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Monday, March 4, 2024

Cisco Coaching Bootcamps: Get the Scoop from Topic Matter Specialists


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

Plus, we obtained 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 common? 

John: I believe it’s the way in which they align with market developments. Enterprises all over the world are searching for 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 modifications, serving to organizations undertake automation and programmability. 

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

Palmer: I believe individuals like our bootcamps as a result of they reply the query, “Now what?” As we speak’s aggressive enterprise surroundings requires agile networks that may adapt to mission targets with out impacting stakeholders. As our clients deploy trendy infrastructure, they discover that the issue shouldn’t be 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 now have deployed Software program-Outlined Entry…” 
  • “We’re working ACI however haven’t moved to an application-centric mannequin…” 
  • “Our staff must embrace NetDevOps ideas and study automation…” 

Now what? 

Cisco Coaching Bootcamps take away complexity and deal with what’s necessary. Whether or not it’s an Operations and Troubleshooting Bootcamp for Software program-Outlined Campus and Knowledge Middle Options, or an Automation Bootcamp, our clients depart with the arrogance they should rework community operations and contribute to their staff’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 may remedy? 

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

Palmer: Whereas clients are desirous to automate, they face widespread challenges, akin to making certain their groups can converse a standard language, which automation expertise they need to select, and maybe most significantly, what they’ll truly do with automation. A Cisco Coaching Bootcamp addresses these challenges with a singular educating format. The 5-day coaching covers a broad vary of prerequisite information to make sure college students acquire a standard skillset. The true-world use circumstances 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 common instruments, together with REST API Shoppers and Python. Lastly, most studying tracks culminate with a CI/CD pipeline. After the Bootcamp, clients preserve entry to code they’ll instantly use after they return to the workplace. The general expertise requires focus and teamwork, however the buyer response has been overwhelmingly optimistic. 

John: A few of our former college students keep in contact with us for over a 12 months after their Automation Coaching Bootcamp! The dimensions and complexity of the trendy community can not be operated manually. Automation isn’t just about pace and shifting quick; it’s about safety, repeatability, testing and validation, and growing CI/CD pipelines as full options. Finally, most clients are searching for 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 situations. College students truly follow what they’ve discovered throughout the 5-day ILT with precise tools and actual issues to unravel. There are a selection of ‘spice ranges’ (problem ranges) to problem even probably the most superior scholar. As an example, they study issues like version and supply management with Git and Ansible playbooks and the best way 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 period. Coupled with the labs, which get progressively more difficult, it’s so much to study—particularly for college students who’re comparatively new to the expertise observe they’ve chosen. The excellent news is that they have a devoted staff of instructors to assist their studying expertise. In flip, we’ve seen our courses usually embrace a staff mindset, serving to one another succeed. Sure, the expertise is intense, however it’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 highly regarded and handle 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, making an attempt to rework these operations into absolutely automated options.  

Joe: Every has their area of interest, with automation and product Bootcamps usually working across the similar variety of occasions. Whereas we launched the DevNet Automation Bootcamps first, the Operations & Troubleshooting tracks got here alongside later and stay wildly common. 

Palmer: It relies upon. Some clients have a devoted staff 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’ll increase their information by taking the Cisco DevNet Automation for ACI after they transfer to a NetDevOps mannequin. 

Might you inform us extra in regards to 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 resolution 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 remaining phases of testing. It’s primarily based on Cisco IOS XE software program, which is current in switches, routers, and wi-fi gadgets 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 gadgets, that are solely configured with administration interface connectivity. After being launched to NetDevOps and Git, college students will use quite a lot of trendy 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 can be absolutely 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 up to now? Why? 

Joe: Cisco ACI has emerged as probably the most common subject areas. First, the automation bootcamp, adopted by the operations and troubleshooting bootcamp. Naturally, there are fluctuations about which observe is the preferred, however these two are almost all the time on the high. 

John: Persons 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 basic enterprise networking. There’s a little bit of a studying curve as issues are carried out otherwise. 

What’s the benefit of Coaching Bootcamps for people? 

John: I believe it’s the abilities they’ll purchase with real-world examples and the brand new appreciation for the way accessible and straightforward 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 shoppers wouldn’t have 12 engineers devoted to the applied sciences lined in Cisco bootcamps. The Coaching Bootcamps for people presents the pliability of accommodating smaller numbers of scholars. As well as, we regularly hear that having all the staff out for coaching can impression enterprise productiveness, so sending the staff in waves can mitigate that subject. 

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

John: The staff Bootcamps (aka closed enrollments) provide a non-public setting for staff members from organizations to take the Bootcamp collectively. One of many pure aspect advantages of those enrollments is the staff constructing that goes on over the course of the week. Teammates from organizations turn out to be nearer as they study these new abilities and applied sciences. They study, wrestle, fail, and succeed collectively.

Particular person Cisco Coaching Bootcamps have their very own allure, as a variety of people come collectively to attain the identical objectives. Individuals from all over the world study collectively and make pals. It’s fairly exceptional. 

Joe: Bootcamps for Groups are structured on a per-class foundation, from pricing to mission 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 12 months? 

John: I’m very excited in regards to the EN providing in addition to the continued curiosity in ACI, NSO, SDA, and Meraki. I hope demand goes up. I hope our staff 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 observe referred to as Cisco DevNet Automation for Enterprise Networks, which can be a mouthful, however it addresses the biggest put in base of put in gadgets—specifically, people who run the IOS-XE working system. This has been fairly the endeavor, however it 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 present content material and labs and increasing into new content material areas. 

Palmer: It’s going to be a busy 12 months, for positive. I anticipate that the Enterprise Networking Automation Bootcamps can be highly regarded, and we’ve quite a few returning clients trying to increase their abilities and prepare new groups. We’ll even be reviewing our present Bootcamps to establish 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 “pressure multipliers” to include into the content material so our clients keep aggressive. Additionally, our staff is continuously accepted to current at occasions akin to Cisco Stay! 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 anticipate throughout 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’ kinds. We can be masking every Bootcamp for about 5 minutes every to offer you a way of the fabric lined. You’ll have an opportunity to ask us any questions alongside the way in which. 

Palmer: We’ll additionally cowl the Enterprise Networking Automation Bootcamp, which is within the remaining phases of testing. We look ahead to answering questions that come up. 

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