Ep 73 – Zeros and Wons

In this week’s episode A.J. and Andy interview David Alicea! While David was exposed to the Cisco Networking Academy at a young age in High School he actually didn’t land in Networking until later on. Since then he has been a career Network Engineer and recently landed himself a position at the mothership, Cisco. Hear how did it all in the week’s episode!

You can find more of David:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dayvee87
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-alicea-495b5733/
Blog: https://zerosandwon.blog/

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A.J.: [00:00:00] This is the art of network engineering podcast

This podcast

and share the stories of fellow

David: network.

A.J.: Welcome to the art of network engineering. I am A.J. Murray at @NoBlinkyBlinky. How are we doing tonight? No, that’s Blinky Blinky, Blinky,

uh, Andy and Andy laptop. All things Andy can be found at permit IP. Andy, andy.com. Danny, how are ya, man?

Andy: Um, I’m better than I’ve been in a really long time. And, uh, I tell anybody why yet?[00:01:00]

A.J.: What does it say, Randy? You’re killing.

Andy: You’re killing.

A.J.: I know. Isn’t it. Time to let the cat out of the bag? I don’t

Andy: know. I feel like the whole team should be together. I feel like maybe it’s too early. There’s some timing stuff that, you know, it’s going to be great. And I’m really excited. Let’s build some suspense.

I have a cool announcement. Yeah. There’s, there’s a cool announcement coming. I think there’ll be a lot of happiness for me and, uh, just know that I’m making a big change and I’m very happy about it. So overdue, but it

A.J.: shows,

Andy: it shows. I’m sorry. You guys have had to put up with, uh, a whole Andy for two years, but you know, I, I, I apologize.

That’s what, you know, you’ll find out who your friends are, right. People that put up with. It’s your toughest times and coming out of some of that. And, uh, yeah, you guys are still here, so thank you friends. I’m good. Hey Jay, [00:02:00] tell me, are you doing,

A.J.: doing very well? I have completed week three of the new job.

I’m settled in pretty acclimated to have a bunch of projects assigned. So in fact, I’m taking my first work trip tomorrow. Get to go to Maine, work on site with a customer. So I hear Maine’s beautiful.

Andy: You got to like get the hang or you’re just in and out.

A.J.: Um, I’ll hang for like a night. Yeah. Yeah, just onsite for one day to do a quick switch install.

So sweet man.

Andy: That’s great. That’d be good to get your first one under your belt, the new place, right? Yep. Yep. That’s great.

A.J.: Maybe switch a little switch chassis, switch a little switch. Actually. It’s pretty funny. So this customer is somehow got their hands on. No shit. One of the last 5, 29, 60 Xs. That’s Cisco

and now they’re gone.

Andy: Wow. Are they like.

A.J.: But over there end of life. End of sale. No more. And you’re you, you want [00:03:00] to

do the install on this one,

Andy: so well, can you get support on end of life? I always there’s end of life. End of support. And like there’s a

A.J.: well, there’s, there’s end of sale, which means that’s the last time that you can sell it or buy one. Uh, and then there’ll be end of support, which means you won’t be able to renew your support on there.

And then there’ll be like absolute end of life. Like not going to touch it anymore.

Andy: So you’re going to install switches that Cisco no longer will support.

A.J.: I’m going to install switches at Cisco no longer will sell. Oh gotcha. They will continue to be supported for the next, I don’t know how many years I’d have to look up,

Andy: but awesome.

Yeah. I always get close. Get confused in the different end of. Terminologies. Good stuff, dude. Don’t break spanning tree, right?

A.J.: No, I won’t. I promise I’ve done it.

Andy: That’s all. I’m just saying don’t pick Spanish rates.

A.J.: I know I’ve done it too.[00:04:00]

And now it’s time for some wins. Winning in our discord channel this week is Dalton B. They moved into their first network position coming from the service desk in their organization. And they’re currently working on their CCA. N a congratulations, Dalton, U M U T C 24, late at an it support position.

Congratulations, Carlos RM passed the Jan CIA Juno’s ticker bit it’s past the J and CDA. Congratulations to grits. Number Mang past the dev net associate who was staying Pilgrim past two exams this week, the NRC and the CISP congratulations. RFG labs passed to CCNA and smiling. Chris, our very own smiling.

Chris was promoted to networking and InfoSec manager. Congratulations, Chris run and. Took on a new network engineer position and starts [00:05:00] Monday. Congratulations, run and myrrh pup 5 69 past the Encore. Big win there. Congratulations. MoPOP welcome. And thank you to new patrons, Ryan, Eddie, Canada, Adam Smith, a new identity, and yet sick.

Thank you so much for your support of what we do here are the art of network engineering podcast. And thank you to all of our fans for listening and downloading and liking our content. Following us on all of our social platforms, uh, that really helps an awful lot. Uh, if you’re interested in joining the Patrion program, you can go to patrion.com forward slash art of net enj.

And I want to personally wish all of our listeners, a very happy and safe holiday season. Thank you so much for listening to the art network engineering podcast. Now back to the show. I am very excited to introduce our guests tonight. If you have spent any time on Twitter or in our discord, [00:06:00] you are completely familiar and should know the name.

David Alicia, David, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have it here.

David: Hello, everybody happy to be here?

A.J.: Oh yeah. So, uh, if, if you’re not following David, if you haven’t talked to him, uh, then you will be happy to know that, uh, David has recently changed jobs and, uh, and so David, where do you work these days?


David: am currently working at a small organization. I am currently at Cisco. Ah,

A.J.: that’s awesome. That’s awesome. So I’m sure like many, a network engineer in our field landing at a, at a large OEM, such as Cisco is. The dream, right?

David: It’s it’s been a journey I’ve been trying to get the Cisco for a while now. Yeah, door’s just never, uh, never opened in the past.

And then things worked out and [00:07:00] you know, it was the right time. That’s one thing. I believe that if something’s not working out, it’s just not the right time it’s going to happen. It’ll happen in the future.

A.J.: I think we were talking about this earlier. Somebody commented something in the failure plaques channel, right?

I think you would comment on, on there too, but like, uh, when you get to know that beans new opportunity. So sometimes it’s, it’s just about timing, right? Like if, if the world’s telling you now it’s not the right time, like the something better is coming your way, don’t get defeated. Uh, when you, when you get to know, and just like you said, you had gotten to know a few times from Cisco before, but this time they said, yes, and here

David: you are, that’s natural.

I mean, it’s natural to, you know, if you get rejected, it’s natural. Like, well, you know, what’s wrong with me, but it’s just not the right time. You go back, you get better, you continue improving. And then from there, doors continue

A.J.: to open. Awesome. And so what, what do you do for Cisco?

David: So I’m a systems architect in enterprise, uh, near Chicago.

[00:08:00] Um, I have three customers that I work with. I am three weeks since I am learning as much as I can about them. And as well as furiously bookmarking, all the links that people are sending, there is a lot to learn, uh, you know, coming from an organization where we had, you know, 3000, 3,500 employees to an organization like Cisco, it’s, it’s a different animal.

So it’s, there’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot of people to, to figure out who does what, uh, so I do appreciate the people that have reached out to me from Twitter though. There’s a, there’s people at Cisco that, that I follow them and they follow me and they’ve reached out on WebEx and like, Hey, it mean it.

So I, I appreciate that. It’s it’s, everybody’s been very cool.

A.J.: So

Andy: you said system architect, right? Sorry. Yep. So, so that’s like the essay role, right? You also hear it like se so. Okay. Can you explain to people because I I’ve recently learned about that role and I’m still not sure. I understand. What an [00:09:00] essay does.

