Friday, February 12, 2010

Becoming a Cisco Trainer

Twelve years after I took a job with a Cisco training company, I have finally achieved my goal of becoming a Certified Cisco Systems Instructor (CCSI).  In 1998, I accepted a job with Chesapeake Computer Consultants, Inc (later renamed Mentor Technologies).  I was hired as a consultant, and I eventually hoped to teach, but it didn’t work out and I quickly forgot about becoming an instructor.
Fast forward about ten years… I earned my CCDE, and while I am happily employed, I’m always looking for new and interesting challenges.  I occasionally take on some extra-curricular consulting work (contact me if you’re interested!).  I was approached by CCBOOTCAMP, an authorized Cisco Learning Solutions Provider (CLSP) about teaching their CCDE Advanced Lab (Practical) Boot Camp.  This seemed like the ideal opportunity to get into teaching, so I accepted the offer.  This is a part time endeavor, so there’s no need for me to leave my current employer, which makes this the perfect fit for me.  A few weeks ago I sat for the two-day CCSI exam, and a few days ago I received an email from Cisco with the news that I am CCSI #33328.  My first course is scheduled for March 1st, and I am really looking forward to it.  Even though I am the instructor, I am sure I will learn quite a bit from the experience.
Carole Warner Reece of Chesapeake NetCraftsmen wrote a great blog entry about the history of the CCSI program.  It can be found at
At the risk of repeating her comments, I’ll briefly mention my experience.  The CCSI certification process is called the Instructor Certification Program (ICP).  On Day 1 of my ICP, I completed a Cisco configuration lab.  I would say it was a CCNA-level lab.  On Day 2, I presented a module from the ICND2 course (I chose WAN Technologies).  Two other candidates also presented modules of their choosing.  Next, I was asked to present a module of the ICP Proctor’s choosing.  He chose OSPF, and I presented it.
That was the entire process.  I received useful feedback on presentation skills from both the proctor and my fellow candidates.  I enjoy presenting, but I don’t get many opportunities to practice in my current role.  Of course, It is unlikely that I’ll get a lot of presentation practice during the CCDE Lab Boot Camp either.  My current view is that the course must be based on interactive discussions for the students to get the most out of the material.  If anyone has thoughts on how best to teach network design, I’d love to hear them in the comments or via email.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Special Guest Post – Eman Conde (The CCIE Agent)

As a favor to my friend (and fellow Delawarean) Eman Conde, I am posting this note.  To clarify, I (Jeremy Filliben) will not be attending the Bahrain Cisco Live event, although it sounds like great fun!


From the Desk of the CCIE Agent ((Eman):

Cisco Networkers 2010

March 28-31



I am a real fan of Networkers or as Cisco began to call the event, “Cisco Live”. But I received some great news; they are calling it Networkers again. Really, in Bahrain this next month Cisco Networkers is scheduled for March 28 thru 31. These events are worth the pilgrimage many of us make to attend. I have begun my plans for attending Networkers in Bahrain and I hope to see many of you there. If you find me I will give every CCIE a CCIE Flyer wagon and take a photo to use in the CCIE Flyer magazine. I will have to endure great hardships to get there. I will have to leave the warmth of my home crossing the mountains of snow left by two sequential blizzards here in Delaware. Endure the frosty glare of security thugs at the airport and the long flight time having cocktails with strangers. The things I do for you guys; I swear!

A Pilgrimage to remember

My last trip to Networkers er…ah Cisco Live (sorry John) was in 2008. Since I live on the east coast here in the USA I decided I would make the trip all the way to Orlando in my car. That was a fun event and I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the CCIE Party and the many events and displays. But Networkers is much better for techies to attend. There are labs, training, product demos, opportunities to meet with Cisco experts, design clinics, consultancy for troubleshooting specific scenarios, educational sessions, and many exhibitors providing many more interesting opportunities for network engineers to benefit from the event.




Breakout Sessions

IT Insights Program

Technical Seminars


Case Studies

Technology Panels

Birds of a Feather

Cisco Career Certification

Meet the Engineer

Technology Solutions

Customer Advisory Committee

Recommended Reading List

Green Initiative


At Cisco Networkers Bahrain, you'll build the knowledge you need to make a powerful difference in your organization. You'll find answers to your questions on specific technologies and network environments. You'll learn about the emerging trends in technology and communications that will change the way people live and work. You'll gain new insight into how evolving network technologies will affect business strategy. And you can earn the certifications that demonstrate to current and future employers your skill and expertise.

In a challenging economic climate, value is more important than ever. Cisco Networkers Bahrain offers the education you need to make you a more valuable resource in your workplace by making your workplace more efficient and effective.

So please mark your calendars and send me a note so I know where to find you!

Bahrain here I come!!!

- Eman