Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cisco Live!: Survival Guide

By now most people in the networking industry have heard that there will be a large gathering of networking people in San Diego, CA June 7-11.  For those that are going, especially first timers, here are some of my tips and tricks.


This is to me the meat of the week.  The training sessions offered at Cisco Live! are some of the best training you can find.  Most of them are taught by subject matter experts from within Cisco including TAC.  Be ready for a drink from the fire hose of knowledge.

Ben's Cisco Live! Training Tips

  • Download the presentations ahead of time.
  • Find a good PDF annotation program for your device of choice.
  • Take notes directly in the PDFs.
  • Turn off your other devices during training if you can.
  • Be willing to ask questions.
Networking (People That Is)

Next to the training, networking with other people has been my favorite part of Cisco Live! conferences.  It's great to have a network of people that do the same thing you do, especially when you hit a bug or problem and can suddenly get multiple people's take on it.

Ben's Cisco Live! Networking Tips

  • Setup a Twitter Account
  • Sit with someone you don't know at breakfast and lunch.
  • Be a sponge, some of the greatest minds in our industry will be out and about, you might just learn something.
Surviving the Conference Itself

If you've never been to a very large tech conference, you might not know what you're in for so here are my tips.

Ben's Cisco Live! Survival Tips

  • Wear a comfortable pair of shoes.
  • Bring first aid supplies for blisters and sunburn.
  • Prepare to be cold, hot and then cold again in the same day. (wear layers)
  • Travel light, you'll have a lot of stuff to haul back from the conference so plan on that when you pack.  If you're able to wear XL t-shirts figure you'll get 3-4 free ones at the conference.
  • Bring chargers and a power strip.  Outlets in the conference center are at a premium so be a friend and bring a power strip.
Hope to see you all there, if you're not registered yet, you still have time.  Just click here.

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