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,


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,


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,


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,


TechHouse570- CyberSecurity- Tools & Tips

As Professionals we face new challenges everyday. But one that’s always existed and has grown even more now is security. New threats are arising at both home and at an enterprise level, and are showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Preventative measures and having a solid security, policy-based tools & systems implemented in your network can save you time, money and a huge disaster! Let’s take a look at some next gen features and tools that can keep you and your infrastructure safe!

Cisco FirePower Threat Defense (FTD)

Photo Credit: Cisco

This has by far in my opinion revolutionized the way we design, configure & maintain network infrastructure in our industry today! Building upon the ASA image and continually expanding, it combines the ASA & FirePower feature into one hardware & software system. This offers full next gen firewall services and features including static & dynamic routing, next gen intrusion prevention system (NGIPS), ISE integration. And two of my favorite feature’s URL filtering & advance malware protection which monitors in real time what threats can be incoming, blocked immediately and quarantined.

VMware Carbon Black

Photo Credit: VMware

Another incredible endpoint & security solution, Carbon Black is the total package when it comes to endpoint protection, enterprise AV, threat hunting and more! Its def another great tool to have in your arsenal. It does need tweaking initially when setting policies but as you go the results are incredible for monitoring workstations, servers, etc.

Cisco Secure X

Photo Credit: Cisco

To say revolutionary would be an understatement! When Secure X was announced last year, excited doesn’t even describe my reaction! While I haven’t yet tried out its incredible features, Cisco created the ultimate place to house all of its amazing products & solutions in one place.

Photo Credit: Cisco

It brings together Cisco & Customers portfolios for a simpler experience throughout cloud, network, endpoints & applications! And with more integrations than can be imagined its def worth every penny for securing your entire infrastructure for years to come.

Securing our networks and even preventing our machines from attacks such as malware & ransomware have been an ongoing battle for years that’s never ending. But with constant changes on the landscape newer intrusion & detection systems have prevented hundreds of thousands of attacks each day. We may be combatting a pandemic, but this is one virus that has been around for ages and together we can prevent the next wave of attacks before they hit. So, remember to always watch what you click to prevent phishing or malware, keep your security up to date and always be wary of unknown senders in your inbox. For more information regarding these incredible tools, check out the links below!

Cisco FirePower Threat Defense-

VMware Carbon Black-

Cisco Secure X-

Best Regards,


TechHouse570- Cisco Champion 2021

Photo Credit: Cisco

Now is the time we’ve all waited for throughout the IT Community, this year’s Applications for Cisco Champion 2021 have officially opened! Cisco’s premier program for engaging technical influencers throughout the globe. This program was designed for IT Professionals all over who are passionate about IT & most importantly Cisco, their incredible products, innovative solutions and they way were helping to change the IT landscape.

Being a Cisco Champion is so much more than just belonging to this incredible group & earning the title, its being elite. Being one of the best in the world at what you do and not only being acknowledged for it, but most importantly getting to share that knowledge & collaborate with other talented individuals like yourself in shaping new ideas, giving back & getting to beta testing some new Cisco products which is a win!

This is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge! And it’s a great opportunity to nominate your peers hard work year-round! Membership lasts an entire year for the program. So, what are you waiting for!? To apply here’s the link Good luck to everyone!

Best Regards,


TechHouse570- CCNA Journey Vs Reality

In your IT career and on your certification journey there’s always the path were on to achieve our goals and strive for the best! Then there is the reality of where we actually are and how we need to get ourselves to that next level. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down & chat with A.J Murray! A.J is quite busy as a Sr. Network Deployment Engineer for a VAR, the Creator & Co-Host of The Art Of Network Engineering Podcast, & his popular blog NoBlinkyBlinky where he shares his IT journey & more. This is just some of his many accolades which he’s accrued through his career. So it was a no brainer than to ask the man himself his take on some of the questions we has IT professionals face on our CCNA & IT journey in general! It Was refreshing to hear from a seasoned engineer his path, but also I provided my feedback from a different perspective as someone preparing for his CCNA so here was some popular questions from the Discord, reddit and more from professionals just like you on what they face & how to overcome those challenges!

How long to complete CCNA?

Girard: There’s so many different factors that go into completing your CCNA Journey! For one how much time do you commit to studying, labbing or both? Is this your first time in IT or have you been in the industry for a while? There’re many different things that factor into the outcome.

How do you get a job with CCNA, No experience ?

Girard: Differentiate yourself- Make yourself stand out from other candidates. Passion shows and if they see that drive and hunger, they’re more inclined to want to present you with that opportunity.

Suggestions on a Beginner Networking home lab?

Girard: For me I was fortunate enough to have some extra hardware at my work that wasn’t needed that I used to begin my lab. But for an inexpensive lab you can find switches, firewalls, servers, etc. for reasonably priced on Ebay or other sites. Also, you can purchase full CCNA or CCNP labs with all the gear you need for a little more.

Where to begin in the IT Industry

Girard: For me one of the best analogy i’ve heard to this day is the IT industry is like the medical field there’s so many areas to go into. I always recommend for someone getting into the industry with no experience, start where every icon has started help desk. It gives you not only a solid foundation, but from there you build upon what it is you truly love and go from there.

How to study when you don’t feel like it ?

Girard: Set a minimum of 30 mins to an hr. of dedicated studying but break it up into 15 min intervals or so. So 15 mins of studying, 15-20 mins of labbing and even flash cards to retain some knowledge!