David: So I am a partner to the customer, right? If the customer has any technical concerns, if the customer wants more information about different product lines, uh, if the, if the customer needs some advice, uh, if the customer needs some assistance, uh, assistance, roadmapping, anything that has to do with Cisco and technology, I’m there to assist them.

I’m there to be, uh, you know, the hands and feet is needed. Right. Um, of course there’s other partners that they work with, but from the Cisco side, uh, I am the one that’s given me advice along with the account manager now.

Andy: So it sounds a little bit like sales, but it’s not a sales rep.

David: It is still under the sales umbrella.

So that’s definitely coming from operations, going into sales. This is my first sales role. It’s a, it’s a different, uh, you know, it’s a different world, so there’s a lot to learn. Uh, and I’m, I’m diving head first into it. Pre-sales right.

Andy: I consider that pretty,

David: pretty much. I mean, even, [00:10:00] even after the fact, I still support the customer through the entire process.

Andy: Right. So I’m in an organization and you’re assigned to my account and I’m like, Hey, we got upgrade some switches and we’re not exactly sure what we want to do. Maybe we go to spine leaf. Now we’ve got to talk to David and you can direct us through, Hey, here’s, what’s going on? Let’s talk about your needs.

Right. Here’s our

David: product lines. Yeah. How does it fit into your ecosystem? Is there anything better that we can do? Uh, you know, the goal really is that everything’s working together, right? We don’t want something to be siloed, want everything to work together for your benefit. Awesome.

A.J.: So what I’ve been under the impression of in, based on being a customer myself and now working on the partner side is that, that kind of relationship between your, uh, your sales, uh, account manager and then the essay it’s kind of like, almost like CFO’s CIO kind of like advisory role to the business.

Is that kind [00:11:00] of, uh, an accurate ish?

David: Yeah. I mean, right now I’m, I’m trying to meet as many people as I can on the customer side. I mean, I’m sending notes and like, Hey, you know, I’m here. I want you to know, Hey, I exist. You know, I wasn’t here before reach out to me. I want to have a relationship with you. So I just want to be there for you.

That’s really what I’m working on now. But yeah, it’s, it’s really that

A.J.: very cool. Very cool. Well, you haven’t always been at Cisco and you haven’t always been into it or network engineering. So what, what kind of, you know, originally, oh, so long ago, or maybe not. So also long ago, uh, got your interest, got you into it.

David: So pretty much it was back at high school. Uh, you know, one of the, one of the classes that was offered back in high school and, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m 35 years old right now might not look at, but it’s cause I shaved my head, but yeah, back then in high school, uh, there was Cisco networking academy, [00:12:00] so that’s interesting.

And then

A.J.: your high school, you had it, you had a Cisco networking academy. I don’t think we’ve heard that too much. I think we’ve heard like network academies at like colleges and stuff, but I think we’ve heard it too much at high school, so that’s

David: really cool. So quickly we put it in high school.

Andy: Quick point when I was in high school, I don’t think we had internet at the high school.

David: Just a couple computers. We had

Andy: a computer lab, but I’m pretty sure there’s no internet. I’m just, I’m just level-setting as you know,

David: you’re not as you have a whiteboard, was

A.J.: it still

Andy: chalkboards? It was the stone tablets.

A.J.: The overhead projectors would like to really

Andy: I’m sorry. Ignore my dumb jokes, David.

So you’re in high school and you heard about Cisco networking academy. You’re like, huh, this is maybe a thing

David: that was one of the choices. And I believe it was tied to as well as getting college credit. [00:13:00] So from there on, on, I think every Tuesday and Thursday, I was able to go to university to take, uh, to take a class at the university and I would get college credit beforehand.

So, you know, my mom pushed me to those programs. It’s like, do as much as you can. Um, you know, my parents education was really, you know, almost non-existent. I mean, my, my mom for years worked in housekeeping and my dad, I remember when I was young going around, picking up scraps of metal and sell them at different places.

I mean, that was really the history. So they wanted me to do, uh, even better. Right. So any program that opened up, go do it, go do it. It’s going to be good. No, don’t do this. Don’t pick up scraps like me. That’s what my dad would say. You know, you can do so much more. So I was like, Hey, you know what? I’ll, I’ll take that advice.

I’m a big believer in education. So Cisco academy and in high school was really a door that opened up, uh, for technology, right. It wasn’t exactly, you know, networks [00:14:00] interested me at the time, but it wasn’t what I dived into when I actually went to college.

A.J.: Okay. So you didn’t leave high school with your CCNA?

David: Nah, no, no, no. I know there’s some people out there, there are, that’s great for them, but I did not. And my plan actually was to do programming. So when I went to college, I was looking at web design. I was looking at programming and that that’s really what my bachelor’s was. Computer information systems.

Was it database administration? Um, I, my goal was to do DBA as well as do some web design on the side, things like that. And it just never materialized.

Andy: You went through the Cisco network academy and you did not get your CCNA.

David: No, what they did in high school actually is instead of, instead of the CCNA, they had us take the A-plus, which was interesting.

So they, I remember that because I failed it. Didn’t pass. Plus

Andy: that’s the hardware. And [00:15:00] that would be a good place to start right in your journey. So

David: we would sit, we would sit in the classes and you know, our professor. I remember, I remember we would always call him coach, coach Colbertson somewhere on LinkedIn.

I’m sure I’m listening. Right. He’ll probably listen to this. I’m sure. But, uh, yeah, we always call him coach. He was a great teacher and that’s one of the things that really, uh, continue to spark that interest in a bunch of the students is because he had such a good personality that he could bring us into the lesson.

And it’s like, look, you know, look at, this is how the internet works. You know, this is, wow, this is great. This is how I can get the most.

Andy: Did that grab your attention at the time? Like, oh my God, this is magical. Like,

David: I mean, this is how communication works, you know? So that was interesting, but it wasn’t interesting enough that when I went to college, I was like, oh, I want to do this for the rest of my life. I still had that interest in design and creating websites and doing programming and learning that, that side of the house.

Andy: So quick, quick question. [00:16:00] Before we struck a chord, when, when you talked about your parents and how. You know, I don’t want to say they struggled. Right. But like you said, they didn’t have much of an education and they, they worked hard jobs that, that rings true, you know, for me to a certain extent. So do you feel, did that have any impact or did that mold kind of what you wanted for your life?

Like, you know, I have, so I have like memories, right. Of like certain portions of my life where like I wasn’t wearing the nice clothes. The other kids were like, you know, when you have these experiences, sometimes, you know, as a child that like stick with you and I, for me, I remember thinking, you know, like someday I want something different.

Right? Like I don’t want my kids to feel like I feel right now, you know, and I know that that’s kind of like heavy and crazy, but you just hit me. How was it growing up right. With like parents that weren’t educated and really had to work hard. Like, did that have an impact on you and what you wanted?

David: It did.

I mean, you hit the nail on the head. I [00:17:00] mean, really it was, I mean, to me it was, what’s going to be my legacy. Right. You know, my parents, you know, they dived and did everything that they needed to do. Uh, you know, they, they poured into me as much as they could. Right. So I want to do the same thing for my kids.

Right. So what’s going to put me in a place where I can pour as much into my kids as I can, you know, you have to get better. So that’s definitely something that I was looking for, even when I was young. I mean, even when I was young, I think I had, you know, the soul of an old man. I mean, that’s just how it works.

Um, I even, I even got married early, so my wife was 19 and you know, I was 22. The reason we got married early, we’re just all, you know, we, we look young, we’re old people mentally.

