My Cisco Live Journey – Part 1 – 2012

2012 – My introduction to #CLUS

For me this started in 2012, when my employer at the time was willing to let me go to Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego.    I knew absolutely nobody, I did some reading on how to get the most from the event – I had no idea what I was getting into.      I packed what I thought I needed into one standard roller bag and flew to the venue in San Diego.  For a few years my time was spent outside of the partner space, working for a small dairy producer and now for a cloud services provider here in Canada.  As the lone internetworking resource for the company, I was responsible for anything that had to do with routing, switching and security for the company – I was here to learn and catch up on the latest and greatest, but how?   There is so much content around every possible discipline and with Cisco now seriously in the server marketplace and virtulization really taking off, this was no long just about routing and switching.

I responded to a tweet by @networkingnerd – Tom Hollingsworth which was something as simple as “Hey I’m meeting up at 6pm in the corner of the convention centre”.   I didn’t have anything going on that arrival day, so I went there.   I ran into this jovial southern gentlemen who made fun of me for saying aboot, eh and sorry – but I made up for it when he tossed me a “Y’aller”.    Clearly Tom had the ability to bring people together, in a very relaxed manner.  This was some kind of dis-organized organization.    We played “Keynote bingo”, and compared notes about sessions; in the progress meeting some of the most intelligent and witty people I had ever met.   These people challenged me.

One of the most interesting people I met that day was Kellen Christensen – @ChrisTekIT a very interesting individual from Portland whom we struck up an immediate bond and to this day we have become good #CLUS friends.   We both worked in the dairy industry so we had some things in common and his general nerd-ery was very compatible with mine.   One day I hope to spend time with Kellen outside of #CLUS.   I remember fond memories of spending time at the Customer Appreciation Event with him, also wandering the World of Solutions floor.

Cisco Live! is overwhelming for a first timer, you almost need 2 full weeks to really see everything that is possible to see – 4 days is simply too short.   However after a week of up at 6AM and sleep at 1-2AM – it does start to drain on you.

I will feel bad for forgetting the names and twitter handles of all of the people I met that year.

Social was just a bunch of nerds in a corner that year.

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