Are You Looking For The Most Interesting Job At Cisco? It’s all about hands-on experience
Want to know the coolest job at Cisco? Let’s take a guess…
It is not the VP for sales or the head of systems engineering. Nor is it the CTO. It’s not even CEO!
Side note: Chuck Robbins, a truly cool guy, is Chuck. We met him the other night:
Cisco’s most exciting job is helping people recover from natural disasters.
Imagine that you had relatives in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina 2005. How worried would it make you if they couldn’t be reached?
What was the first thing that crossed your mind as you watched the TV and listened to the reporters discuss the number of missing persons?
Cisco’s tactical operations team is available to help with any emergency. This team includes first responders who are highly skilled and have a lot of experience in restoring communications after a tornado or earthquake, hurricane, or tsunami.
The truck used by the tactical operations team is called the NERV (network Emergency Response Vehicle). It is equipped with all the technology necessary to make things run wherever it goes. It’s basically a network on wheels.
Field communications must be mobile and easily deployable in an emergency situation. The NERV is designed to be fully functional in less than 20 minutes, can be shut down in 15 minutes (in the event it’s required in a different place), and can power its own systems using an on-board generator.
The NERV is a cool device, but the real heroes are the highly-skilled members the tactical operations group. Here’s an example: When communications are required in places the NERV cannot travel to quickly enough, the tactical operation team uses mobile kit to set up wired, satellite, data, voice, and wireless communications.
Sometimes, they camp out in the disaster area for days to ensure that emergency services, police, and fire departments are available. They have the proper connectivity to continue their operations and can communicate with their loved one. This is the most exciting job at Cisco!
This NexGenT interview features Chandler Johnson, a member the tactical operations team that has helped restore communications around the globe. He walks us through the NERV vehicle, and gives us valuable career advice.
You should have noticed that Chandler offered some key career advice to people who want to be successful in tech careers. He recommends that you become familiar with all the technologies involved in learning automation and networking.
The reason for the first is clear: networks are more than just routers or switches. They are made up of many technologies that must be combined in a specific way to ensure smooth operation. You are wrong to think that companies will continue to hire people to specialize in IT. Full-stack network engineers are needed by companies to help them save money and streamline their operations.
More information on this topic is available here
Chandler’s second recommendation is also quite obvious: Automation makes everything easier. If you want to be a successful tech professional, you need to learn how automate repetitive tasks and routine tasks. Why is this important? As you can see in the video, automation allows volunteers to contribute to restoring communications. Similar results can be seen in companies.
Here’s a second question:
Do you think Chandler or any other tactical operations team member would have any difficulty landing a “normal” job in tech? I don’t believe so. These people have so much experience that they would be a blessing for any company to have them in their teams.
Related: How to get 6 figure job offers at top tech companies in 2-4 years, even if you don’t have any experience.
You should have noticed that Chandler stated at one point, “I had to learn lots on the job” and that “I didn’t have any formal training prior to joining the team.” The tactical operations team must manage many of the technologies within the full stack of networking. It is impossible to learn all of these technologies by traditional education methods.
You’ll learn about them and perhaps even understand them. You can only be sure that you have learned them by building something. You have to actually do it! Companies value hands-on experience. Even if you are just learning through these techniques.
If you believe that hands-on experience is what matters in the IT industry, then you should apply for the Zero to Engineer career program. You will learn how to create your own full-stack networking projects, as well as how to land your dream job in IT.
Zero to Engineer’s sole purpose is to equip you with the skills you need to rocket through the industry. The program is akin to military training. In fact, the creators of Zero to Engineering graduated over 1,000 engineers while serving as IT instructors at Air Force. This program is designed to prepare you for the field and not give you fancy words that could make you wonder if you are ready to contribute value to companies.
Chandler and his team don’t have to worry about gaining hands-on experience. They already have the most exciting job at Cisco. However, not everyone is so lucky. For those just starting out, it can be difficult to get a job.