TechHouse570- Cisco Live 2021- Day 2 Recap

Day 2 had some great moments & more exciting sessions & events! I got as much info as I could so let’s take a look at the exciting takeaways from day 2!

Keynote Powering an Inclusive Future for All

This afternoon’s Keynote touched base in how inclusive we need to be in the future & how Cisco can deli ever in implementing innovative ideas & solutions to help! One way is they’re having their own employees’ partner with CVS to provide better insight & solutions.

Also, some of the biggest key takeaways was the announcement of Webex integrating over 400+ new features into their platform. Their new Webex Desk Hub & Webex Camera Hardware into their portfolio.

Another amazing inclusion was the launching of Webex Contact Center! which will have integrations with every app from multiple platforms.

Focus framing another great future will now show & provide better visuals of every participant whether in person or virtual. I personally loved one of the newest features to come called Personal Insights! Using enhanced analytics, this will allow everyone to focus more on building the right connections amongst your team, focusing on specific individuals’ & even assuring better time management is met in your day to day life.

Securing Webex Meetings with Zero Trust Security- Tony Mulchrone

Tony gave an incredible presentation & complete overview of what end to end encryption is and how we’ve utilized it in encrypting webex meetings today.

For sometime, SIP devices could encrypt signaling & media which was key in assuring secure session setup in webex.

By Q2 though the landscape will be significantly changing, nothing will be changing for end users & admins other than possibly some CA certificate & version updates.

allowing for new standards through MLS, SFrame & ACME. With new features zero trust will offer not only full support for meetings but also any cloud registered devices as well!

The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud with Cisco SASE- Jeff Fanelli

This was without question one of my favorite sessions of day 2! Its no secret that there’s been an huge shift in out IT Landscape. From multiple changes in how we see traffic flows, destination paths & security. Cisco created an incredible solution to encapsulate & refocus how we do security through SASE Convergence.

Focusing on network as a service, malware prevention, SD-WAN & more. SASE also wanted to focus on the three C’s which are imperative to our growth in the security space!

Connectivity, whether its LAN/WAN, SD-WAN, Hybrid WAN, Remote Access it will allow multiple ways for users & devices to connect through multiple applications.

Control, which monitors end to end threat visibility & security it houses full security solutions & features. Finally Converge, delivers a complete network & security experience in assuring your devices, endpoints & more will be secured over the entire infrastructure.

It’s also incredible that both AMP & Umbrella have been incorporated into the SASE portfolio for the ultimate in security solutions!

Equality, Resilience and Giving Back- Billie Jean King and Serena Williams

This session was so powerful & gave me so much insight into things I didn’t know myself! Serena Williams is without question the premier athlete in tennis today. With over 23 grand slam titles & endless accomplishments her name is synonymous with women tennis. Our other panelist, Billie Jean King, needs no introduction as the pioneer in women’s tennis with over 39 grand slam titles, and multiple accomplishments. This session truly highlighted balancing being a world class athlete, public figure, mother & so much more. Billie put it best when she described her foray into tennis that the goal was to simply have a place to complete & play. For women to be appreciated for their accomplishments not just their looks. It was common for women back then to make less dues to their being a gap in equal pay. So, for a woman to win Wimbledon they would receive 750 pounds, while men would receive 2,000 for their wins. There was so many incredible highlights & if you can I would definitely advise to check this session out!

Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Meetings in Webex- Paul Giralt

Now I got pulled into a few directions for this one! But I did manage to catch some highlights & if you’re new to Webex or looking to really dive into more troubleshooting techniques this is the session to check out! Webex & Webex Global Cloud is more in demand now than ever.

With remote & virtual sessions increasing worldwide, we need to assure we have ways to oversee them. Through Webex Control Hub you can look at every piece of info for a user within your organization such as their bandwidth, meetings & more.

But if you’re unsure of some common Webex problems some basic troubleshooting such as user onboarding steps missed, an incorrect email or web id can cause some login or sync issues. Also, another thing to check is to make sure the current version of the client is installed this can prevent an app issue.