Andy: I love that, man. And how, how did you. Did you, so computer science, I’m jealous of people like you, right? Cause I failed at a computer side.

So did you always know that something you wanted it was that a natural progression for [00:18:00] you? Did somebody recommend it to you?

David: I think we went through, I remember sitting down and then looking at all the programs and that was the program that really spoke the most interest. It’s like, oh wow. I can learn programming, create something for myself at the time.

I remember, I think, I think X-Box had X and a, which was like the Microsoft developer for X-Box and stuff like that. So then that interested me a bit. So I was buying X and a books. I think I still have one or two behind me.

Andy: Um, that was interesting language under the

David: hood of, for X-Box for X-Box yet to create games.

It was X and a pretty much loud thing, but it used C-sharp. So that’s an, they utilized these sharp bikes and I guess was just the architecture of the program. But, um, Yeah, that was interesting to me, creating something from scratch, creating a game, creating a site, creating something that I could call my own that sparked the interest.

So I went in that direction and, uh, and somehow I ended up in database administration and I [00:19:00] in sequel and Oracle and all this, I don’t know how, but that’s the track that I went into. Uh, but it still involved me learning, C-sharp learning Java, uh, which I now have completely forgotten so long and I haven’t used it, you know, use it.

Uh, but, uh, at, at one point, uh, I was able to get a job one, the beginning, when I first started college, I got a job at the help desk, which was extremely beneficial. I mean, if you’re starting out and you’re starting for a place, you know, to look and learn a help desk, a service desk is definitely a place that

Andy: I’d recommend you get that in college to help us spot.

Now, was that an internship through the program

David: student worker? It was a student worker spot. So, uh, I worked for the help desk. I picked up the phone professors and students yelling at me, complaining tickets, all this stuff, I’d go around, running around imaging computers, you know, uh, formatting stuff. I mean, there was just a ton of stuff that we had to do.

Um, I [00:20:00] remember we had a DBA at the campus and for some reason, Uh, she had me running Oracle scripts, like to create student accounts or something. I remember that. So that was pretty cool. There was a bunch of stuff in the beginning, the campus wasn’t centralized to all the other universities. So we had their own exchange, throwing everything.

So I remember creating email accounts when I was a student worker. I mean, there was a ton of stuff I did. So, um, it was a little bit of everything and that kind of, that helped me piece together, you know, all these different areas and it, and how they work

A.J.: together. Hmm. Very cool.

Andy: Getting that experience, man.

It was huge. That’s amazing. My experience. I couldn’t get arrested when I graduated because I didn’t do any internships. And I was, I was working full time, you know, waiting tables, pay my rent and stuff. And my buddies who did internships, they all had, you know, multiple offers when they got out and you know, I’m in a row and they’re like, where have you worked?

What have you done? And so anytime I hear, you know, where somebody is in [00:21:00] college, right? Like, Hey, what should I do? Like get experienced if you can, like, you know, there’s, there’s internships, there’s student work. You’re getting hands on. You know, not that that turned into a job for you at graduation. Maybe it did.

You have experience, which is what everybody wants, right. When you get out, what do you know, what

David: have you done? And I think the biggest part is, you know, getting to know people, you know, cause in the university, I got to know the other teams to help us managers, you know, th th th there was a network team on site.

Uh, so I got to know them. Uh, I got to have a relationship with them, build that relationship up, uh, even as a student worker. So, I mean, one of the things that I always tell people is, you know, work hard, you get noticed, right? We were talking about that, you know, before the show is like, work hard, you get noticed, you know, 99% of the time, if you work hard, if you put in the work, somebody’s going to look at you and be like, wow, this person busts.

They, you know, they deserve to move up or they deserve something right. 99% of the time. There’s always that 1% that it doesn’t work out, but I didn’t have present of the time. [00:22:00] Somebody will notice you. So that’s really what happened. And, you know, there was a desktop, a full-time desktop support, uh, with the university that opened up, you know, to drive around between the satellite locations.

And they, they asked me if I was interested in it, you know, it wasn’t the greatest pay in the world, but it was like, you know what, I’ll take it. You know? Cause there was some benefits behind it, you know, they would help pay for, for some of the schooling as well. So it was like, yes, this is great. So there was some good benefits behind it was that.

That was full time and you are still in school. I was still in school, so I was still going for my bachelor’s. So did

Andy: you have to scale back on the amount of classes or did you do full-time school

David: by the, by the time I got the full-time desktop support, I was pretty much almost done. Okay. Um, so I did that for about a year.

By that time I had graduated, um, After desktop support with the university. Uh, another spot with the university opened up, which was a lab manager position, which was being a manager, a supervisor to the [00:23:00] student workers. So I started managing the student workers, you know, picking the schedules, helping them out with escalations, things like that.

Uh, and I was like, Hey, you know, we were working with this guy now he’s the boss. So it was pretty cool. I got along with everybody like everybody, you know? Um, so I think, I think it was, it was pretty good. And, and, and it helped me, it turned me into a little bit of a teacher because at that point, you know, I was showing the student workers, well, this is how you do things.

This is what’s the best way to, you know, image this procedure, you know, careful with that professor. You know, I think it helped out a lot. And doors continued to open after that, within the unit.

A.J.: Wow. Very cool. So as a student worker, was that like a paid position or was it just the work experience that you got?

David: There was a paycheck. Yeah, I wouldn’t say it was a lie. You know, the government was paying something. I know it through the school, but there was a paycheck and, you know, I was able to take my girlfriend at the time. I, you know, on a [00:24:00] date to cellies or something somewhere, you know, I’d worked out

A.J.: and

David: I got, I got the bills paid, but you know, my, my parents, I was still living with my parents and they were helping me out as much. They go, you know, that’s one thing that I’ll say that, you know, Throughout my time in high school and the university, you know, they, they did everything they could to make sure I was successful.

So that’s one thing that I, I do say, and I want to thank my parents for everything they did, because obviously, you know, if they hadn’t pushed me as much as they did, if they hadn’t helped me out, uh, you know, by talking to me and even monetarily, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Right,

A.J.: right. That’s awesome.

That is awesome. You’re you’re a supervisor at the university. How long did you work for the university?

David: Uh, I was honestly, I was there for I at the campus at the campus and it was the campus in Chicago. I was there. I mean from 2005, through [00:25:00] 2009 in various positions, eventually I was managing the help desk.

I was managing some of the other lab managers who managed the student workers. And these were full-time, you know, adults that I was managing at that point. Um, So, I mean, I continued to do my fan. I continued to work and learn and teach pretty much as much as I could. Um, and eventually, um, you know, I was in a, in a position where I was able to help at the campus.

I was able to help the, the network team. So there was a network team that took care of all of the campuses around the U S uh, they would, they would install the switches. They would do all the work, they would change the lands, they would do everything. So they placed a little bit of trust in me. And they said, Hey, you know, you’re at the campus and we know you, you go install this right.

You help us out. Uh, so that is really what opened the door. Into network engineering. Right? So that sparked the interest. I was like, this is pretty cool stuff, right? This is, you know, the roots of communication. This is where it’s at in the closet, so that, you know, they [00:26:00] continue to put some trust in me and to, to give me things to do upgrade this or help somebody out with, you know, taking, uh, taking a blade out of the 6,500 and swapping it out.

Uh, so those opportunities continue to pile on, uh, you know, they probably didn’t want to do the cable work. So I ended up doing all the cases. I’m sure there was a little bit of that, right. I enjoyed it. I mean, it was just like, this is great. Um, so there came a time where corporate needed somebody to help out with physical security.

