Posted by: Richard @ | August 15, 2008

My trip to San Jose, California

I travelled to San Jose last week to attend Cisco’s “New Hire Field Training” event.  The event was a big success; I visited the HUGE campus @ San Jose for the first time (well, actually it was my first trip to the US full-stop) and experienced the wonder that is the San Jose “Executive Briefing Center”.  This included a full demo of the “Telepresence Experience

(The display quality and audio distribution is simply awesome!)
and the chance to stand in front of a MASSIVE 7940! (sorry no pics).  We were also demo’d some fancy UC solutions, a mobility inc. location tracking solution, as well as a DC/SP solution featuring a CRS-1 – now that is one BIG router!  We watched an IronPort demo on glass panels that turned into a PC display!

and we also had the opportunity to visit the Cisco TV centre
It was also a chance for us to meet some of the great minds within Cisco – the speakers were incredible, although, “death by powerpoint” sprang to mind at some points during the week…
If I’m totally honest however, the basis of the event being a success month-after-month is probably down-to the relationships it allows a “new hire” to build; I met some great people from all over the world, including but not limited to – America, Russia, Sweden, Trinidad, Brazil, Germany, and the Netherlands.  I plan to keep in-touch with many of them.
I had two low points during the week (not bad for me
J); the first being when I made the statement “My laptop seems be charging really slowly! it’s like it’s half the rate it normally does” –> I got a reply something like “That’s because it’s 110 volts over here” –> doh L
The other low point was the level of ‘geek excitement’ (not pretty!) I displayed when entering the Cisco Shop! – I ended up buying a new folder, two new shirts, and a sweatshirt – it could have been a lot more!
J  I’ve been told that’s normal but people get really good at sneaking into the shops when no-one is looking…  Numerous freebies were also handed-out at during an evening event, looking back now I’m thinking I may have took too much advantage of that lol
We all got a great insight into the message that the chiefs at Cisco send down to the staff and it was very nice to hear; the ethics of the company were highlighted more-than-once, in addition to Cisco’s desire to help businesses succeed (mini-disclaimer: you may be reading this and have had different experiences/have a different opinion but you can take comfort in the fact that the right message is being broadcasted internally)
I started studying again yesterday evening and barring any major stumbling blocks I plan to continue until my new exam date of September 30th.   My return to the States at the end of the month might be one of those stumbling blocks but the exam date I have chosen should give me some flexibility on that front.  The CCIE QuickFire workbook is a great help, here are a few more questions extracted from it:


1) LACP = {“Proprietary” | “Open Standard ‘standard'”}
1a) What is the maximum number of interfaces supported in a port-channel by LACP?
1b) What is the maximum number of standby interfaces supported by LACP?
1c) PDU’s are sent over the {“Lowest” | “Highest”} numbered VLAN on a trunk
1d) DTP and CDP packets are sent over the {“Lowest No.” | “Highest no. ” | “All”} bundle member(s)

2) PAGP = {“Proprietary” | “Open Standard ‘standard'”}
2a) What is the maximum number of interfaces supported in a port-channel by PAGP?
2b) What is the maximum number of standby interfaces supported by PAGP?
2c) PDU’s are sent over the {“Lowest” | “Highest”} numbered VLAN on a trunk
2d) DTP and CDP packets are sent over the {“Lowest No.” | “Highest No. ” | “All”} bundle member(s)

3) The default priority of a standby interface is {‘number’}
3a) The interfaces with the {“lowest” | “highest”} priorities will be used

4) {LACP | PAGP} supports the silent attribute

5a) The two channel-group command options for LACP are {“‘keyword’ and ‘keyword'”}
5b) The two channel-group command options for PAGP are {“‘keyword’ and ‘keyword'”}
5c) The other two channel-group command options are {“‘keyword’ and ‘keyword'”}











1) Open Standard 802.3ad
1a) 8
1b) 8
1c) Lowest
1d) All

2) Proprietary
2a) 8
2b) 0
2c) Lowest
2d) All

3) 32768
3a) Lowest


5a) Active and Passive
5b) Auto and Desirable
5c) On and Off

I’m so desperate to get hands-on now!  I just keep telling myself that the amount of time I’m spending on the theory now will be advantageous in the long-run.

Lastly, for anybody involved in ‘NHFT August 2008’ reading this post (the host, the event organisers, the speakers, the attendees, etc) –> Thank You J


  1. Nice to have you back Richard looking forward to seeing some more posts on what it is like to work at Cisco.

  2. Thanks Ferret,

    I’ll try to keep it interesting, not every week is spent in San Jose 🙂

  3. CONGRATULATIONS Man… I knew you’d go on to huge things, Well Done!!

    So when are you planning on putting a good word for me then? ;]

  4. Sounds like they are keeping you busy, you ole globe trotter ..

    how is the laptop now ;0)

  5. Thanks Mark,
    Let’s see how many rounds you buy at Christmas first 🙂

  6. Hey Shaun,

    How are you and the family?

    They definitely are! Hopefully things are settling down again now – back to the real world for a while… (or at least Cisco’s interpretation of it).

    The laptop is fine now thanks 🙂 Although I did think I had broken it, I even went as far as having it swapped because when I got back to the UK whenever it was on AC power it locked up (“hmmm, that’s a coincidence”), turned out to be a service running on the laptop – very strange.

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