At the end of last last week, Cisco sent out the official “Welcome” emails to the folks they’ve named as Cisco Champions for 2018.
What are Cisco Champions exactly? you might ask.
It’s a fair question, I’ll admit. Started in 2014, the Cisco Champion program is a way for Cisco to recognize those members of the IT community — who are not Cisco employees — who are going above and beyond their job descriptions to find ways to contribute to and share knowledge with that IT community.
To quote from Cisco’s website:
Cisco Champions are passionate experts who share their perspectives with the community.
In my experience, that’s exactly who they are. Sometimes I feel like there are people out there who are only interested in joining community programs like this one in order to grab some free swag, but I’ve never gotten that vibe from any of the Cisco Champions I’ve met in person or interacted with online. In general, I find them to be very enthusiastic about the technology we all use and very eager to learn — and help others learn, too. I find that I get energized when I spend time with this community.
Cisco recognizes Champions in the following interest areas:
- Data Center
- Enterprise Networks
- Internet of Things
With that said, I’m both proud, humbled, and a little nervous to have been named a Cisco Champion for Data Center for my 5th year. Proud because, well, it’s a honor to be selected. Humbled because when I look at the other folks who’ve been selected, I see several folks who I’ve looked up to for a while, and someone has decided that I belong in the same grouping as them. And a little nervous because someone has decided that I belong in the same grouping as these folks — a little concerned about not living up to expectations.
Anyway, thank you Cisco, and congratulations to all the other Cisco Champions, both new and returning!