Community Spotlight Awards - Presenting Our WinnersIt is time to announce the newest addition to our Community Spotlight Award family…


Individuals from all around the globe come to this community site daily with a strong determination to learn and soak up knowledge in an effort to advance their professional growth. Not only do our members use the site to achieve their own personal IT career goals, but they also utilize their acquired knowledge and skills to help others learn, grow, and succeed. It is truly something wonderful to see.


The tremendous amount of wisdom and leadership brought forth by our community members has turned the Cisco Learning Network into a powerful online learning resource.


Today we are honored and excited to present 3 new winners with a Community Spotlight Award. These amazing individuals have stood out this quarter for their positive impact and contributions to help their peers. The entire Cisco Learning Network team thanks you for your efforts.


We would also like to extend a thank-you and high five to the rest of the community for their support and dedication.


Now it's time to meet our winners...


Members' Choice: Samer

Technical Excellence: Modestas

Rookie: Kirthy


Please join us to celebrate by posting your comments below. You can also learn more about our winners by watching the short video and reading the Question & Answer section below.





What education and training (including certification) led you to where you are now?


Samer: Started in 2009 when I attended Cisco academy lessons for CCNA1, I gained the motivation to learn and discover more about networking.


Modestas: I hold a master’s degree in Microwave Electronics. Working in IT area I've learned a lot from my colleagues and on my own, participated in the training courses from other vendors.


After the years I concluded that a formal certification was not a bad idea and passed CCNA Routing & Switching exam.


Kirthy: I am holding duel degrees, Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology (BIT) and Bachelor of technology in Information Technology (B.Tech IT). Initially I was into Microsoft Certification and took MCSE. Then I realized I have a passion for networking and moved on to Networking track. I fell in love with Cisco IOS and Networking, achieved my first milestone CCNA R&S and then CCNA Security (expired), then again CCNA R&S and recently CCNA Cyber Ops. I am now preparing for the CCNP Switching track.


What's your job title now and what's really cool about your job?


Samer: My current job title is Senior network engineer


Modestas: I work as network engineer. My focus areas are network performance management and improvement, network programmability and cloud computing.


What’s really cool in this role? Working with emerging technologies, innovations and learning new things.


Kirthy: I am employed as “Network and Security Engineer” in a reputed organization. I deal with networking and security monitoring on a day to day basis. CCNA Cyber Ops was an eye opener and I am able to apply a lot to my day to day activity related to security operations.


Why did you decide to go into IT as a career and how long have you been working in IT?


Samer: After college, I started looking for a job that involved using Linux since that was my interest during college. Then I worked in IT and started to get more daily work on switches, which led me to CCNA R&S, and here I fell in love with the technology.


Modestas: I got an offer to change my career path slightly into IT/telco area, and asked myself "why not?" and that journey continues for 25 years now. I know how doe X.25 and S/370 work, perhaps I saw dinosaurs as well.


Kirthy: I wanted to choose a career in IT Networking, so after my Academics I perused my carreer in networking. I have 11+ year of experience in IT field.


What professional achievement(s) are you most proud of and what would you like to learn or do next in your career?


Samer: CCNA Security because I had to work on Cisco ASA firewall and I didn't know anything about it. CCNA Security took me to the level where I could understand how firewalls work and how to manage them.


Modestas: I had opportunities to design, build, operate and modernize both enterprise and service provider networks. It was always fun and delivering good quality is something to be proud of.


CCNP R&S and Cloud certification is on my agenda. DC track seems also interesting.


Kirthy: Started my career with an ISP and so there was lot to learn and understand. I am a self learner and made use of all the resources available on the internet, as well as books and publications to meet the challenges of a fresher and also to get certified in CCNA. The habit of self learning and patience has given me confidence to tackle any technology if needed, which has lead me to achieve CCNA R&S, Security and Cyber Ops of which I am proud of.


I want to chase down CCNP R&S & CCNA Wireless next.


What have you found most useful on the Cisco Learning Network?


Samer: No ads. Many experts on the forum can answer questions. Old questions still available to see even after long time from being posted. Webinars that are held from time to time. Documents shared by members and authors.


Modestas: Cisco Learning Network is unique place where you can get answers directly from the network technology experts. Many community members have contributed documents of amazing quality and clarity.


It's a great platform to boost your Cisco technology learning speed.


Kirthy: The best thing about Cisco Learning Network is knowledge sharing – learning new things and helping others learn. The Cisco Learning Network requires you to keep an open mind and realize how fast the technology is changing & how to equip and adapt to those changes. I love supporting others in learning.


What advice would you give to someone considering a similar career / certification direction?


Samer: I would recommend him/her to go for it and use CLN to learn from the best, and increase your knowledge.


Modestas: Keep pace with evolving network technologies and never stop learning.


Books alone will not make you great IT specialist. Hands-on experience with real gear is equally important. Share your knowledge with others, discuss ideas and don't hesitate to ask when you are struggling with some concept.


Listen to your customers. Modern networks are quite complex, designs may have issues and diagnostics tools may miss important details. Customer feedback is the most accurate diagnostics/verification tool.


Certifications increase your market value validating level of knowledge and skills. They can open some doors and perception of certificates may give insight if you are knocking at the right door.


Kirthy: Decide what you want to be and choose a career path. No matter what field you choose, as long as it in IT, understanding networks and networking is a must and will surely give you an edge in your career.


Once you decide to take a certification, don’t think too much to start learning. Once you start you won’t be able to stop, as there will always be a desire to know more.


Bonus Question: What is your all-time favorite movie, book, or song?


Samer: My favorite movie is Terminator 2


Modestas: Movies I don't get tired of watching are "The Big Lebowski" and "Office Space"


Kirthy: Few movies I like very much – “Face Off”, “Sound of music”,” Valkyrie “. TV series like “Prison Break”, “Arrow”. Songs, I kind of listen to all kinds of English music and also other languages.