were lucky enough to have a networking academy and it was that one challenge. It was like there was an organization called SkillsUSA it used to be called VICA that had an internetworking competition that was based on the CCNA blueprint and we had some gold medal winners at the national competition coming out of my hometown and it's like I want to be one of those people. I want to have my name in the paper, I want to be the best and, um, you know. So I fought my way through uh, my advisor who didn't let freshmen in, but I fought my way. It is like, hey, I can prove myself, I'm going to do this.

Speaker 5:

Um went through the CCNA uh curriculum as a with as an Etiket student. I had my CCNA at 2004,. So I must have been I don't know 14, probably 15, bordering on 16, I guess and I was like this is what I want to do. I had stacks of 2500 series routers in my house and I was building frame relay and ISDN networks and I just knew that that's what I wanted to be and out of uh, at a high school, I got hired on as a partner and, uh, or hired on with a partner and did a lot of um, part-time work through college and um, uh, you know, grew through the ranks there, cut my teeth on a lot of projects, brought down a lot of networks, which I think is the only way that you can learn as a network engineer. If you have not brought down prod, you're not a network engineer.

Speaker 5:

And then moved into kind of a development role early on when I saw some DevNet presentations in like 2015, 2016,. Saw that the writing was on the wall, moved to Cisco, was an SE and then, after that, was in DevNet. Now I'm here at Learning and Certifications. But the reason that I do what I do is because there are so many people that help me get to the point of where I'm at whether it was, you know, authors writing books, people at the partner that took me under their wing and said, hey, let's go break some stuff, let's go like, cut your teeth on what it means to write config, cut your teeth on what it means to write config, being able to give back to the community and students and my engagement with the Networking Academy. Now those are the things that keep me going, that's why I love presenting, that's why I love teaching, that's why I love educating and that's why I want to espouse the virtues of what it means to be a network engineer, because it brought me so much success and I just want to pay it forward.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. Let's go to Jason. How did you get started? What's the network engineer bug that bit you?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, for me it was a journey that happened after I joined Cisco. You know, you just accidentally join the top networking company and then become a network engineer. So for me I was a computer science undergrad at Santa Clara University in the Silicon Valley. I realized I wasn't too good at coding. I'm a hard worker, but when I was looking at pointers and arrays and C and C++ and C Sharp, I was really struggling. And I think also now that I do a lot of teaching, and so I was really struggling, and I think also now that I do my teaching, and so I was like man, I love technology, I love making things go blank, but I don't want to have to deal with binary.

Speaker 4:

Obviously, networks have that. But anyway, all I have to say is my buddy in college, who was a couple years ahead of me, was at Cisco as an intern. Gunfall was part of the university hiring program and helped me get an internship as an IT analyst and so I started at Cisco, converted from intern to full-time, so my first job out of college was at Cisco as an IT analyst. I was doing Excel spreadsheets, pivot tables, all the stuff that you would expect a Cisco employee to be doing. And then one of my other good buddies from Santa Clara University was on the network engineering team. One of my other good buddies from Santa Clara University was on the network engineering team. I was like man, that seems really cool. You have a terminal, it has all fun colors, you look like a hacker. Also, the skills you're learning seem really marketable. There was a lot of layoffs at the time. This was 2008, 2009. There were layoffs that were happening around that time, 2011.

Speaker 4:

I'd been at Cisco for a couple years as an IT analyst so I got my CCNA. I was like I want to get into the networking team. I want to have skills that are relevant to the industry, no matter what, and also it was more interesting to me Because I enjoyed the analyst side, interacting with people helping data. But also on the other side, I enjoyed the technology and wanted to get more technical. So from there, basically on the networking team, I was on the Cisco IT network operations for campus and branch, and so we support all Cisco's campus and branch offices, which are like 500, 600 different places all over the world, from headquarters in San Jose to branch offices down in Mexico and all over the world.

Speaker 2:

I want to stop you there just for a second because I would be super intimidated to be on the IT team supporting a networking company like Cisco. Can you kind of walk us through what that was like?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I really enjoyed it. It was a great learning experience for me because there were so many processes already in place that I didn't have as someone who just was breaking the industry. I was able to kind of fit into the grooves. So what direction? Are you curious about the devices we were working on?

Speaker 1:

Did you use Cisco?

Speaker 3:

I would think IT people are the worst people to have to service.

Speaker 2:

That's where I'm going from, Kevin. That's where I'm going.

Speaker 4:

It was all Cisco, but we did have partner sites that had older Cisco equipment, our internal refresh cycle. We had newer stuff but we did have to work with older equipment that a partner DMZ handoff was basically never going to upgrade their hardware unless they absolutely had to. So we definitely had that same struggle of both working with the new and working with the old, even within Cisco old, even within Cisco and even within Cisco, different hardware platforms. I'd be like, okay, this syntax isn't working for my 3850 versus my 3750, if it's stackable, versus there's so many different things that come up. And so for me, being on that team, it was a learning experience, just kind of shadowing people. Initially the operations side, I think, helped me realize that my troubleshooting skills and then implementation side helped me be better at operations because I'm like oh so this is how you set up a site. So when I'm troubleshooting I know where the things are, I know how the architectures are, because at the time I was still just trying to soak it all in and it took several years for me to really understand Cisco's network because it was so massive. You know, like this is just the campus and branch team and I was just trying to learn as much as I can. Just the campus and branch team and I was just trying to learn as much as I can.

