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Eri Mizuno
Community Manager
Community Manager

Meet Fumihiro Takai, a new Cisco Designated VIP from Japanese Community

Fumihiro Takai, one of the Cisco Designated VIPs, is a senior network engineer with numerous technical certifications/qualifications. He now answers many technical questions thoughtfully in Cisco Community, but he says that his career started with liberal arts background and had nothing to do with IT area. "Questioners are seeking for even a small piece of information/clue" he says, "Please you don't try to be perfect, but what's important here is to create mutual learning experiences together just by giving your personal views/tips and to make sure to thank them when we get useful information."#VIPSpotligh_FumihiroTakai.pngCongratulations on becoming the VIP class 2023. Tell us about your current job and expertise.

I'm engaged in designing and building networks for customers as a network engineer at Hokuriku Computer Service., I enjoy working with a wide range of clients, from mid-size businesses to giant corporations, such as Fujitsu's large-scale projects and local customers' businesses across different sectors such as finance, agriculture, education, logistics, industrial, public sector, media, and human resources. Speaking of switch/security area where I've been awarded, our business has several business partners including Cisco. What else - I also cover our own internal network.

How does it feel like to be a Cisco Designated VIPs, the first VIP in the Japanese community?

Honestly, I'm still surprised, but it's a great honor that my contribution to the community was recognized. I think myself is just a community member who still has many things to learn from others and won't forget to stay curious and humble.


Can you share more your career story with us?

It may surprise you, my academic background where I came from was not IT, liberal arts, actually. So, I had very little knowledge in IT/network design when I was a student. I started my IT career as a programmer/database engineer at a software company and there I experienced system development. At that time, I was fascinated by the way various devices (such as HUBs, routers, and switches) connect and communicate with each other - and my interest grew since then, so I decided to change my career to become a network engineer. After that, I joined to the current company, and the rest is as mentioned above.

What brought you to the Cisco Community?

Looking back, I came to know about Cisco Community a long time ago when I was studying hard for a CCIE certification. With very few resources or someone to ask questions at that time, a guy who also aimed for the same qualification recommended me to visit Cisco Community, then I found it through online search. Back then, only English community was available at first, I never expected that the Japanese community would be launched later. I joined in 2007 and used to ask a lot of questions regarding CCIE.

Since the Japanese community was established in 2010, English community was the only option for you in 2007.
Any special stories in those days you could share?

Well, the exam is conducted in English, I understood that English was part of it to study. Back then, it was rare for someone in such a local company (Hokuriku Computer Service: Toyama Prefecture, Japan) to be interested in the CCIE certification, and I didn’t know anyone else around me who would try to do it. As it was thought to be unrealistic, it may have been a bold challenge. I saw myself as just an amateur, so I worked hard to build a network and tried to change the environment with my passion and vitality. Today, I guess you can access plenty of quality contents on YouTube, but during my time, that wasn't available. I was always looking for any information no matter how little it might be, to find useful blogs, meetups, and corporate seminars that people who wanted to become CCIE would be interested in.

Sounds that you were very active in various fields. Did you get the support or resources you expected from the English community at the time?

Actually, not much unfortunately. So, I was thrilled when I received an answer to my question from an expert. Even so, I never gave up and kept on posting, and I would always thank the contributors when I received a response.

You are very generous contributing to the Japanese community today. What was the trigger to do? And how did you acquire that knowledge?

As I remember how grateful it is when I got a sound advice/answer, so I'd think it's because I wanted to give back to someone. All my knowledge and experiences are backed by my day-to-day assignment. After I got my CCIE in 2010, I became to be engaged in more Cisco-related work, so I'd say that I have more opportunities to speed up my Cisco knowledge acquisition.

How do you find the time to create contents? 

In my spare time at work, I browse the Community portal and check the latest posts and try to answer them if I find it possible. The average time spent and frequency - about 1 hour per week for that (depending on the workload). Of course, I also post questions sometimes, so I would be happy if you find me and reply back to me as well.

Are your employer and colleagues supportive of your participation on Community?

People around me may not know much about my contribution in the Community. Sometimes, when I found a good content on the Community while I was doing a Google search, I would share it with my peers, and some of them say they find it helpful. I heard the same comment time to time, here and there. Well, and sometimes I recommend my team and colleagues to post when I find interesting campaigns as I hope that would be a good trigger for them to enjoy contributing.

You've won the Spotlight Award multiple times in the past. This is the last question for today, do you have any advice to fellow members to make the community even better? And one last sharing please!

You can see that there is a lot of useful contents posted here by Cisco experts, including webinars. I know many of you may be just learning or consuming contents without posting. You may feel "shy" or "it's too much trouble," at first, but if you take the plunge and post something, you would be surprised that you will find quite a few people who sympathize with you and respond to your questions. Let me share something else to keep in mind is to be as specific as possible when asking a question, so others have a better understanding of the issues to provide resolution faster. If you get an answer from someone, you should click "Like/Helpful" and say thank you to show your appreciation. Of course, I feel good when I get a response, and I'm sure you will too. It is a peer-to-peer supporting community, I believe you'd understand what I'm talking about.
I hope to continue to share more useful information with everyone. Let's do our best together!

Want to join Fumihiro Takai
Learn more about becoming a Cisco Designated VIP today or contact us with any questions. 

*Click here to read the original interview in Japanese (written by Eri)

◆◆ 2023 VIP Spotlight Series ◆◆
#1 Scott Fella (English community)
#2 Tomy Tim (Portuguese community)
#3 Redouane Meddane (French community)
#4 Changjiang Li (Chinese community)
#5 Chunlin Geng (Chinese community)
#6 Fumihiro Takai (Japanese community)
#7 Javier Acuña (Spanish community) 

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