When people think of mentoring, the images of an apprentice learning from his master are often rendered. The senior blacksmith guiding his pupil through the craft he has spent his life perfecting. Over the years mentoring has changed, and today it is used throughout business to guide the greenhorns throughout their craft, or even life. But the idea that this advice must come from a wise old sage is a bit passé.In today’s world, the 1:1 ratio of mentor to apprentice isn’t common place. While you will still find these relationships around the world, the world has changed, and technology has helped us evolve. As a matter of fact, I believe the Cisco Champions program
is fundamentally a group of mentors. We are all selected because we participate in social media, we blog, we have a sense of community. Because of all of these things, I believe many of us are already indirectly mentoring the community as a whole. But I wanted to mainly focus here on the local mentoring you do in your daily work life.
- Listen – In any relationship the power of listening is massive, just ask a therapist what their number one tool is. When you take the time to listen, you are showing support and encouragement. Once you have taken the time to listen and understand, the advice you provide will be much more valuable.
- Never stop learning – A career in IT means that you can never stop learning, lest your skills become antiquated. This just doesn’t mean you should keep up on the industry changes, or take a class on some new technology every year. I believe that it’s important for everyone to have their own mentor(s). It’s not always just about the technology, but sometimes the methodologies, and strategies that we can learn from our peers are much more important.
- Be committed – Being a mentor is a commitment, it certainly takes time and effort, but it is an investment! You spend your time and energy into your pupils, but you end up getting much more out of the experience. Be sincere, and interested in their development. Remember that your fledgling is easily demotivated by your indifference towards their development.
- Be open-minded – Some folks say that the best way to truly learn a subject is to teach it to others. Teaching is rewarding in that you get to not only review the subject matter for yourself, but you get to answer questions you may of never thought of. Also remember to listen, as some folks will never see your side of a discussion unless they’re convinced that you’ve understood theirs.
- Blog – And participate in social media, because sharing information is important. It is easier today than ever to share knowledge and incite discussion amongst the community of your peers. And because of that, it is easier than ever to reach out for help and guidance. So remember, when someone does, be a mentor. Listen, Understand, and most of all, try to help!
There are 5 ways you can become a (better) mentor. But I imagine many of you are asking why… Mentoring isn’t just about taking care of a junior staff member, it’s great for you in many different ways. First of all, helping others provides a wonderful feeling. Especially when you’re able to help make a difference in their lives! In addition, teaching is a wonderful tool that not only helps educate the student, but also forces you to continue your own learning to stay ahead with your advice.
I hope this has convinced some of you to step up your mentoring game in 2015. I certainly hope to spend more time at a white board this year myself.
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Tags: #ciscochampion, mentor, mentoring
A lot happened in IoT in 2014. About this time last year, John Chambers laid out $1.9T market projection for IoT at CES and that drew significant attention and generated momentum in many industries. Over the year, we saw some real world use cases and innovative companies and technologies at the IoT World Forum in Chicago. IoT really gained traction across many verticals over the year. While a lot of progress has been made, IoT is still evolving and globally companies and industries are still trying to figure out business models, technology selections and IoT standards. Cisco has led the way on many IoT fronts in 2014 and our own IoT Cisco Champion Pranay Prakash scopes the year and defines it as the Year of the Internet of Things and outlines what’s in store in future.
Read my full LinkedIn article here.
Tags: #ciscochampion, internet of things, IoT
On October 7, 2013 Cisco completed the acquisition of Sourcefire. At that time, I recognized this via Twitter and checked out the products on their website. I was excited to see the FirePOWER in action together with a Cisco ASA.
I had a good possibility to join the “ASA with FirePower Services” Workshop in Munich directly at Cisco. A big part of this Training was a Hands-on Lab, where the FirePOWER “Virus” infected me. I was thrilled, about the Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and the FireSIGHT Management Center.
This intelligent cyber security solution covers gaps in traditional security solutions. The threat-focused next-generation firewall provides next-generation security capabilities:
Application Visibility and Control (AVC)
Over 3000 Application-Layer and Riskbased controls, that works closely with the IPS to optimize the security.
Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS)
Visibility to detect multivector threats to streamline and automate defense response, Superior threat prevention and mitigation for both known and unknown threats
URL Filtering, and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)
The comprehensive malware-defeating solution can enable malware detection and blocking, continuous analysis, and retrospective alerting.
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Tags: #ciscochampion, AMP, ASA, AVC, courses, FirePOWER, FireSIGHT, IPS, lab, management, NGIPS, Snort, Sourcefire
As an Information Technology professional I believe that IT is changing and will keep changing the way we live and of course our future. IoT (Internet of Things) has been a major topic of discussion, especially in 2014.
Everyone predicts that in the near future almost everything will be connected to the Internet, and will have its own IP address. Connectivity not only includes PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphone, but coffee machines, refrigerators, TVs, washing machines, microwaves ovens, cookers, closets, etc…
I am afraid that one day the refrigerator will refuse to open because it reads my mind about wanting chocolates, and finds that I am overweight. The next day my car will not drive me home, but to the local gym after checking my schedule and finding some free time. Then it will kick me out saying, “Go do some exercises, your extra weight consumes more fuel, and my chassis will not endure until next summer!” Thank goodness it’s just a dream right now. I don’t even own a car, and will never think about buying a smart internet connected refrigerator, simply because it’s very expensive.
In this article I will share my thoughts and raise questions about four main factors related to IoT’s future: Read More »
Tags: #ciscochampion, Internet of Things (IoT), IoT
All too often we networkers spend our time defending the network not only from security threats but from blame as the root cause (actual or perceived) of performance problems. The network is guilty until proven innocent. So how do we counter these arguments, put the issue to rest, and uphold the integrity of the network? Logs, logs, logs.
Logs are evidence to support your hypothesis. There are a couple of different types of logs I’d like to talk through and the roles they provide in a tiered approach to troubleshooting.
SNMP – This is one of the first places I go to when an issue is reported. This provides a look at the current state of the network based on polling intervals and traps, and also a place to explore data patterns and trends. Most enterprises will have an NMS solution in place and in my experience this is also a great place to learn the topology of the network(s) when joining a new company. There are many commercial and open source products available and I suggest trying a few different options to find out which works best for you and your team as they all organize and present the data in slightly different manners. Read More »
Tags: #ciscochampion, nms, packet capture, performance, snmp