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Cisco Coaching Bootcamps: Get the Scoop from Topic Matter Consultants


Cisco Coaching Bootcamps have been on the scene for a pair years now. One of many issues that makes them so in style is their depth and real-world utility. We sat down with Topic Matter Consultants (SMEs) John Capobianco, Bootcamp Developer Advocate, Joe Rinehart, Engineering Chief, and Palmer Pattern, Software program Engineering Technical Chief, to seek out out what makes Cisco Coaching Bootcamps so particular. 

Plus, we received a sneak peek at what they’ll cowl within the upcoming Cisco Coaching Bootcamp webinar on December 13, 2023, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. 

Why are Cisco Coaching Bootcamps so in style? 

John: I believe it’s the best way they align with market traits. Enterprises around the globe are in search of methods to undertake community automation and get the utmost worth out of their Cisco investments. A Cisco Coaching Bootcamp supplies a direct path towards cultural adjustments, serving to organizations undertake automation and programmability. 

Joe: Additionally they deal with vital enterprise and technical wants like automation and complicated product competence. The instructing methodology is well-suited to speedy studying and growing expertise that engineers can apply now, not solely sooner or later. Having two studying occasions shut collectively (the Teacher-led Coaching [ILT] lessons and the deep dive labs) amplifies the educational at each stage. It’s just like the expression, ‘one-two punch.’

Palmer: I believe folks like our bootcamps as a result of they reply the query, “Now what?” Right now’s aggressive enterprise setting requires agile networks that may adapt to mission aims with out impacting stakeholders. As our clients deploy fashionable infrastructure, they discover that the issue just isn’t that the expertise is simply too complicated however that it’s totally different from what we’ve all labored with for thus many a long time.  

We’ve heard:  

  • “We have now deployed Software program-Outlined Entry…” 
  • “We’re operating ACI however haven’t moved to an application-centric mannequin…” 
  • “Our group must embrace NetDevOps rules and be taught automation…” 

Now what? 

Cisco Coaching Bootcamps take away complexity and concentrate on what’s essential. Whether or not it’s an Operations and Troubleshooting Bootcamp for Software program-Outlined Campus and Information Middle Options, or an Automation Bootcamp, our clients depart with the arrogance they should rework community operations and contribute to their group’s success. 

You guys are within the good place to know what clients want. What are you listening to from the entrance strains? What automation wants do clients imagine these Coaching Bootcamps would possibly remedy? 

Joe: Prospects want to resolve issues now, which is why the hands-on part of the expertise is so important. The Bootcamps not solely encourage college students to be taught ideas and configuration, however additionally they present the crucial for college students to use them instantly of their environments. 

Palmer: Whereas clients are desperate to automate, they face widespread challenges, akin to guaranteeing their groups can converse a standard language, which automation expertise they need to select, and maybe most significantly, what they will really do with automation. A Cisco Coaching Bootcamp addresses these challenges with a novel instructing format. The 5-day coaching covers a broad vary of prerequisite information to make sure college students acquire a standard skillset. The actual-world use instances and deep-dive labs present what clients can do with community automation. These labs are designed to progress from the fundamentals, akin to studying Git, to in style instruments, together with REST API Purchasers and Python. Lastly, most studying tracks culminate with a CI/CD pipeline. After the Bootcamp, clients keep entry to code they will instantly use after they return to the workplace. The general expertise requires focus and teamwork, however the buyer response has been overwhelmingly constructive. 

John: A few of our former college students keep in contact with us for over a yr after their Automation Coaching Bootcamp! The dimensions and complexity of the trendy community can now not be operated manually. Automation isn’t just about velocity and transferring quick; it’s about safety, repeatability, testing and validation, and growing CI/CD pipelines as full options. In the end, most clients are in search of a spot to start out with confidence. Cisco Coaching Bootcamps present them these preliminary stepping stones towards success. 

What are the weather of a Bootcamp that make it so intense? 