Speaker 4:

So within that role I quickly realized that even within network engineering, that my strength was more in teaching and making things more efficient from an overall process. So, going back to the computer science thing, I just know my own strengths. I'm technical, but not so technical that I'm necessarily going to be the guy that's going to go in the dark room and figure it all out. And so I started creating documentation, helping get people to understand what the network looked like, what processes, as well as getting into automation. So this is like when Kirk Byers had started his Python series before DevNet and all that kind of stuff. So I started learning NetMeco, I started learning Ansible, I started learning Cisco NSO because it was a free product internally for us and I actually built an NSO course to teach my other coworkers how to basically abstract their configuration as a data model and then basically have Python to then roll that out to all the devices, which I didn't realize at the time was such a unique way of interacting with the network for average networks.

Speaker 4:

And I took those skills and published the course that I worked with the other employees on GitHub to say and mark down this is a sample of my work and I saw Network to Code with Jason Edelman posted on Twitter. I was following him on Twitter at the time and not in developer relations, just network engineer. Saw him posting hey, we're looking for people. And so I messaged him, my course, and actually started working in Network to Code for several years, but both a little bit on the consulting side, seeing customer sites, which was helpful, but primarily on the training side, so helping build networked codes, vendor-neutral training, and then I worked with Learning Certifications with them a little bit, so I got a little exposure there.

Speaker 4:

And then I came back to Cisco a few years later because I wanted to go back to the bigger life side of things, because we were starting a family, we had small kids and I didn't want to be traveling all the time on the consulting side. But I really enjoy my time in all those different roles but that just kind of fit me into it, that's really important.

Speaker 2:

I do want to. I do want to, quinn, I want to go back to your story and kind of pick that apart a little bit. Being in the training and certification realm, you talked about kind of how you got your start and going through training and just learning things on the job and that kind of thing. Did you have anybody or a group of people that you really looked up to or mentored you? That's part one of the question, and the second part would be what would be your advice to people that are trying to learn more about and break into networking today?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I mean I can roll through a litany of people who were like hey, I was 18, 19, sitting in there, I was responsible At the time. The partner had two parts of the business. One was the E-rate, like Apple laptops for all the school districts and stuff like that. So I had kind of streamlined the imaging process of that and when I was waiting for those to complete, you know, people come back and say, hey, you know, quinn, what are you doing? I'm like I'm just waiting for this to build.

Speaker 5:

And you know there were folks that were CCIEs, that were experts in their field. They're like hey, we've got to go. You know, replace this. You know, set of firewalls for the state DMZ or whatever. Hey, let's go. You know, just pop in, I'll have you back before classes, let's go. You know. And they were so willing to give their time and energy and effort and give me a chance to really to fail Like, and then that, and that's one of the things it's like.

Speaker 5:

You know, we, we Hank Preston, has talked about a lot of this and is you know how to be a network engineer in the programmable age talk that he's been doing for a while. But you know we treat the, the network, as one of these monoliths that can never go down, that can never break. And so the pressure's there on those junior engineers like you can't screw up, and if you do, it's a resume-generating event and you're done, you're out of the industry, kind of thing. And these individuals were like, do your thing, I'll check over it. If you screw up, blame's on me'll, we'll move on from there. And that that made such a huge impact to me that that, um, that, uh, I, I, I am.

Speaker 5:

I am here today through my trajectory because of the things that those people did and and and and my advice to to the folks that are are trying to break into the industry it's you know I get, we've all got to go through a grind. We have to do the things. You know, whether it's help desk or this network support or network admin, like you're just kind of doing VLAN changes or MACD stuff, but when you can find those people that are willing to give their time and energy and effort, and they're out there. I mean every industry, every corporation, every enterprise has those people that are like, yes, I want to teach people. I mean, you know, jason and I we both talked about the. You know, we want to teach, like that's why we're doing what we're doing, and every industry and every enterprise has those people.

Speaker 5:

Find those people, latch onto them and let them be your sounding board. Like, how did you, you know, whether it's figuring out how you, how you did what you did? Or or, hey, I'd like to do this. Can you, can you help provide air cover? Or, uh, you know, how do I get to the next level and how do I grow within the role that I'm at? Or what was your journey and how do I emulate that?

