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Cisco China Embraces Cisco’s Giving Back Philosophy

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Cisco has always followed a philosophy of giving back to the community, and in recent years, Cisco China has participated in various community and volunteer programs including: Hands on Shanghai (HOS), River of Hearts (ROH), One Heart Gift Bag, Hiking for One Egg, etc. Giving makes a difference, and with lots of love and warm hearts, “Helping Others” is not just a slogan at Cisco, but a way of life for all Cisco employees.

This summer, prior to the Dragon Boat Festival, the Greater China Talent Acquisition Team participated in a volunteer program which was organized by “Green Food Bank” NGO. We delivered Festival greetings and food to those elderly and poverty-stricken families in Tang Qiao community, Shanghai of China. We were extremely excited to take part in this event!

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This Give Back Day was part of a global initiative, where the Talent Acquisition team as a whole volunteered all on the same day.

Cisco is a pioneer in Giving Back and we are dedicated to the cause. We are connecting the unconnected with our technologies and products, and we also link with people by our love. Previously we did, at present we are doing and in the future we will do it better.

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Is dCloud “dBest” Team at Cisco?

If you’ve never heard about Cisco’s dCloud team, you’re about to. After this, you might think they’re Cisco’s best-kept secret, and the coolest team around.

Brian and Steve from the dCloud team

dCloud’s Technical Lead Brian Villanueva and Program Manager Steve Dickson on the Cisco San Jose campus.

“We are using bleeding edge technology,” says Program Manager Steve Dickson (better known as dCloud Steve). “No one else is doing it like we’re doing it.”

Doing what, you ask? Cisco dCloud provides customers, partners and Cisco employees with a way to experience Cisco Solutions. From scripted, repeatable demos to fully customizable labs with complete administrative access, Cisco dCloud is your guide to all the Cisco goodness.

“For example,” says Technical Enablement Lead (Americas) Brian Villanueva, “Maybe you want to know how sausage is made. Or maybe you just want to enjoy the sausage. We have a learning solution based on what you want.”

“We have some of the sharpest people in their area of focus on this team,” Steve says. “It’s like joining a university faculty and sharing knowledge.”

One of those people is the team leader, Jason Angelus – director, Cisco dCloud. The dCloud team can’t say enough about him.

“We’re people first and treat each other like family,” Steve says. “We’re also probably the most diverse team at Cisco. Our ‘big cheese’ Jason is blind to color, gender, or whatever… what he does care about is bring the best talent and those that fit the ‘can do’ dCloud culture. We’re also encouraged to enjoy good home/work balance… not just all work. He cares about his team in a meaningful way, and we have fun together.”

dCloud jacket

The dCloud jacket is a trademark of the dCloud team!

One example of the family spirit on the dCloud team is that periodically there is an “All About Me” segment during their scheduled team call where they get a chance to learn more about each other The meeting facilitator asks new people to go off-script and share anything thing that they like that will help the team to learn about new team member, which builds trust on the team.

“Plus, Cisco allows dCloud to BE who we are,” Brian adds. “We’re not just contributing to the unknown. Cisco provides a clear vision, and inspires us to innovate. At dCloud, we actually feel like our work is contributing to Cisco, but also our greater community.”

Want to join the dCloud team? Or put your technology skills to work at a company that let’s you innovate like them? Then go apply at Cisco Careers.

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4 Ways Women Can Be a Ninja at Work

I recently became a Ninja. That’s right. A Cisco Security Ninja. You can be a Ninja too!

Ninja fun

Satyapriya Sharma has a little fun with her new Security Ninja achievement.

The Cisco Security Ninja Program (http://wwwin-csdl.cisco.com/ninja_dojo/) confirms lessons learned and challenges participants to reach for higher degrees of competence and proficiency in product security. The program offers four distinct “belt” levels, each one increasing your security knowledge and furthering your career at Cisco.

  • While Belt takes you through the basic security concepts and principles.
  • Green Belt is where you take the basic concepts and tell how you are use them in your daily work whether you are a developer, tester, manager.
  • Advanced belts – Blue and Brown, Here’s where you execute on those concepts and think about security for everything you do.
  • Black Belt Like karate, this belt recognizes you as a security leader who will provide ongoing, significant contributions both internally at Cisco and externally in the industry.

“Get your Security White Belt” – was the first thing teams told me when I joined Security Business Unit more than a year ago. There was a Business Unit initiative to have everyone be White-Belt certified. So I got into the groove of things and earned my While Belt and Green Belt (Mangers) within the first month of joining. At that moment, I challenged my team to be the first whole team under our SVP that would be Green-Belt certified. We all worked hard together and achieved that Milestone! By that time advanced level ninja certifications (Blue, Brown and Black Belts) registration had started and I registered for Blue Belt. It took two months to earn it.

