Just a few days ago, I returned from Cisco Live 2015, which was held in San Diego, California. As always, is was an educational, exhausting, and exciting week.
Enjoying Cisco Live 2015 With My Wife, Vivian
While learning lots of cool technical stuff, there were a few statements in various presentations that really resonated with me. Personally, I like to collect insightful and inspirational quotes and thought you might enjoy these three:
One of the big buzz words (or acronyms) at Cisco Live this year was ACI, which refers to Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure. ACI is a technology that can use Software Defined Networking (SDN) to dramatically reduce IT administration tasks and speed up large deployments (e.g. in data centers). The concern expressed by some CCIEs was that since ACI could do many of the jobs they regularly do, their value might be reduced.
During a Q&A period at the CCIE NetVet Reception, John Chambers (Chairman of the Board and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc.) was asked for his take on this issue. His view was that ACI is a tool that will help CCIEs do even more and create even more advanced networks. He assured those of us attending of the continuing value of a CCIE certification with the statement, “The moment it’s not hard to do, others do.” That statement helped me to better see that CCIEs will continue to remain competitive in the industry. Because they’ve achieved something that is extremely hard to do, they will continue to lead the field.
The second quote that really struck me was from Peter Diamandis (engineer, physician, entrepreneur, and founder of the X Prize Foundation), who spoke at one of the keynote sessions. Peter is the author of the book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, (which is definitely on my reading list), and he’s super positive and optimistic about the future. Specifically, he’s optimistic about how technology can help improve our future. His statement, “Technology is a resource liberating force.” dovetailed nicely with the previous quote from John Chambers. Peter views technology not an enemy that replaces the need for a workforce, but rather as an incredible assistant that liberates us from mundane and repetitive tasks, allowing us to do even greater things.
Cisco Live’s Customer Appreciation Event was a fantastic concert featuring Aerosmith. Lead singer Steven Tyler closed out the show with a line from their song “Amazing” that says, “The light at the end of the tunnel may be you.” Even though the original intent for this line was as an encouragement for those overcoming drug addiction, I thought how true those words are in our professional lives as well. Instead of hoping to get a promotion or hoping to pass that next Cisco exam, what if we took total responsibility for our careers? What if we didn’t blame people or circumstances? What if we dug deep inside ourselves and became our own light at the end of the tunnel?
Well, those are three quick quotes that struck a chord with me, and I hope they also helped shift your thinking a bit.
Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945, CCSI 20061