Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Promise

One of the TV series that I like the most and watched recently is The Office. It's a unique comedy series offers documentary-style look at the 9-to-5 white collar work at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company. The central of the office is the boss, Michael Scott, who's described as "..believes he is the office funnyman and a fountain of business wisdom.. comes off alternately absurb and pathetic, but always hilarious.." There are some other characters like Pam, the office receptionist who bears the brunt of Michael's behavior, Dwight, the annoying assistant to Michael, and Jim the sales rep who together with Pam always finds ways to torment Dwigth.

After watching the full season 1 and 2, and half of season 3 continuously in 4 days, I have just realized how lucky I am that I have never had a chance to have someone like Michael as my boss. He's hilarious indeed, but I don't think I could stand him in real life. Watching Dwigth and all his superb moves must be funny on TV, but I guess it wouldn't be that funny if I had to face him as my co-worker.

(You may ask why on earth I watched The Office continuously in 4 days? Well, that's the only way to do it, isn't it? Same like when I watched Lord of the Ring 1-2-3 continuously, or Star Wars 1 to 6 in a day. Or perhaps it's more like when I watched full season 1 and 2 of Lost in 4 days, or Scrubs full season 1 to 4 in 3 days. That's the only way to see whether it's a good show or not. By the way, I watched Lost and Scrubs when I was jobless for a complete week. And it's obvious that Star Wars 4-5-6 trilogy is much better than the new 1-2-3 trilogy)

When I left my previous company to join Cisco, I made a promise to myself that I will not repeat the same mistakes that I did in the past: keep complaining about my job, whining about my office and bringing all my problems at work into my personal life. In a company like Cisco Systems that kind of promise should be easy to keep, right?

My office in Cisco is much better than Dunder Mifflin. The most thing that I like about it: free food. Anything inside the fridge is free for anyone. And we have a free vending machine. What kind of vending machine that can works without putting the coin? The one in my office. And that's not all, we also have Banana day every Monday. It means someone will come on Monday and drop lots of green bananas to the pantry. I normally take several bananas and put them on my table for few days until their colours turn to yellow. Green banana is no good, yellow banana is good.

I have my own space, an open partition with wireless network connection. My space is close to printer that I like to torture from time to time, close to the restroom, quite close to the pantry. It's more than enough, rite? And the other good thing about my office is: I never have a chance to stay in it for long. I keep traveling to my country for some projects so during my first 2 months in Singapore I spent only less than 10 working days in the office. How about my boss? He's a nice guy. A perfect boss. He always travels from one place to another place even more ofter than me, and all my communication so far has been through email or messaging. So it's quite rare for me to have a meeting with him other than the one through MeetingPlace. And we are actually based in the same office. So he's perfect.

What about the building? Well, can't tell you much. It's called Capital Tower in Robinson Road, Singapore. Next to the train station. This makes me happy since I can take Singapore train system and pop up directly near my office. But I can't take the picture of the building for some unknown reason. Last time I tried it some security personnel asked me to stop without telling me why. Perhaps because the building hosts several American companies. Or perhaps because I heard it hosts an office for some Singapore's VIP. So no pictures. There is a big fish pool on the ground full of.. fishes. This Singapore office perhaps is not as much fun as San Jose office (with all its facilities as I heard), but it's still better than the one in The Office. And it's my office. That's all I can say now.

How about my co-workers? They are all better than me. I'm a double CCIE.. so what? Everyone in my team is a CCIE. The guy sitting next to me is a Triple CCIE. One guy has two CCIE and JNCIE. And one of the sales manager is a double CCIE. They all have better experience than me. Some guys used to work for big organizations such as AT&T or NTT. One guy even used to work in San Jose as testing engineer. Most of them come with extensive experience in Service Provider market. And those guys are only the one I meet in Singapore office, not to mention other teams outside Singapore that may do more interesting stuff. So I'm nobody here. I'm just ordinary.

Well, I guess being ordinary in such wonderful place like Cisco is still awesome. But I need to do something that can make myself as competitive and useful for this organization. I need to show my values. I need to be able to set myself apart from the others. But I need to do it a single step at a time. Like passing my third CCIE in Service Provider track.