At this time, I started mentoring my team and others to achieve this milestone in their development as well. Then came the Brown Belt and I submitted my work for Black Belt. I had to wait for few weeks before I heard from the Security Ninja Program Submission Committee who set up a call with me to go over my submission. They told me that I am the only manager who has applied for the black belt outside of the team that created the program!

Security Ninja Satya Chhabra

Satyapriya Sharma earned her ninja status, and wants to encourage other women to be ninjas at work.

I didn’t think much of it at that time, but once I got the email that I had earned my Black Belt – it started to sink in  – the only manager in the whole of CISCO to earn it. Wait! That also meant the only female manager in whole of CISCO to earn it. YAHOOOOOO !!!!! I couldn’t wait to share the news with everyone :) especially my Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) team.

I got a lot of support from my family and the management team to reach this milestone. Being in Security Business Unit certainly helped me earn the certificates faster since I live and breathe this stuff daily!

I want to use what I learned from this experience to encourage other women, not only at Cisco, but in technology everywhere to push ahead for these expert certifications. Here are four pieces of advice to become a Ninja in your space:

  1. Be patient and don’t give up! Getting these certifications was hard work and takes time.
  2. Don’t put your own development on the back burner. Due to tight timelines and commitments and work-life juggling we put our development on the back burner –make your development plan with your management, talk to your family and give yourself ample time to get to the milestone so it’s not stressful.
  3. Block time on your calendar each week if you have to. For Green Belt, I used to do one module a day after my daughter would go to sleep.
  4. Get a mentor. Seek help from someone from your site/business unit if needed. I am happy to help as well. Please feel free to each out. J

Always remember – if I can do it so can you.

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Cisco Employee Earns Security Bug Bounty – 1 Million United Miles!

If you had a million airline miles, where would you travel?

Kyle Lovett, a security penetration tester with the Advanced Services Security Team is asking himself that very question right now. That’s because his United Airlines mile bank is overflowing, thanks to a security bug he found through a bug bounty United Airlines was offering.

Kyle's United Miles

Kyle Lovett, security penetration tester at Cisco, has a million miles in his United app, thanks to a bug bounty the airline initiated.

Bug bounties are nothing new, they’ve been around for a while, usually offered by big tech companies. It’s an opportunity for white-hat “hackers” (those using their powers only for good) to find security vulnerabilities for rewards. United is the first airline to offer a bug bounty.

Kyle lives and breathes security. He says he’s been “breaking things” since he was a kid. It’s a part of his day-job, but also something he enjoys in his free time. Normally, he doesn’t participate in bug-bounties, but in the case of United, he was intrigued.

“Sometimes, a company will recognize the work with a good reward,” Kyle says. “What caught my eye [with the United bug bounty] is that they were giving away miles. But they were significant miles. So I sat down one Saturday morning and got to work.”

Kyle Lovett

Kyle Lovett, security penetration tester at Cisco.

Kyle got to work for sure. In a few hours, he’d made several different submissions. One of those submissions was significant enough to get United’s almost immediate attention. He’s under agreement not to say what the bug was, but it was big enough to earn the largest prize in the bug bounty – he’s now in the million mile club.

“United reached out to me with questions and clarifications,” he explains. “We went back and forth over the course of a week, and they had it fixed in a few days. Then they said ‘Congratulations! Here are a million miles.’ They were genuinely concerned about the bug and very professional.”

He opened his United app, and saw the seven-figure number. A million miles means approximately 40 domestic round-trip flights, 20 round-trip flights to Europe, or eight first-class trips. Here’s the kicker. He still has additional submissions that might earn him MORE miles.

How will Kyle put them to use? He’s already bringing his mom and brother out from Virginia to visit him in California. His job gives him a lot travel opportunities as well, so he’s a little stumped right now.

“I’ve always wanted to go to East Asia or the Southern Pacific. Not for the scenery (although that’s nice). I’m more intrigued to see the culture,” he says. “But I would like to give at least one ticket away for someone who might really need it, maybe for medical treatment or they can’t afford to get home.”

How’d Cisco get so lucky to have such a great security tester on the team?

“The Internet of Everything is near and dear to my heart, especially the security around it,” Kyle says. “There is such a large wealth of people to reach out to in all different areas. And the culture and atmosphere here is genuine. I’ve not met one person who works here that doesn’t enjoy what they do!”

Want to join Kyle and the Cisco Security team? See open security jobs here.

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#ILookLikeAnEngineer – Cisco style!

The #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag is the diversity sensation that’s sweeping the nations!

The hashtag started as a way to break down stereotypes as to what an engineer might look like. It’s not just nerdy guys. It’s women, minorities; heck, ANYONE can be an engineer or interested in technology.

We gathered all of the #ILookLikeAnEngineer posts from our wonderfully diverse group of Cisco engineers and put them in a Storify. Because we’re proud of being a family that is inclusive of all. We wanted to highlight our engineers, and inspire others to join our technology revolution!

If you haven’t already, share your #ILookLikeAnEngineer posts on Twitter/Instagram!

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