Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cisco Live 2015 - First Time

This year's Cisco Live 2015 was held in San Diego.  It was my first time going to this great event.  I had been wanting to go for the last several years.  This year the opportunity presented itself.  So, here are my thoughts and experiences.

Through my experience, I came up with a number of what I would call "pro-tips."  Firstly, I would highly recommend getting yourself a pair of very good walking shoes.  I'm glad that my better half talked me into getting walking shoes as I found myself walking from the get go.  There was the walking in the airport from the check-in counter to the gate to the baggage claim both on the flight to Cisco Live and the return flight. Not to mention the walking in the convention center, the walking to get food and the walking to catch the shuttle from the hotel to the convention center.

Secondly, keep hydrated.  Though one might not notice that they are using up their water supply keeping cool, drinking an adequate supply of water is very important when you are in a climate or altitude that you have not been acclimatized to.

Thirdly, carry some snacks.  I found myself getting very hungry in between meal times.  Sometimes, it would take an hour or two past a normal meal time to finish whatever is going on before getting to a provided meal or going to a local restaurant.

Fourthly, if possible, get your conference badge on the day before the events kick into full swing.  The lines are small and the process is quick.  And finally, travel lightly.  Carry a small tablet or pad device.  The Cisco Live app for your favorite portable device is handy for keeping tabs on what is going on and for scheduling.

Next, I took the Cisco CCDA exam on site just to see what the experience is like and to do a recon mission on the exam per the excellent advice from  and .  I like the idea of not counting the first attempt at an exam.  I had already obtained my certification in CCNP R/S a few years ago and figured I can work on getting my certification in CCDP as I’m setting my sights on CCIE R/S.  I found that it is important to get your studying done and be mentally prepare before your test at Cisco Live.  Along with the few opportunities to take your chosen exam, there will be sessions to attend, events and meet-ups during the evening after which you may find yourself a bit exhausted.  I would have to say that during the convention the Cisco/PearsonVue team made the process of getting checked-in quick and simple.  The fact that they placed the testing room in a quite and secluded of the convention center was very appreciated.

Final thoughts, I found that there was too much to try to take in during the short four days.  I will try to make this a yearly event for myself or at least a nearly annual event.