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I left Cisco back in 2011 to go contracting, and I promised myself “to do a few years” and see how I got on. The experience has been eye-opening, to say the least. I’ve had some up’s and downs, both professionally and personally during this time and I think it’s hardened me up a little for the better.

I’ve seen how some businesses are well integrated, have great processes and work hard to keep business continuity. I’ve also seen total calamities. In the process I’ve been exposed to other Vendors’ kit (and some of it’s pretty darn good!) as well as the Cisco-Customer relationship that, at times, can be fretful in places.

In all, I’ve enjoyed the last few years of being outside the Cisco bubble.  I’ve made great use of my skills, learnt plenty new ones, and met some great engineers and designers.  But now it’s time to work on the next phase of my career progression – I’ve always wanted to become a “Solutions Architect”.  Yes, I’ll admit it’s a bit of a fluffy title, but it’s the one I’m after.  I’m going to be joining a VAR (Value added reseller) next week and developing a role where I can work on both the high level and the low-level of building end-to-end network solutions.