John: The labs! Within the 4-day, deep-dive lab portion, 80 % of the category is lab work primarily based on actual conditions and eventualities. College students really observe what they’ve realized in the course of the 5-day ILT with precise gear and actual issues to resolve. There are a selection of ‘spice ranges’ (issue ranges) to problem even essentially the most superior scholar. For example, they be taught issues like version and supply management with Git and Ansible playbooks and tips on how to automate options with Ansible, Python and Cisco pyATS, and CI/CD pipelines. 

Joe: The Deep Dive Labs (DDLs) are all about utilizing the instruments, writing code, and making issues occur. The labs are action-oriented, and the ratio of lecture versus lab within the DDL is about 20 % lecture, leaving 80 % for labs. 

Palmer: I believe the depth lies in the quantity of content material we cowl in such a brief time frame. Coupled with the labs, which get progressively tougher, it’s rather a lot to be taught—particularly for college students who’re comparatively new to the expertise monitor they’ve chosen. The excellent news is that they have a devoted group of instructors to help their studying expertise. In flip, we’ve observed our lessons typically embrace a group mindset, serving to one another succeed. Sure, the expertise is intense, but it surely’s not inconceivable! On the finish of the deep-dive lab week, college students are exhausted however impressed to proceed their journey. 

Between the 2 kinds of Cisco Coaching Bootcamps, automation and product (operations and troubleshooting), what are you discovering hottest and helpful?  

John: Each tracks are very talked-about and deal with totally different wants. Some clients discover the Ops and Troubleshooting Bootcamps extra sensible for his or her present day-to-day wants, whereas others are forward-looking, attempting to remodel these operations into totally automated options.  

Joe: Every has their area of interest, with automation and product Bootcamps typically operating across the identical variety of occasions. Whereas we launched the DevNet Automation Bootcamps first, the Operations & Troubleshooting tracks got here alongside later and stay wildly in style. 

Palmer: It relies upon. Some clients have a devoted group managing infrastructure, whereas one other focuses on automation. Some clients are simply deploying a expertise akin to Software program-Outlined Entry. In the meantime, others have realized that automation is right here to remain, so they should upskill. 

The Bootcamps additionally complement one another and supply a path for our clients to evolve as their necessities change. For instance, a buyer new to ACI would profit from the Operations and Troubleshooting Bootcamp. Then, they will develop their information by taking the Cisco DevNet Automation for ACI after they transfer to a NetDevOps mannequin. 

May you inform us extra concerning the new Cisco Coaching Bootcamp for Enterprise Networking (EN)?  

John: I’m actually enthusiastic about this bootcamp! Whereas we do have an SDA Bootcamp for these with Catalyst Middle and a controller-based method, the EN Bootcamp will allow these clients with out SDN to completely embrace automation and programmability. We discover applied sciences like Ansible and Cisco pyATS, and construct towards a full CI/CD pipeline answer that college students construct over the course of the DDL. And did I point out the lab is IPv6-based round OSPFv3?!  

Palmer: The Cisco DevNet Automation Bootcamp for Enterprise Networking, or as we name it, ‘EN-A,’ is within the last levels of testing. It’s primarily based on Cisco IOS XE software program, which is current in switches, routers, and wi-fi units and is the spine of our clients’ enterprise networks. 

After the 5-day instructor-led coaching, college students start the Deep-Dive Lab (DDL) with a topology consisting of Cisco Catalyst 8000V Edge units, that are solely configured with administration interface connectivity. After being launched to NetDevOps and Git, college students will use quite a lot of fashionable strategies to incrementally configure the simulated department topology. They acquire hands-on expertise with test-driven automation, Ansible, Python, Cisco’s pyATS automation framework, REST API shoppers, YANG fashions, model-driven programmability, streaming telemetry, and CI/CD pipelines. On the finish of the Bootcamp, the simulated department might be totally configured and IPv6-enabled, with OSPFv3 and BGP within the combine for added pleasure. We are able to’t wait to share the expertise! 

What’s the preferred Coaching Bootcamp thus far? Why? 

