Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Professional Life Update – Winter 2010

Life hasn’t slowed down for the holidays in 2010!  Earlier this week I accepted a job with a new employer.  I greatly enjoyed my time with Genworth Financial, and I’ll miss working with my team and the larger IT department there.  It was a wonderful 6+ years with Genworth, and nearly a decade within the General Electric organization.

I expect that my new position will keep me very busy.  For this reason, I have bowed out of teaching CCDE courses for CCBOOTCAMP.  I want to thank Dawn & Dawn, as well as Brad, for their guidance and support in 2010.  I grew quite a bit as both an engineer and communicator through my experiences with CCBOOTCAMP, and if my schedule ever allows it, I would be happy to teach again in the future.

So as not to leave CCDE candidates ‘high and dry’, I will continue to offer my CCDE Practical practice exams on a regular schedule.  Details about the January offering can be found at http://www.jeremyfilliben.com/2010/12/january-ccde-practice-exams.html.  The response has been very positive, and I am looking forward to working with the candidates in a few weeks.

Even with the new responsibilities, I intend to post occasionally to this blog and keep active in various other social media universes.  Here’s a rundown of how/why I use various tools.  I thought this might be helpful to the community.  At the very least it’ll explain why I ignore most Facebook friend requests :)

Twitter – I’m on twitter @jfilliben.  I use this primarily for networking industry purposes.  I view twitter as a river of information, sort of like CNN Headline News or ESPN News. I don’t have time to watch it all day, but when I have a moment, I like to see what’s going on in the networking world.  I’m fairly good at keeping track of DMs and replies, but I miss a lot of the daily chatter.

LinkedIn – I’m on LinkedIn under the username jfilliben.  I have been a fan of LinkedIn for a long time.  In my early career I moved  from job to job fairly frequently, as did many others.  LinkedIn became a way to keep in contact with my former co-workers and to keep an eye out for new opportunities.  I am open to linking with anyone who has an interest or need to contact me.  I do not see a significant downside to linking with people who I don’t know terribly well.  I suppose this can serve as a warning to anyone in my LinkedIn network.. Just because I’m linked to someone doesn’t mean I would vouch for them.

Facebook – I only joined Facebook because my wife told me to.  She handles the family social circle, so I don’t see a great need for me to be on it.  It was fun reconnecting with a few former classmates, but I still don’t see the point to it all.  I pretty much keep my work life and personal life separate, so I don’t normally “friend” professional associates on Facebook.  Occasionally I’ll “like” something work-related, like the Facebook LISP group.

Blogs – I write a professional one, but you already knew that.  Prior to creating this blog I used this URL in an unsuccessful campaign for a local political office, so occasionally you’ll see a reference to that in search engines.  I also started a blog for my surname, but I abandoned it awhile ago and never got around to deleting it.  It hosts a single picture of the family from 2008.

I read a large number of technical blogs, and that number grows weekly.  I primarily use RSS via Google Reader.  If a blog doesn’t do RSS, I can’t remember to follow it.  And if a blog only publishes summaries to RSS, the content better be great or I’ll unsubscribe.  Yes, I’m talking about Greg, Jeremy and Ivan here.  I don’t think there are any other technical blogs that I’m willing to click-thru to read.  I would list my favorite blogs, but then I would forget someone and feelings would be hurt.  Lately I’ve been adding some storage and blade server blogs to the list.  Hopefully it is just a phase :)

I also read a few dozen non-technical blogs, mostly in the areas of sports, finance, economics and politics.  In fact, I get most of my daily news from blogs and websites.  I haven’t subscribed to a paper newspaper (ever!) and I don’t care for local TV news.

As for how I read all this content… It’s about a 50/50 split between my Blackberry and my laptop.  I own a Kindle, but I only use it to read traditional books.  I’m sure I would love an iPad, but I already spend enough time looking at digital screens.  I don’t want another temptation.  The Blackberry is less-than-ideal for reading, and I will almost never ‘click-thru’ on it because of the poor web browser, but it meets my needs most of the time.

What Else? – I think that’s about it.  I don’t understand the interest in location-based apps like Foursquare.  Why would I care where other people are at the moment?  I’m busy enough on my own; I don’t want to force myself into even more interactions when I’m at the supermarket, etc.  I’ve seen it used to good effect during professional conferences like Cisco Live, but that’s about it.

I also don’t bother with the ‘next best’ versions of the above apps.  So no Google Buzz or Plaxo for me, thanks.  I have enough to read as it is, so I have not used Digg or its equivalents.  I did not get very involved in web chatting apps either, although I have accounts on Yahoo Messenger, AIM and Google Chat (is that what they call it?).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

January CCDE Practice Exams

Last month I presented my first CCDE practice exams to the public.  The offering was a success, and two of the participants went on the take the November CCDE Practical Exam.  Both indicated that the offering was a great help for their preparation.


Upcoming CCDE Practice Exams

Registration is now open for these practice exams in January 2011.  The Enterprise exam will be delivered to participants on Wednesday, January 5th.  The review session is scheduled for Saturday, January 8th @ 9am EST.  The Service Provider exam will be delivered to participants on Wednesday, January 12th and the review will take place on Saturday, January 15th @ 9am EST.  One item of feedback I received from the initial offering was that it would be nice to have more time between the practice exams and the real exam.  This schedule gives candidates four weeks to digest the information and reach out to me for follow-up guidance before taking the exam on February 15th.  I was also asked to move the review sessions to the weekend to accommodate busy work schedules.  If you are interested in the offering, but the dates listed above do not work for you, let me know.  We can work to find an alternate date/time to complete the review session.

The Registration pages for this offering can be found at:

Enterprise Exam

Service Provider Exam

Combo (Both exams at a discounted cost)

Please email me with any questions you may have (jeremy@filliben.com).   As before, the first hour of the review session will include my presentation and an open discussion on the CCDE Practice Exam (format, testing experience, future developments).  The CCDE program is constantly being updated, and I do my best to keep this information up to date.  Former CCDE Practice Exam participants are invited to join this session to receive updated information.

Other News

I regret to announce that I will not be teaching the upcoming live CCDE Practical Bootcamp offered by CCBootcamp.  After reviewing my work/life balance for 2010, and my already full professional calendar for 2011, I cannot find the time to participate in this program.  I wish CCBootcamp the best of luck with their CCDE training.  I am confident that they will find a wonderful instructor to take my place.