Speaker 5:

Like, there's, this is one of those industries where we're, we're uh and uh and we have such a a wealth of knowledge through, you know, tribal experience. And, hey, we've been here for 10, 15, 20 years. We know where, where things are broken, we know how to work around things and and I think it's it's especially being at cisco and seeing the, the wealth of talent and tim you can. You can speak to this as well. It's like there's so many people who are willing to give their time. You just got to ask. And because we don't want to, there's so many people who are willing to give their time. You just got to ask and because we don't want to seem pretentious, we don't want to seem like we know it all it's like. But if you come to us and say, hey, I want to learn more, we will open up the everything and show you what's going on.

Speaker 2:

So that's don't cool story to tell and I think an important one, because, to your point there in really I was going to maybe single out an industry, but really any of them it's. The network has become we've talked about this many times the network has become a utility. It must always be there, high, and to have that mentorship that says, hey, yes, we need to be careful, but let's practice this, let's lab it. Otherwise I think we just we kind of get stuck in this spot where we're afraid of our shadows sometimes in network engineering, and I think anything you can do to get your confidence up is needed.

Speaker 3:

I think paralysis, not being able to pull the trigger, sometimes is a huge problem in our industry. But I find it really interesting. You guys had like opposite stories of how you got where you are Like the same job, but complete opposite. It seems like Quinn, you were like focused laser, focused on what you were going to do, and Jason kind of like I feel like you kind of just fell into it and kind of discovered as you went. So I find that really interesting.

Speaker 4:

it's it's, yeah, fascinating one other thing I wanted to mention is in college I did have one of my favorite classes for computer science was the networking class and part of the teacher, the professor. He just did a great job I'm blanking up his name right now but that really impacted me in a positive direction to get into networking, in addition to having my friend who was a schoolmate on the networking team. It just seemed so mysterious because I'm like man, there's no way I can learn all this stuff. But I think the more that you immerse yourself in it and surround yourself with other positive people who are trying to do the same thing, like this community and also our community help facilitate, it just becomes more normal, like anything else.

Speaker 4:

If you're trying to get into road biking or trying to get into fitness, like, you have to have a community that's driving you forward and you may or may not, depend on your geography have the luxury of people who can provide that mentorship. Um, so I I in the past five years I moved from silicon valley to reno, nevada, and like reno has some network engineers but there's not no meetups. I mean there's like a general it meetup that I try to go to, but it's definitely that's one of the things being a full-time remote person who's in a city that's not as big as the Silicon Valley, like having something like this, or like we have in our Cisco Learning Network community, just has been life-changing for me in maintaining my skills and my interest in the industry.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, very true, good points. I feel like it's true, very true, for me, too, where I, other than the coworkers that I've met, I don't know a single other IT person in my personal life. I'm like the only IT person. So having a community whether it's, you know, listening to a podcast on the way to work, having social media where you're connecting with other engineers, it having a community there to support you is, you know, you know, very important in anyone's career.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's one thing I hear time and time again, especially on this show, is people that have been in the industry for a while. They constantly say what is out there now on different Discord servers and on Twitter X, whatever, and even to an extent on LinkedIn, is people wish that these different community avenues existed when we were first starting. So, yep, there's the old guy soapbox is already starting, back when we had 10 miles uphill.

Speaker 4:

And I would just encourage whoever's listening don't feel like you're in a place where you can't engage with the community, no matter where you're at. If you're just getting started or you're all the way up to an expert, your voice is going to help make things better, Assuming you're a positive person who's trying to assume people's best intentions and all that kind of stuff. I would just encourage more people who are just staying on the sidelines to get involved and you never know what your experiences can bring to the table to really fill out a gap that was you didn't even know was there 100%.

Speaker 3:

I think that's especially true with social media, where you have people who have been in the industry for 20 years. You have people who seem, like you know, as someone who's just starting out. All these people are on a pedestal and you're kind of afraid to engage because they're so much smarter, they know so much and I don't want to like be my little hey, what's a VLAN kind of thing? So it's super intimidating, but that's how you learn, that's how you know everyone who I've ever met in social media who is actually engaging, where they're actually engaging in conversation, discourse. They've been really opening, they've been really well like, everyone wants to share, everyone loves what we do. You know, if you're, if you're a network engineering you've been doing it for 20 years you pretty much love what you're doing or you move on to something else and so those people are very welcoming, want to share their knowledge.

Speaker 5:

So, yeah, a hundred percent, and I would just say I mean the community itself is is fairly.

Speaker 5:

I mean it's small enough where you will eventually cross paths, and the thing like what I'm coming to grips with now. What I'm coming to grips with now we're working on a virtual event for Cisco U, and part of the track of that is around hands-on exercise that you can follow along as someone's presenting, and someone who was incredibly influential in my early CCNA career has written many CCNA books. I get the privilege of working with that individual on building these tutorials right. And so here I am, 20 years later and I'm working with this individual on like, here's how we use GitOps and here's how you publish things in Markdown and here's how this automated publishing process works. And it's like the world comes full circle. You know, and just because you don't have strengths in the immediate thing you talk about, what is a VLAN, kevin? But everyone brings something unique to the table and it's an idea of gestalt. I mean the whole is greater than some of its parts, and so when we're all together, we all learn something new and we all grow from it, especially.

