The Human Network

I finally got what it means. Allow me to explain.

Last year, Cisco launched new campaign under the name of Human Network. At first, I thought it had something to do with Web 2.0, collaboration and all other 2008 buzzwords. Nope, I was wrong. Let me tell you a little story. The subject is, of course, CCDE :-).

Sometime in 2007, Cisco started their invitation-only CCDE beta program. They tried new approach, where beta group participated to some degree in the creation of the exam. We made our comments on blueprint, took written exam, made comments on it. There were discussions, not so lively, but it was working. Then, practical exam was supposed to happen. There was silence… and silence… and silence… and then, there was an invitation to join beta exam on Networkers in Orlando in 2008. Fantastic! We sign-up, but it gets cancelled. Cisco tells us it’s not required because they wish to do bulk testing and not have prolonged beta period. By doing so, they wish to avoid long wait for the results (ha!). Bulk testing was scheduled for October 1st in Chicago. We get our invitations, we register, we go and take the 8 hour torture^Wtest. The results should not take long, they tell us, only 4 to 12 weeks. Fantastic! We wait… 4 weeks pass, nothing… 6 weeks, nothing… 8 weeks, nothing… 12 weeks, nothing… Then, sometime in 13th week of waiting the results start trickling in. BY POST! Not e-mail, not online database, not web sites, by regular mail. Funny, this is coming from the company which is selling us “online everything”. To make things funnier, one of the recipients of the infamous results letter tells me that his envelope was addressed by hand! Yes, 21st century, Cisco Systems sends exam scores in a handwritten envelope. To make things even funnier, if it’s humanly possible at this point, online database gets loaded with what appear to be bogus results. Two people (those with handwritten envelopes) who got their passing scores tell us that their online result says “FAIL”.

The Human Network, apparently, means that Cisco may be giving up on the whole electronic communication thing and switching to producing IOS-powered pens. Perhaps even pencils. Think of it as a reverse process of what Nokia did. No more Nokia boots, no more Cisco routers. Great pens, though, with nice multicolor bridge logo on them. Makes me wonder would I need to buy SmartNet for Cisco SmartPen…

Needless to say, I bet they misspelled something in my address, as I have not yet received my Envelope. I have “bogus” score, though. Should I trust it, or still hope? Does it matter any more at this point?

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