They had a huge physical security project to switch everybody over to Honeywell, I believe. Um, so they, you know, I was voluntold. I was like, they’re like, Hey, you’re perfect for this. This is a great project that you can assist with. We’re going to take you out of your help desk manager role. And you’re going to come to corporate to help us out with this.

So I, I did that for six months and eventually it was like, um, you know, my, my, my boss at the time was like, well, you know, we’re filling up your position cause you’re probably going to stay at corporate. And I’m like, well, I don’t want to do [00:27:00] physical security, you know, for the rest of my life, I want to do something else.

So at that point I felt sort of homeless. Like where am I going to go? Right. So, uh, that’s when I started just looking outside for something else and the network team heard that I was looking in. Well, one of the engineers that I had a good relationship with, they’re like, Hey, we have a spot open. Are you interested?

I’m like, yeah, I’ll, I’ll go. You know, that’s definitely something I was interested with. And, and, you know, I knew them. And honestly, the interview was like, Hey, you know, do you want to be a network engineer? Yes, you’re hired. That’s really what it was because

they, they already, you know, the network engineer that, that, um, that was working with the campus that was helping me out. He was the one teaching me everything. So he knew technically, you know, where I was, he knew everything. He was the one that taught me everything. Yeah, this was at the university. Now it was [00:28:00] at the corporate side.

Andy: Yeah. They knew you, they knew your work. You had you’re like 17 managing people.

David: I was young. I was 1920 managing people. I mean, it was interesting, but at the same time, I was trying to soak up as much as I could and learn. I kind of resentment

Andy: that you didn’t have a technical interview for your network engineer only because the pain that I had to endure for mine, they mopped the floor with me and made me cry and then gave me a job.

You’re just like, yeah, my second interview,

David: my second interview with my, within the second place was definitely a little bit more technical, but yeah, it was like, Hey, do you want to be a network engineer? Yes. That’s what that, that’s all it was. Oh, university

Andy: is that? Yes. I’m sorry. You believe it was because.

David: Uh, cause I, I, you know, I spent that time building that relationship. Right. They knew me and they were the ones that taught me. So they knew who I was. They knew [00:29:00] I was responsible. I was a hard worker. That’s why I always say work hard, get noticed, right. Work hard. And you know, sooner or later it’s going to happen, have some patients.

Um, so I, I spent, uh, you know, as a network engineer there for corporate, I spent five years.

A.J.: Five years. Okay. So that, so I’m trying to keep track here. So this was like 20 13, 20 14.

David: I started as a network engineer in 2011. So 20 11, 20 16.

A.J.: I did a couple of years of the security thing. Maybe

David: I did. It was about six months or so beginning of 2011 when I did physical security project.

Uh, and then at the end of 2011 is when, when I was in a position opened up for network

A.J.: engineering. Okay. Got it. Got it. So you were doing the network engineer thing for corporate. Did you work primarily with Cisco? Did you [00:30:00] decide to go after your CCNA?

David: So it was, it was a mixed environment, was a mix of Cisco and Juniper and the data center.

So it’s a mix of both. So I had to learn both

it was definitely the

at the time I was used to Cisco already from the campus, you know, putting in V lands and different things on switches with Cisco. That was like, when I get to the data center and there’s Juniper, I’m like, what is this stuff? Right. But it was sort of familiar because Juniper had that programming feel to it.

So it was interesting, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t even thinking about certifications at that time that, that wasn’t something that anybody had taught me that wasn’t something that anybody had spoken to me about. There was a person in the team that was working on their CCIE and they were going through their second attempt.

And, uh, pretty much he spent some time talking to me and about the [00:31:00] importance of certifications and, and how you can learn a lot of from certifications. And that, that sparked the interest. And I was like, oh, maybe I should take a look at a certification that I can know. I can jump into her learn. Uh, so I that’s when I went for the CCNA.

Uh, but yeah, that was, it took somebody to, to sit down with me and explained to me like certifications can help you with certification, even though you might not use it for a particular job. You’ll learn a lot out of the process.

Andy: And it was this, the CCI you guy is that who you were talking to us as the

David: CC again,

Andy: it’s one of those things that you’re just sitting down and getting to know him.

What’s up, I’m studying for this thing. What is that? And then you kind of started to describe the value of certifications. Yeah. Yeah.

David: That was a breath of fresh air. Cause I mean, honestly, you know, a lot of, a lot of places that, you know, in the past that I’ve seen, you know, there’s people that are there, they’re working there, they bust their butt, but they’re comfortable.

Right. So they don’t want to get better. They’re they’re good at where they’re at. They want to stay there. They’re happy. [00:32:00] Right. And then there’s people that want to go that extra step up. Right. They want to do something harder. They want to learn something new. Right. So this person was really had that mentality and he kept pushing me and he sparked that interest.

So that really is why I started pursuing certifications and continue to dive deeper into that work engineering.

Andy: How did that see Sandy study and go, was it easy for you at this point? Because you had experience and you’re a bright guy in computer science or was struggling.

David: It helped. It helped. Uh, I think, you know, I still struggled through some of the topics I struggled through today.

Like spanning tree spanning tree. Sometimes it’s like, ah, this is terrible, but it’s something that I need to get better at. Uh, but it, it helped that, you know, I, I went straight to eBay. I started pursuing purchasing equipment in the beginning. Uh, in the beginning, I, you know, I bought, I bought, I think I bought an adolescent console.

I bought a bunch of stuff and I had a, you know, [00:33:00] it wasn’t a rack. It was just like a little table. And I just tossed the equipment on top. I was consoling into stuff. I mean, that’s how I learned. Uh, and this was like in the infancy of GNS three. So as soon as I discovered GNS three, though, that’s when I, the equipment started picking up a couple of spider webs.

So that’s when I started diving more into, you know, GNS three, but in the beginning it was all, especially for my CCNA studies, it was

Andy: all hardware let’s. Please pause for a moment. So you work on physical hardware, your lab, your studies, and then you pivoted to. Ambulation virtually virtualization and what the right term is, but do you feel, you know what I’m gonna ask AIJ cause I like, what was the value in your physical lab, as you know, did you learn things in your physical lab that you couldn’t have learned in GNS?

And so new person coming to you, I’m studying for my CCNA. Should I build a physical [00:34:00] lab or should I just go the virtual route? Because you have experience in both. What do you think

David: I’m a believer of doing both? I mean, I still have, you know, a lab here, physical gear, you know, you have to touch stuff, you know, that that helps, you know, plugging in a cable.

There’s a certain satisfaction. You get of plugging in a cable that you cannot get out of, you know, CNS three out of Eve on CML. There’s something different about it. You know, if I could buy a whole rack of equipment and a chassis and stuff like that and put it here and not have to pay for that electricity, that would be great.

But because I’m not going that route, you know, that’s when I have to rely on the virtual a bit more to do some of the bigger

Andy: stuff still true. But I remember in the CCNA and it’s definitely been true in my experience. And prod, I forget it’s like 65 or 70% of network issues are at the physical layer. So for me, all that stuff I learned with like bed ports, bed cables, bed, pin outs, bed cards, you know, you [00:35:00] name it.

It was supposed to be a roll over from the MSN. And it was a crossover. Like there’s so many physical problems that you run into. I had T1 DSU, CSU cards for additional ports, and they had a special pin out, like just so many things, you know, you drag a couple of pretend, routers up dragging a couple of 10 cables in GNS, or even you’re done if you’re brand new and you’ve never touched gear, you know, for me, if 75% of the, you know, 70% of the issues are physical, I think it’s valuable to get, you know, some, like you say, get some experience.

