It should be safe to say that most of us have had a tough time these past two years, no matter what our view of things – the world has changed around us. We all have been learning to adapt, understand, and cope with what has happened. I am sure that we are all looking to get back to some normalcy in our lives.

“Troubles, they may come and go, but good times, they're the gold.”
― Dave Matthews Band

In the past one of our normalcies has been an event called Cisco Live – or Nerd Camp as some of us have come to affectionately call it. It is a place where you gather with friends who share the same passions, a place where you make new acquaintances, and ultimately a place where we learn new technologies together for the networking world.

Our last in-person event was in 2019 in San Diego, CA – since then Cisco Live has been forced to go online only due to the changes in the world Granted we still got our dose of new technology learning from a firehose with the online sessions, but they are just not the same as being in a classroom setting listening to the speaker. Online sessions are missing the human touch that we get by being in person at the event, by asking questions in the session, by conversing with the speakers after the session, and ultimately by connecting to our peers in the session. Online sessions are missing the interactions we can gain when we are together.

“I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be okay.”
― Dave Matthews Band

It seems as things have settled down domestically in the US and we are able to get back to some normalcy with in-person events, one of those being Cisco Live US which is being held from June 12 – 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV at the Mandalay Bay. Yup, we are back live and in-person in Vegas baby! We have a standard choice of hotels as well – these include Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor, Four Seasons, Park MGM, and Aria. You can find the list as well as their pricing on the Cisco Live site by following this link. One last thing to note is that Cisco Live has posted the below Health and Safety message, so please be aware of this if you plan to attend in person:

Health and Safety

At Cisco Live 2022, the health and safety for our customers, partners, event staff, and Cisco employees remains a top priority. All attendees joining the in-person event in Las Vegas will need to be fully vaccinated, no exceptions, and will be required to validate their vaccination status. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and may adjust health and safety protocols as we approach the event.

“Don’t you rob yourself of what you’re feeling; don’t rob yourself of all that you could be.” 
― Dave Matthews Band

While the session catalog is currently being populated, the shift to 5G as well as more DevOp/NetOp approach is evident in the session list this year. Heck, they each earned their own Checkbox filter to demonstrate the shift. There is a slew of other topics that I suspect will be hot this year – SD-WAN, ThousndEyes, Hybrid Work, Hybrid Cloud, just to name a few. Our industry is changing and Cisco Live provides us a great chance to dip our toes into new learning opportunities.

In my view, this DevOp/NetOp transition has been greatly accelerated over the past few years and is one that we need to pay attention to. The move to a more cloud-based approach with quick-turn changes has made this necessary. I will admit that many of us old dinosaurs out there have ignored this in the past, yet once we open our eyes to it we see the light – I know I have. Personally speaking, the NetOps/DevOps/SRE approach has recharged me as I am enjoying it. I like to contribute to the code that solves some of our more complex customer issues and provide a solution that works for today, tomorrow, and helps them transition to the future.

"Take what you can from your dreams, make them as real as anything." 
― Dave Matthews Band

Lastly, an awesome event to note about the conference this year is who Cisco has lined up for the Cisco Live Celebration event on the 15th. As may have noticed, I have sprinkled this post with some great quotes from Dave Matthews Band, that are intentional. I was surprised to see that they had Brittany Howard and Dave Matthews Band lined up for us to chill out to. WhenI think about the choices, it is the perfect choice for a welcome back event. These are the type of bands that we all can just enjoy and listen to.

I am hoping I get the opportunity again to see many of you again this year, to reconnect, to just hang out. Fingers crossed we get to see each other soon!

“Turns out, not where, but who you're with that really matters.”
-- Dave Matthews