Simplify Your Security by Operationalizing the Cisco SecureX Security Platform- Jamey Heary

I managed to catch some of this presentation but be assured I’m rewatching again when its available! I’ve been advocating since day one even to my own team just how the SecureX portfolio is the future not just in real time detection, response & remediation. But also, a one stop for everything that houses all of Cisco’s incredible solutions, platforms & more.

The live demo of the UI & even testing some of the playbooks was amazing & if you’re interested in learning more check out some of the highlights here & head over to watch the session!

Keeping Up on Network Security with Cisco Secure Firewall- Andrew Ossipov

Another one of my favorite sessions which ended Day 2 was Andrews presentation in keeping up with security on Cisco Secure Firewalls. This truly opened our eyes to somethings we may or may not have known. Such as is the traditional firewall dead? The answer is no its just changed how we monitor & protect our infrastructure.

Using SaaS, it now allows us to work from anywhere, though low-touch provisioning firewalls can be setup, configured & deployed in minutes. We also learned of some new features & incoming portfolio additions which I was pumped for!

Features such as the announcement that FTD 7.0 will have newer integrations for both FTD & ASA versions & Docker container support which is incredible in itself! We were also given a sneak peek into somethings such as Web Application Protection which will help assist with protecting inbound/outbound security.

Flow Content via endpoint client, which will increase policy decision times & faster response times in targeting malware & other threats & the new user identity policies which we got to see some live demos of is in my mind the perfect way to end our sessions at Cisco Live!

Closing Celebration- The Killers

To say the ending was bittersweet is an understatement, it felt like yesterday I just started recapping day one with all of you and now to finish it up is surreal. The Killers whom i’ve listed too since 7th grade ha-ha put on a performance that was fitting to an already spectacular event! It was so incredible to get to watch them perform, now if I can get to see them in person even better! With my second Cisco Live virtual event in the books, it was mind blowing insane & it just heightens the awesomeness level of when I can finally attend my first in person one! I want to personally say thank you to Chuck Robbins, every presenter, artists, speakers & most importantly every team including the social media teams who are are without question some of the best to do this! In making this year’s event so special & truly one to remember forever. And a huge thank you doesn’t even seem enough to all of you for your love & support you’ve shown me & continue to in enjoying my recap of the event, social media support. As I continue to grow in my career & in my journey I’m blessed to be able to share it with all of you. Until next time, stay safe & hopefully I’ll see you in person at the next Cisco Live!

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- Cisco Live 2021- Day 1 Recap

Photo Credit: Cisco

Cisco’s premier event kicked off today & to state that just day one alone was packed with a ton of entertainment, technology & more would be an understatement! Cisco Live is Disneyland for IT professionals on a whole other level!

And while this year’s event was switched to virtual. Cisco spared no expense in providing undoubtedly the leading IT conference in the world as they’ve always done! From the announcements, to the music, breakout sessions & more. Sessions were broken up into a few different channels, from Innovation, Leadership, Reimagine Applications, Empower Teams, Secure Enterprise & Transform Infrastructure. There was a ton of incredible content, amazing demonstrations, keynotes and more. So, let’s turn it up & jump into the recap!

Chuck Robbins Opening Keynote

As I mentioned throughout the entire event, its no question that Chuck Robbins is one of the most inspiring & motivating individuals’ to continually lead Cisco through its incredible growth all these years. With such a powerful opening keynote, he set the tone for some of the things Cisco looks to integrate into its core values as we continue ahead. One of the most important being skill building, through multiple resources, an incredible library of Cisco On Demand content & the belief that developing skills helps everyone tomorrow!

Next were some of the breakout sessions that I highly suggest you check out!

SecureX: Outsmart Emerging Threats with Cisco Secure Network Analytics- Matthew Robinson

Photo Credit: Cisco

This was definitely one of my favorite sessions! Matt gave a detailed overview of some of the many feature’s Cisco’s SecureX dashboard & Network Analytics tools have to offer! Covering many of the different threat detection types, techniques to prevent your infrastructure & endpoints from attack & more. Next, we got a live demo using Stealthwatch showcasing some of the differences in detection engines, setting policies & even different global alerts & how to identify.

I also learned that in the older version only on prem nodes were included in the flow collector for monitoring, where now on & off prem nodes will be included to monitor outside IP addresses & traffic as well!