You know, the physical, if you’ve got a spanning tree loop up and everything’s down, it’s nice to see, oh, that’s what all the Amber lights mean. And my switches, you know what I mean? That’s true. GNS will teach you that. So anyway, I’m off my soap box, but you said physical.

David: Yeah. But it’s true. I mean, there’s stuff.

I mean, I remember a big portion of tickets I’ve ran into, especially in manufacturing. A lot of times those issues were resolved by just swapping out again. Right. I mean, the, you know, the we’ve always had to take it. It was like, well, this phone is showing some sort of [00:36:00] network error on the phone, this access point no longer connects.

And I was like, did you try swapping out the cable? No. As soon as the cable swapped out, it works like perfect that cable’s probably been sitting there for, you know, 10 years, you know, some rats are chewing on it or something, uh, you know, swap it out and it ends up fixing the problem. So a lot, a lot of what happens out there, you know, for somebody coming in fresh is physical, you know?

So that is important. That’s key learned the physical safety in your

Andy: labs.

A.J.: Yeah. I mean, I think if you’re just starting out, like in a physical lab, when you have like a certain foundation, you can get a virtual lab. Like, I, I don’t, I’m thinking a lot of people realize this, but you can actually make the two talk to each other, like that is possible.

Uh, and there are certain economies of scale that you can get out of a virtual lab that, you know, you just can’t really do affordably on a physical level, right? Like if you want to do larger typologies and really do some fun stuff, especially if you’re going for the [00:37:00] NP level, it’s a lot easier to do with a virtual environment than it is for the physical environment.

You know, like I’ve got four riders and four switches, but there’s only so much I can do with four routers and four switches, but there’s a lot I can do with 20 virtual routers that, you know, I definitely can’t do in a, in a physical, I

Andy: learned so much, you know, you’re building that virtual environment on a server usually.

So like for me, I had to learn this exci I had to learn VMware. I had to learn about virtualization and. You know, do I want to hyper threat or not? And how do you allocate the resources and power management and even just that building your emulated environment, you know, and yes, exci as an example, just so much to learn there.

I mean, you could spin it up in the cloud and be done with it and that school too, you know, but I learned a lot by having a physical server, even, even though the, the networking was emulated

David: and then the important part is, do, do something right. Grab some gear, do something virtual, but that’s a huge way to learn.

I mean, if you want to [00:38:00] get better, if you want to learn, you have to practice, right. I mean, if you didn’t jump on that bike, you, and you wouldn’t know how to ride that bike, right. You can’t just look at a bike and be like, I know how to ride that bike. And you’ve never been on a bike before. Like you have to, you have to hold things, you have to touch things yet.

And that’s the way you get back. Yeah,

A.J.: I liked that. Got to do something. Hey, Awan fans AIG here for an ally. You never heard of an ally. Sure. You have. They came from the same group of engineers that brought us network tools from flute networks NetScout and now they’re net ally. They know networking. I’m a network engineer for a partner.

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And then they go build it just like this ether scope. NXG that ally is here to help that ally simplicity, visibility, collaboration, visit net ally.com today. Now back to [00:39:00] the show. All right. So I think you, you said manufacturing there. So at some point then you, you left the college, uh, the corporate side of the university and you landed in manufacturing.

It sounds like. Was that the next step?

David: Yep. Yep. So towards, towards the end of 2016, Yeah, I, I wanted a bit more, right. So, um, you know, the opportunities weren’t happening locally. So I decided to look out and, um, pretty much I found a place in manufacturing, um, that, you know, I was doing everything right. We, we had another engineer, um, myself and my manager and the three of us would handle the worldwide networks.

Uh, it was about 40 sites, uh, you know, between sales offices and full plants and warehouses. Uh, so that gave me a huge opportunity to learn even more. I learned a lot from the team and pretty much, you know, we did a little bit of everything back at the university. It was very siloed. All I would do is rout switch and a couple of [00:40:00] firewalls.

That was it. And, you know, they had, there was a voice to learn. There was a security team, there was a team for that, a team for this. So that’s all I did was route switch and a little bit of firewall. So that was my mentality. So when I got the manufacturing, it wasn’t just route switch, a little bit of firewalls, route switch, CoLab security, uh, everything.

Right. So we did everything and it was nice because that was, I mean, that was definitely drinking from the fire hose because. I had to learn all these things that I had no idea about. Right. I had to learn about ice. I had to learn about stuff. Watch, uh, you know, uh, I had to learn everything CoLab. I mean, at the campus, all I would do is, you know, deploy a phone and that’s all, that was my experience within call manager, but I had to learn and I was taught, you know, what a PRI is, you know, how does this connect to the router?

What does it do? How do you configure it? Call manager? So all of these different things I had to learn know because I had to support these sites. I had to troubleshoot these rights. Uh, you know, there wasn’t anybody else besides the three of us. So, uh, [00:41:00] that was, that was huge. And I learned a lot and I learned a lot because I saw from the ground up, especially when we have to open up a new site, how things come together right now, all these networks come together, building the phones and building the voice environment for a site, putting in the security route, switch a little bit of everything wireless.

So I, I learned a lot. It was a, you know, from 2016 and onward, it was just. The information and information and information. And during that time, you know, I pursued my, my CCNP CCNP as well, back then, route switching to shoot. Um, so, you know, th that was something that continued to push me forward. I, I, you know, when I look at a certification, you know, certifications are great, but that to me is a big vehicle and learning, right.

I have the book, I have all the material. This is knowledge that I’m gaining, you know, so it’s great that I pass their certification tests, but let’s say I don’t, I still learned a lot of information that I can use in my environment of the knowledge. Yep. [00:42:00]

A.J.: I think

Andy: it’s the best part of certification. It’s just a learning plan.

Oh yeah. Right. Here’s all the stuff that you need to learn for this thing I wanted to ask you. So where did you look for your job? Where do you look? I mean, are you a LinkedIn guy? Like you’re at the university is that you want to look around, you find the manufactured. W where does


David: look? I mean, so up to that point, I mean, once I went to college and I was a student worker, I mean, and doors continued to open from there.

I wasn’t actively looking. Right. Except when I was, you know, at that weird period where I needed a job when I was in physical security. Um, so I was just looking at, uh, you know, different opportunities online. And I think that opened up, but. It was still within the university. Right. Even the network engineering portion there, it was still within the university.

So going to manufacturing, that was really the second, I would say the S the second company that I’ve worked for at that time. So I, I went for, to a recruiter and I was like, Hey, help me out. You know, this is my [00:43:00] skillset. Uh, what can you do for me? You know, what, what can we, what can we do, right? Where can I go?

So the recruiter helped me out and that’s, uh, that’s when, you know, there was a couple of different places, you know, and I was like, well, I don’t want to go to downtown, you know, all the time. And it was, it was the middle of winter. And I’m like, ah, this is too cold. I’m not going out there right now. But so, you know, I interviewed in manufacturing and it was a good opportunity, you know?

So that, that opened up through a recruiter. Where

Andy: did you find.

David: Now I’m trying to think, but it was LinkedIn though. It started off in LinkedIn. So LinkedIn recruiter and then from there. Awesome.

A.J.: Very cool. Very cool. So if you could kind of like summarize the value of, you know, having a recruiter, right?

Like if you didn’t have the recruiter, you’d have to go try to find a job on your own. Uh, and, and the recruiter inherently has a number of job listings available to you that they can come through and kind of see if you match up so that they’re doing a lot of the [00:44:00] legwork on your behalf and helping you weed out like good opportunities versus maybe not so good or bad opportunities.