Speaker 2:

Jason, I'll throw this one at you. Being a technical advocate, I see that as being somebody who is definitely public facing. You're talking to people all the time. Your face is all over the internet. You're seen as definitely somebody who can help out technically, is definitely somebody who can help out technically. Was there anything you had to do to practice being ready to kind of be in the public eye and be out in front of people often?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think for me, being those two years in Consulting, network to Code helped my confidence so much from when I was in operations to where I'm at now.

Speaker 4:

It was a perfect transitional role for me in that I was forced to teach classes to clients that were paying these consulting fees, whether I was ready or not, and so everyone liked what I did.

Speaker 4:

But my standards of quality, I think, are higher, and Network to Code does a great job, not to say whatever. My point being is that sometimes you have to put yourself out there before you feel like you're ready, and that was five years ago, and so now I have five years of that experience where blogs, tutorials, videos. It's not something that comes naturally for me, but it's something that I have such a strong desire to be in the shoes of the person who's struggling and to be helping facilitate, to reduce that struggle, because for me, when I was learning networking and especially learning automation, there wasn't as many resources out there, and so being able to help people in that and also just being able to practice communicating both those things happen at the same time, where I'm both getting better at communicating, hopefully in my convoluted way of saying that I'm just talking myself in a circle, I'd say for communication, a lot of it's practice and putting yourself out there before you're even ready and just being willing to fail in public.

Speaker 4:

It's one of those things where, when you're up there on the pedestal teaching something, you're like, oh shoot, I forgot what I'm going to say next. One of the things that helps me is the audience wants you to succeed. Nobody sitting in the audience is staring at you like, oh yeah, I hope this guy makes five minutes of awkward conversation, and so for me that's my mindset. It's assuming positive intent for my audience and I want to make the experience that they want to have, and that's helped me a lot in stopping myself from psyching myself out for whether that's a huge webinar or just a small meeting with a few people.

Speaker 2:

You brought up something there a minute ago around the concept of teaching. I think some of us we think we have an issue with really understanding a concept, and how do we practice understanding a concept, and teaching is a great way to do that. I think a fallacy is that we think, well, I need to be an expert in something before I can teach someone, and I've learned recently that it's quite the opposite. If you're learning something, one of the best ways to reinforce that learning that I've found is to teach it not only to yourself, but to other people as well. I'm really glad you called that out.

Speaker 4:

Yep, and it helps for my own reference. I know there's been lots of people who say they write their own blogs so that they can teach themselves later when they forget, and so I'd say that's a big part, too is just some things that you don't do very often, like getting the practice of documenting for yourself the process, and that's going to make you better as an engineer.

Speaker 2:

Quinn, do you have any thoughts on this? I mean, if I were you, I wouldn't have had a problem getting out in public. I'd show that beard everywhere.

Speaker 5:

I mean it's funny because the same thing that Jason talks about getting yourself out there it's one of the hardest things to actually do. You know, I was lucky enough to be in a position with DevNet Granted the world shut down shortly after I joined. I do believe that I was a cause of some of that, but they didn't want to see me travel and present to people. That's, that's really the joke there. But like I mentor, I have mentored several people who have gone on to present at Cisco Live and to earn the Distinguished Speaker Award, and one of the things is is well, why would someone listen to me? And the thing of it is, if you have a compelling story, if you have something you really are passionate about, it doesn't matter the level of expertise that you have. That shows through.

Speaker 5:

The people that do the best in that teaching, in that conveyance of knowledge, are oftentimes the people who are the most. They may not be the 100% expert that we strive to be, but they're the most passionate. They want to see people succeed. They want to see people grow, succeed, and you want to give them the knowledge and and and that driver and getting out there and and, uh, putting yourself out there in a way that seems vulnerable. Uh, it's scary. And I, you know, usually the the third presentation is the best one. You learn how you fail to, you learn what you need to tighten up on. And the third one is like, okay, now I understand this. Um, but yeah, it's, it's, it's it's it's scary, it's it's nerve wracking, but it's, it's so worth it. And and being able to put yourself out there and grow and teach is what, when you see those nods, and you see those head nods and going, oh yeah, that's, that's, that's the thing, like that's that makes it all worth it.

Speaker 4:

One other thing I wanted to mention is that, especially early on, for if you're in a role that's more public facing, like teaching, just straight repetition, when he helps kind of reinforce it, then you can kind of do some jazz.

Speaker 4:

So basically, all that to say is, if you know the technology, that's the fundamental part. But then being able to communicate the technology, like building your own scripts Like I built flashcards for myself that I would take walks on and just walk around my house for hours and just say these are the ballpoints I want to talk about. Here's the slides. And it seems kind of silly, but it's like what we do in grade school when we're trying to learn our ABCs, and so there is sometimes, just in terms of understanding, flow when you're first getting into it, like now, I'm able to just make PowerPoint slides and mostly talk to them without rehearsing as much, depending on the topic. But I'd say, especially if you're trying to break into a more public facing role or a teaching role, it both includes just practicing without an audience, practicing in front of the mirror you know all the silly things that people say. It really does make a difference.

