Last Saturday I gave a free lecture in my former university with the topic "How to compete in global networking market by becoming a CCIE". I was invited first just to give information on how to become CCIE, pretty much to deliver the same presentation I did in Networkers Indonesia early this year. But then I thought most of the audiences are students, even though the lecture is opened for professionals too, and they may need more information about the career in networking field instead. So I called some of my CCIE colleagues to come and tell the story about their career – how did they start, what drives them to continue, how they got support to finance their CCIE lab, where are they today as CCIE, and so on – which I believe it’s more important for those students to hear.
So I started the lecture by introducing myself and share the story about my life and how I started my journey. I also mentioned that the tipping point of my life was after I passed my first CCIE lab. That made me able to start moving around and competing in the global networking market from Asia to Middle East, and finally I’m able to join Cisco Advanced Services as what I always want to. My friend who works in Cisco product development team in San Jose, who happened to be in country for vacation, shared his story about how he had to drop his master degree to pursue CCIE. But it was worth it, though. Once he passed, he’d been working in large scale projects ever since until he decided to take the offer to go to US though consulting agency. And now he has worked for Cisco Systems San Jose in few different business units. One other friend told the story of what he had to give up to finance his CCIE lab: his home. It was definitely a very hard decision since he’s married with few kids. But he took the risk, passed the exam, and moved to a bigger company that can return him his investment. The last friend shared his experience in passing CCIE lab in first attempt, then decided to stick in the same company until he became senior manager, one option that may be taken by any CCIE after they get bored abusing networking gears.
I didn’t stop only with stories. I shared my point of view of the career in networking in general, then the engineering career in Cisco Systems as what I see, I hear and I have been through. Once I believe the class has got clear picture about it, and definitely I didn’t forget to mention one way to boost the career is by passing CCIE lab, I also shared my opinion about How to Become Engineer ++, which explains on few things that every engineer should have and the way to distinguish ourselves in the global competition. Before I repeated my slide on How to Become CCIE, I did few slides on How to Start Your Career in Networking which I believe is important too since most of the time the first step to begin is the most difficult step. Those are actually based on my writings in my other blog in native language.
Does it sound lame to you? Well, for them who have seen and done many, it’s kinda waste of time to listen to such thing. But for those students who don’t know what the career in real networking world is all about , or professionals who want to switch their career to networking, the lecture may be a good information and as something to begin with. The class was full, by the way. Those folks who arrange this event must even rejected some guys to enter the class since there is no more space available even they still insist to join. And even the lecture was recorded, and it was broadcasted as well to other universities in my country, I know it’s still can’t beat the experience to have a discussion directly with the presenters. Especially since I brought some merchandises from Cisco for the raffle draw in the end of the lecture. Well, students are the same everywhere. They need free goodies :). That may be the only reason why most of them stayed for 4 hours that day.
I have to admit as much as I enjoy giving speech in public to try to convince others, deep inside I like to do this to convince myself too. I mean my journey in networking field is getting harder and harder, and I have moved to new position several times when I have reached the top level in my current position. Everytime I get comfortable, I move. And it’s not as easy as it looks like. I have to start from beginning, understand the process and build the relationship again. So giving free lecture like this offers mutual benefits; for others to hear about all decisions I took to reach my level today and learn from all my mistakes, and for me to convince myself that I have to carry on so I can continue to spread the information.
Robert Frost once wrote, I took the one (road) less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. So no matter how hard it is, somebody has to do this journey. Somebody must take the risk. And one who has done it should share the story to others. To share the information. To make the history. And, to be immortalized.
I hereby offer to anyone interested, everytime I travel and when I have spare time, I’m opened for the invitation to give similar lecture in any location to anyone without exceptions. Obviously as time goes by my story will grow longer and longer, even How to Become CCIE will still be the main part. Everyone likes to hear story and they want to get the most updated one. The most challenging, the break through, and full of new adventures as eye-opener. This mean I must not stop the journey. I should not stay in my comfort zone. I shall continue to go where there is no path and leave the trail. And in order to support this idea, I will post my schedule in the Where Am I? sidebar of this blog so anyone willing to arrange the class can get the idea of the best time to do so. For example, I will be in Brussels in mid September then Czech Republic until end of the month, then I will be in Spain during the first week of October. I'm willing to give the lecture to anyone and in any location, but please remember I can do it only in English, or in my native language of course.
I’m a pioneer. A dreamer, a blogger, a traveler.
I’m a storyteller, and this is my story.
So, free lecture, anyone?
- The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means to an education. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)