David: I say, you know, it’s an extra set of. Right. I mean, you’re looking, you’re doing your thing, but you have somebody who’s fighting for you. Right. Um, you know, somebody who who’s, you know, you can give a list of requirements, Hey, this is what I’m looking for. Uh, if you can find something like that, that’s my goal.

So, you know, you have somebody in your corner who’s fighting for you as well.

Andy: The brochure, the other nice thing too, in my experience was that the recruiter who placed me in FinTech, you know, he had a working relationship with the company already. They had placed a couple other people over the years. And so, you know, they don’t know me from anybody.

Right. But because the recruiter has a relationship with that company and they’ve placed them and they develop trust. Then when the recruiter brings me in, it went, you know, Hey, we talked to this guy, we pre-interviewed him. You know, we think he’s a good fit. So it’s, I don’t know that might be stating the obvious, but I feel like if I had just cold applied, [00:45:00] you know, to a company, as opposed to a recruiter, They trusted already.

Cause they found good talent for them and brings me in for an interview. I feel like you just put you on another plateau, you know?

David: Yeah. There could have been a history there, you know, and that helps you out, you know, and it can help you out in your pursuit, uh, that why not, you know?

A.J.: Yeah. We’ve put any of the reputation of the recruiter has with that company that they’re working with.

Right. Like if they’ve brought them talent before, like there’s no reason to not believe that they wouldn’t do it again. Yeah. I think

Andy: it really helped me, you know, and in my particular situation, because of the relationship they had probably not the same everywhere. Right. But I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I mean, I’ve never worked in an industry.

Where I’m being reached out to on a constant basis. Uh, you know, both my phone, my email, LinkedIn, before I got into network engineering, I was always the one looking for a job. And now it’s just, it’s so weird to me still. It’s just inbound. You want to work over here and do this thing? Like, I feel like [00:46:00] the hot girl at the party, you know, it’s kinda nice.

It wasn’t like that before I T so it’s a good, he loves me.

A.J.: That’s great. That’s

Andy: great. So we’re in manufacturing

A.J.: ha. Yeah, we’re in manufacturing. You sounds like you got your CCMP route switch and I think last year, you, or maybe it was earlier this year, it all blends together now with this whole COVID thing, right? Yeah. I really do remember that you got your CCNP security, so your NP.

Let’s dive into that journey. How was the CCNP security? I’ve heard? The score is just a monster.

David: It is definitely a, you know, there’s, there’s some marketing behind it, you know, it’s all the Cisco products and the Cisco security portfolio. Well, there’s the technical below that as well. Right? So, uh, it, it reminded me a little bit of the Palo Alto with a PC and S.[00:47:00]

Um, but a lot bigger. It was way bigger. The Palo Alto server was definitely, you know, some marketing, a tiny bit of technical, and that was it. It’s a good cert, but the CCNP security, the score is definitely deep, goes over the portfolio. Uh, there’s a lot of technical behind it. You know, it goes, it doesn’t dive into everything fully either.

Right. So, uh, it leaves the door open. Like, you know, the, the score talks about email security. Uh, so I decided to go as, as my, uh, smaller exam as my concentration, I went to the email security side. Uh, it was something that I was doing at work as well. Right. We had, uh, ESA, we went to CES. I had some experience with that.

But there was stuff that I found on the exam for, for the SISA S E S S a, it was like, what are we talking about? What is this? I mean, it’s deeper. And I had some experience on the product and I’m like, [00:48:00] I don’t remember clicking on this or reading about this. So it keeps you on your toes. It was definitely a, an interesting exam was a good exam.

Um, I think I had an easier time with the score than the Seesaw. I, I fought. I would, I thought I’d have a harder time with the score exam. You know when, as I was taking it, I don’t know if maybe because it was, it wasn’t that deep into the portfolio. And technically, uh, I passed that one and it was a better score than I had at the CSO.

The CSO was like one more wrong answer. I would not have passed. And that was, that was it. I was on the edge. Uh, so there was a couple of questions. I’m like, man, I have no idea. And I’m working, I’m looking at this thing every other day, you know? Um, but I passed, you know, it was, it was good, it was a good exam.

Um, but that, you know, a lot of what I’ve been doing in manufacturing and a lot of what the whole team was doing in manufacturing that, you know, the last couple of years has been security [00:49:00] related. You know, we had a security team, they did a lot of policy and a lot of procedures. We were the hands and feet for the security team.

So we did everything. We did ice. We did StealthWatch flash. We did dual implementing and architecting and designing everything that was really us. So. That, you know, I I’ve been doing security forbid and that’s why I was interested in the score and then the CCNP security.

A.J.: Very cool. Very cool. So I think it’s important to kind of talk about that, that marketing thing, the marketing aspect of these exams, and it’s, it’s a hundred percent true.

It’s there on the Encore and you know, like you said, that Sarah and the score and I, I think it’s, it’s important to know that like, as, as if somebody that’s up and coming. When you, when you have to study all of these things, you’re getting more exposure to the Cisco portfolio and that’s that only benefits Cisco.

Right. But I think that there’s, there’s people that kind of take a couple of different approaches when they’re putting together their enterprise environment. Either they, they go all in on one vendor or they do best. Right. Like, I want the best firewall and I [00:50:00] don’t care if it’s Cisco or Palo Alto or whatever.

I just want the best firewall. And then I want the best switches and then I want the best routers and it doesn’t have to be all the same vendor. I just want the best of the best. And then there’s people that go all in on a single vendor story. And there’s, I think there’s benefits to doing both, right?

Like if you, if you go all in on Cisco, then you get the full Cisco story. Right. And, and that’s where you tend to get like, and, and, and not just Cisco, right? Like if you go all in on Juniper, all in on, whatever, if you go all in on a single vendor, you’re going to get the bigger picture. You’re more analytics typically, right?

Like that’s usually the benefit that you’re going to see because they all connect to each other. They all talk to each other. There’s probably some additional benefits of security when you do best of breed, like you got the best of the best, but they don’t all talk to each other in some form or fashion, unless you’re using like, you know, some agnostic form of, of automation or something like.

Like the rolling your own kind of solution that, that you would get from the vendor. So taking these exams [00:51:00] gets you that exposure, and then later on in your career, you’re like, well, I need some email security. I remember reading about the Cisco email security appliance. I had no idea Cisco had an email security appliance personally, but, but that’s, that’s, that’s where he like, well, I got to start somewhere.

I remember reading about this thing. So let me go check that out. So that’s, that’s why that’s there and it’s, it’s, it’s beneficial

David: in my opinion. Oh yeah. I think everybody does it. I mean, it’s just, it’s just part of the, part of.

A.J.: Right. Exactly.

Andy: Hey Jay, you just sparked something. So each ecosystem has their own, I guess, analytics engine or platform or whatever, and they don’t talk to each other.

Right. Cisco has there’s junior pros. There is a risk that has there’s there’s no, like you said, you have to either go with third party, you know, open source or like build your own. I mean, that’s, that’s not ideal, right? Like, is it just because they’re in competition with each other? Like, there can’t be an, I mean, this might sound silly, but there can’t be like this open standard platform that [00:52:00] pulls all the competing vendors because we don’t care like you and I sitting at the chair, you know, the company went with Cisco over some stuff, Juniper, some stuff for Risto for some stuff, but why do I have to suffer as the operator that I can’t have a, uh, you know, uh, analytics that pulls it all into one dashboard?

Like that seems like a, I dunno, it’s an inherent flaw to maybe the competitive model. Maybe that doesn’t make sense. You kind of sparked it as you were talking.

