Career advice from an old CCIE

I was cleaning out some old email and found this gem. For context, I had just passed the CCIE written and was prepping for the lab when I received this unsolicited advice. It is gold.

Congratulations.

It really is something to be proud of. It’s a small club even today.

Once you pass the lab that’s when the problems start for you on a personal and career level. You will elevate yourself to a place beyond what a company like Syringa can provide, and yet find that this may be one of the only places in Idaho that offers a significant technical challenge.

Then there is the pay issue. You will be grossly underpaid here compared to your peers. Especially after your time spent in a real world environment where you have used the tools and technologies in a real live fire manner

If you move to a vendor then you see their view of the world only, and get pigeon holed into a single set of technologies they offer. Yet you have access to people and resources that you can never get to in a service provider or enterprise environment. A conundrum to say the least, they are your paycheck.

Boredom will kill you unless you are constantly moving from a technology, passion, and career perspective. It’s the almighties cruel trick that is played on someone that has the desire, and wherewith all to do what you have set out to do.

But you are young. Keep the passion, the curiosity, and tenacity to keep this going. Expand beyond IP (yep I said it) to newer transport technologies at least at the 60 to 70% level. Don’t go to management until you are 45 to 50 at least. Your value begins to decrease the more of a technological Alumni that you become.

You will always be technologically smarter than your employers. While it will be true, temper this. It’s gotten more than one person in a pit of crap. If you ever heard of Dr. Tony Li, the father of CIDR, and co conspirator on BGP4, the 7500, and other things, he took his resume and put in on John Chambers office door with a knife. Then went on to start Juniper, and other companies. Dr. Li is much smarter than Chambers. But Chambers is a Southern Baptist preacher, and the lemmings listen to him as he can speak well even if he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Those in the know listen to the Dr. Li’s of the world. Somehow do both and be the divining rod, and get to the truth for yourself and others.

Management destroys a technologist as they don’t keep up. At the same time strive to understand how business decisions are made, as that affects the technology side and your ability to deploy the technologies that will keep you going. ROI, Net present value, and other financial models are only vehicles to keep the technology curious in new technology projects to keep them going. Use them to your curiosity, and your current employers benefit. It’s a win win for both.

What you will achieve is much more difficult than any undergrad or graduate degree. The problem with it is that it requires constant attention. A Undergrad, graduate, or professional certification in another area, like lawyer, PE or doctor only require that you take additional classes for credit. They don’t require constant test verification on past, present, and potentially new technologies.

Congratulations. Try to keep up

CCIE and Management Alumni

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Ceuse Beta

There doesn’t seem to be much information online regarding where to stay in Ceuse. We ended up renting an AirBnB in Saint Laurent (neighborhood of Sigoyer). This does involve driving to the crag. If you want to stay within walking distance, I would recommend searching around Les Guerins (the actual campsite). Les Roses and Les Bonnets are also close enough for walking.

We flew into Nice, due to the flight price. Time wise, Marseilles or Grenoble are closer though.

For supplies, we found the supermarket in Tallard to be adequate. While it’s purported to be expensive, it was more enjoyable than trying to drive in/around Gap.

For rest days, the lake near Embrun is quite enjoyable.

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Kalymnos Beta

Just some random thoughts on Kalymnos:

Avoid the busy season. Shoot for the month of November.
Contact info for the awesome flat I stayed at: stsakrios@gr.com (Skavos and Katina)
Flying into Kalymnos from Athens wasn’t bad… although I can see the potential for getting screwed by the weather.
There are plenty of walkable crags, a scooter is not a strict requirement. However, if you want to go to less polished crags a scooter is needed.
You can take the bus to the cheaper market in Panoramas (I think it’s called Smalios).

Apparently Olympic Air doesn’t fly regularly to Kalymnos, so plan accordingly.

Update:
Having now done the Kos flight and subsequent ferry I can endorse this as a totally feasible option.