The possibilities are endless, with integrations into AMP it can now find & pull form flow data from an environment, an entire workflow can be built, then create a hash file to cross reference & implement into a test environment using AMP for threat detection & monitoring. Once tested, it can then be put into production with notifications setup to make monitoring even easier than before. No question the presentation from start to finish was informative, incredible & provided me much more insight into the SecureX platform & I can’t wait to test it out myself!

Zero Trust- Securing Apps & Workloads Using A Cloud Native Approach- Keith O’Brien

Keith really took a fun & amazing approach with his presentation where he took an extensive look & insight into where we’ve come & where wee headed from a cloud-based standpoint. Looking back at some of the different server solutions we’ve had from server to serverless & baremetal to virtualized. By looking through the evolution from Dell, to VMware, AWS & more.

Its no secret the cloud is the future, and through solutions such as Docker & Jenkins. There’re newer ways to not only focus on cloud-based solutions, but to rely more on DevSecOps in implementing them into our environments. Offering a refreshing insight with live demos of utilizing docker containers moving everything in a real time environment has never been easier! & with Azure & AWS alone, it makes monitoring everything much smoother & more efficient in your day to day operations.

Celebration- Pentatonix & Bebe Rexh

This was def a nice switch up in between sessions! I told you the entertainment was lit & I wasn’t kidding. Three-time Grammy Award Winners Pentatonix tore it up with their incredible performance along with Bebe Rexh for what was truly an exciting & memorable performance that gave something a little extra to an already stacked event!

Leveraging Endpoint Security in Our Encrypted World! – Ned Zaldivar

If you didn’t get to def put this on your must watch! This session focused more on endpoint visibility & utilizing some of the features of the AnyConnect client through Umbrella & AMP. Managing multiple devices on different endpoints can be trying, but this session shows you how to simplify your productivity & refocus those efforts elsewhere!

Service Assurance For New Enterprise Reality- Joe Dougherty

Joe completely blew me away with not only his presentation but his announcement of how big of a role ThousandEyes would have in the Cisco portfolio moving forward & I think we can all agree it’s an incredible one! The Catalyst 9000 series will now have a Thousand Eyes Agent built into every piece of hardware to help with monitoring, visibility & so much more.

Another amazing thing I loved with this announcement was not only can you now use ThousandEyes to understand the backend of everything. But by combing cloud features & enterprise agents you’ll have true path visibility on another level. And with these new tools & features every IT team regardless of your role in the organization can utilize ThousandEyes to help diagnose more efficiently, troubleshoot faster & resolve client issues with minutes no matter what level of support your providing ThousandEyes definitely changed the game partnering with Cisco.

And if this presentation was a preview of anything to come… it’s clear that these two have made a huge statement in changing the way we monitor network infrastructure.

Cisco Certified Professionals- Engineers Of The Future

Now I can’t lie… while all of these presentations gave us so much today I truthfully couldn’t hold my excitement for this one! This one was the one I looked forward to for weeks once this panel was announced. From industry leaders Joe Clarke, Carole Warner Reece, Yusuf Bhaiji to my close friend & The Icon himself Du’An Lightfoot. This panel came together to discuss not only the future of Network Engineering but how Automation more & more each day has played a pivotal role in shaping the IT landscape in how not only we do our jobs, but how we learn & grow to adapt to those changes.

Automation is one of my primary loves, So I knew this was the perfect way to cap off such an incredibly packed day one. Its no secret that today’s engineer has focused more on key areas such as design, stability, automation & optimization. The goal of this is to be able to implement more networks faster, more efficiently & scale at a faster rate. Gone are the days where each switch must be connected to, firewalls take an hr. or so to configure & deploy for one. Now multiple pieces of hardware can be done within minutes.

Through tools such as Netmiko, Python, Ansible & more. The possibilities are endless to where automation can take us, Mentorship is also key in growing your skillsets. Being inclusive is also a must to those who have passion & want to teach others their love of automation.

There’s also at times been the misconception that automation will take our jobs away & make engineers more obsolete. Our panel assured us that wasn’t the case for one simple fact… Its not replacing our jobs, its adding skills to our toolkits to make our lives simpler & I couldn’t agree more.