Speaker 3:

So talking about performing and being in front of people, now this might be a dumb question, but where would a normal network engineer person see you guys or see what you write? Where would someone run into you? Is it like you come to a business and you talk to people? Is it events that people come to you? How does this work?

Speaker 5:

There's a couple of different venues. I mean we obviously do a lot of events. So all the Cisco Lives. We have this Cisco Learning and Certifications area at the Cisco Live you know US, melbourne or Australia, I guess, abjc, and then Europe. We have the Cisco Youth Theater. All of us present there. We do outside things with DevNet or certification breakouts, things like that. We do virtual events, we do outreach of things. We're starting to become a little bit more customer-facing but we're not doing that in the role of the presentation like we would at Cisco Live and getting ourselves out there and teaching and education Cisco U.

Speaker 5:

We have a lot of tutorials that myself and Jason have written. You can see who wrote them. There's some attribution there so you can see those. We do webinars, we do virtual events like the Cisco U Spotlight, we do things one-offs and stuff, so that's probably the best way to catch us in our education.

Speaker 4:

And a couple other avenues that I'd mention is that we have the CLN Cisco Learning Network online community where we're active looking at people's questions. We have a lot of great other community members who are very active on there, and so CLN is a great place as well. As we have our own YouTube channel that we since we've joined the team in the past couple of years that, if you haven't checked out the Cisco U YouTube channel, that's a great thing too where we're posting tutorial videos on what's called the U, which is a YouTube playlist of basically free walkthrough tutorials. Quinn has one on Terraform, we have ones on Git, we have ones on security network engineering, so it's not just DevNet stuff. We're trying to cover all the different aspects of learning certifications, all the different technologies on all the different social media platforms, aligning with our marketing team, as well as the new certifications we're making and existing ones.

Speaker 3:

Awesome, that's great. When I think of Cisco U, I just think of signing up for that. I actually just did it, that's probably what's on my mind. But signing up for that, I actually just did it, that's probably what's on my mind. But signing up for the all-access pass, that's like 60 learning credits and you get that year pass. That's all behind a paywall, though, or at least most of it is, so it's great that there's some options there for people who are interested in looking at YouTube and that kind of stuff.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, and just to say that with Cisco U. So yes, there is stuff that's behind the paywall, but the things that Jason and myself and other folks create around tutorials, they're free to everybody, so not the same level of in-depth. Well, they're in-depth, but it's not a cohesive plan. So when you go through Cisco U and you click on a course, there's a lot of different aspects and you go through a lot of the lessons and it could be eight hours worth of content for that one thing. The tutorials that we create they're 20 to 45 minutes, but they're always free and sometimes they're a little bit more targeted around a specific topic. Um, you know, maybe I just need to learn something about Ansible or something specific about Terraform, or maybe I want to learn how to use VI or whatever Like. Those things are free and it's very targeted, so you don't have to sift through the entire portfolio. Those things are available.

Speaker 3:

I had no idea. I'll be checking them out.

Speaker 4:

We don't have any associated lab infrastructure for those free tutorials yet, but you can scroll through the steps and understand, or maybe use one of the DevNet sandboxes I definitely highly recommend. If you haven't checked out the Cisco U tutorials, it's a treasure trove of them. We've been making them for several years now and we're just now getting to the point where we have enough momentum that we're marketing the more, finding more ways to get the word out on, like he said, all the way from VAM app dynamics. I'm working on some Splunk ones right now. That'll hopefully be out by the time this is released. So we're trying to do moment of need, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour step-by-step instructions that are getting people interested and looking at Cisco U and diving deeper into the rest of our offerings.

Speaker 1:

So I kind of want to dive into that a little bit more. Around your day-to-day right. So you're both senior technical advocates. Do you get to pick and choose the things that you want to create content around? Do you work within a vertical? For example, do you focus on data center and then do you focus on enterprise? How do you come up with the content you're going?

Speaker 4:

to create. So, in terms of expertise, we have a spreadsheet between the three of us of stack ranking who's most comfortable with which technology, and so we kind of covered them all. But when it comes to the tutorials, we have people who are both instructors within the learning certifications that contribute, as well as within the broader Cisco community of employees, whether that's TMEs, engineers, stuff like that. But for our day-to-day, I'd say it's pretty similar between the three of us myself, quinn and Kareem.

Speaker 4:

It's a mixture of forward-looking, of okay, are we creating enough content to cover the different themes that we're looking at? So we have different monthly themes that we're aligning to our marketing pushes from Learning Certifications has its own marketing team that are great, and so we want to make sure that what we're doing is amplified out in the community in terms of the different technologies, and so we're creating different tutorials on those topics as well as helping review blueprints. So, like last week, I was looking at CCNP service provider blueprints and we had a bunch of people on the call and we were those voices saying you know, yes, let's include this technology, let's not include that technology and stuff like that. Quinn, are there any other ones you wanted to chime in on. I don't want to hog up all their time.

