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Cisco Live, the Half Way Mark
Well it�s my third day in Orlando and my second day attending Cisco Live. I have to say as my first time at Cisco Live and really my first time a major conference I�m really getting a little over loaded. Granted today was a lot better than yesterday. Learning the lay out of the conference and the schedule of the buses and food. Trying to digest all the information of a break out just as you�re walking into another one. Over whelming can be an understatement, especially when at the end of all that you drop in the �World of Solutions� and the insane bombardment of information and sales pitches you get there.
However, with that said I have to say this is an amazing experience. I absolutely love all the resources you have access to here. The ability to learn, in depth mind you, about any of the systems you either already have or are looking to implement. There are literally breakout sessions and labs on just about everything Cisco does (which as you probably know is just about everything at this point). The break outs are cut up into beginner (1000 level), intermediate (2000 level), and advance (3000 level). From my experience you really don�t want to waste your time on the 1000 level sessions unless maybe you�re just a manager level person who doesn't actually do the technical stuff and all you want is some 40,000 foot views. The 2000 level sessions are pretty well rounded. You get a good grasp of the technologies capabilities and some information on implementation and best practices. The 3000 level sessions are where it�s a t though. They�re amazing. Yesterday I was in a session for ISE deployment and the presenter, Aaron Woland, was not only fantastic as a presenter but knew every in and out of the product. These sessions are worth their weight in gold, and considering the average weight of a network engineer that�s impressive.
Also I have to applaud Cisco for its amazing organization skills. Everything from the bussing to the way they corral the herds of nerds into lunch lines. They also have what seems like hundreds of people just standing around asking how your day is going and if they can help you find something. Which is actually really creepy after you've been asked those questions ten times in 100 feet and all from someone who�s smiling so fakely it looks painful. The more I think about it the creepier it gets� anyway moving on.
Other than that it gets super lonely (thank the gods for Skype so I could see my family) at night since I�m here by myself. The room nice and big and I've been in far worse as far as amenities. The area I�m in is pretty nice too because there is just about every type of food or store you could want in a 1 mile radius. This is helpful since I�m attempting to go the entire week without a vehicle. The only really thing lacking is the bar scene. There are plenty of bars but other than Brick House next to the hotel, none of them have good beer selection. If I walk the farthest I�m willing to walk I can get to Tilted Kilt and they have an okay selection but of course what they lack in beer they make up for in scenery. I�m trying one last pub tonight that I�m hoping will have a good selection called Marlow's Tavern.
Anyway, I�m off to find that drink. I�m hoping to write up something about the solutions I learned about after the conference. I�ll be tweeting about the conference all week if you want to follow me @4d4mdotnet (you can click the Twitter link up top too).