Recently I have been interviewed by Clear to Send podcast team (
@rowelldionicio @VergesFrancois) to talk about “Giving back to WiFi Community”. You can listen to it from here. This post is to quick recap of that podcast.
What ways you giving back to WiFi community ?
As many of you know, I have started my blog in April 2012 as a way of keeping my CCIE Wireless notes. Later on when I was studying for my CWNP, I have kept those notes as well. Within very short time, my blog become a useful resource for many others who is doing self study for those certifications. Then I realized, what I have done is giving something back to the WiFi community. Then my blog become the main platform to give back to the broader community & I keep it going even I am not studying for any WiFi certs at the moment.
Sometime I use my blog to express my happiness, hope you can feel it 🙂 Here is some stats of my blog. Thank you all for being with me & hope you get something out of this blog.
2. Cisco Support Community forum
When I was studying for my CCIEW, I started posting some threads on CSC forum. The support I got from that forum was really great. So I decided to spend more time on the forum (to respond others queries) once I passed my CCIEW in 2013 & still continuing it. With this platform, I am able to give a global support for anyone come to CSC for seeking help. It is a great way of bring happiness to you by helping someone out of your reach in any other ways. Here are some point of my CSC activities.
– one time I was a recipient of csc community support, now it is my turn to give it back
– way of keep learning specific Cisco technology or poducts/it is a learning platforms
– you will be addictive & really challenging with family life
– need to balance between family life & community support
– my day starts 4 AM, after 1 hr meditation spend 1-1.5hrs with CSC community
– without CSC forum, I could not extend my helping hand to the whole world
– give more without expectation…nature works in a way, you get support when needed
– many inputs, problem get resolved quickly (rather than only rely on TAC – if you get that support)
– you help Cisco by reducing by supporting community, resulting less number of TAC cases.
– pick your strong area and respond to thread on those topic. you will surprise you will still learning
– realize benefits of giving, satisfaction/happiness will come instantaneously. You can’t buy that happiness in another way.
3. Be active on social media for WiFi community
There are multiple social media platforms (twitter, slack, linkedin,vendor forums) available for you to reach people in the WiFi community. Twitter is very good platform to keep up to date with what other WiFi professionals are doing. These days most of people use twitter to seek help/input/advice as it is one of the platform you can get instant responses.
I started using twitter since late 2013 & since then I get to know many WiFi professional. If you want to keep learning WiFi, you have to use this platform and start following WiFi professional via twitter. Here are some useful link to find the right people
You can follow me on twitter using
4. Become an instructor/mentor
This is another great way of giving. If you can be a mentor for someone else and show them the path, how you become a WiFi professional, that will help them in big ways. Also if you have a teaching skills, then be a volunteer and reach others to educate them. I use to take time and teach my team some WiFi skills, even it is not required to do their primary job role. If you ever teach, then you know you are the one learning most out of that process.
Also I have being part of wifitraining.com, one of the leading wireless training provider, gives me a great opportunity to do it more. So in coming years, you should be able to see me in person as well 🙂
Here are some thoughts on teaching
– teaching is a rare skill
– lack of wireless training/instructors in today’s world
– bring someone on a journey where your came along
– spending time to teach your colleagues
– don’t undermine your potentials
– in person, you can inspire someone better
– be a volunteer
5. Attending conferences
There are multiple WiFi conferences taking place around the world. You can uses these to reach the larger WiFi community and share your knowledge among them. Below are some of them you should consider participating (this may not be a comprehensive list though)
So far I have been going to Ciscolive for past 6 years. I have met many network professional through those events.
Looking forward to go for WLAN Pro conference one day.
Even though I haven’t done many webinar/podcast by myself, I have joined many sessions done by other professionals. It is a great way of giving and you should consider use those to share your experience/knowledge.
How do you find time for community support ?
This is a big challenge for everyone as most of us are busy with work and do not get time to spend on community support for others’ benefit. In my case, I have spent lot of hours in CSC forum in the past. Once you get used to spend time on these forums it will become an addiction. So it is very important to find the balance between family time and community support whenever you spend your free time.
If you read below (my wife gave me this warning 🙂 just after getting my CCIEW) , you can understand how she felt when I am spending more time in front of computer.
