EP013: Cisco NetDevOps Evangelist Hank Preston on smart people learning new things (even when it’s scary).


I never do quite know when I will stumble across someone who I think “I must have this person on my podcast”.  A Cisco Network Automation webinar was one such place, when I met Hank Preston, the NetDevOps Evangelist for Cisco Networks.  He had a HUGE amount of great knowledge to share with us on this episode.  Tackling Pillar 4, Explaining Automation, and talking about why people screw themselves up by not listening.

00:00 Intro for Hank Preston.
10:00 Network Programmability Basics Course (here)
15:00 What is CI/CD and Network Pipelining
17:30 Network Configuration Pipeline
24:00 MEETUP!
29:00 Deep Learning vs Wide Learning – Don’t look for unicorns.
31:00 discussions.
36:00 Discussion on certs and their value.
41:00 SE Jobs and how listening and not snap judgment is the key.
50:00 Everyone’s favorite buzzword – IoT.

You can find Hank online at @hfpreston and @ciscodevnet. He also gives killer webinars about using programmability to automate your network.

Podcast Automation Stuff – V1.0 – The upshot

I create and program the things, and then I work on automation.

The trajectory of most people in technology, especially those who are especially adept at moving up in the world includes automation.  It should come as no surprise to those of you who listen to my podcast, that I love my podcast, but that I HATE wasting time.  Automation and streamlining things are what comes first to my brain when I started working on my podcast.

When I first started to prep my podcast, I was a bit naive:

Yeah… About that… No – I was wrong.

I thought I would give you a peek behind the scenes of what I’m finding out is a straight up friggin’ pipeline for a podcast.

So, Imma CI/CD this thing and here is where I’m going to display my findings.

But Why?

One thing you’ll hear me say throughout my blog and podcast is “I can make more money, but I can’t make more time“.  Because I travel a lot for work, I absolutely disdain wasting my time on the weekends doing what I feel like is busywork.  And, can I share something with you:  I have about 2% passion for post-prep on audio and social media.  But I don’t want the podcast to suck, and I want to have my guests reach and inspire a greater audience.  Fortunately, I’ve done so many audio things off and on, as well as a ton of Adobe products.  So I have the ingrained skills to figure out how to do stuff, and then the iterative skills to do them faster.

So, without further adieu, let me share my work-in-progress of a flow map of how I’m starting to get everything arranged.  The automation flows are as follows:

  1. Guest Inquiry (only semi-automated at this point)
  2. Guest booking automation.
  3. Recording automation.
  4. Post Prep Audio Automation.
  5. Post Prep Graphic Automation.
  6. Episode Posting (can’t really be automated on the blog … yet)
  7. Promote via laptop.
  8. Promote via mobile (Instagram, Vero, other methods that require mobile only uploads).

The most underutilized ‘framework’ in our minds: SNMP

I used to work with this guy. He was awesome. He was aggressive. Sometimes he was a flat-out jerk. But I looked at his continual successes and never seemed to grasp WHY he was successful and why I was significantly less successful than he was in our organization. I thought ‘Oh, he probably just learned how to do this in college’! Nope turns out he just worked at a college before here – never graduated from there.


Maybe he just knew this stuff innately?

Maybe he’s just better than me?

Turns out he had been reading some books and thought it would be clever if he could reuse a protocol name to be something that he thought would be a great way to remember. Typically SNMP stands for ‘Simple Network Management Protocol’, but not for my colleague. For him it stood for:

‘So Not My Problem’.

You see – as I think of it, he was laser and mono-focused on achieving his goals. And he didn’t let other peoples’ priorities get in-between him and the goal line. Sure there would be setbacks by being re-tasked by management, but as I thought about it – He didn’t fail to meet goals hardly ever. Honestly – thinking back – I can’t think of a project he was in charge of that slipped timelines.

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A breakup letter

Hey there Navigators – I thought I’d share a post I put on the soc-med’s that I found very freeing.  A financial and tech lifestyle pivot if you will.  Hopefully, you enjoy my prose and don’t get too much PSTD from reading it!

It’s not me, it’s you: My breakup letter to my constant digital companion of over a decade.

Well, we both must have imagined this time would come, although I’m sure I’ve been contemplating it much more than you.  The constant “Things will get better” but never did.  It seems we outgrew each other.  12 years.  12 years and approximately 15k USD.  FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  That’s how much I gave to you over the years.  And yet, you never gave me that much in return value.  Sure, there were some pretty good times at first, but as I grew as a person, you never met my needs.

My 4g used to be awesome, but you didn’t keep up.  When I asked you what the problem was, you blamed me, and said it must be my issue.  Your response was ‘you can fix this problem with a $250 repeater that you buy yourself to make me look better’.  And when I said I needed more from you – more of your attention and your 1’s and 0’s, you said that’s fine, but you needed more from me too.  Approximately 50 dollars more a month.  For 2 phones only.  On the phones I already had.  To add the boys, the bill would be somewhere around $410.  As our family grew, I knew I had to get out of this relationship.  It was toxic.

I found someone new.  Someone who is giving me 4 iPhone 8’s, 4 lines of service, unlimited data, and some various accessories.  For 30 dollars more per month than you wanted to charge me for unlimited for 2 phones.  Oh, and a streaming service to boot.  When I called you to give me an ultimatum, your answer was ‘You can’t leave me. No one is better than me, and you’ll regret this’.  That made me scared at first, but then it JUST MADE ME ANGRY.


So, Verizon, I feel it’s only fair I tell you that I’ve left you for T-Mobile.