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Interview with Alain Cadet: a Cisco Support Community Designated VIP

While working as a chemistry lab technician, Alain Cadet earned CCNA and CCNP certifications and passed the written portion of the CCIE exam. “I love challenges, and hearing about other people’s challenges helps me keep learning,” he says.



Q. How did you develop an interest in networking?

A. I’ve been a chemistry lab technician since the late ‘80s. In 2000, I bought a computer and discovered I enjoyed learning about networking. I began playing hacker challenge games involving cryptography and networking. I’m a curious guy.

Q. How did you earn your networking certifications?

A. In 2006, I started studying on my own for a CCNA. I failed the exam the first time, and when my child was born I put studying on hold. Years later, I happened to see a newspaper article about a nearby Cisco Networking Academy. My work schedule gave me the flexibility to take classes twice a week, and I passed the CCNA exam for Routing and Switching. Next, I passed the CCNP and CCNA Security exams.  I later studied on my own to pass the CCNA Voice exam. Most recently I passed the CCIE Routing and Switching written exam, and I’m currently studying for the lab.

Q. Do you have a home lab?

A. I have two Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960Gs, Catalyst 3750 and 2950 Switches, and some old computers I use as servers. I use GNS3 (Graphical Network Simulator) to study for routing exams. I’m adding four Catalyst 3550 Switches to study for the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam.



Q. How did you find out about Cisco Support Community?

A. Soon after passing the CCNP exam, I discovered the community when I did a Google search. I looked around and started answering questions. It’s become addictive.

Q. How do you participate?

A. In the evening, I either study for the CCIE exam, do labs, or look for unanswered questions in the WAN, LAN, Security, and Firewall forums. I also participate in the Cisco Learning Network forum, which focuses on more theoretical information for people who are studying for certifications.

Q. Have you met other members in person?

A. I’ve become friends with a member from New Jersey who needed help with a Cisco ASA configuration in his new job. He sent me a private message, and we later discussed it further on Skype. I also met other Cisco Support Community VIPs at Cisco Live in London.

Q. Why do you find it rewarding to participate?

A. One reason is that I love challenges, and hearing about other people’s challenges helps me keep learning. The other reason is that I enjoy helping people. I helped people with mathematics and physics early in my career, and now I help them with networking.



Q.What features of the community do you use the most?

A. I visit the forums, read the blogs, and refer to documents. I also found a video about the new way to configure network address translation on the Cisco ASA. 

Q. Do you have suggestions to make the community even more valuable?

A. It would be helpful if, when you are logged off due to inactivity, the same page came up when you log back on.

Q. Any advice for fellow community members?

A. Keep up the great work helping people. The members are what make Cisco Support Community the best place to go for any Cisco-related technical information.

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‎05-17-2012 12:59 PM
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Cisco Employee

Hello Alain,

A great interview! I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet you in person at Cisco Live! 2012 in London, and I certainly hope to meet you there again in 2013 Thank you for all the great help you are providing here on CSC and please continue participating and sharing your knowledge and expertise!

Best regards,


Hello Alain,

Wow, you are on the top now. you deserve it mate. You are one of the hard working blokes out there who goes above and beyond to help people. Truly an inspirational personality. Well done and please keep continuing with your good work. Your knowledge helps a lot of people.


Wheres your interview? Did you do one as well? would love to read yours as well.

Regards, Kishore


Hi Peter,

It was a pleasure for me too to meet you at CiscoLive and I hope we can meet again there for the next edition.



Hi Kishore,

Thanks. I hope I can still contribute on this forum for a very long time.


New Member

Hi Alain,

You are awesome!


New Member

Good work

New Member

Hi Alain,

Your the man! You are such a great and helpful man. Keep up the good work buddy.



Hi Karl,

How are you doing ? I hope everything's fine with you.  Thanks for the kudos.



New Member

Alain is a TOP guy in Cisco community, as a newbie on Cisco Routers, he has helped solve some problems on my routers and and largely indebted to his expertise.

He could be my inspiration in taking up Networking full time


Hi seun,

Thanks a lot.

I also hope I will find a full time job as Network engineer soon.



Hi mate,

Keep the hard work, You are the man!!!


New Member

@ Alaain

please let me know how this will be possible for me to become a cisco cadet?

to earn free certifications ?

New Member

Hey Cadet it was superb interview......

I would like to share one bitter truth with all of the expert guys....on this CSC...... do you know guys there are noone from my country (NEPAL)  who can say that he/she is expert in Cisco.....why we are so back and cannot do anythings on Cisco world?????.........As you said Cadet you started cisco journey since 2006 ...its 2013 just 7 years.......u achieved what you wanted....its all due to your hardwork.........But plz dont forget that for RND everythings is on your guys are so near to it..............But in our case........NOTHINGS..........