The future of engineering is strong at Cisco, and that was especially apparent to me during a recent visit to the Dubai Co-Innovation Centre where this eye-catching facility (like many of its global counterparts) offers an exciting incubation space to a number of emerging technologies.
And, behind the helm are three incredible #WomenInTech (along with the centre’s manager Yaman Hakmi) who belong to our Digital & Innovation Team that covers the Middle East and Africa. Eman, Haya, and Safiya have set up and run the entire centre – everything from DevOps and coding, to building solutions and showcasing the next gen technology featured there.
Eman and Haya are both graduates of the one-year Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP) in Amsterdam, while Safiya studied as a Network Consulting Engineer in Krakow; and with their collective range of expertise – the team in Dubai represents a case study for what (I think) engineers of the future should be: software-orientated, with the flexibility and willingness to adapt to new technologies. Excelling in their fields, exploring new ones, and staying true to themselves and their cultures while doing so.
Get to know Eman, Haya and Safiya further:
1. Name: Eman AlTamimi
2. Current Role: Digital Innovation engineer
3. Location: Dubai, UAE
4. What is your favourite thing about the new Cisco Innovation Centre in Dubai? Basically, the Innovation Centre in Dubai was the first big project that my team build. My favourite thing is that this is the place where I can transform my ideas to actual solutions and test everything live and share it with the whole MEA team.
5. Share with us why you #LoveWhereYouWork at Cisco. Cisco a place where you can learn and try many things at the same time, having a certain job role doesn’t mean you can’t innovate or participate in a variety of initiatives.
6. What advice would you give to those looking to become a Cisco engineer? Being an engineer was not my first choice in my career, when I joined the Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP) for engineers, I learned so many things that you can achieve as an engineer or any role you are in within Cisco, so it was a huge step for me and for my career as an engineer.
1. Name: Haya Alzeer
2. Current Role: Innovation Systems Engineer
3. Location: Dubai, UAE
4. What is your favourite thing about the new Cisco Innovation Centre in Dubai? I love being surrounded by the newest and latest technologies. We get to experience things first-hand in the Innovation Centre, and we get to come up with so many amazing and interesting use cases for our customers in all different industries. If we come across an idea, this is the place to bring it to life!
5. Share with us why you #LoveWhereYouWork at Cisco: Cisco does not just provide us with a place to work, it provides us with a platform where we can socialize with people from all across the world, a platform where we can give back to the society in all kinds of forms, a platform where we have colleagues that turn into friends and family, a platform with endless opportunities to learn, and a platform where we can let go of all limitations and innovate!
6. What advice would you give to those looking to become a Cisco engineer? To become a Cisco engineer, you should always make sure that your learning curve is steep enough, and that your day-to-day experiences are challenging and motivating enough.
1. Name: Safiya Al-Badaai
2. Current Role: Digital Innovation Engineer
3. Location: Dubai, UAE
4. What is your favourite thing about the new Cisco Innovation Centre in Dubai? I am passionate about learning new things, and at the Innovation Centre – there is always something new to explore. Also, I enjoy the challenge associated with different use cases and then implementing methods and procedures that simplify and automate complex use cases. My work never gets boring.
5. Share with us why you #LoveWhereYouWork at Cisco: I love working in Cisco because I am working in a field that is always changing and growing with new technologies, capabilities and ideas. My favourite thing is the ability to interact with so many engineers in the field & gain knowledge.
6. What advice would you give to those looking to become a Cisco engineer? To be a Cisco engineer, you should identify the engineering path you want, earn relevant experience and supplement your skills with training and courses. Also, earning relevant IT Technical skills isn’t enough for a successful engineering career. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork and critical thinking are crucial.
These brilliant Cisco #WomenInTech are some of the best possible success stories for talent initiatives like CSAP – as well as a reminder of the important work done by our innovation teams around the world.
And Cisco is all the better for it. Eman told me that working for Cisco was, for her, “a dream come true.”
I have to say that, being able to support and nurture such talent, and seeing the impact that she and her colleagues are already having in Dubai, means that the feeling is very much mutual.
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