No matter the changes with automation make no mistake, we all still need to know the fundamentals that are imperative to being a good engineer. Protocols such as BGP networks, QOS & more are needed to assist with everything from basic configurations to Large Deployments. There’s no question this panel provided insight into todays trend & where the future of automation Is headed & If you’re new to automation or a seasoned DevOps professional this session had everything & for me was the perfect way to top off my Day one lineup!

All things considered Day one was packed with so many sessions, informative demos it was endless! If you haven’t yet catch up and register for the premier IT event of the year! Stay tuned for the day 2 recap of Cisco Live 2021!

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- IT & The Irishman

Like they say better late than never! & This piece definitely describes that haha. You know with St. Patrick’s Day past us & Easter approaching quickly. It’s important we celebrate what those holidays really mean to us, & what things to be lucky for as well! For me I’m the luckiest guy in the world for having a great family, great blessings & greater opportunities & growth happening in the industry.

For those that don’t know I’m actually Irish & Lithuanian making St Patty’s Day a little more special to me. I used to celebrate with my mom every year, we’d all dress in green, eat a special dinner. Its those memories that I now get to share with my children & it’s incredible to watch them partake in those same traditions I did as a kid! Same with Easter I know that bunny is going to hop on over to our house to fill it with candy, & so much more for my children! Also hoping that same bunny brings a bigger rack for all my gear & new PowerEdge Servers but hey one can hope!

With the weather beginning to get into spring mode I’m so excited for not only the outdoor stuff me & my kids get to do. But all the other fun Tech projects we have lined up! From putting the finishing touches on the Minecraft server, to building our first machine & more It’s me who’s got the four-leaf clover & magic eggs on my side these holidays! But sometimes those things aren’t what we need to succeed in IT. More often than not it can be said the opportunities were given reflect not only our hard work, but the luck we create for ourselves. So, whether it’s a certification, new job or personal challenge. Remember you decide how it plays out. Unless you see a rainbow leading you to that reward than chase after it!

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- Lost In Networking

About a few months back I got to sit down with Chris- Dedman Rollet in what was one of first of my many collaboration pieces. Getting to interact on another level with some of the best professionals in this industry, I’m even more fortunate to call them good friends. I had the incredible opportunity to do it again! This time with a passionate & driven individual by the name of Charles Uneze!

Charles as been an incredible presence and huge asset in the All About The Journey discord community & continues to shine in his quest for completing not only his CCNA, but making that transition into Network Engineering. His relentless pursuit to further his skills, obtain more knowledge & ply his craft in our industry without question makes him a true gem in the community. He’s also shares his journey through Lost In Networking! Where he provides not only his insights, but his current path & new technologies he’s adding to his arsenal.

What I found most interesting about his blog is he takes a much different approach than we’ve seen before in holding what he calls Study Tactics! A series based in a conversation style format, with some of the industry’s top professionals. He looks into different study methods, what works & what doesn’t? And always brings such an awesome spirit you don’t want the conversation to end! They say all roads lead to somewhere & this month mine led me to the Study Tactics hot seat! I highly advise if you haven’t already to check our sit down & his blog for more incredible content from the man himself. Until next time stay safe everyone!

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- Love & IT

 Two things that bring me more joy than I can even describe, my love of IT & the love of my family! We spend so much time perfecting our craft, studying for our exams sometimes we can lose within a second our track of time. But it’s those moments were not studying, we spend our most valuable time with our loved ones or significant others.

For this post I wanted to do something different, and that was sit down with the love of my life, Natalie! I’ve mentioned my family in many of posts, but with love in the air for Valentines Day I wanted to sit down with the woman who does so much it can’t even be put into words. My core switch that keeps our infrastructure together, the queen of the castle, mother of our tiny VM’s that run around here with their demands & so much more! So, I wanted to share some of my world with her ask her some fun questions and get her priceless responses ha-ha! She even had a few for me. I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I loved asking them!

G: Ok babe! First question, I’m gonna give you ten words and I want to know what they mean to you!?