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South Dakota Climbing Beta

Just wanted to save some notes for climbing in the Spearfish/VC area

TL;DR Don’t come during Sturgis

The VC:
Camping – You can camp on NFS150 (the road that approaches the crag). Not a ton of shady options. I made it out in the WRX, but higher clearance would have been nice. 2WD vehicles would probably be fine on the road though.
Water – Apparenty Rapid City’s most closely guarded resource. I found two options, both at gas stations. The Corner Pantry on Highway 16/Mt. Rushmore road has a spigot on the east (opposite from the main road) side. There’s also one at the gas station at Fairmont and Cambell, but it is out front and a little more conspicuous.
Coffee Shops – Rumours or Alternative Fuel are both good
Restaurants – Independent Ale House has a great tap list and flat bread pizza. The Everest Cafe’s lunch buffet comes recommended via a friend.
Library – The City Library has decent internet and some quiet places for working. They seem to be phone call friendly as long as you aren’t disturbing other patrons
Routes – The Duck wall has some good warmups. I don’t know if there was a lot of rain recently, but for whatever reason there wasn’t much chalk on the routes I got on. Onsighting was hard. Mogo Chaji and Love You Long Time are tittes. Bring a kneepad for the latter.

Spearfish:
Camping – City Park seems like a good option, but it was totally smashed due to Sturgis. The best places to camp during Sturgis seem to be anywhere with a dirt road. We stayed at the Rod and Gun campground (near Savoy), but it is super expensive ($16 a night). Seems poachable if you’re willing to pack up everyday.
Water – City Park. There was also a spigot at the Rod and Gun campground.
Coffee Shops – Blackbird Espresso or Common Grounds are both good
Restaurants – Bay Leaf Cafe is the shit! Give them your money!
Library – The City Library is nice with fast internet. I did have an odd experience where a gay rights website was blocked due to being an “advocacy group”… plannedparenthood.com opened just fine though. Study rooms are available, although they are cramped with two people.
Routes – The grades seem a bit stiffer vs. Ten Sleep. The Tempest is awesome and definitely worth getting on if you’re at the grade.

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First 5.13!

Had a great weekend at the Fins. Arrived Friday night in the Monster Van (Tom’s Quigley 4×4). We got there early enough to get in a couple pitches before the sun went down. I managed to warm up and then put one burn in on Al’s Diner. I fell on the low crux, but the the crimp felt sticky good. Apparently my training of doing 1-5 with the crimp/mono combo on the campus board paid off.

Saturday I warmed up slowly, doing both the warmups on the right side of the headwall. On my first go on Al’s I stuck the low crux move to the jug, and let out a mighty roar. I climbed into the rest and felt energized, but jittery. After getting my breathing and heart rate down I launched into the upper crux section. I latched the mono and setup my feet, but then bobbled going to the next crimp and fell. It was super demoralizing. I gave Al’s a couple more attempts later in the day but was falling on the low crux again. I tried to not let it get me too down, focusing on the fact that this was my first time climbing to the rest from the ground. I ended the day giving Koona a couple tries.

Sunday I was surprised to find that my skin felt pretty good after doing 7 pitches the day prior. The Fins is notoriously rough on your skin. I warmed up slowly (again), cleaning my draws off the two warmups on the right. I gave Koona a burn, and punted off the top. I gave Chris running beta and he flashed Koona, I picked up a new rest sequence in the pocket swap. Using the new beta I sent Koona. While hanging at the anchor looking at the extension I announced that I’d rather give Al’s another try. I ended up taking a very long rest as a couple other folks gave Al’s a try, including a TR beta burn. I tied in, forced a smile, and reminded myself to have fun. It was my first time trying the route without the first bolt stick clipped, but it didn’t matter. I had the bottom section pretty dialed from trying so many times, but this time I just floated it. I stuck the low crux without making a peep, and got into the rest. Another forced smile, slow the breath, have fun. Latch the mono, catch the next crimp perfectly. Set feet, stick the thumbercling. Grab the hockey stick. At this point I’d always figured I’d skip the draw and just move right, but I couldn’t get my foot up into the next pocket. Fortune smiled on me, as Troy had ticked another foot out left that I could use to clip off. He also chalked the only left foot I could use to step up. This was the same point where Tom had fallen off a month ago. I hoped my height would be enough as I reached to the jug.

