There is a lot of talk about Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, but how appealing are companies like Cisco?
Cisco IOS is a pile of shit but I'm still studying for these stupid fucking certs. If their software is any indication of what their offices are like, I wouldn't want to work there.
You need to know how their systems work because they hold a large market share. That may change in the future though, if you find network engineering interesting then go for it, otherwise you probably won't need more than a basic understanding of their tech for your work.
hi i work for this company
what questions do you have? i've been in google before too
Lots of inconsistencies. Interfaces vs interface command, inconsistencies with router configuration mode naming, prompt never says what specific interface/vlan/whatever you're configuring, notifications cut off your current command, etc. Can't be bothered to list every gripe I have with it.
I'm gonna answer for him because I deal with those guys all day, he can jump in whenever.
IOS is a relic. It was a different time... a different place, y'know. People are mad that network gear is big and expensive. If you think legacy software is an issue, just imagine when switches are 40k each, and you have thousands.
Google has thousands of supervisors that will literally die if they reset in India. Google, deep pocket google. Why? Because changing them would not only be expensive, but a nightmare. The supervisors in those boxes are like, more than ten years old.
These boxes all have a shared architecture and a shared OS running on modified *nix, IOS. Todays cowboy coder kids don't have respect for RTOS and all the stability that went into IOS or the fact the world has run on it for years.
That being said, times have changed and networks are huge. Google has virtualized a lot of their networks and primarily only buys layer 2 (data plane) stuff from us. People want management, insight, and programmability. Thats where the new stuff like NXOS, IOS-XR and IOS-XE come in. Steps in the right direction, but not quite the drag and drop point and click python pipe-dream everybody is so wet about.
Enter Arista and all these new whippersnappers. Its a race for programmability. People who say IOS is shit are mad its built like a tank and operates over a 9600 baud console cable.
What are your thoughts on being a TAC engineer or a Network Consulting engineer?
What are promotions like within the company?
What is something you do that is interesting about your job?
Where is Cisco at in the SDN world?
Alright, you didn't resurface and I'm getting sleepy so there's something very critical people don't understand about Cisco, particularly working for them. If you're not directly working for these companies, there's a big component you don't realize - how they pay. It is a pretty established fact that Cisco is famous for their sales force, enough that it is often a case study in MBA classes and stuff. Sales force, combined with a penchant for acquisitons (to the tune of about one a month for a decade)... its a coin operated company.
When you have a coin operated sales force, you gotta pay. Cisco has some of the highest (or the highest?) paid sales people at most all ranks and experience. The company is like, 40k engineers and 30k "other." The sales force is like 60% hot women and 40% smooth engineer bros and they know how to close deals. We don't always have the best product, but damn if we don't know how to navigate bureaucracy and get the deal.
Remember, Cisco is unique against Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Facebook/Apple in that they're nearly exclusively B2B. Regular people don't have an "opinion" about Cisco, they just see our gear and confuse us with the food service people. The B2B world is completely different in the consumer world because the best product doesn't always win, the best sales team does. "Yeah my product is worse, but you need it in under 30 days and Arista is 50 days out on all their delivieries."
Okay, so TAC are basically my heroes. Those dudes are technical as fuck and basically CCIE is table stakes over there. They know their shit backwards and forwards, upside down too. TACs can be HT (high touch) and basically carry a batphone (I know the HT TAC engineer for a few big .com's). The company has beef, they call you. You're their pointman and you fix it.
All that being said, TAC doesn't make the money the systems engineers do. The rule of real life is the closer you get to the money, the more you make. Systems engineers are the "other side" of TAC - presales. They verify, validate, and design against customer requirements. After the network is built, sold, and implemented, we never look at it again. Thats TACs field; post sales.
A NCE or network consulting engineer is (to my understanding) like a CSE? A CSE is a consulting systems engineer, basically a systems engineer but sharpened and specialized around a technology (wireless, security, data center, storage, etc). If a generalist (a regular engineer) is working a deal and needs to navigate some really sticky specifics (millionths of a second timing regarding small-cell wireless deployments), they wrangle a CSE into the mix who "overlays" their specialty. These guys will make more money than a systems engineer by about 40K, and are often certified at the IE level aswell.
Cisco in SDN... its a moving target. We just killed off OnePK and are now chasing the... Yang? Jang? model in some breed of netflow... or something. I'm not a software guy, I'm a hardware guy. I've been to Google, and they're not my tea.
Yeah, Google is hip and trendy - but not very hardwarey. They come to us for that for a reason, and they're realists about it. Every brown guy in their office can outcode me 10000000 to 1, but I know my way around our hardware architecutre better so we call it a truce.
You ever been to San Francisco's Meraki office? One acquisition doesn't turn a 55 billion revenue juggernaut on its heel. Meraki gear is neat, but they still operate as a different office and its not all certified the same way a lot of Cisco shit is (industrial ethernet switching environments have to use the aging 3750X instead of a 3650/3850 because of REP certifications... such is life).
That being said, Meraki has opened a lot of opportunities and really sped up a lot of deals. I think Meraki owns all the Ford dealerships in the country because how easy they are to deploy and manage.
Sounds accurate, like I said they're still highly autonomous of Cisco. I don't think I can easily quote Meraki gear if I see an opportunity - I need to involve a Meraki engineer/hand it off. Its changing now (those dudes were 400% to goal last year, hundreds of thousands in commission per sales person easily) but its by no means a bad place to be. Definitely the hippest thing inside Cisco outside of the software accounts in SJC.
I work in the NC location for Cisco. I made a wrong turn one day heading downtown and ended up in IBMs security checkpoint. Those dudes are tight, however I frankly don't know what they do these days outside of consultancy and research.
Ironport is now ESA and the ESA/WSA are still available as appliances but we're rolling out VM options to refresh candidates. There's also cloud options for both, depending on deployment situation (think like a Starwood hotels or something). Not sure about their actual traction in industry but I don't hear a lot of beef surrounding them at least.
I don't drink so the (lack of) night life doesn't bug me. I'm from the north east so the weather here is basically gorgeous, the pay is bananas and the cost of living is dirt. All that being said, I'll probably move back to the north in the coming year because I have a huge net of friends/family that I'm tight with. If you have the opportunity to come out here for work, you really can't go wrong with Microsoft/Lenovo/IBM from what I hear. Oh, yeah, and NetApp.
Nice man. I'm from RTP too. I assume you have a lot of RIT or RPI friends. Yeah, I think Raleigh area is one of the best kept secrets. SAS, RedHat, IBM, NetApp, etc. are all in that area.
Yeah, its been developing at an insane rate where I am. Construction nonstop but its still really quaint and everyone is really polite because everyone is quietly ballin' out. I pay $810 for rent... someone in my same position in SJC pays $2300. Like... thats my monthly budget for everything, and we get paid the same.
Regardless tho, OP - Cisco is money but the question on everyone's mind is can we win the software battle and become Arista faster than Arista can become Cisco.
one last thing: as a sales company we go all out. vegas in august for the sales force. last year we had hillary clinton, the ceo of buzzfeed, and aerosmith
I used to work at IBM in RTP, now I work at Cisco in RTP. Such is life for NCSU grads.
IBM is sort of depressing, since they lay everyone off every year. It was a good experience though. Cool history as a company, but not really what it once was. Cisco is great though.
This thread is relevant to my interests. I applied for some internships at Cisco as well as many other companies recently. Well I didn't get the internship but someone emailed me about some kind of graduate program for ASE, associate systems engineer.
Does anyone have experience from that program. It seemed like there would be a year long training period in Amsterdam before actually starting working.
Any system engineers here? How is the salary, how do you like the work?