Switch- Boxes in my rack, you put wires into it

Router- Keeps internet going

Firewall- Stops viruses/malware from coming in

Powershell- That thing you script on

Workstation- The station where you work

VMware- The thing you build virtual machines on

Ansible- That’s a virus protection program…haha

Microsoft– Software on a machine

Automation- The act of simplifying things so there’s less steps

Cisco- World leading technology company

G: What advice would you give to someone dating/ married to an IT professional?

N: You have to have patience, even if you don’t understand what it is they do. Its showing that you care, knowing that it means so much to them to study/lab & be successful.

G: What’s the best part of being with someone in IT?

N: You always have multiple solutions to any problem!

N: How do you balance your work/love life?

G: I feel with everything you have to give 200%! Prioritize your study/lab time & your family time accordingly

N: What part about your job you love the most?

G: I love getting to learn new technologies, expanding my skillset in many ways & solving new challenges everyday!

N: So, you always tell people when you know you know about our love story, How did I know that this was going to be my career path?

G: When I was younger I had a few Dell desktops in my basement, and I couldn’t get one to work. So, I started tearing them apart to figure out the hardware, etc. Once I got it working the rest was history, I knew I loved technology, solving problems and wanted to continue on this path!

Getting to spend time with my best friend & writing this was definitely incredible, it’s just another little reminder of why I choose her. For the same reasons I’m sure most of us choose our other halves. They bring out the better in you, challenge you in ways you didn’t think possible. And most importantly support us in some of our greatest obstacles we may face. So to my wife, my love my everything thank you for sharing in something that gives me such accomplishment & means so much to me. And to everyone who’s read this or will, Happy Valentine’s Day from us to all of you!

Best Regards,

Girard & Natalie

TechHouse570- vExpert 2021

I can’t even believe I’m even writing this! But I’m proud to announce I was selected in my first year as a VMWare vExpert for 2021! vExpert is VMware’s program in which IT professionals all over the globe share their love, knowledge & passion for VMware products & solutions.

Every year applications pour in! In addition, there’s also subprograms for vExpert’s who look to focus on specific areas ranging from Application Modernization, NSX, Pro & Security areas to name a few! The benefits are endless, but more importantly getting to share your love & passion not just for IT but VMware within the community, networking with some incredible people is an experience in itself.

Applications will open again in June so If you didn’t make this round don’t worry! Your opportunity is right around to corner to join some of the most talented people in the VMware community to apply go to https://vexpert.vmware.com/ check it out, & I hope to see you in the vExpert class of 2021!

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- Started From The IP Now We’re Routing

Just like the packets that transfer to their destinations, we travel in similar paths! On our IT Journey no matter what we face we overcome all odds to come out the other side stronger & more driven individuals than before. I mentioned a while back about an incredible discord group dedicated to guiding IT Professionals all over on their own journey, the struggles they may face and more. One individual I’ve had the distinct honor and privilege in getting to know is someone not just professionally, but personally I’m fortunate to call a good friend. He’s someone who as of last year came into the industry and has been on the fast track of growing his skills, and honing his craft every step of the way, that man is Chris Dedman-Rollet!

His story is one of the most incredible stories’ I’ve heard as his journey into becoming an IT Professional didn’t even start in IT!? Starting as a butcher and working for over 12 years in that profession. Chris made the exciting jump to the world of IT and hasn’t looked back since. He has taken the IT world by storm! From his first appearance on DevNet day where he showcased his automation skills! To his most recent achievement last year in being named one of the finalists in Cisco’s IT Blog Awards! I had the honor to chat with him one on one on some of the similarities and differences in our IT Journey’s, and had a few questions for him on what some of his secrets were to success.

    What motivated you to get into IT? And why Networking specifically?

Chris: I worked 12 years as a butcher in my home country and hated it so much. Every day I worked from 4 a.m. to at least 4 p.m. When you spend so much time in an environment you hate you understand the importance of doing something you love, waking up every morning for work shouldn’t be a painful thing to do. I had the opportunity to enroll in community college in California for free, as a new immigrant to the country, this is a perfect opportunity for me, I have no money and my English was not that good last year. First, I had two options and tried two workshops to see what the classes were, it was child development and Cisco CCNA training. Because I started learning programming at the end of 2019, thanks to my Sr. Software Engineer wife, my heart was more for Cisco then.

