A Conversation with InayathUlla Sharieff, Top Contributor
Tell us about your career with Cisco.
I joined Cisco in late 2012. I work in the High-Touch Technical Support Center in Bangalore. My specialties are LAN and WAN switching. Before joining Cisco I worked at HP for five years.
How did you get involved with Cisco Support Community?
A few months into my job, I Googled a customer’s issue and found the answer on Cisco Support Community. I was impressed. I realized that participating would help me grow professionally, help customers resolve their issues sooner, and avoid TAC cases.
How do you work the community into your day?
I have the app on my phone and tablet, and the LAN Switching and Routing browser icon on my desktop. When I started, I’d check for questions in the LAN and WAN Switching and Routing Forums several times an hour! Within six months I was on the Top 10 list for the quarter. That recognition made me even more inspired, and I decided to also participate in the Application Networking forum. These days I check my forums about five times a day. First I look for the questions with no replies. My personal goal is to answer within five minutes. Next I look for interesting issues, and add anything that’s missing.
I love to help people, and I’m passionate about learning new technology. I’ve also enjoyed getting to meet so many knowledgeable people, like Leo Laohoo, Peter Paluch, Bilal Nawaz, John Marshall, Rick Burts, and Reza Sharifi. If my response can be improved, they improve it! Finally, my managers are supportive. They receive a quarterly email listing the Top 3 contributors, and they congratulate me when I’m listed. I’ve been in the Top 3 for the last 1.5 years. Being appreciated feels great.
What would you say to encourage your peers to participate more?
I can think of three reasons. First, people who don’t work for Cisco participate actively in the community, so we should, too! When customers know they can get help from the community, they’re even more confident about buying Cisco products. Just giving 1-2 hours of your time every week is good for our brand.
Second, networking professionals around the world get to know your name. I’ve been thanked by people in Australia, the U.S., the U.K., and the Middle East who are grateful that I’ve saved them time.
Finally, the ranking system is fun. I started with a rank of about 300. Now I’m at 65. I’m aiming to be in the top 5.
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