• Becoming a better engineer: study tips

    There are many self-taught engineers who learn new skills on their own using various resources such as books, videos, online courses. The common challenges with self-study: frustration, giving up, lack of knowledge of best practices or understanding of fundamentals, lack of socialization, lack of perspective from other people and many others.
    In this post I will give you some tips how to make the most of self-study and become a better engineer.
    I will take programming as an example.

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  • Cisco Live US 2017 - Memories

    Cisco Live US 2018 is almost here. And even though this blog post is one year overdue, I would like to reflect on my CLUS 2017 experience. Some things have been forgotten, and some moments are still as clear as when they happened.

    Cisco Live US 2017 was held in Vegas in June, 2017. It was my second Cisco Live experience ever, I was a Cisco Live speaker for the first time as well as it was my first visit to US. Needless to say it was a memorable event in my life that I would remember for a long time.

    Let me start first by saying thank you to my Cisco and RouterGods colleague and mentor, network programmability enthusiast Kevin Kuhls @sdn_dude. He is the reason why I was accepted as a speaker in the first place. This is the person who puts success of others before his own. I was delivering a session previously presented by him at Cisco Live Europe 2017. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without his continuous guidance and support. Kevin is a person who does not need to be in a leadership role to lead, people will just follow him - he leads by example. One of my RouterGods friends Francois Caen @fcaen, who was being mentored by Kevin as well, joked “You and I are Kevin’s minions”. It was said in a good sense: we chose to follow him on our own, noone asked or forced us to. Since then it became our inner circle joke. Kevin also introduced me to the network programmability world and to the Cisco DevNet community.

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  • Live streaming on Twitch: first steps

    In the last week of 2017 I kicked off the project I wanted to start for quite a while - live streaming about network programmability, automation and Python on Twitch.
    I could have made it a New Year’s resolution, but there isn’t a better time to do something than now. So why wait?

    An opportunity presented itself spontaneously. My RouterGods colleague Judson is currently preparing for CCIE R&S and of course, like any decent CCIE candidate, he is labbing a lot. Recently he started creating his own big lab with a massive number of devices (65+) in the network emulator EVE-NG, but unfortunately EVE-NG can’t handle more than 64 nodes properly. He wanted to switch to GNS3, but encountered some problems there as well. Together we resolved those, and he was ready to start rebuilding his EVE-NG lab in GNS3. Anyone who has ever created a big lab in any network emulator knows how much time it takes to connect everything together and to prepare the base configurations with IP addressing. When he mentioned this to me I immediately started thinking about simplifying this tedious process by writing a topology converter from EVE-NG to GNS3 in Python. I thought it would be an interesting experience to do the whole process on the stream live. So I offered Judson my help and this is how my first project on the stream was born.

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  • Understanding EIGRP Metric

    This is the first post in a series about routing protocol EIGRP. Today we will deep dive into how metric is calculated in EIGRP classic mode.
    EIGRP is a distance-vector routing protocol, but what does it really mean? How does a distance-vector routing protocol differ from link-state? Distance-vector is also referred to as “routing by rumor”. It means that a router makes its decision based on the metrics reported by his neighbors.
    This is unlike a link-state routing protocol where every router in an area (OSPF) or level (IS-IS) knows the whole topology for this area/level and calculates the best path locally using the shortest-path algorithm (Dijkstra). Because routers have the same information, it results in a consistent choice of the best path.

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  • It's never too late to start a blog!

    My name is Dmitry Figol. Currently I am a customer support engineer in Cisco TAC in Krakow. I enjoy networking a lot and I have CCIE R&S. On top of that I am Python and network programmability enthusiast. More information about me as well as contact details you can find on the About page.

    I’ve finally decided to start a blog to document and share some interesting findings. I am using Jekyll static site generator and so far I enjoy the workflow. All of the content is written in Markdown, which is super easy to work with.

    This is my first post so expect things to change around here quite a lot, especially during the first month. Some links may be broken as well, but only temporarily.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you will enjoy the content!
    Stay tuned!