    What are some good strategies you’re using when preparing for your CCNA?

Chris: What I think work for me is that I am reading the Official Cert. Guide from Cisco Press, each example that the book gives, I try it with packet tracer or my Cisco switch that I won on the Discord server (I unfortunately don’t have money for buying more equipment, but I truly think that real gear are very useful, not only for the cert. but for real world experience to put on your resume when, like me, don’t have previous background) I am using the companion website available with Cisco Press for chapter review and practice test. I recently started to use Anki Flashcards, available for free with Android. I really think labbing what you are learning is the best way to learn.

    A big part of your learning is Automation, what tools are you learning & utilizing, what ones would you like to learn in the future?

Chris: I am learning Python for Automation. My first project in Python has been to automate my puppy training. I created an algorithm that reminds me every 2 hours to take her out, because I am studying a lot, I do not always have my eyes on the clock, it was a pretty good first project for me, and a first self-accomplishment in programming. I learned to use the library speech recognition from google (still not mastering it but I will get there eventually) and create a kind of digital assistant, and made a speech translation, you speak in English and it does translate in French what you just said. It’s not perfect yet but I’m working on it. I would like to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, I do love robot and would love to create my own one, this one is a kid dream, but like I like to say, live your dream, don’t dream your life 😀

I will have to learn Ansible for Network Automation and would like to learn Java or JavaScript.

    What’s been the scariest part of this journey for you?

Chris: I dropped off school pretty early, and never studied anything between the age of 14 and 27. I know only one field (butcher), it was pretty scary to me to start something that I never did. You know at school I was there but not very there. I used to play a lot of video games and my mind was not very in the class, that is why I failed back in the day. The US is where I reborn, back to school for studying English, I recently passed my GED (first exam that I succeed), now studying for my CCNA in a language that I don’t totally master yet, this is pretty scary for me, I afraid of failure, even if I know that it is necessary for grow.

    Where do you see yourself in IT in the next 5-10 years? What goals in the industry outside of certifications are you looking to achieve?

Chris: I would love to work for Cisco, I love the company mindset and the people who’re working there are pretty amazing. Besides, I love space. It would be an honor for me if in 10 years I can work for a space agency. My goal in the industry outside certifications, I would love to help a maximum of people. I know starting something new is pretty difficult, being self-taught is a skill that not everyone has, it is difficult to stay on track when you don’t have a plan or do not have a mentor. I want to help like everyone help me in the discord server IAATJ. 

    What advice would you give to up-and-coming IT Professionals looking to get into the industry?

Chris: It is a pretty complicated field, but if you dedicate enough time in your study, find a community with which you can grow and ask questions when you have some. Do not isolate yourself, you have no idea how helpful our community did help me since I started. You do not have to buy every book, subscribe to every study website (who is ridiculously expensive by the way). I think education should not cost an arm and a leg, but do not forget, the easy way is never the good way. Whatever you are doing in your life, if it is too easy, that probably means you are doing something wrong and I think it is truer in IT.

Getting to chat with Chris is always awesome, being a new face in the industry he gives you such a different & fresh perspective on everything. What he’s looking to accomplish and what methods he’s designed to help ensure his rise to becoming an engineer are no doubt something you don’t want to miss out on! I’m not gonna lie though I didn’t just ask him about some of his secrets, I also shared some of my own vast experience with him I’ve had on my own path. So how did the rest of our conversation go? Check out his incredible blog and other amazing content to follow his journey and find out!, and as always good luck to everyone on your paths i’ll see you down the road.

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- IT Help Desk- Top Strategies For Being Successful

In our careers we’ve grown as professionals, from Network/System Administrators, to Engineers, to even Solutions Architects of some type. But for a majority of us we’ve all started at the same place. The one place where we would learn where in our IT paths we would choose to go next, where the fundamentals and that foundation would begin and also where our methods to troubleshooting would grow, that place is the Help Desk.

