Why do Cisco subject matter experts participate in the Cisco Support Community (CSC)? For education? Professional growth? Glory? To get the insider’s view, we spoke with Edison Ortiz, Networking Consulting Engineer in the Advanced Services organization and a top CSC contributor.
Q: How do you participate in CSC?
I reply to 40 to 50 posts a day, generally during my downtime. In fact, this morning I’ve already responded to 20 threads. If an issue really piques my interest, I’ll try out solutions in the lab.
In August 2008, I hosted an Ask the Expert event on Interior Dynamic Routing Protocols. During the two-week event I answered CSC members’ questions. If I didn’t know the answer, I reached out to the internal Cisco team.
Q: What do you get out of being a CSC contributor?
Cisco Support Community (CSC) exposes me to issues that I don’t see in the lab or with my own customers. It’s a great tool to keep me sharp on multiple Cisco technologies and it also keeps me aware of potential problems that can affect Cisco customers. CSC has also been a way to meet a lot of people around the world and earn their respect. Finally, CSC is a key component within my Electronic Performance Management Review (e-PM), as part of my development plan.
You could say that CSC is a hobby for me. Some people shop online during their free time, and I participate in the Cisco Support Community.
Q: How did you hear about the Cisco Support Community?
I heard about CSC in 2006, when I was an independent network consultant studying for my CCIE. I happened to find the Certification area within NetPro and began contributing to the community. When I saw how the process worked, I began posting and answering questions in the technical forums, mostly LAN/WAN Routing and Switching. I increased my participation after joining Cisco, as Cisco values collaboration among different teams.
Q: Why would you recommend other Cisco subject matter experts contribute to the Cisco Support Community?
Participating in CSC as an expert is an excellent way to keep yourself sharp and refresh your memory on technologies that you don’t necessarily use every day. It’s also a great place to learn about a new technology, by following the discussions.
Q: What could we do to improve the Cisco Support Communiy?
Overall, the Cisco Support Community is a great system. We could improve it by showing the posts in a threaded format that includes the participants’ names. If I saw that knowledgeable members were already in the discussion, I wouldn’t need to spend my time clicking the link.
I really like the community rating system. People use it wisely, and it encourages people to help other members.
To summarize, Edison recommends participating in CSC because it:
• Exposes you to new issues and approaches
• Refreshes your knowledge of technologies you don’t use every day
• Enhances your career by making you more visible as a subject matter expert
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