Know-how Porter at Your Service

In case you didn’t make it to Cisco Dwell Europe in Amsterdam this yr, you is likely to be stunned to see my identify hooked up to a unique crew. For the previous three years, I’ve been nearly singularly targeted on informing anybody prepared to hear 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 rather a lot concerning the energy of neighborhood—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 development and development.

I used to be additionally capable of see the wrestle of neighborhood members as they simply tried to maintain up with the tempo of expertise and specializations, not to mention eat the infrastructure they have been tasked with managing in a programmable or codified manner. 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 various neighborhood of learners and technical specialists. Nonetheless, I’ll have the ability to help your journey by means of 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 after I attended the Cisco Networking Academy in highschool. By means of 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 huge information middle networks.

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

Quick ahead to as we speak: I’m a Cisco Press creator of the Cisco DEVCOR Official Certification Information and a Cisco Dwell Distinguished Speaker. (You’ll be able to catch a few of my recorded classes right here and right here.) After I’m not working, you’ll find me behind a grill, a digital camera lens, or the handlebars of my highway bike within the stunning suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, the place I reside with my spouse (of ten years this September), two children, and two little “floofy” canine.

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 crew and its perform. It jogs my memory of a methods engineering good friend’s analogy about people who show you how to all through life. These influential folks could be divided into three classes: mentors, shepherds, and porters. Every has a unique function in your private development and development.


Mentors are there to offer steerage and perception over the long run. The mentor/mentee relationship is commonly formal, targeted on the mentee’s long-tail improvement,  and generally 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 nearly the alternative of mentors; their sole job is to shield the flock. We will see these traits in our academics and educators, as they supply prescriptive steerage and steps to develop a given ability. These relationships are usually shorter, with a restricted skill to customise the training and steerage as a result of they’re solely there for a selected sort of schooling at a selected time.

Every of those teams is significant in our studying and improvement. Nonetheless, 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 interact with us to make sure we are able to 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 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’re requested to know. We will additionally break down these ideas into strategies that let you study in your individual manner, in a modality that fits your type. We’re not a one-size-fits-all crew; we delight ourselves on discovering each manner potential to make your journey simpler. I’ve seen the facility of neighborhood firsthand, and I’m excited to see how a lot our crew will help the neighborhood obtain its objectives and extra.

Tech Advocates at your service

In case you need assistance carrying something in your certification or studying journey, I’m at all times obtainable. You’ll be able to go away a remark under or attain out to me on Twitter: @qsnyder. And for those who occur to be at a Cisco Dwell occasion, I’m at all times 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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