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Summary: The Value of Certifications – A Top Five List

I hold Cisco certifications in high regard not only for providing excellent training for supporting Cisco products but for first and foremost providing a firm foundation and platform on which to grow as a network engineer.

Read my full article to find out my top five reasons for certifying.

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The Value of Certifications – A Top Five List

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I’m new to the blog writing world but have been in the networking industry for several years now.  When I got started back in 2007, I was working my first job after graduating college and was recruited into a communications role, fresh out of the help desk, which I had landed the year prior. Cisco’s career certifications program literally picked up where schooling left off and helped me find my career passion and carve a path.  So here following, I’m going to give my top five reasons for certifying and continuing to climb Everest.

  1. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. When you learn on the job, it’s one thing to get something implemented but it’s another to truly understand how it works. Certification forces you to go back and fill in the knowledge gaps. Read More »

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Providing the Right Platform is Sometimes All it Takes

Change is the only constant. Except that it isn’t; constant that is. We are seeing changes to IT services, infrastructure, eco-systems, and business models, with consequent demands and expectations that we have not witnessed before. Cisco is responding to all of this with new technologies for the DevOps community, including APIs, development tools, training and more, all of which I discuss below.

The Economist likens this to the Cambrian era that saw the multiplication of life forms that populate our world today: “… this time is … different, in an important way. Today’s entrepreneurial boom is based on more solid foundations than the 1990s internet bubble, which makes it more likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”

What has made this possible, which the Economist illustrates with a variety of examples, is the ubiquity of communications and open source platforms in a “cloud” environment. The Economist lists these elements:

  • …snippets of code that can be copied free from the internet, along with easy-to-learn programming frameworks (such as Ruby on Rails).
  • … services for … sharing code (GitHub) …
  • … “application programming interfaces” (APIs), digital plugs that are multiplying rapidly …
  • … “platforms”—services that can host startups’ offerings (Amazon’s cloud computing), distribute them (Apple’s App Store) and market them (Facebook, Twitter).
  • … the internet, the mother of all platforms, which is now fast, universal and wireless.

What has also changed is that the IT stack is, in effect, collapsing. The “separation of concerns”, that kept the network infrastructure distinct from the applications running over it, is being whittled away. In October 2013 we teamed up Read More »

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A Day in the Life of the ecobee Smart Thermostat Part 2

In a previous article I talked about my thermostat and the Internet of Everything [read here] I questioned the true value my smart meter was providing to my home and my wallet. I said what’s missing is a thermostat that helps me understand my energy consumption habits, allows me to stay within budget (and save money!) and eventually take advance of spot prices on energy. Wouldn’t that be cool?!

The good news is that there are products on the market today that are heading in the right direction. Nest, recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion [read here], offers a “learning thermostat” which Bill MacGowen wrote about earlier in his post: My home thermostat and the Internet of Everything” [read here].

The Nest acquisition is a big deal and there’s already discussions starting to surface on what Google plans to do with the data they will gather from Nest devices. Why is Google getting into the energy management and HVAC market? What will they do with the data? Will there be ads showing up on my Google thermostat? This led me to wonder who else was in this market space? Are there any alternatives to Nest? Of course there are but they’ve been overshadowed by Nest because of the origins of it’s founder (Apple) and Google’s recent purchase.

One of them is ecobee, a Canadian company. While they may not be a household name (yet) they’ve been around since 2007 plugging away and growing their business organically. I reached out to ecobee because I wanted to learn more about the company, it’s founder and his thoughts on where he sees the future heading for IoT/IoE.

Below is part two of my email conversation with the founder and CEO of ecobee, Stuart Lombard. Click here to read part one of the interview.

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In 2013, you opened your API allowing others to integrate with ecobee smart thermostats. Can you explain what this means for advancing IoT and what success looks like so far?
There is a lot of innovation around IoT right now. At ecobee, we want to give our customers the opportunity to experience all of it. But we know we can’t build it all. So we’ve opened our APIs to allow others to integrate with us so we can deliver more value to our customers, and our customers can choose the solutions they want. Currently, we have hundreds of companies – like SmartThings and revolv – building applications around our platform. We’re excited to see where our open API will take our technology. Read More »

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How The Internet of Everything will Cure Cancer

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I recently stumbled upon a mobile app that will utilize the compute power of your mobile phone, while you are sleeping to decrypt protein sequences for cancer research. Even though utilizing an idle computer CPU for research isn’t something new, it caught my attention for the fact that it has now evolved to a mobile device.

We often overlook the compute power and technical maturity of mobile phones in today’s world. Now that the new technical wave known as the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming more of a reality we must always keep in mind the possibilities of utilizing that technical power for the greater good. Read More »

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