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Interview with Top Contributor, Hall of Fame - Joe Clarke (Cisco Systems)



Joe Clarke, Customer Support Engineer in our Technical Assistance Center (TAC), is a top Cisco NetPro SME volunteer with seven years of experience helping customers in the Cisco Support Community.

Q: How did you hear about Cisco Support Community, Joe?
Someone on my team needed my help to answer a question on the NetPro boards. That was the start for me.

Q: Why do you participate?
I like finding solutions to problems, and I like communicating with customers directly. This gets the customers’ problems solved quickly so that they have a better overall experience with our products.

On NetPro, I can offer customer coding and scripting examples. And that might mean a customer doesn’t have to open a TAC case to get help.

Q: How do you participate and how often do you go to the community? Which forums do you follow?
I watch the forums every day and all day. I answer the customers’ technical questions on Network Management. I periodically search for keywords like "EEM" and "tclsh" in all forums, but my main focus is on network management.


This may be as simple as letting them know how a feature works in one of our products, instructing them on how to configure a certain feature, or even finding and fixing a bug. The forum has turned me on to different customer scenarios, and has helped me find quite a few bugs in our products. Where possible, I try to write patches for these bugs, and push them to customers via TAC service requests.

Q: Can you give a few examples of interactions that were especially interesting or rewarding?

A: I have participated on a lot of threads.  It's hard to pick individual threads which standout.  However, I find any thread which leads to a new bug to be very rewarding.  I also enjoy helping users develop Tcl scripts and EEM policies to help solve problems in customer networks.



Q: What could we do to improve Cisco Support Community?

A: We could add quite a few more features to the forums that would improve usability not only for our customers, but for our subject matter experts as well. For example, it would be great to have a “keywords” feature that could watch the various forums to see if certain keywords show up. If they do, a link to the related thread could be sent via email. As it works now, one has to manually comb through the forums looking for interesting questions to be answered.


Well, I can't immagine how my job will be difficult without Joe Clarke help, he answered any question I have regarding LMS all version including many perl script question or IOS commands. always top of my question and always pin point the problem.honeslty I prefer this forum than open the case with cisco TAC, because fast and relaiable most of the time.I don't have any word to express my gratitude about his work. thank you so very much Joe


I totally agree with Raindrop 18's comment. Joe is a ready referance for me too. Whenever i stuck in LMS, i have received precise & quick replies from him. Hats off & thumbs Up Joe !! from me & my team.

Joe enjoys (actually, loves is a better word) his work.  I got to work with him a long time ago and he is also quite amazing in person.  Network Management is a target rich environment, so how he maintains hall of fame leader board is mind boggling.  There is so much overhead when you file a CDETS and I think he leads there too inside the walls of CSCO.

Great work Joe!

That profile pic has to be from 1999?  If not, then I was to follow Joe's diet cause he hasn't changed a bit.