A.J.: Right. I think it’s just, you know, they, they want you to buy into it, right? Like if, if DNA center could control other vendors, devices, where would be the kind of drive to continue to just buy Cisco if they could, you know, cause there’s other switches might be a little bit cheaper than a K

David: I think companies are getting better at third party integrations,

A.J.: especially with a nice,

David: yeah, I think it helps, but they’re not going to be fully open.

Right. I mean, sure. There’s some compatibility and there’s some, you know, a couple of things they do, but for the [00:53:00] most part, there’s that competitive nature

Andy: behind it is. Yeah. And I mean, I get the competition, but I’m also like, I’m thinking like, wow, if one of these big name vendors came out with a solution that really did, uh, you know, vendor B says, you know what?

I know vendor raised the. But I’m going to build a platform and pull all their stuff into, and maybe that’ll push us over the top. You know, if you could go with vendor B and they’re happy to let you see all of your vendor, a appliances and analytics and data, I don’t know, from a high level, if I was sitting up on a throne somewhere, but you know what?

These, these guys are. You know, they’re there cause you’re not going to buy less of one V I don’t know. I don’t know how all that money stuff works, but it’s probably another topic for another show, but

David: I solution to rule them all,

A.J.: if a vendor, if somebody actually made a single pane of glass or something that actually talked to

Andy: everything, there’s an example, right?

Like [00:54:00] I’m thinking Cisco Juniper they’re number one, number two. Right? Like if Cisco came out and said, you know what, we’re going to pull all junipers into because for multi-vendor shops or vice versa, I’m surprised they haven’t because like, God, you know, automation, single pane of glass, like they could, I think, right?

Like it’s a lot more

A.J.: effort on the vendor’s part. Right? Like you have people at Cisco that know Cisco. Now they’re going to have to go and really learn Juniper, or they’re going to have to partner and work on it together.

Andy: Yeah, I just, I probably oversimplify, but like routers or routers a switch, a switch.

Yeah. The CLI is going to be a little different, but like SPF doesn’t change from, you know, vendor to vendor. Like there, there are, there are standard routing protocols that can talk to each other. I don’t know why something like you can’t have that for analytic. But maybe it’s pie in the sky stuff. I mean, we can’t just create a protocol that talks to everything and pull it in.

But I guess that screws up the competition so

David: we

A.J.: can do it.

Andy: I could barely [00:55:00] write Python, man. I’m not the guy. I got to find a guy I’ll, I’ll pull it up or something. He’ll do it for us.

A.J.: I got a guy online. Just grab Eric,

Andy: sorry for the tangent. And just, you got me thinking.

A.J.: No, it’s a good conversation. Good conversation.

So, um, how long were you in manufacturing before you decided to go to Cisco and what, what in the end cost you. You know, if she want to get into it. W w why did you decide to start looking around? Did the opportunity come knocking at your door? Did you go looking for opportunity?

David: I say a mix of both. Uh, you know, let’s say that, uh, during my time in manufacturing, an opportunity came knocking and it didn’t work out.

Right. Um, what’s this going to beginning? Um, and that’s one of the things that I’ve said on the discord, you know, when we’ve talked about, you know, the things happen at the right time, you know, it’s not meant to be right now. Um, [00:56:00] it’s going to, something will happen in the future. There there’ll be a better opportunity for you in the future.

You know, don’t let that completely, uh, get you down, right. Rejection sucks, but there’s always something better. There’s, there’s something coming down the road for you. So don’t squander that opportunity that you have now to learn and soak up as much as you can, where you are. Um, so, I mean, I learned a lot of manufacturing.

It was a great experience. But, you know, opportunity came knocking and it was, it was, uh, it was something I couldn’t say no to it finally happened and the doors open and I I’m appreciated out of everybody. You know, I appreciate everybody I’ve worked with. Um, I never have anything bad to say. That’s one thing I always tell people is, you know, Uh, don’t burn bridges either.

That’s more advice that I have. The tech world is small and you know, I’m talking to, I’m talking to people at Cisco now, and they know people that I’ve, you know, the, that I’ve worked with in the past or, you know, somebody actually, [00:57:00] somebody on my team now on my team now I worked with back at, at, at the.

They were in networking as well. Oh, wow. That’s crazy. You know, they paint me and they’re like, Hey, you’re joining my team. And I’m like, oh, wow. Okay. So never burn bridges. I mean, we’re going to run into each other at some point, treat everybody with respect, you know, help everybody out. You know, we’re all in this together.

A.J.: You know, that’s a great point. Like if, if, when you had left the university, if you had burned that bridge, and then you’re applying to this job at Cisco and that guy could have been like, oh man, don’t worry. When he left here, like 10 years ago, he really he’s screwed in summer. You just said like it was

David: flipping three months.

It was flipping people off.

A.J.: It’s very true. Like if you, if you had taken a different route out of there, uh, no pun intended, like it could have ended up differently for you trying to get into to Cisco this time around. So I agree with you a hundred percent, like, as, as big as the world is like, for some [00:58:00] reason it just feels that much smaller.

And that has nothing to do with a small town. Like you’re in Chicago. Like you could have left there and be like, I ain’t ever going to see him

David: here. You are like, exactly. So, I mean it’s, and that’s just the way I was raised too. It was like, you know, treat people with respect, you know, in the course of your career, you’re going to run into a bunch of different types of people, right?

I mean, you’re going to run into people that are very supportive. You know, for you, you know, they’re there, they’re there to help you. They’re there to push you along and help you out. But you know, you’re gonna run into other people that, that are just negative all the time. And that’s just the way the person is.

They might be negative with you. They might be negative across the board. Uh, you know, to me, you know, I’ve ran into both types of people throughout my career, and I don’t say anything bad about anybody. It’s like, Hey, you know, thank you for teaching me. Thank you for, you know, showing me what, what you could, uh, you know, I’m, I’m here in the end of the day, I’m here to learn.

I’m here to get better, right? Uh, I’m not here to spend my time and waste my brain cells on people who are negative or there’s better things that I [00:59:00] could be doing with my time. You know? Um, so things, you know, things that are negative people that are negative. I just ignore it. It’s like there, that’s always going to come towards you.

Ignore it. You know, stick to the people who are there that are supporting them. Haters

A.J.: gonna hate,

Andy: but there’s so much good secret sauce in here. You said so many things that I wrote down a couple, like work hard. You know, my, my wife has a great saying, like he can’t teach hustle. Right? It’s it’s intrinsic.

If you have a lazy player out on the court or in the field, you can’t coach it out of him, you can’t motivate them. Like, so, you know, it’s such a simple thing to me because I’ve always been a hard worker. My wife’s a hard worker. You’re, you know, you guys are like how just putting the effort, you know, wake up grind.

It’s easy. I would venture to say that, you know, I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but I try to make up. And blood, sweat, and tears, right? Like I’m going to get in there and work hard and I’ll work harder than the other guy. That’s smarter than me. If I have to, like, [01:00:00] you can control what you can write to be, to be successful.

And then you, and that will get you noticed, like you said, work hard, get noticed. Like, I love that. Like, cause you know, the, the guy that’s passionate or the girl that’s like working really hard, they do stand out because you have schlubs that just want to hide or not do anything or, you know, learn the new thing.

And then attitude too, like reputation, attitude. I mean you’re as work are, get noticed, develop a reputation, have a good attitude. Like these are, some of them are soft skills. Some of them are hard skills, but it’s, it’s kind of like the secret to success almost like, and they’re all, you don’t need a one 90 IQ, right?

You don’t need a triple CCIE. Like these are things I think anybody can do work hard, get noticed, develop a reputation, have a good attitude. Like wow. I dunno, you’re blowing

David: me away here. I mean, that’s, that’s the way, I mean, it brings me back all the way to, when I was managing student workers, I was a student worker and then I was managing the student workers and I would always tell them the same thing.