So now it’s time to make a new promise: CCIE in SP track within the next 4 months. I must focus on that target. Actually it’s my previous target, I’m a bit behind my schedule. I was supposed to pass it when I was still 30. You know what they say: it's better to be late than not doing it. So I have to start the journey from beginning and finish it this time. This is my promise.


Anonymous said...

I wonder what is Cisco support for employees when they want to get CCIE.. Do they provide devices for LAB, budget for bootcamps or workbooks??

Anonymous said...


Your previous experience to gain really motivate me. Currently, I'm working in on of Service Provider in in Kuala Lumpur about almost 3 years.

Recently, I just completed my CCIP. My biggest challenge right now is preparing for the CCIE Service Provider which for the next couple years before my CCIP expired.

What is your advise on this perusing CCIE Service Provider? I heard that people saying that it's advisable to take the R&S first and then complete the SP.



Anonymous said...

CCIE SP in 4 months, hmmm I would say it is longtime to do it.
SP is about L3VPN tricks. Just do the 3 labs of IEMentor, and undertstand very well MPLs and VPN arch. V1, and V2. I promise in 2 months you can make it.

take care and enjoy the bananna day :)

Himawan Nugroho said...

hi anonymous,
Cisco offers all employees the internal training (class or web based), free safary for online books like all ciscopress and others, and chance to take the lab..twice I guess

hi maher,
nice to meet you in KL last week :)
Since you are already working for SP, I recommend you to go for CCIE SP. Being double CCIE is much fun but it depends on your focus really

hi another anonymous,
CCIE SP in 2 months? I hear you...
my biggest enemy is time. Unfortunately my notebook is not powerful enough to load dynamips so I can't study while flying from one spot to another, but will try my best to complete before May

Anonymous said...

I also recommend and did try IEMentor sp workbook and I think layout and format was great I did find few mistakes in solutions and reported them to there team. I do recommend some backround in R&S because workbook has many complex features where you must understand basic R&S to troubleshoot otherwise you might be wasting your money. I sure send them many emails about questions and some trobleshooting issues I had but they did support and responded to all my emails when I had questions.


Anonymous said...

CHEAT...cmon get a life ... your only fooling yourself

Himawan Nugroho said...

Hi anynomous, are you the same guy who sent the email to SP groupstudy saying that I cheat?
If you feel like I cheat in my lab, there is a mechanism to report it to Cisco. Send all your information to ccielab team. You know my real name. You know my number. You know I work for Cisco Advanced Services in APAC. There is nothing hidden on me.
And it looks like you sent the email from Malaysia IP address. Just FYI, I have been in Malaysia for so many times so if you think you want to meet to accuse me even more, I always stay in Shangrila Sultan Ismail - Kuala Lumpur everytime I visit the country.

Or you may call me cheat, because instead of having multi-year experience with Service Provider, I spent more than 7 years with Enterprise customer.
You may call me cheat because instead of building my SP skills from my own experience, I used some workbooks and VOD to speed up the process.
You may call me cheat because instead of study in regular hours, I decided to live separate from my family, sleep 2-3 hours a day, and practice the workbook in any chance that I have.

My weakness is I like to share my experience with others. Everytime I pass something, I like to tell everyone how I did it. I like to tell everyone that everything is possible, any certification can be passed even the hardest one with determination, strategy and hard work. And I do this because 6 years ago when I failed my first RS lab in Brussels, no one ever told me how difficult the lab was. So I failed most probably bcoz I never though I would ever ready for the lab. I failed because I never believed I could pass. And I don't want anyone to repeat my mistake.

If you call me cheat because of that, then so be it.

Zey said...

Hi Himawan, reading your blog really makes me feel more motivated to pursue my CCIE SP. And I wonder whether you know Joseph Goh from Cisco AS (Singapore)? :)

Himawan Nugroho said...

Hi Zey,
Joseph is in the same team with me. Well, at least for a bit while more :)

evision said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Raj said...

thanks for the blog.
im impressed and motivated!.

I have been waiting to take my CCNA for the last 5 years. but havent got around it due to small huddles.

i hope to achive this soon. one life, one passion.

Thanks Folks