While having a reputation of its own, the help desk has forever served as an essential starting point in one’s career. It prepares you not just in a technical aspect, but in a customer facing role as well. There are many opinions on the subject but there’s one that I believe holds true. Regardless of your role in the industry, were all in some way going to be customer facing! Whether we know it or not we interact within so many people daily that’s it’s imperative to have good personal skills and be patient in resolving the issues at hand! Here are some key tips to navigating the help desk!

Have You Tried Turning It On & Off

As crazy as it may sound that does resolve some of the problems haha! More often than not an update can get hung, printer throws an error or something minor that a simple restart can resolve. But before resorting to that try to troubleshoot the issue to make sure you haven’t overlooked any other issues that could be causing the problem.

Resolve Matters In A Diligent & Timely Manner

When tickets come in, they come in waves! And that’s normal depending on if you’re in a high-volume environment. You may see anywhere from 30 to 60 tickets come in within an hr or two and if you do don’t panic! Its ok you can handle this! Pace yourself and go through each one to see what’s major and what’s not. One of the tips I used early on in my career, was to organize. First and foremost, if there were any High priority tickets that would come in I would resolve them first as within most organizations they need to be addressed ASAP. After that I would go to the medium level ones, tickets such as password resets, no internet, etc. ones I know I could knock out within minutes. Finally, any setups they would be my last focus unless it was a high priority one I would do them last then I could focus on them without having to worry about leaving the other tickets sit!

Have An Arsenal Of Tools At Your Disposal

Photo Credit: NerdCaster

In any IT role I think we can all agree that having your Toolbox loaded with resources is a must. Now earlier on I reviewed some incredible tools to have in your arsenal which I suggest checking out! But having a dedicated toolset will help your troubleshooting methods further along & will assist in bringing the problems to light to resolve them.

Miscommunication Will Happen

We do our best as professionals to help the users describe in detail what issues they’re facing, or experiencing. But like always we have huge breakdown in communications. Someone may panic and claim they’ve gotten a virus! When in reality its adware that pops up with junk. Wrong language and miscommunication as always been an issue with dealing with tickets. But it’s not something that can’t be solved. Work with the end user on best practices and let them know moving forward how to create a proper ticket? Or even the correct wording can go a long way in getting to a solution faster!

Start With The Most Simple Issue & Work Towards The Hardest

I mentioned earlier sometimes a simple restart can resolve certain simple glitches. But many times, we need to troubleshoot and in doing so always start with the simplest things first. For example, one of the most common issues is “I have no internet” So many people check the cable first thing! Verify it has a link light, etc. Now there’s no wrong starting point, everyone troubleshoots differently. One thing though I’ve done is before checking any hardware, verify the driver is even there or not disabled. ipconfig /release, /renew, & flushdns you should try to pull a new IP. Sometimes an update can cause issues, newer driver isn’t working are some of the common issues you’ll see.

Photo Credit: TheWindowsClub

Another issue is my machine is slow, now there’s millions of things that cause this problem going into them would be an endless black hole! But some common practices to always check are is the drive full. More often than not the more we store things, the more it fills. So, defragging & cleaning up the drive must happen regularly. Also checking the virtual memory resources is another good place to look.

Photo Credit: TheWindowsClub
Photo Credit: TheWindowsClub

Help desk is essential in giving you groundwork for your IT future no matter where it takes you. It’s a humbling and at times challenging experience to say the least. But it’s needed to ground even the most seasoned professional, spending hours solving a problem & more are building blocks to what can be a very promising career. This is your opportunity if you haven’t yet to get that start in IT, are you ready to build your path?

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- New Year, New Growth

We finally made it! The year 2021 has arrived at last! We know how to prepare to be our best, we also have some different strategies to reach our goals. What else could we possibly need? We need new challenges, new ways to push ourselves harder than we ever have and start this year off on a strong note! There’re many ways we can expand our minds and our toolsets in 2021!

Learn New Language

With automation being more in demand than ever, we need to equip ourselves with entirely new tools to automate more task at every level of IT infrastructure. From Ansible, Python, PowerShell & Postman to name a few. Scripting languages have become the new way of life for us, and in taking that needed plunge to adapt a new skill were preparing ourselves for continued success in the industry!

