Cisco Live is making its way back to the West Coast which is easier for me to travel and attend. There’s no excuse to miss it. I’ve attended Cisco Live since 2016 and have had a great experience each time. It gets better every single year for me. And last year I probably attended more social events than sessions but I also learned the most.
There’s still time to register. You’ll get a lot of value attending Cisco Live. This will be my 4th year attending which means I will be meeting NetVet status! There are some extra benefits when becoming a NetVet:
- Access to the NetVet Lounge
- A free e-book from Cisco Press
- Priority session scheduling
- A unique conference lanyard
- Priority keynote seating
- Reception with Chuck Robbins
While San Diego hotels cost a lot more, the location couldn’t be far from perfect. I used to live in San Diego for over 10 years. I also wanted to provide some tips post-CLUS. San Diego is a great vacation destination so I assume many of you will be spending personal time, either before or after Cisco Live.
With the C9800 WLC announcement, we can guarantee to hear a lot about the IOS-XE based controller. Completely different from the converged days I’ll be booking my sessions to learn the ins and outs of where Cisco wireless is headed.
7 New Ways To Fail as a Wireless Expert
Still, one of the best sessions you can join if you’re a new or seasoned wireless professional. If this is showing up for 2019, I highly recommend attending this one live. Steven Heinsius puts on a good show, he’s entertaining and keeps the discussion fun. His sessions get filled easily, even though Cisco gives him one of the largest rooms!
What’s new with Mobility Express? Are we going to see any updates? Mobility Express has potential as long as Cisco can continue to develop this platform. They can easily get preoccupied with Meraki and the new IOS-XE wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco has been pushing the intent-based networking message for many years now. How far have they come along? Is DNA prime time? When should we move to the software-defined networks? How does it compare to the competitors’ solution? Do we still need multiple servers to take advantage of all the features? I’d like to hear some use cases of who has DNA in their environment and how it’s working for them.
If you haven’t heard from Clear To Send, in our news segment of episode 160 and 161 we mentioned new APs that were identified in FCC applications. Will we hear about 802.11ax at Cisco Live US? 2019 would be posed to be the year of 802.11ax. Looking at Cisco Live Barcelona there are one or two sessions on designing for 802.11ax so we could see this coming up soon.
Programmability / Coding
One goal for me in 2019 is to focus on learning Python. It’s inevitable for network engineers. We want work to be faster, more efficient, and automated. When it comes to working with Cisco technologies, what can we do to utilize APIs to extend the capabilities of our devices? What data can we gather to display actual results or actionable next steps?
In addition to the sessions catered to programmability, I highly recommend checking out the DevNet Zone in World of Solutions. There are multiple different sessions available tackling automation with Meraki, access learning labs, workshops and more. You get hands-on in the DevNet Zone.
You can catch me recording a Clear To Send episode at the podcast domain. Ever since this has been included, thanks to Lauren, I’ve enjoyed interviewing different people from within Cisco. You can check out some of these episodes here: Cisco Advanced Services and Location-Based Services.
Being part of this great group of individuals has truly been a game changer at Cisco Live. All Cisco Champions have gathered together for group photos, tours of the World of Solutions prior to Cisco Live, viewing future technologies Cisco is working on, and getting a whole lot of interaction with fellow Cisco Champions.
Cisco Live is one big social event. I find that I learn more by speaking with my peers. While we all chat on Twitter, Slack, and WebEx Teams, it doesn’t match the interaction you get in-person. There are many meetups and parties you can attend to meet new people or finally meet that person you’ve been tweeting with. Stay on top of social media to find out when Twitter, Cisco Champion, happy hours, and other meetups occur.
- Bring walking shoes.
- Bring a jacket – sometimes the A/C is blasting inside the conference.
- Bring sandals (to hit the beach after your last session).
- Portable battery packs – for your mobile devices.
- Drink plenty of water – it’s best you bring your own reusable. I like to use my Hydro Flask. Empty out the contents before you pass through TSA.
- Tylenol might be useful for those headaches. Either from learning so much by the fire hose or from partying the night before.
- Add Lyft to your phone. You’ll want to get places quickly without renting a car.
- Add Lime to your phone. Don’t want to ride in a car? It’s San Diego, take a scooter down the Embarcadero.
- Book your sessions once they’re available. Some fill up quickly and you’ll be let on the waitlist.
- Book your exam early! Schedule it on Saturday or Sunday before the chaos of the conference begins.
- Download the Starbucks app. The lines for coffee get really long. Download the app and do mobile purchase. Skip the lines.
- Don’t bring a backpack. You’ll get one at Cisco Live.
- Leave room in your luggage. If you plan on grabbing swag, this is the conference that will fill up your bag, easily.
- Hang around after each of your sessions and thank the presenter.
- Check out DevNet Create and get hands on.
- Bring sunglasses.
- Bring a hat. San Diego doesn’t get too hot but it may be sunny!
A Blast From Cisco Live Past
Here are some of the highlights from the last three years attending Cisco Live.
What To Do In San Diego
Every time in San Diego I must stop by the best taco shop anywhere, Tacos El Gordo. Other fine Mexican food establishments
- La Posta (hole-in-the-wall) – My absolute favorite
- Tacos El Gordo
Just a quick drive over the Coronado bridge and you’ll be in one of the most scenic locations in San Diego. Make some time to dip your feet in the water and grab a drink from the Hotel del Coronado. Take a couple of selfies of this wonderful beach. Did you know the dunes in the sand spell out Coronado?
Only 20 minutes away from the convention center is a popular destination in San Diego. Balboa Park is home to Spanish architecture and incredible museums such as the Space Museum and historic museum.
San Diego Zoo
If your family is coming along for the summer vacation, be sure to stop by the zoo. It’s next door to Balboa Park. It’s a large Zoo with plenty to see.
Take a Lime scooter down the Embarcadero. It’s a beautiful location. You’ll have the wind in your hair. Just watch out for the pedestrians.
Perfect place to take your kids. Adults love it too. Last time I was here they had the actual set from the Lego Movie.
Have you ever set foot on an aircraft carrier? San Diego has one that was converted into a museum. It’s a short walk from the Convention Center and is worth checking out even if you just want to take photos.
Views of San Diego
There are three locations where you can get a great scenic view of Downtown San Diego:
- Harbor Island Drive – Near Island Prime restaurant
- Coronado Centennial Park
- Cabrillo National Monument
Cisco Live is really about relationships. I go to this event because I value the people I interact with on social media and look forward to seeing them in person at this yearly event. It’s also a great time to meet new people, learn new technologies and a way for me to get excited about what’s to come.
Get out of your comfort zone and walk up to people you may know from Twitter. Let someone know you’ve read their blog. We’re a friendly bunch. Introduce yourself and share your knowledge no matter how much you know. Just arrive with a smile.
You can catch me at Cisco Live 2019. Hit me up on Twitter and come find me. I’ll be handing out Clear To Send stickers.