Speaker 5:

No, no, it's fine. I spend a lot of my time working on. I enjoy the creation, I enjoy the engagement working on the blueprints and things that Jason mentioned. I spend a lot of time kind of doing some internal consensus, getting people on board. So, as Jason said, we solicit feedback from other VEs that we have within Cisco. I do a lot with our internal publishing around our tutorials. So I'm constantly tweaking all the GitHub action stuff that we use to publish all that. So I get to get my hands dirty with some of the code.

Speaker 5:

And then there's a portion of what we do that's kind of I guess it's demand driven content type stuff. So it's like, okay, we have this new idea, let's go and run a thousand miles an hour, put all the stuff that you're working on into a box and work on that for four hours, and the other four hours of the day you're going to do this new thing that we're working on. So sometimes that's Cisco live content. Sometimes that's hey, we have this harebrained idea to do a new virtual event and let's get off the ground as we launched that completely from from uh scratch. Sometimes it's it's uh, you know, acquisitions that we have. Okay, now we've got to suddenly bring on this whole new series, a community of learners, and bring them into our platform. So, um, you know, we we try in earnest to plan our day as best as possible, but sometimes it gets derailed by new things that come up.

Speaker 1:

So it sounds like you're still a typical IT worker. I remember trying to plan my days out, and then it gets completely derailed by something else, so you're not immune to that. That's good to hear For both of you. What's your absolute favorite topic to nerd out on, like when you think about the content you've got to create, what just really gets those creative juices flowing? I'll start with you, jason.

Speaker 4:

Sure, for me it's probably either Ansible or NSO. Those two things were just foundational for me in terms of seeing configuration as something that, at scale, was not something that I need to be scared of, because when I was at Cisco IT there was firewalls that had, let's just say, so many ACLs in place that you couldn't hit spacebar enough to go through them all and devices were crashing because of RAM hundreds of thousands of them, anyway. So all that to say is being able to have automation that could work with that and I could just say for each ACL in the Swiss iterate, is this IP present? Check the port. For each ACL in the Swiss iterate, is this IP present? Check the port. So I think for me, those two topics really hit home for me as something that if you talk about whatever you want, you're probably going to see something from Ansible or NSO for me, Nice Quinn.

Speaker 5:

For me. I have this soft spot in my heart for either Terraform I'm just a huge Terraform fan, I do a lot of stuff around that or, honestly, anything DC networking related. So all the ACI, vxlan, deep dive stuff. I cut my teeth with a lot of that back when I was working at a partner doing a lot of big multi or massively scalable data centers was I think the term back in the day. Or massively scalable data centers was I think the term back in the day Doing BGP as an IGP to scale out tens of hundreds of racks and things like that. So those are the things.

Speaker 2:

When I get deep into DC technology, DC networking, I'm like, yeah, this feels like home. I have a very selfish question, and it may or may not be because of the role I just recently took, but my question is around what would your advice be for someone who wants to remain technical, isn't necessarily on the keyboard every day in customer environments, working for a partner, that kind of thing? What are some ways of keeping skill sets up to date?

Speaker 4:

I think for me, that looks like a mixture of forcing yourself to volunteer for projects that you don't have time for, but you kind of need to stay relevant. So it's just like when you're in IT and your operations I have so much time in order to push myself, sometimes you do have to put in extra time, I'm not going to lie. But on the other side, I'd say, finding use cases that inspire you to actually use the technology. So I've been playing around with generative AI and chat, gpt and stuff like that and it's kind of gotten me inspired back in. Okay, what can I do to now integrate that into my existing technology stack? So I'd say, finding new things that are developing that integrate, maybe, in with existing skill sets that force you to relearn them and stay up to date and then reimagine them in a new context.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that sounds good. What do you got for me, Quinn?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, that's a tough one. I mean because I came from the world where everything was a fire drill, like, hey, you have to go do this for another customer, and so it's a muscle that I've struggled to work on because I've so focused on my day-to-day. But I really agree with Jason, it's one of those things where it's like the previous question was talking about, what's the thing that you absolutely love to nerd out on, and I think we all have those topics love to nerd out on, and I think we all have those, those topics. And and you, you, yes, there are certifications or you know, maybe you want to go for this, uh, role that covers only this specific technology or whatever, and you have to. You have to do that toil. You've got to put in the work, you've got to study things that you, you don't necessarily, or you have to learn things you don't necessarily want to learn.

Speaker 5:

But finding, finding what motivates you, like what are you really interested in? And and that not to make your, your hobbies and your, your interests, like into a job, but it makes that studying, it makes that that learning, it makes that labbing a heck of a lot easier than than, okay, I've got to go, like if you were to say I've got to go study call manager for the next six months, you are going to have the most miserable person in the world for the next six months. But you know, if it's something like I said, dc networking, like I'll dive into it and learn it, no matter what. So you find those things that you're just didn't, latch onto them and and then maybe dabble your toes in the other tangential pieces that you need to cover. No offense to any of the call manager people, by the way, but it's just not me, sorry, sorry guys.

