Tuesday, September 26, 2023

My Revel in as a First-Time Cisco Are living Speaker


Once I stepped into the sector of era, I by no means imagined I’d see these days so early in my profession. Since I’m a moderately fresh addition to the Cisco circle of relatives, the chance to wait Cisco Are living in Las Vegas was once already momentous. Little did I do know this revel in would surpass all expectancies. I discovered myself embracing a task I by no means expected: Speaker!

I don’t know if you’ll consider my preliminary shockwaves after I gained an sudden invitation to lend a hand a seasoned knowledgeable with a 4-hour lab consultation. I wasn’t simply excited. I used to be humbled to grasp any person known my doable and relied on me with such accountability.

I’m going to take you in the back of the scenes of Cisco Are living for a glimpse into what audio system revel in. You’ll view the opposite facet of the speaker curtain, see what it’s like to arrange, or even in finding some humor in my first-time tale.

“The target audience isn’t in opposition to you; they’re rooting for you,” he mentioned.

“They’re there to be told one thing.”

First impressions of Cisco Are living Las Vegas

Akhila Pamukuntla takes the Cisco. U Theater degree to provide.

Once I arrived within the colourful town of Las Vegas for Cisco Are living, I used to be struck through the grandeur and scale of Cisco Are living. The joy within the air was once visual as attendees and exhibitors from all corners of the globe flooded the Mandalay Bay Conference Heart.

Status in the midst of the busy conference halls, I noticed groups diligently putting in place cubicles and presentations. I felt anxious but exhilarated.

My first consultation on Jupyter Pocket book was once additionally the opener for the Cisco U. Theater. Earlier than taking the degree, I used to be worried on the considered addressing this kind of huge target audience, however I felt assured. I drew power in figuring out I used to be well-prepared and enthusiastic about the subject. Plus, I had supportive mentors round me.

With a deep breath, I took the degree. I used to be in a position—in a position to ship the consultation that may set the tone for an improbable week of finding out.

In November 2022, Hank Preston, Fundamental Engineer, requested me to lend a hand him together with his four-hour, instructor-led lab consultation. I used to be beautiful excited as a result of I didn’t assume many Cisconians were given to visit Cisco Are living this temporarily of their profession. However I used to be additionally anxious as it was once Hank, a celeb within the networking box. I didn’t understand how I’d be capable to provide. However in fact, I mentioned sure, and we began hanging the lab in combination.

Cisco U. had just lately been offered to the sector. So the Cisco U. Theater was once arrange on the Studying & Certifications (L&C) sales space, they usually requested audio system from L&C to provide on any subject they sought after to within the Cisco U. Theater. I selected Jupyter Pocket book (a kind of command line interface [CLI] for Python) as a result of I had used it so much in faculty, and it was once other than what everybody else would provide.

How I turned into a Cisco Are living speaker

Akhila Pamukuntla and Hank Preston speaking at Cisco Live 2023 Las Vegas.
Akhila Pamukuntla and Hank Preston apply their Cisco Are living classes.

All of it started in November 2022 when Hank Preston, Fundamental Engineer, requested me to lend a hand him together with his 4-hour, instructor-led lab consultation. I used to be beautiful excited. In any case, I didn’t assume the risk to wait Cisco Are living was once all that not unusual for other people like me—the ones so early of their Cisco profession, this is.

However I used to be additionally anxious. This was once Hank Preston. Hank is just about a celeb within the networking box. On the considered pairing up with him, I questioned how I’d be capable to provide. However in fact, I mentioned sure. And we began hanging the lab—our lab— in combination.

Simply after I concept Hank’s lab consultation was once my simplest center of attention for Cisco Are living Las Vegas, I used to be invited to talk on the Cisco U. Theater!

Concerning the Cisco U. Theater

We just lately offered the sector to Cisco U., a brand new virtual finding out revel in that provides modular, bite-sized finding out for your second of want. The Cisco U. Theater is an iteration of this idea, providing brief lightning talks on explicit tech subjects. One of the crucial highest portions of the theater is Cisco Are living attendees can drop in at a second’s realize as they consult with the Studying and Certifications Sales space within the International of Answers.

So when the group introduced me the risk to provide on my selection of subject, I selected Jupyter Pocket book. Jupyter Pocket book is a kind of command line interface (CLI) for Python. I had used it so much in faculty, and it was once other from what everybody else would provide within the Cisco U. Theater.

Akhila Pamukuntla and Raymond Viscaina present, "What Happens When I Click Start Lab?"
Akhila Pamukuntla and Raymond Viscaina provide, “What Occurs Once I Click on Get started Lab?”

So right here I used to be pondering I used to be there to lend a hand with a lab consultation, however then I used to be requested to talk on the Cisco U. Theater! No longer lengthy after, my supervisor, Raymond Viscaina, Engineering Chief, requested me to lend a hand him with his theater consultation, What Occurs Once I Click on Get started Lab. I couldn’t imagine it. Now I needed to prep for 2 theater classes and a lab consultation. What an advantage!

Getting thru prep classes

Akhila Pamukuntla and Hank Preston get ready sooner than Akhila’s Cisco U. Theater Consultation.

Surreal. It’s the one phrase I will be able to call to mind to explain the prep for the lab consultation with Hank. On the other hand, as for my solo consultation within the theater, I used to be too fascinated by my presentation to consider nearly anything.

