Saturday, January 30, 2010

Networkers at Cisco Live 2010 - Barcelona

1 year after, i revisited Barcelona for this year's Networkers at Cisco Live 2010. This time i focused mostly on training.

Below you'll find my experience, expressed in the usual ranking model:

Category Grade Comments
Hotel B- I stayed at a non-Cisco hotel.
+ : it was only 3 mins walk from the CCIB
+ : best breakfast you could ask for
- : wi-fi access wasn't free
- : A/C has a strange issue with heat

Buses - I didn't use them.

Conference B- Better than last year's.
Center This time techtorials were made in normal rooms.
The most annoying thing was that there were some construction
works near the CCIB, which made projectors in some rooms bouncing.
Restrooms were still not enough (or food was too "energetic").

Training A- I tried to follow my usual two categories :
MPLS/VPLS & Carrier Ethernet. This time i focused more on
theoretical training, so i didn't choose any labs.
7 out of 14 sessions that i chose were advanced,
the rest were intermediate.
I met again the same French speaker who was hard to understand,
but i must admit he's a guru. Techtorial (Advanced L2VPN) was
very well presented by the two speakers, although some
introductory stuff could have been avoided. Technical material
presented in breakout sessions was according to my expectations,
besides one session which proved more introductory and less
intermediate. Biggest annoyance was that most advanced sessions
included information that couldn't be presented in just ~2 hours,
something the made the speakers pass it over in quick steps.
Imho, some advanced sessions should be made 3 hours with a
10' break and should be made available only in morning hours.
Trying to watch the advanced session "LFA - a simple protection
technique for IP/MPLS networks" at 18:00 is like hearing Dino's
session about LISP after a hangover.
The intermediate session about "Anatomy of Network Elements" was
an unexpected surprise, that proved too informative.
Online scheduler should provide an option to add alternative
sessions too (regardless of their availability), so you can always
have a quick look at your desired schedule.
For example, under each scheduled session you should see all other
available sessions that you have in your interests.

Meet the A- I arranged a single meeting with a Cisco engineer,
Engineer which proved valuable for one of my issues.
Sessions Cisco's major fault (hence the minus) was that it
wasn't possible to schedule a meeting through the web
and at the same time the meeting centre was well hidden
in the world of solutions, behind the food area.
Since my free time was limited, i had to actually run there,
schedule a meeting by hand and then return back for the next

Food B+ I didn't try breakfast (i had at the hotel).
Lunch had good quality, could have bigger variety.
Fruits and desserts were great.
Local specialties didn't impress me, so my meals were limited.

Snacks B- Snacks were average, dessert was good.

On-Site Help B Is there a taboo with Spanish people speaking English?

Cisco Store A I bought two books at a 30% discount price.
I couldn't find an old one though.

Conference C Better than last year's plastic bag, but still nothing exceptional.
Bags I used my own bag.

Registration C- Just the usual session guide and a very small CCIE label pin.
Pack No DVD, no usb stick.

Internet A- I had my EeePC and wireless was ok on every spot i tried.
Access PowerStations were only in the ground floor;
CCIE Lounge should have some of these too.

Networkers B- Too heavy and too large for my netbook.
Virtual Many unneeded features, personalization per attendee should be
supported. All PDFs should include the session title in their name.
A corrupted zip archive was created every time i tried adding
all sessions to a single download.
Some zip archives included more than one files with the same name
but different sizes.

World of - Like last year, i didn't have time to check it thoroughly.

Food at WoS - I didn't try it.

CCIE Lounge B Power stations should have been provided in the CCIE Lounge.
Also more lounge chairs would help in certain cases.

Certification - I didn't have time for an exam, so i didn't recertify my CCIE
as i was hoping.

Keynote - Since Chambers wasn't talking, i decided to miss this one and
get some sleep instead (previous night had been too long).

CCIE Party - Was there one?

Customer C Although it was a 2-day event, i can't say i enjoyed it.
Appreciation There were 2 live events (one per day), but nothing remarkable.
Event Maybe for locals it was something special.
Snacks and food were limited; at least drinks were plenty.
Also, it should have started after the end of sessions.

Cisco Live A+ Everything that makes a positive contribution to society
Initiative is more than welcome.

Overall B Since i had put training at a high priority this time, this
networking event fulfilled my expectations. Nevertheless,
i still believe the USA based one is far better in regards to
everything else.
In any case, if you want to mess with the best class
of Cisco engineers, don't miss the networkers events

Note to Cisco :
Next time, please use a single page for everything. Having to flip through,, for finding the required info can be quite tricky sometimes. Apart from having to keep track of all your login credentials.


  1. I tried to complain about the Networkers Virtual website but was ignored / blown off. The marketing company didn't want to hear any criticism about the VEplatform and how stunningly awful it is.

    Looks like I might think about going to the US event next year then.

  2. Hi Tassos - just wanted to thank you for attending Networkers at Cisco Live. I am glad the training and the engineering meet and greets went well - hopefully we'll get the food better next year in London! ;-) Really appreciate the feedback.
    best Amanda Jobbins VP Technology Marketing,
    Cisco Europe & Networkers Exec Sponsor

  3. Etherealmind - please email me your comments on the Virtual Platform - sorry you had a bad experience. Hope you come back to the London 2011 event.
    Amanda Jobbins VP Technology Marketing
    Cisco Europe & Networkers Exec Sponsor

  4. Hi Tasso,
    is it worth for someone to "invest" his own money for going to networkers events ?

  5. San Francisco 2009 was to say the least, a horrible event.

    Email me for more information.

    Shane Cauley Wyoming

  6. Michael, it depends on a lot of factors.
    But if you have some money reserved for training, this is a good way to spend them.


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