And, you know, student worker positions, you know, there’s some people that came in and was like, I’m just here for my seven bucks [01:01:00] an hour. And to get out of here right now, they don’t care about me on the help, fast. They don’t care about, they don’t even care about it. Right. They’re just there, you know, I’m done.

I gotta go to class. You know? So, I mean, I still took the opportunity and talk to people it’s like, do as much as you can learn, work hard. I mean, even if you don’t, even if this is not going to be your career, right, you’re not going to be at the help desk forever. You want to go do something else. You’re seeking a degree in accounting and this is all we have right now.

Uh, You know, just try to learn something, do your best, you know? Uh, that’s it, I mean, it really comes down to that. Um, and, and doors open up, right? I mean, just be patient, you know, cause some people, you know, oh man, I, I spent two hours working hard and nothing happened. Yeah. It’s not a two hour thing. It’s a whole journey.

Right. It’s days and weeks and years, um, be patient and things will have.

Andy: You’ve you’ve mentioned patients a couple of times, so, and I think that’s so key, you know, we, we won’t want, we want when we want it. And then, you know, [01:02:00] like this might not been the first time you interviewed at Cisco. I don’t know, but I know that when you get that opportunity, like, for me, when that happens for me, I’m like, oh my God, this is my one shot.

If I don’t get this, I’m going to blow it. And then it doesn’t work out for some reason. And then it’s like, wow, that was it. I’m just destined for mediocrity. Cause I couldn’t get that thing I wanted. But like you said, you just gotta be patient put in the work like anything. Right. Like we were shopping for our house years ago and like, we really wanted this one and it didn’t work out and we were so upset, but then the next one was twice as good as the last one.

And we’re like, oh, like you can’t see around that next corner. You know, you just gotta have faith and kind of be patient. And if you put in the work, it will work out right. Maybe not on, on, on our timeline and patients is hard. Right? Exactly. I think it takes discipline, like, okay. Like accepting a failure, accepting it didn’t work out.

Like that’s, that’s a mental game. Right? Some discipline it’s. Oh yeah.

A.J.: And it’s even harder. These days in the instant gratification world we live in, right? Like click a button, get an instant happiness. [01:03:00] Look, I got to wait a month for this next house to come on the market.

Andy: Yeah. I mean, I can go in a half a dozen different social media platforms and get a dopamine hit immediately.

And now I gotta wait, you know, six months. Cause this one interview didn’t work out. Like no way, dude. Like that’s forever, you know, but like perspective patients. I could put it in the workout perspective. There you. Got some good stuff here. We have so many people coming to us, I think, starting out, like what, what can I do?

What should I do? You know, it’s always like, well, CCNA is a good start, but a home lab, but these are just things that anybody can do. I think that’s what everybody’s looking for. Like, how do I do this? You know? Cause you don’t know where to start and how hard it’s going to be and it’s expensive, blah, blah, blah.

But there’s just certain traits. I think that are transferable in any industry. It’s not just networking or it, you know, everything you’re talking about. Yeah, a good person create value, have a good reputation. It’s simple, but I guess it’s not like common knowledge. Isn’t that common they say, right? Like [01:04:00]

David: it’s true.

I mean, a lot of times we concentrate on the technical ability. Right. You know, I’ve, I’ve ran into people in my past. It’s like, wow, this person knows everything. I mean, you can ask them any question, they know everything, but they have a terrible attitude. You know, they, they, they treat you like trash and it’s like, I don’t want to work with this person.

You know, it’s horrible. Right. You want to be somebody that can get along, can teach somebody, you know, people look up to and you have a personality, you know, that that’s the type of person you want to be. Um, so yeah, you can go around and pursue every cert that’s out there. Right. But if you’re still, you know, treat people like trash.

People are not going to like you, people are not going to want to work with you that doesn’t open up opportunities for you. You also, I mean, treat people well, it comes down to that. I mean, it’s just being human. That’s really, what we’re talking about today is, is do some of these basic things that, you know, basic human skills, you know, be human, treat [01:05:00] people, good.

Treat people with respect to work hard. I mean, things will happen, right.

A.J.: Be a good human

David: compassion have confession, you know, there’s people out there that are struggling. There’s people out there that are learning, uh, you know, they might not learn at the same pace you were learning. You don’t have some compassion and have some empathy.

You know, all these words that I’m just saying are just they’re they have nothing to do with Cisco. They have nothing to do with Juniper. What F five with forever. This is things that apply across the

Andy: board. Yep. Kind of soft skills. He right. Like exactly, but kind of, you know, and anybody could learn. You know, anybody can learn them like you can.

I think the episode is going to be David Elisia, a good human

David: He’s a good human, you know, it’s true. I mean, that’s really that’s if I can teach somebody, one thing is just, you know, work hard will [01:06:00] be essentially be a good human, you know, things will open up, you know, have patience, the inverse of being a good human words,

Andy: David Alisia don’t be an asshole.


A.J.: go with that. Good human. I like that.

Andy: That’s much better.

A.J.: All right. Well, our guest today is David Alicia solutions architect with Cisco in the Chicago area. And David, where can people go to find more about.

David: Oh, wow. Uh, you know, I’m on the interwebs. Uh, I am on, I am on the Twitters, uh, Davie 87, B a Y V E 87 on Twitter.

I also have a blog, which I know I need to get back to. I need to start blogging again. I need to start writing, uh, it says zeros and one w O N so play on words, zeros and one.blog. I

A.J.: love it. It’s a [01:07:00] great title. I like that. Excellent. And we can also find you in our discord. It’s all about the journey.

That’s the same as your Twitter handle. I believe. Yeah. That is correct. So if you want to join our discord and chat with Davey, you can do so you can go to art of net end forwards or outer dynamics.com forward slash I a T J I got to think about that all the time. It’s for, it’s all about the journey, because it is all about the journey.

Join, learn with people, share your knowledge, uh, you know, and just a lot of that good human stuff David was talking about, right? Like if you find somebody that’s struggling with a topic that you have had success with, spend the time, teach them, share your knowledge. Don’t don’t look down on them. Like, oh, you, you don’t know every single OSP F timer.

How dare you be a engineer. Exactly. Exactly. Awesome. David, thank you so much for joining us tonight. This has been an absolute pleasure. Any, uh, any last words of wisdom before we close out? [01:08:00] Uh,

David: yeah, no, I think, I think we’ve said every single type of motivational way that we can

A.J.: all good stuff though. Good stuff. Excellent. All right. Well, thanks again for. Uh, thank you to all of our patrons. Once again, we appreciate all your support and we appreciate everybody’s support. If you want to join your breakthrough on program, you can do so@patrion.com forward slash art of net enj. Uh, and we appreciate the support from our patrons as well as everybody, you know, or the download, follow us on Twitter or whatever you do.

We love it. We thank you so much. All of that mojo really, really helps. We’ll see you next week. On another episode of the art of network engineering podcast. Hey everyone, this is a J. If you like what you heard today, then make sure you subscribe to our podcast and your favorite podcatcher smash that bell icon to get notified of all of our future episodes.

Also follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We are at art of net enj. That’s part of an

David: E T [01:09:00] E N G.

A.J.: You can also find us on the web. At art of network engineering.com, where we post all of our show notes, you can read blog articles from the Cocos and guests, and also a lot more news and info from the networking world.

Thanks for listening. .

Published by The Art of Network Engineering

A podcast for network engineers focused on tools, technologies, and talent people.

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