Focus More On Mental Health

We work tireless hours, projects and on call schedules along with our day to day lives. In creating new routines and schedules for 2021, keep your health at the forefront of that list. It’s imperative we remember to take some times for ourselves & spend it the way we know how with loved ones, family & friends.

Take More Risks!

For any of us change, can be a daunting task. But in IT change is needed in order for us to move forward! We thrive on it, depend on it & our existence to adapting to new technologies is a must. So, this year let’s take that next leap, apply for that position you’re unsure of. Fail a few times to get back up and be successful, in the end you’ll see more often than not the risk is always worth the reward.

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- 2020 Year In Review

2020 has been a year of challenges to say the least, we’ve faced an unprecedented pandemic unlike anything we’ve ever seen. A time of uncertainty, and more so challenges both personally and professionally that’s had IT Professionals all over putting in countless hours of hard work and dedication in keeping everyone connected through these uncertain times. But through all of it, I want to say not only thank you to everyone in this industry but also on the frontline everywhere. Thank you for putting in endless and tiring hours in keeping all of us around the world safe and cared for.

But through these dark times there are without a doubt so many things that I’m personally thankful & grateful for throughout this year. Even with everything happening in our world, I found this year to be a year of huge events in so many ways! To start I knew I wanted to help others throughout the IT community & give back. So, I began my journey to helping others by joining the Cisco Learning Network in sharing my knowledge & giving to those getting into this incredible industry. I’ve connected with so many different individuals on different paths it’s been amazing in every way. So much that I was fortunate enough to have been nominated with the CLN Rookie Of The Year Spotlight Award!

The Birth Of TH570

I’ve always felt everyone has a story to tell, and more importantly everyone has a journey that they’re on especially in this industry. I knew I wanted to share my stories, my path but I wasn’t sure how I could? That was until I found the blog that put it into clear perspective to me. Through reading about A.J. and his IT journey it dawned on me right there! I realized that I could share my journey, my struggles, and more in helping those unsure of their path in this industry. I created TechHouse570 to share those experiences, the tools & technologies that we use and challenges we may face every day on our paths. Sharing my journey throughout this year has been an experience unlike any other. And from the bottom of my heart I want to thank everyone of you that has read my blog, or even looked at it once lol. 2020 was just the beginning, but you better believe were just getting started and gearing up for 2021 and a ton of new things I can’t wait to share with you all!

Being On The Journey

Preparing for an IT Career can be one thing, studying for a certification, learning and developing a plan is entirely different one. But know you’re not alone, I joined the It’s All About The Journey discord to further my learning and network with some amazing professionals. But as I write this I’m lucky to say they’ve become more than just friends, I consider them family. People who in an instant you would do anything for, they’ve helped me in so many ways on my journey and continue to. They’re the most inspiring individual’s I’ve ever met. And if you haven’t no matter where you are on your IT path you should become part of this amazing group and see for yourself what I’ve been fortunate to know throughout this entire year.

New Opportunities

Photo Credit: Skyline ATS

If writing for my own blog wasn’t incredible enough, I’ve been fortunate to now also write for Skyline ATS . I wrote my first of many pieces for them and I can’t wait to share even more of my experiences, knowledge and strategies in preparing for exams and even in your career! I’m forever grateful to John Mark Ivey for the opportunity!

So What’s Next in 2021…

In closing out 2020, there’s been so many things to look back on and even in them the things I’m grateful for come not just professionally but personally as well. My family is such a huge part of my success. Through their love, understanding and patience. They motivate me in ways that are indescribable. For me all the articles, awards, opportunities are blessings beyond words. But I’ve felt that in any industry, those things come from your drive, your dedication and endless commitment to perfecting your craft. And for that I want to thank all of you, through your stories, your journey’s and so much more. I want you to know how you all inspire me to be better, push harder and keeping going.

It’s also why I want all of you to be the first to know one of my biggest announcements going into 2021 is that the TechHouse570 family is expanding with our 5th child! Me and my wife were both surprised! But were incredibly excited and I’m excited to get to share this news first with all of you! I hope you all have a Happy Holidays, Great New Year and be thankful for one another. Let’s get ready to bring in 2021!

Best Regards,

Girard