Speaker 1:

You're in good company. I've done call manager, yeah yeah, accurate, very accurate.

Speaker 2:

So, being in the learning and certification realm, how would you say? Certifications have changed over the last 10 years. Is the impact any different? Is it more? Do you think it's less? What do you think, jason? I'll start with you Sure.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I still see certifications all over job requirements. So people are still looking for people to be certified for network engineering roles and I think, startups and things like that. Obviously they're more cloud-focused and you need to have a more broad skill set, and Cisco recently had a multi-cloud cert that we came out with as well as cloud security one that folks could definitely check out. So, I'd say, being relevant for your certifications, I'd say make sure you're doing technologies that are relevant to where the industry is going, so picking topics and technologies that interest you and making sure that you're putting in the time to learn it well enough that you're able to pass the test and all that kind of stuff. So, yeah, it's hard for me to say exactly how they change because, at least from my perspective, they're still relevant. That's why I joined the learning certification team to help get the word out there. It helped me in my career so much and big corporations haven't changed that much in 10 years In my experience.

Speaker 4:

Yes, the small startups are going to be doing small startup things, but Bank of America, the US government, other big corporations outside of the US long list they're still expecting their employees, the people, to be certified or at least be pursuing certifications to improve their career in different ways if you're going to be a technical person. So I'd say sometimes the hype train is like, oh, certifications might not be as relevant, or I can just do skills. You should do both. I don't see them as exclusive. I have small kids so I haven't been doing as many certifications. Recently I did pass DevCore around the new year with a baby. It was a lot of work. So I'll just say that Understand where you are in your phase of life and understand that you can do passive learning versus like hey, I need to go for this certification depending on what your free time looks like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's such a good call out, Because I think with social media, we just see a lot. You see a lot of the wins and when people do the things that they want to get done, but you don't always see the struggle, and I'm glad that you framed that in a realistic way of make sure that you know where you're at in your life, and not only yourself but your family and your support system. You can't always just look out for yourself. Yeah, so what do you think, Quinn? Where do you think certifications have come in the last 10 years and what's? Has the impact changed at all?

Speaker 5:

I don't think so I don't think the impact has changed. I still remember a conversation I had must have been around 2006, 2007,. Before the Nexus line really hit it big and I was talking to someone who was a CCIE voice and they said great, you're a route switch guy, but you've got to pick a specialty. You've got to deep dive into something Security, you've got to get into the voice thing. You've got to maybe I think they saw this there might have been a storage networking at the time or it might have been ISP dial. You've got to. Maybe, I think there might have been a storage networking at the time or might have been ISP dial. You've got to specialize. And shortly thereafter I remember the Nexus coming out and then the data center space blowing up. This is Cisco's new big thing, how they're going to scale the data center.

Speaker 5:

And RouteSwitch was cool again. You could be a guy who was completely focused in RouteSwitch and have a very lucrative career. And then you've gone through the flows of hey, now we have a lot of these different specializations, now we've got cloud, now we've got, you know, the integrations of security and network, or maybe you've got cloud and security or cloud and connecting them to on-prem. I don't think that the relevance of a certification has changed. Let's put it that way work. Or maybe you've got cloud and security or cloud and connecting them to on-prem. I don't think that the relevance of a certification has changed. Let's put it that way Like certifications still bring something to the table that says to someone I know these things and I can be trusted to implement them.

Speaker 5:

I think the difference is it's okay to not have to specialize anymore. You can be someone who is maybe I do a little bit of cloud, maybe I do a little bit of security, maybe I've got some certs in enterprise networking or whatever. Maybe they're not all of one vendor. You know, hey, we've got a multi-vendor environment. I might know one wireless vendor and one SASE vendor and one networking vendor. Obviously it should all be Cisco because of who pays my paycheck.

Speaker 5:

But you can diversify and not have to go. I mean obviously, yes, ccies, they're still irrelevant and I will never like they have achieved a level that I have not gotten to yet. But it's okay to say we can be professional or we can have specializations in a lot of different categories, and that's okay too, and that's a perfectly acceptable okay to say we can be professional, or we can have specializations in a lot of different categories and that's okay too and that's a perfectly acceptable journey to say I've got some programming skills and some security and some enterprise networking and I'm completely okay with that. I don't need to go all in on security because it could die. I mean to Jason's point, it could shift drastically in a few months.