I used to be fortunate sufficient to have Engineering Chief Joe Rinehart assigned as my mentor a couple of weeks sooner than the development. As I practiced my solo consultation with Joe, one of the crucial guidelines he gave incorporated: “Apply continuously, apply in entrance of a replicate, and area issues.

He mentioned I must discover a area like an empty room or theater, which is so much other than training for your bed room. So, I went to my native library and requested for an empty room. With me, pre-event blueprints of the theater and a map of the sales space structure. I even had a photograph of Cisco Are living Amsterdam’s crowd on the Cisco U. Theater to arrange me for the quantity of attendees in Las Vegas, in spite of listening to Las Vegas can be a lot higher in scale.

About two weeks sooner than I left, I used to be the use of each and every device in my arsenal to visualise the development, mentally making ready myself. And that’s after I discovered my consultation was once the hole consultation—the first actual Cisco U. Theater consultation of the week.

Till that second, I didn’t even know what time or day I used to be presenting; I simply stored training. But if I noticed the date was once Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, I spotted no different speaker was once scheduled sooner than me. Smartly, you’ll consider my response.

I used to be terrified.

Presenting at the special occasion

Akhila Pamukuntla gifts in entrance of a complete theater.

No longer simplest was once I the primary speaker to provide within the theater, however the Studying and Certifications Sales space was once the primary sight for attendees upon coming into the International of Answers. The WoS additionally opened at the very same time as my consultation, and attendees had been in a position and ready. I turned into a package of nerves after I noticed the onslaught of other people.

Earlier than we began, we needed to check my microphone. First, they put it on my T-shirt. That didn’t sound correct. So, then they gave me a headset. That didn’t determine, both. My head is more or less small, so we needed to paintings a bit of tougher to get it to suit.

“Discuss louder,” they mentioned. They stored telling me, many times, to talk louder right through the mic check. I felt like I used to be yelling. I quickly discovered I needed to discuss louder as a result of extra other people can be coming into the International of Answers right through the presentation. No drive, I assumed.

Once I in any case began chatting with the gang, I noticed Joe, my pre-Cisco-Are living prep mentor. I instantly recalled one thing essential he mentioned right through the ones classes.

“The target audience isn’t in opposition to you; they’re rooting for you,” he mentioned. “They’re there to be told one thing.”

My consultation was once streaming continue to exist the Cisco Coaching and Certification LinkedIn web page and at the Cisco U. through Studying and Certifications YouTube Channel. My circle of relatives was once staring at. No drive.

Once I first began my presentation, I may just really feel my voice shaking. Perhaps 3 to 5 mins into it, although, I spotted it wasn’t as unhealthy as I assumed it will be. I attempted to make eye touch with as many of us as I may just. I used to be nonetheless slightly scared. What in the event that they didn’t react?

However with each and every head nod, I felt my self assurance develop. I used to be making sense to them. And that stored me going.

Throughout my communicate, I requested the target audience questions. “What number of of you’re conversant in Jupyter and feature used it sooner than?” My objective was once to get them engaged. That was once certainly one of Hank’s guidelines. You want to grasp in the event that they’re with you. (And sure, a couple of other people had heard of Jupyter and had even used it sooner than.)

An engaged crowd at the Cisco U. Theater.
An engaged crowd on the Cisco U. Theater.

Subsequent up, a demo. I used to be if truth be told appearing them Jupyter Pocket book are living, in actual time. The strains of code had been already written, with me executing and explaining each and every step as I went thru it. I spotted other people typing alongside, taking notes as I persisted.

In the end, I had made it thru. And what a reduction! After that, my different shows fell into position; the Cisco U. Theater consultation with my supervisor, plus the 4-hour lab consultation with Hank. Mockingly, even if I used to be in a smaller room, I used to be extra anxious there. And the only phase I had practiced essentially the most was once the phase I moderately stumbled over! I were given thru that as effectively, although. I should say, having a look again at my revel in, I realized so much about presenting from being a speaker at Cisco Are living. However the factor that I can all the time take into account is how I were given there: my mentors.

Mentors make all of the distinction

Once I mirror at the entire Cisco Are living revel in, I understand I went thru rather a change. To start with, the worry of presenting in entrance of a crowd and being surrounded through pros crushed me. On the other hand, having a look again now, I understand it was once the implausible folks I encountered and the significant conversations we shared that made my revel in actually unforgettable.

It wasn’t simply the colleagues and friends round me. It was once additionally the ones whom I introduced to. It was once each and every sudden message I gained on LinkedIn, asking to be told extra concerning the subject of my consultation. It was once when I used to be singled out and stopped through attendees at the aisles of Cisco Are living to precise their appreciation for my theater consultation.

The enhance and encouragement I gained after my theater consultation reassured me. I had made a good have an effect on. However that’s now not all. Talking at Cisco Are living sparked newfound self assurance inside me. It has taught me that it’s the folks and the connections we shape that in the long run make any revel in significant and remarkable. And I will be able to’t wait to do it once more.

Thank you for studying! I invite you to observe my first consultation as a Cisco Are living Speaker underneath.

Watch “Jupyter Notebooks,” through Akhila Pumukuntla, introduced within the Cisco U. Theater at Cisco Are living 2023 Las Vegas.


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