For our third Member Spotlight, we chose to recognize Matt (@SoCalRacer). In his first 3 months, Matt has received 61 kudos, written 161 posts, and authored 8 official solutions.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I started working with Cisco equipment in 1998 when I was 16 and went through the CCNA and CCNP certs over the next 2 years. I graduated HS and College with 3 year degree and both my CCNA and CCNP. After the summer I decided to leave IT for a while and did IT on the side mostly. I transitioned into sales roles and found a new love (auto racing) that occupied my every waking moment for a good while. I then started transitioning back to more technical roles and integrating to enterprise businesses. Started working for an MSP 10 years ago. Did that for a couple years and decided to start my own MSP business. After 3 or 4 years I started using Cisco equipment and started hearing alot of buzz about Meraki and how it could help us and our clients. Jumped onboard with Meraki a little over a year ago as our preferred networking vendor and now going full throttle with Meraki.
How does the community help you in your day-to-day work?
The community allows you to learn about many different products you might not be using and how they work and how they are being used. Training and all that is great, but seeing and hearing how admins are actually using the equipment to solve their issues is invaluable. Also for items you don't feel like are support worthy (not time sensitive) and/or are just questions to ask peers it is a great forum for.
What’s your advice to folks looking to move to the next level in their Meraki / networking knowledge?
If you want to forward your networking and Meraki knowledge, I would suggest taking advantage of as many of the opportunities as you can that Meraki provides. First watch/register for webinars (you get FREE equipment !). Listen to the Meraki Unboxed podcast. Do the Meraki FIT [for partners] and ECMS training (FREE). If you are associated with a Cisco/Meraki partner see if the company or distributor do any Meraki promos for training (Meraki 360). Many of the distributors do demo kits, if so get one and try out the equipment. See if your company can get NFR equipment for you to use in a lab. Essentially get the equipment in yours hands to try it out and take as much of the free training as possible.
What would you say to those who haven’t yet gotten involved with the community?
If you haven't got involved with the community, then start with your first post. Start reading threads and see if you can contribute ideas or help. After you hang out in the community you find that there a many ways to accomplish the same thing and its very interesting to see those ideas from different members. You also find out about how new features of Meraki equipment are being used and maybe how you could be using them.