I know that we live in a globalized world, full of virtual friends linked via social sites – and honestly that is great. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people all over the world now that our world is indeed so much ‘smaller’ because of technology. I love it. I do. However, when I actually get to really meet those people, in person, face to face, I can’t help but feel something of a bit more connected to them. Shaking someone’s hand, actually seeing their face, still means something I think. I think this is why all of us in the networking community really enjoy coming together annually at Cisco Live – Networkers. We get to put faces with names, and see old faces that we have connected with in years past.
It’s one of the reasons I still very much like teaching live classes, and I believe why students still like attending them. You not only get a captive audience with the student/instructor for a solid two weeks, but you also get to see and hear and talk to someone in person. You get to hear their story. What makes them … them. What drives them. You get to actually know them. I also think that meeting in person is something intentional, and that if you had the inkling of maybe putting off your studies for a night after work, that if you were a part of a study group that actually met in person, you’d be less likely to cancel – maybe feel a bit more committed or obligated to show up.
So to that end, I would like to find out if there is anyone living in the Los Angeles / Orange County / San Diego area that would be interested in a CCIE study group one night per week. I propose Mondays, but I am open to any night Monday-Thursday, really. This would be a group where anyone studying for their CCIE in any track could come together and study for a few hours each week. Obviously, we’d break apart and each study in our own sub-groups dedicated to the track we are trying to attain. When we first meetup, we would devise an agenda for the coming months, and focus on those topics when we meet each week. And as is usual, the stronger in a given topic domain help out the weaker, and we all grow. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all have something to gain from each other.
I would like to find out who all might be interested in meeting in this area, and actually in any area for that matter. While I can’t host the group in every city, I’d still be interested if there are more than just one person studying for a given cert in each city. I would venture to guess that there are.
For the LA/OC area, I would be more than happy to host, and provide all the coffee and a snacks each week. As I said above, we could have multiple people come together even if studying for different tracks. I would be quite happy to participate in the Data Center, Voice and Security groups primarily. Respond either in the comments below or by known unicasting me some email if you are interested, or even if you would be interested in hosting a group in another city.
About Mark Snow, CCIE #14073:
Mark Snow has been actively working with data and traditional telephony as a Network Consulting Engineer since 1995, and has been working with Cisco Call Manager and voice-over technology since 1998. Mark has been actively teaching and developing content for the CCIE Voice track since 2005, and the Security track since 2007. Mark's story with both data and voice technology started out quite young, as he began learning around the age of five from his father who was a patented inventor and a research scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Mark started out on Unix System V and basic analog telephony, and went on from there to large data networking projects with technologies such as Banyan Vines, IPX and of course IP, and large phone systems such as Nortel 61c, Tadiran Coral, Avaya Definity and of course Cisco Unified Communications Manager in both enterprise and 911 PSAP environments across the US and internationally. Mark is also an accomplished pilot and punched his ticket in 2001. When Mark isn't learning, labing, consulting or teaching, he can be found either piloting or possibly jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, hanging off a rock somewhere or else skiing out west. He also might just be enjoying a quiet day at the beach with his wife and two wonderful young kids, Ryleigh and Judah.
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