Starting study material for CCNA

Girard: There’s so much content out there to use it’s insane! Some of the things I’ve used that have been the most helpful are CBT Nuggets & David Bombal’s CCNA Course. Cisco’s website also has some great tools and resources. I’ve used them to supplement my hands-on lab.

Which path can you go into IT?

Girard: There’s so many from Help Desk, Network, Servers and more. The path you choose will be decided by you. I’ve always recommended the best place to start is the Help Desk to learn those fundamentals and build upon that.

Which path do you go after CCNA?

Girard: There’s so many different paths it’s endless. Once you’ve completed your CCNA, the next path should be your CCNP. There’s so many different areas to explore so it becomes a matter of your passion and what you love. From Service Provider, Data Center, Enterprise, Collaboration & Security. Each track has its own concentration and will be a perfect segway into DevNet Associate.

Labbing- Physical vs virtual

Girard: For me In my opinion the best way to fully grasp a concept is to apply it physically in a lab! Now everyone has their own opinions and different methods that work for them and may help them learn differently which is awesome too! I’ve always loved being able to take those concepts and power on my switches and apply it hands on to fully grasp what I’m learning. There’s just some things you can’t replicate in a virtual lab, power outages, bad ports on a switch, etc.

How to know when you’re ready?

Girard: It will always vary. Everyone has such a different learning style or way they obtain information it may take some longer to retain that knowledge than others. Some could study for weeks, months and then tank while others may study less and or not prepare as much and pass on the first try.

These are just some of the many questions asked every day in our industry, I know that my journey will differ from someone else’s in different ways! Everyone’s opinion on how long this process can take will differ and that’s ok also. Were all on this journey together and many of us have such incredible insights, viewpoints and strategies to share it can be helpful and the deciding factor between which path you choose and that PASS or FAIL on exam day. So how does a seasoned engineer’s viewpoint differ from someone still on their CCNA path? For those answers head on over to to find out his views on these topics & get some incredible insight!

Best Regards,


TechHouse570- VMware vExpert 2021

Photo Credit: VMWare

Applications have officially opened for vExpert 2021! VMware’s premier evangelism and advocacy program is designed for IT Professionals all over who are passionate about VMWare, their incredible products and innovative solutions. As a member of the program you’re granted access to a ton of amazing content, channels to collaborate with other Vexperts, pre-launch briefings on newer products, etc. And an entire year of VMWare products to use in your home lab and more!

The benefits are endless, but more importantly you’re giving back to the technology community. I’m so excited to say that this will be my first year applying, sharing my IT Journey with everyone along with using VMWare solutions in my own home lab has been incredible! VMWare has been simplifying solutions for some time and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2021!

The deadline to apply is by the end of December with applications opening again in June if you miss the first round. If you know you have the knowledge and drive to give back don’t wait! Apply for vExpert and good luck to everyone!

Best Regards,


TechHouse570- DevNet Class Of 2020

Photo Credit: Cisco

Were quickly approaching the end of 2020! And with that were counting down the days left to join the DevNet Class Of 2020! This certification will provide seasoned professionals and new users a ton of new skills that will take us into the future of IT and automation solutions! So why DevNet? Why now?

A few years ago, if you told Network/System Administrators, Engineers, and those alike programming, scripting and other software skills would be essential in our day to day job roles you would have been crazy to some degree. But as we approach 2021 and the future of IT. More software defined roles throughout organizations have become the new normal. Companies now have the tools and power to combine software solutions & IT infrastructure to drive business in a whole new direction for the future of our IT landscape.

Here are some great tools, resources and more to prepare yourself for the DevNet exam that can be found on The Cisco Learning Network!

If you haven’t checked them out they’re an incredible community of individuals as I mentioned back in my previous post “CLN Community Spotlight Award”

The last date to be eligible to become a part of this elite class is December 31st, 2020 so now is the time to make history! Good luck to everyone on their DevNet Journey!

Best Regards,


TechHouse570- IT ToolBox- Tips & Tricks

15 Red Tool Box Icons Images - Red Toolbox Icon, Black Tool Box Icon and  Open Toolbox Icon /
Photo Credit: Newdesignfile

You know as I’m writing this I had a moment if you will… as I was sitting here with my daughter working on my wife’s laptop I had to stop and reflect on how far we’ve came in this industry. More importantly how far I’ve come in my career also. I was thinking about how this is where all the groundwork begins to help guide and determine where it is you’ll go throughout your IT Journey. As I worked on this machine, I recalled back to some great tools throughout the years I’ve used that have been essential in solving so many issues! So for those just getting started or might just need some new tools to add to their arsenal, I’m going to share some from my toolbox that’ve helped me out tremendously!

Trend Micro- HijackThis

This has by far always been one of my go to tools for removing invalid entries, junk left over from malware and more! I highly recommend not utilizing this tool unless you have a good, solid foundation in the registry. One wrong value can corrupt your OS!

Sysinternals Suite

Always a must have in any toolbox! This incredible toolset was created in 1996 and has to this day still been continuously updated to be effective in most situations. Many of the program’s features have been updated, and once the entire package is downloaded gives you access to over 30 or more tools to troubleshoot issues in an environment.


This is going back to one of my favorite thing’s automation! By running this tool, it allows you to automate and manage VM’s, storage, guest OS’s and more. Recently 12.1 was released which ill discuss more another time! Allowing more effective managements of clusters and nodes, this will save tons of time in automating your day to day tasks.

These are just some of the thousands of resources that are available to implement in your day to day! No matter what role you’re in these tools are essential in helping you resolve any issue you may face and add to your existing arsenal!

Best Regards,