From Ops to Sales

It’s been about nine months since I made the jump from an operational role to a sales role. I have been in operational roles my entire career, so it was a different direction moving into a Systems Architect role at Cisco. These months have flown by and its been great to see the other side. If you are thinking about making the move from ops to a sales role but are unsure of what to expect, keep on reading. I’ll be diving in to some of the myths I’ve heard. Continue reading “From Ops to Sales”

Device Management with Cisco ISE

Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) allows network and security teams to implement policy enforcement and weave in network access control in an automated fashion. ISE provides the visibility to allow intelligent decision making that gives administrators granular control. This granular control serves as a benefit when it comes to managing devices. What does Device Management look like with ISE? How do we utilize TACACS+ based AAA to give administrators granular control? This blog entry will dive into those details. Continue reading “Device Management with Cisco ISE”

The Career Change

We make choices everyday. Some of the choices are simple. Do I wear pajama pants or jeans today? Am I having breakfast? Do I want coffee? Whether it is a yes or no, those choices are not life changing. However, once in a while there are more complex choices to make. Do I want to move to a different company? Is it time for a career change? Those questions are not easily answered. They require thought. Big changes impact your life. They can impact your family’s lives. Wanting to grow and wanting more led me to ask those questions. The answers led me to a change from a life in operations into a sales role. Continue reading “The Career Change”

Simple Cisco FMC Upgrades

I’ve only recently started diving a bit deeper into Cisco Firepower. I’ve heard some mixed reviews regarding using and upgrading Firepower Management Center and the FTDs. Some have had decent luck while others seem to run into issues. As I have an FMC that is non-production (for now), I’ve decided to upgrade it to the latest version and find out for myself how difficult these upgrades are. I’ll also need to head into version 6.7 for some SAML capabilities on the FTDs. One factor you should look for when deciding to use certain products is how easy it is to maintain them. Continue reading “Simple Cisco FMC Upgrades”

Engineering Our Qualities

What is the most important thing you need to learn about in order to succeed in your IT career? Is it mastering a certain system? Is it programming like an expert? Is it creating the best disaster recovery plan? Maybe. Those can be individual accomplishments that can help open doors. However, once you have your foot in the door, how do you maintain a presence that can continue to elevate you in the workplace? It’s great to know everything, but if your attitude stinks your value drops. I put much more value on those humble techs and engineers who try their best, have good attitudes, and are there when their colleagues need them. It’s tough to show those qualities on paper, but they do get noticed by good leadership. I am going to bring up a few qualities that I believe are important to have for anyone that wants to shine in their role. Continue reading “Engineering Our Qualities”

2021: Thinking Forward

Who doesn’t love to make plans and have goals? It’s January of 2021. Let’s not discuss what happened last year. Many of us accomplished different things and many of us did not. No matter what happened last year, I’d like to look forward to making plans for this year. However, making plans is not enough. Executing is what needs to happen. Sometimes our execution is derailed by many outside factors throughout the year. This will happen. I believe it is best not to thrust all of our worries on the things we cannot control. Let’s focus our energy on the what is within our reach. As a network engineer, there are a few goals I want to briefly write about. I am hoping writing it will help keep me accountable. Continue reading “2021: Thinking Forward”

Study Tips for the Time Challenged

If you are reading this, you are probably trying to study and a very important question has come up: “How do I even make time?”. I look across social media and that is one question that seems to be a concern for many of us. Whether you are studying for a certification, class or even to acquire a new skill, time must be dedicated. If you can show up at every test without taking the time to study and you ace each test, there is no need to read further. However, if you are like the rest of us who often struggle juggling work, family, and everything else that comes behind it, the next few paragraphs will hopefully provide some encouragement. Continue reading “Study Tips for the Time Challenged”

3 Things Engineers Need from Leaders

Being a manager does not make you a leader.
Now that I have your attention, I’ll dive in a little deeper. Think of it in terms of creating a meal. You can look at your pantry and see you are missing certain ingredients to your recipe. You go out to the store and purchase those ingredients. You come back and toss the ingredients in the pantry. Done! The meal has been created. Well actually, no. You have the ingredients you need, but nothing else was done. You still have to spend time putting the ingredients together, cooking the meal, making sure the taste is right, add a ton of salt and pepper, and finally serving it. It’s easy to gather the ingredients listed in a recipe, but it might not be as easy to turn that recipe into the perfect meal. It takes time and effort. The same applies to an engineering team. As a leader, or perhaps a chef, having the ingredients is not enough. In order for an engineer to grow in an environment, work must be done. Yes, some of it falls squarely on the shoulders of the engineer, but some of it comes from leadership. My goal here is to discuss three ingredients that a leader can combine that can make a difference in their team. Continue reading “3 Things Engineers Need from Leaders”

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