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Interview with Top Contributor - Paolo Bevilacqua


Paolo Bevilacqua Paolo Bevilacqua embodies the international aspect of the Cisco Support Community. He has worked in the networking industry on two continents, and he joined the community to gain an international perspective on networking technologies.



Q: How long have you been in the networking industry and why did you get involved in it?

A: I started in the industry in 1987, when I wrote network drivers and system software for a systems integrator in Rome, Italy. Over the next few years, my role evolved from systems programmer to network engineer. In 1994, I founded an Italian ISP that served business and residential users. During this time, I became increasingly interested in Internet routing. I eventually sold the company to my partners and became the first employee for Cisco in Rome. Then, three years later, Cisco transferred me to its headquarters in San Jose, California, to test a new processor for the Cisco 7200 Series Router. When I completed this project, I became a Cisco technical marketing engineer for voice and WAN on the Cisco 7200 and 7500 Series Routers. I enjoyed my career at Cisco because we always had interesting projects. But in 2003, I decided to move back home, to Italy. I am now the principal network engineer for ByteWorks, an authorized Cisco reseller. The majority of our customers are in the sports betting industry, and they use Cisco equipment because of their security, scalability, and availability requirements.

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Q: What influenced you to use the Cisco Support Community, and how did you hear about it?

A: After I left Cisco, I took a break from working for a couple of years. When I reentered the workforce, I wanted to catch up with new networking technology, including VoIP. My goal was to find an English-language discussion forum with an international perspective, and participants like me, who wanted to do innovative things. I found the Support Community when I was browsing

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Q: How do you use the Cisco Support Community to find solutions to everyday networking issues?

A: I use it whenever I have a free moment during my workday. I visit the forums that I subscribe to so that I can see if anyone has posted a new question. I enjoy answering a variety of questions, from practical issues about setting up Cisco routers to architectural questions about the grand scheme of things.

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Q: What is the most useful or inspiring conversation you have found on the community to date?

A: My favorite conversations involve getting complicated configurations to work. A recent example was connecting a traditional TDM PBX system over a Cisco network so that its features still worked.

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Q: What is your greatest accomplishment to date in your networking career?

A: A newspaper publisher in Northern Italy hired me to connect seven remote locations to its network-overnight! I did it, and the next morning's edition of the paper was published on schedule.

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The Community

Q: What is your overall impression of the Cisco Support Community?

A: The Cisco Support Community is a very good forum. What makes it unique, in my opinion, is a culture of politeness. It is the only forum I have seen where people do not fight! It doesn't need moderation because the members make it a point to be cordial and available to one another. The atmosphere is very cooperative.

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Q: Which features do you find the most helpful, and do you have any suggestions?

A: The search feature is very helpful. I suggest using a bigger font, for readability. And more speed, please!

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Q: Do you have a message for your fellow users?

A: My message to people who are already providing answers is thank you, you're doing a great job. To those people who ask questions, my advice is to not be afraid to be verbose when explaining your problem or situation. The more information you provide, the easier it is for us to provide an answer.