Speaker 4:

And the skills of networking still apply. I mean, regardless of what company you're at, they're going to need a network and if you want to get into networking, certifications I think are one of the most structured ways to do that, if you don't already have a networking job, to be able to say what's the laundry list of things that I need to know to get into this industry. Like, my wife is just getting to be a real estate agent. She passed the real estate exam. It's that type of stuff Like it's good to have learning pathways that are clearly defined for people. So so that way we're we're not gatekeeping, we're saying anybody can come in and if this is exciting to you, like you can contribute. Love that, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that. Yeah, yeah, I love that. I want to take a minute because we've been talking about community so much this episode to remind people to go check out the us and uacom. They are not a sponsor, we just love the US and UA. Tim is a NUG leader out in Nebraska. He's got his first meeting coming up. I'm also a NUG leader here in Vermont. We've got another meeting coming up here real soon. It's a great opportunity to get together with fellow network engineers. Just nerd out, have a good time.

Speaker 1:

If you don't have a USNUA in your area, you should think about starting one up. Go to usnuacom, sign up to be a member of a local community, or you can inquire to start one in your area today. If you have any questions about that, you can definitely hit up myself or Tim. We'll be happy to guide you along. Guys, I cannot believe how quickly this hour has flown by. Before we start to wrap things up, I want to throw our favorite question out. Is there anything that we should have asked you or that you want to bring up and talk about before we close this thing?

Speaker 5:

I would say something about beard care, but I feel like it would be lost on the audience right now.

Speaker 1:

I'm good, I'm good.

Speaker 4:

For me, I'd say both of us, including Kareem, are going to be at Cisco Live US. If you're going to be at Vegas, come to the Learning Asserts booth. Check out our Cisco U Theater sessions. We'd love to meet you. Tell us that you heard about us on this podcast or wherever you heard about um, our content. Check out the cisco you tutorials. Uh, you don't need to pay for it, but you do need to register, and so that that'd be my two plugs come and say hi and go learn some new things I love it.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Uh, we, we do talk a lot about mental health here on the art of network engineering podcast. I want to ask you both what do you do to keep yourself in balance? You know, does it? You break away from tech in your free time and do something a little bit different? Quinn, I know you're a bit of a photographer. I enjoy seeing what you post. What else do you do to help keep yourself balanced?

Speaker 5:

It may not look like it from my figure, but I love road cycling. I usually do between uh, between four and 700 miles a month. Um, get out in the morning and and just enjoy. Uh, if I get out early enough, I avoid all of the traffic in suburbia and just put on a podcast and and just kind of find my Zen and cruise for a couple of hours and and just enjoy. It's one of those things where, where I enjoy what I'm doing and then I look back on it it's like, wow, I went a long, a long distance. Or I look at the map it's like that was a, that was quite a ride and and just get to reflect on that and that that keeps me grounded a lot, because it's something completely disconnected from everything I do in my day to day.

Speaker 1:

That's great. Wow. 400 to 700 miles a month, that's crazy, amazing, jason. How about you?

Speaker 4:

And I just want to add before I say mine, I kind of pseudo-stalk Quinn in your Discord channel because he posts all the time about his biking in there. It's fun for me, anyway. So my mental health for me, mental health is both being creative and for that I enjoy playing Magic the Gathering, and so that's like a trading card game where you can create your own decks and battle each other and stuff. So I play in person with friends here as well as online, and they're constantly coming out with new sets and stuff. So it forces me to reinvent the ways that I'm interacting with other players and it's not just a little boxy, which is nice. Um, and I've also been enjoying Nintendo switch. I'd say that's the other big thing. I've just been playing retro games, games from high school that now are on the switch. Like that's been huge for me, just like my wife and I were chilling recently watching love is blind and and playing, playing games on the switch. So that helps me a lot.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Well, if our listeners want to find more from you, where can they find you?

Speaker 4:

Jason, you can find me on LinkedIn for Reno Belk, as well as Twitter X Reno Belk, and go on the Cisco Learning Network CLN community, and you can as well find me. There's two.

Speaker 5:

Awesome. Quinn and I am at QSnyder on all the socials, so LinkedIn, twitter, x, github, which I think is the best social network out there, and you can see what you can call. You leave comments and pull requests by really bad code. And then obviously, on Cisco U and all the Cisco live events. I'm more than happy. I'm usually pretty busy running around, but you can catch me at some point.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. We will have links to all your socials and everything that we discussed in the show notes for this episode, so make sure you check there. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us tonight. This has been such a fun conversation, and I want to sign off by saying I'm AJ Murray and I'm reminding you to take the time to take care of your mind. Thanks for joining us. Hey everyone, this is AJ. If you like what you heard today, then make sure you subscribe to our podcast and your favorite podcatcher. Smash that bell icon to get notified of all of our future episodes. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We are at Art of Net Eng. That's Art of N-E-T-E-N-G. You can also find us on the web at artofnetworkengineeringcom, where we post all of our show notes. You can read blog articles from the co-hosts and guests and also a lot more news and info from the networking world. Thanks for watching.

Exploring Senior Technical Advocacy in Networking
Transition to Network Engineering Career
The Power of Networking and Community
Teaching and Creating Content at Cisco
Staying Technical in Evolving IT
Community Networking and Mental Health Balance

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