Even getting this sort of warnings, it is not easy to stay away what you like to do. I think I did not have the right balance & did not have a technique to adopt. Since 2015, through my vipassana meditation, I realized that if you are doing good for others, then it should not hurt anyone else. Priorities of my life changed and allocated more time to practice mindfulness. Even for that I had to find time without affecting my family. So I used to wake up daily between 3-4AM (while all others in sleep) & do my morning meditation (~1hr) and spend time on CSC forum (1-1.5hrs).
As a result of that two thing happened
- I am happy most of the time compare to past (still good & bad happens to you..you will let them go). Once you happy, you can do more. You can make someone else happy too.
- I am getting more time back to spend on others. My wife & kids getting quality time with me and I enjoy it too. If you “give time” for others, naturally you get time back. My university is flexible and gave each employee some personal development time (3 hrs/week). I use it to develop my mindfulness further and doing daily 30-60 min mindfulness waking during lunch time.
When these two thing happen, it is a great status to be. You always extend your support, still you not hurting anyone else by doing it.
Do you get the recognition for the community support ?
Yes, Most of time, get instant satisfaction when we get to know, someone resolve their issue based on a response you have given. This is good enough for me in most of the time. Once you do this sort of community support in longer period, you will be recognized by many individuals/companies.
In my case, I have been awarded Cisco Designated VIP status for past 4 years based on the top contribution made to the CSC in wireless area. As a VIP you will be getting following privileges to keep up the good work.
1. One year subscription to Cisco Technical Education
2. Free Ciscolive ticket
3. One Cisco written exam voucher
4. One yaer subscription to Cisco Learning Network Premium CCNA-CCNP R& S practice tool kit
5. Other free stuff (T-shirt, VIP dinner, etc)
Also in this year, I have been recognized as Cisco Champion 2017. You may noticed it in my blog even though I have not announced it through a blog post. Through this porgram as well, your effort will be recognized. Being a Cisco champion you are able to
- Establish relationship with many other network professional in your field
- Get Cisco product briefings/pre-launch announcements
- Publish your blog content across Cisco
- Able to give feedback for product development
- Promote your personal brand through social media
- more free stuff
Thank you Cisco for supporting me back like this.
In summary, you can see “community support” is a rewarding opportunity, be involved and enjoy it.
A very inspirational post! I always enjoy reading your technical blog posts and seeing your name pop up on CSC 🙂
Hope to keep doing “helping others”
Fantastic outline Rasika. Thank you very much for sharing your story on our podcast. You’re an inspiration to others. Your blog has been an invaluable resource for me and others.
Thanks Rowell, I think you are doing great for the community through your podcast series. keep it up
As always you are very clear in communication with very inspirational info. Thanks to you and your family for lighting the wifi path for others like me. Hope one day I get to meet you.
Thank you Prasanna. Yes,I would like to meet you too.
In which state you are in US ?
i like your mindset,
and your blog help me so much on my road to cwne, thanks thanks thanks a lot
I think you have a similar mindset, so you see the value in it.
Keep in touch
Thanks for all these years of support community Rasika and for this marvelous blog.
Thank you… you are part of this success. So thank you for being with this blog
Mark Raats said:
Nice blog! Don’t forget your family! I’m kinda in the same boat right now. Studying form CWAP and CWSP this year. More time in the books than spending time with my wife and 7 months old.
Started to read all your CWAP notes 🙂
Hopefully I’ll meet you one day at WLPC.
Thank you. Yes, family comes first 🙂 You need to enjoy spending time with them.. when you are happy, you can do more
Yes, will meet one day, hopefully soon
How many ap in flexconnect mode can support cisco controller 5520 ?
AP mode does not matter for this. 1500 is the number a 5520 can support.
Abdul Haseeb Malik said:
I’m still very early in my days for wireless. However I have many a time benefitted from your blog as well as your answers in CSC whether it was deployment or troubleshooting. I wish to attain my CCIE Wireless one day as well as CWNE. You sir, are a huge inspiration! Thanks for all your support over the years.
Abdul H. Malik
Thank you very much for kind note. I am sure you can achieve both of those goals as long as you dedicate your time and keep strong determination.
Keep in touch and happy to help further along your journey.