Under the slowly receding shadow of the global crisis, the first CCIE Party in two years holds a special significance. The CCIE Party is a moment when some of the most dedicated members of the Cisco community can come together and meet others who have strived towards similarly lofty goals, absent the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many CCIEs, the relationships we foster with other CCIEs are as powerful as the knowledge we’ve acquired through years of working and studying in IT. CCIEs who have attended Cisco Live in the past know how exhilarating the CCIE Party can be. Sure it’s fun, but it’s also like a family reunion, connecting and reuniting with people you’ve known and grown with over the years.
This is why this Cisco Live was so important, to get back to that “in-person” connection and bond on a human level.
CCIE Party at the Brooklyn Bowl
Expert-level Cisco Certified individuals flooded the Brooklyn Bowl, a luxury bowling alley on the Las Vegas strip. The Brooklyn Bowl advertises a “VIP vortex of alluring beats, eclectic eats, and bang-up bowling.”
It delivered. CCIEs and their guests filled the floor and mingled while a DJ spun 90s throwback music. A cavalcade of circus-like attractions wound its way across the floor and through my team — and more than one thousand CCIEs.
Jugglers, contortionists, and stilt-walkers added to the excitement, of course. Yet despite the carnival atmosphere, there was a palpable appreciation of seeing so many faces after so long apart.
Attendees found time between the excitement to catch up and enjoy each other’s company, despite the carnival atmosphere.
And we stayed that way until the lights came back up.
“In a world where video conferencing, virtual learning, and hybrid work
are the new normal, it’s easy to forget how powerful
in-person connections and relationships can be.”
Hi, I’m CCIE #9305
That’s my CCIE number. All the Cisco Live CCIE Party attendees wore ribbons displaying their respective CCIE numbers. Almost all of us can tell you our CCIE number without thinking about it. Those numbers are badges of honor among people in the know.
We are nerds; people invested so profoundly in our knowledge domain that we can rattle off obscure facts we’ve learned over years of dedication. Being so invested in a topic can be, at times, lonely. The people we share our lives with are not always able to understand the passions that drive us to further our knowledge, experience, and expertise.
The Cisco Live CCIE Party provided a place where we could talk with others (as best we could over the music) who shared our passion to expand the support structures that make growth possible.
The opportunity to see friends again fostered electricity at the CCIE Party. Attendees sought out people they had last seen years before to talk about what they’d accomplished in the interim. Between the reunions were new meetings, introductions passed between CCIE veterans and the people who had more recently earned their CCIE. Screen names became faces and voices as the camaraderie of people who had successfully achieved their CCIE grew.
It’s been several days since returning from Cisco Live in Las Vegas. I still cannot get over the buzz of seeing everyone in person after a two-year hiatus. In a world where video conferencing, virtual learning, and hybrid work are the new normal, it’s easy to forget how powerful in-person connections and relationships can be.
But maybe more important this year than ever before, the CCIE Party was a chance to reunite with the CCIE family, smile, and say, “it’s great to see you again.”
I hope you can join us next time.
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