Even though im still in San Diego, Cisco Live! US 2015 is but a memory.
But what a memory it is! It being my first time attending a Cisco Live conference, I didn’t really know what to expect.
What I was met with, was a conference full of really sharp and nice people. The conference staff was very helpful and polite and really made an impression on me, from the time I first stepped onto the pavement outside San Diego convention center.
We (I brought my better half to the US) arrived very late on saturday, so after a good nights sleep I took the bus to the convention center to register and pick up the first piece of swag, the famous Cisco Live bag.
One of the great benefits of attending the conference was meeting with my good friend Daniel Dib (from lostintransit.se). I hadn’t seen him since January, so it was really cool to meet up with him during the week.
On Monday Daniel and I attended a session together, but most other sessions I went to alone. For the record, I paid for this trip out of my own pocket, so I didn’t have any co-workers or anything to tag along.
Tuesday was also spent in sessions, but in the evening there was the famous CCIE party, where my +1 was a friend of Daniel. Rihkka, a network engineer from Finland. She’s also in the VIP program along with Daniel. It was very nice meeting her. Also met with people from back home for morning coffee (which was actually Iced Coffee since it was fairly hot outside).
Wednesday I gave the CCDE written a shot, but unfortunately didn’t pass. Its a really weird exam if you ask me. Its supposed to be a technology design exam, but, I dont know. It just irks me somehow. Also, I had the good fortune of having a talk with Jeremy Filliben (http://www.jeremyfilliben.com), a renowned CCDE trainer. He gave some good advice along with information about his upcoming CCDE training programs. Very nice guy indeed. Since I lost track of Daniel for lunch, I was fortunate enough to run into Rihkka again. So we had lunch together where she could explain a bit more about Finland to me 🙂
Thursday, things slowed down a bit. I decided to cancel some sessions to get time to meet up with folks. During this day I also had a chance to meet with some folks from the Cisco Champion program, which was very good. Unfortunately a private QoS session for Cisco Champions was cancelled, which I was pretty bummed about. It would have been pretty awesome to meet Tim Szigeti. The QoS guy 🙂
Finally I said my goodbye’s to Daniel and headed back to the hotel. My first Cisco Live conference under my belt!
Would I recommend this as a good value for a network engineer? Absolutely!! the inspiration from the breakout sessions alone would be enough to justify it, but the social aspect of it all is what really makes the point!
I will do my very best to come back next year!