I stuck it, fully extended. I trembled a bit and focused on my breathing and my feet. I was able to bump my foot into the normal sequence I had rehearsed. I stayed focused on keeping my excitement in check and slowly walked my feet out right, setting up for the final move to the anchor clipping jug. As I clipped the chains I quietly called “Take!” and then screamed for joy. As Tom lowered me I tried to soak in the moment, as you only get to break into a grade once.

There were fist bumps and hugs. I debated shotgunning my crag beer, but just sipped on it instead. Tom sent Al’s the next go. An epic end to an epic weekend. Season’s just getting started…

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The mono move in the upper crux. Photo by the talented Mr. Kipp Schorr.

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Upstream AS traffic manipulation

I had a job interview with a large CDN and learned a new trick. Well, a new wrinkle on an old behavior.

AS_peering

AS N represents the CDN, while AS X and Y are transit providers. Let’s say there is a large eyeball network who refuses to peer with you (AS 701 for the sake of argument). How can you influence the flow of traffic from AS 701 such that they only use AS Y and not AS X?

Typically this would be accomplished via the use of communities with your transit provider. Most transit providers support internal communities allowing the addition of AS prepends toward specific peers, but that is dependent on the provider’s policy framework. Another option is the use of the no-export community, but again this depends on the provider’s implementation.

Instead of relying on communities, you could inject AS 701 into the path list for prefixes advertised toward AS X. When AS X advertises the routes toward AS 701, they will be rejected due to BGP’s AS path loop prevention mechanism. This technique is known as AS path poisoning, and is somewhat difficult to detect via normal troubleshooting since you can’t check the RIB.

Cisco boxes will log an error of the form:
%BGP% Neighbor A.B.C.D recv bogus route : AS loop

On Juniper routers run the following command to view the discarded routes:
show route hidden aspath-regex .*Your-AS.*

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Capturing Traffic in IOS

Just wanted to share a new trick. In the dark old days to verify traffic was flowing across an interface you would create an ACL that matched the interesting traffic and then run ‘debug ip packet’. This also required disabling CEF on any of the interfaces in question so that the traffic would be process switched.

However, now you can use the same ACL with the ‘debug ip cef packet’ command. I recommend narrowing down to the interface in question, and you do need to specify input vs. output direction. One other note, it seems like if the ACL you are using to specify traffic has the log keyword then the debug will not work. I am not certain if this is a bug or a feature.

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I’m Back!

Well I didn’t do a very good job of keeping up with the blog. So it goes. Since my last post about Sunset Alley we made a few more trips down to St. George. There was some sending. I kept up with my training regiment until I sprained my ankle at the gym. While mending from that injury I switched jobs. During that transition I had a week off where I climbed in Idaho at the Shoshone Lava Tubes. There I re-tore an old meniscus injury (and fell going for the anchors on a red point attempt). Double fail.

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Knocked Out and Loaded (12c). Shortly before a minor setback occurred.

The diagnosis was about half of my medial meniscus needed to be removed. Fortunately I was able to get in for surgery quickly, and spent the month of May healing. One of the perks of being in Salt Lake is the amazing network of climbers, many of whom have big kid jobs. As it turns out, my physical therapist falls into that category. After some rehab I am now able to run and climb again with very few functional movement impairments.

Yesterday I sent my hardest route post-surgery, and tied my hardest red point for the year. The psych is high here in Ten Sleep!

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Joe’s Valley – Chips

Well after climbing for 10+ years I finally sent my first V7. I’ve always found bouldering to be a frustrating discipline. While my technical climbing ability is decent (ok fine, mediocre) I’ve always lacked the raw power for bouldering. One of the biggest challenges in climbing (or perhaps life) is recognizing your weaknesses and then choosing to train them.

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Not the send go.

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Failure

Yesterday I fell on what would have been my hardest redpoint to date. I made it through the boulder problem. I made it to the hands off knee bar rest. I still blew it. And yet, I am still happy with my performance.

My satisfaction comes from an outsider’s observation. “You didn’t even look pumped, I’m surprised you fell.” I don’t know if this person knew they were quoting Rock Warrior’s Way damn near verbatim, but it was nice to hear.

Ball ’til you fall.

Next go for sure.

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