Cisco Blogs

Where IT Is Not Setting the Standard

July 15, 2010 - 4 Comments

So, normally I have some fun with our competitors in this space, but today, I am actually going to go ask you to go read a post on a competitor’s website (then come back!).  Why?  Because some things are really more important then who has the zoomiest new widget today…go on, go read it…I’ll still be here….

Back?  Good….so I have been going to CiscoLive!/Networkers for more than a decade and I gotta tell you, if the audience there is a representative of IT as a whole, then we moving the needle at a glacial pace.

So, considering the fact that our entire industry is about being forward thinking and redefining what’s possible, why is this so tough?

Yes, my implicit opinion is that this is an issue with tangible/practical impact for folks running data centers.  When meeting with IT management one of the top concerns I consistently hear is not technology based, it is around finding enough smart people to design, build and run the next generation of IT infrastructure. If our industry routinely makes IT an inhospitable place for half the population (my wife would argue the smarter half of the population) then its everyone’s problem–or everyone’s opportunity–this report makes some interesting points.

So, dear readers, what do you think and what can we be doing better?  What are the experiences of other folks out there?  Is networking particularly behind the curve and other parts of IT are more hospitable?  Is this even an issue–should I go back to writing about who has the zoomiest new widget?




Finally, and I know this ventures into own-horn-tooting territory, but I do have to offer some kudos to the folks that run CiscoLive! for us.  They jumped on some of the more egregious booth activities and have already implemented new policies for future events to make sure there are no repeats.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Hi Omar,There's Cisco Live! booth babes and then there's Cisco's female sales-rep army.Please explain what's the difference between the two?Sincerely,Brad Reese

  2. Jason, Roland:Thanks for taking the time to post comments. So, I have to admit I thought a lot about this particular post, since it is a departure from what I normally cover in this space. At the end of the day, I went with the post because I think the best data centers in the world are defined by their people as much as by their technology and a successful data center evolution strategy needs to address both sides of the equation.Omar

  3. How many of those same IT managers who are looking for IT talent have ever taken the opportunity to develop their existing staff? I bet it is pretty low.None of the companies I have worked for have ever wanted to take on co-op students, dish out for training or lab equipment. We are also the quintessential do more with less guys so when does that leave us with any time for mentoring others and just talking shop?A team of guys I used to work with took almost every lunch break for a few months to study for their CCNAs which 4 of them got. They were rewarded by having ALL network support sourced out to a local ISP. Their manager was too busy tweeting about the new iPhone to notice how devastated they were.Guess how committed they are to networking now?

  4. Yes, it's probably a good idea stay out of gender/identity politics and stick to writing about technology, IMHO. If folks want to read about that sort of thing, there're plenty of weblogs out there from which to choose.