E103 - David Penaloza at Verizon Business

Charlie  Draper
David Peñaloza Seijas

By Charlie Draper & David Peñaloza Seijas

On our 103rd episode, Charlie Draper was joined by David Peñaloza Seijas, a Principal Engineer at Verizon Business. David is a huge advocate of the Networking community and stresses the importance of getting yourself involved if you’re considering a career in the space. He shares some great stories from his experiences attending Cisco Live to relocating.

David’s love for computers started as a child. He would tinker with his computer, taking it apart and putting it back together multiple times. This early interest in computers led him to take on a Computer Science degree at university. He realised at university he didn’t (and still doesn’t) like programming very much and only wanted to focus on the Networking side. Looking back and reflecting on it now, David is aware that he was naive in thinking that could’ve been possible. During that time, a friend of his asked him if he wanted to join him at a conference about Networking at Cisco and it opened up his eyes. He ended up trying a couple of classes out at Cisco Academy and fell completely in love with the idea of Networking as there was something new to learn every day. 

When entering the Networking space, there’s always a common theme of people not knowing what the best path to take is. David says it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to get into IT to find a position, you don’t necessarily need a degree. The syllabus in degrees is updated nowhere near as much as certifications. Certs tend to be more progressive and try to stay on top because otherwise, you will fall behind quickly. Most certs are related to a particular vendor too but with that being said, it doesn’t mean degrees aren’t important. He couldn’t finish university and most of his journey was self-learning. What uni did teach him was several things’ certs couldn’t. For instance, how to address several topics, how to write/read in a particular way and studying habits. 

David chose to relocate from Venezuela to Czechia due to his desire to leave the country and live another life. There is still a shift when it comes to companies taking on relocators. In general, they are open but some of pioneering into fully remote work so people can work wherever. So, it depends on which one is your goal. Do you want to move to another country, or do you want to work for a company from a different country on a remote basis? 

The Community…

The Networking community is one of the reasons David made it to where he is today. He cannot recommend enough that if you are into Networking, join the community whether that is on Twitter or online forums. You will eventually see common faces who are all more than happy to help answer your questions. There are also programmes where they value and recognise those people in the community who have helped i.e., Cisco Champions.

Events such as Cisco Live are an amazing opportunity to Network with thousands of people. Davis has made so many of his close friends at Cisco Live so make sure you get yourself involved if you’re considering it.

David shares where he sees the future of Networking going, from Automation to Linux, you don’t want to miss this one. Tune in now to hear the full episode.