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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.
CISCO SUPPORT COMMUNITY
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.