Joe: Cisco ACI has emerged as one of the crucial in style matter areas. First, the automation bootcamp, adopted by the operations and troubleshooting bootcamp. Naturally, there are fluctuations about which monitor is the preferred, however these two are practically all the time on the high. 

John: Individuals are drawn to ACI and software-defined networking typically, primarily for simplicity, scale, and automation capabilities. ACI was constructed from the bottom up with APIs and programmability in thoughts, however additionally it is a departure from traditional enterprise networking. There’s a little bit of a studying curve as issues are carried out in another way. 

What’s the benefit of Coaching Bootcamps for people? 

John: I believe it’s the talents they’ll purchase with real-world examples and the brand new appreciation for a way accessible and simple it’s to get began with community automation. It’s additionally the Cisco Persevering with Training (CE) credit they’ll obtain upon profitable completion. 

Joe: Many purchasers wouldn’t have 12 engineers devoted to the applied sciences lined in Cisco bootcamps. The Coaching Bootcamps for people gives the pliability of accommodating smaller numbers of scholars. As well as, we frequently hear that having all the group out for coaching can impression enterprise productiveness, so sending the group in waves can mitigate that situation. 

And the way is a person Bootcamp totally different from the Cisco Coaching Bootcamps for groups? 

John: The group Bootcamps (aka closed enrollments) provide a personal setting for group members from organizations to take the Bootcamp collectively. One of many pure aspect advantages of those enrollments is the group constructing that goes on over the course of the week. Teammates from organizations develop into nearer as they be taught these new expertise and applied sciences. They be taught, battle, fail, and succeed collectively.

Particular person Cisco Coaching Bootcamps have their very own attraction, as a variety of people come collectively to realize the identical targets. Individuals from around the globe be taught collectively and make pals. It’s fairly outstanding. 

Joe: Bootcamps for Groups are structured on a per-class foundation, from pricing to challenge administration and tailoring. These Bootcamps can have the content material and labs tailor-made particularly to a single buyer, which we don’t present for the Bootcamps for People, a.okay.a. open enrollment. 

The place do you see Cisco Coaching Bootcamps going within the subsequent yr? 

John: I’m very excited concerning the EN providing in addition to the continued curiosity in ACI, NSO, SDA, and Meraki. I hope demand goes up. I hope our group grows. We’re having a tangible impression on the trade, and I believe our days as Cisco’s best-kept secret are numbered. 

Joe: We’re releasing a brand new monitor referred to as Cisco DevNet Automation for Enterprise Networks, which can be a mouthful, but it surely addresses the most important put in base of put in units—specifically, those who run the IOS-XE working system. This has been fairly the enterprise, but it surely hits a related space of focus that just about each buyer wants. Past that, we’re all the time taking a look at updates and enhancements to current content material and labs and increasing into new content material areas. 

Palmer: It’s going to be a busy yr, for positive. I anticipate that the Enterprise Networking Automation Bootcamps might be very talked-about, and we now have quite a lot of returning clients seeking to develop their expertise and practice new groups. We’ll even be reviewing our present Bootcamps to determine alternatives so as to add new content material and showcase new applied sciences and capabilities. Nothing on this trade ever stands nonetheless, and we search for “power multipliers” to include into the content material so our clients keep aggressive. Additionally, our group is often accepted to current at occasions akin to Cisco Dwell! That’s a beautiful alternative to satisfy former and future college students in particular person. 

Inform us extra about this upcoming webinar: What can clients count on in the course of the occasion? 

John: We’ll cowl all six Bootcamps. Prospects will get to know us as instructors in the event that they haven’t met us but. They’ll get to know our distinct ‘Edutainer’ types. We might be protecting every Bootcamp for about 5 minutes every to present you a way of the fabric lined. You’ll have an opportunity to ask us any questions alongside the best way. 

Palmer: We’ll additionally cowl the Enterprise Networking Automation Bootcamp, which is within the last levels of testing. We sit up for answering questions that come up. 

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