E81 - Jason Gooley at Cisco

Antonio Costa
Jason Gooley

By Antonio Costa & Jason Gooley

Our Senior Vice President sat down with Jason Gooley on our 81st episode of The Route to Networking podcast. Jason has over 25 years of experience in the industry and currently works as a Technical Evangelist for the Worldwide Enterprise Networking Sales team at Cisco Systems. Alongside his role at Cisco, he is a public speaker, six times published Cisco Press Author, and a developer of CCIE exams, training, and blogs for Learning@Cisco.

His current role at Cisco was what he describes as a ‘bit of a fluke’. He decided to get his CCIE to work at Cisco, as everyone else was, so there was no real thought beyond that. He started there as a System Engineer, doing a lot of design work. He then realised he liked the advanced stuff so went on to become the Technical Solutions Architect. He kept at it then he eventually was made to be the person who got called in to speak at Cisco Live. Progressing on to becoming an Author he eventually became an Evangelist to talk about what Cisco is doing to help their customers internally.

In July 2022, it would have been his ninth year at Cisco. He describes it as a true testament to knowing you are doing something you love when you blink, and it has been 9 years! Whereas at other places it would feel like an eternity. You can finally understand you are not just going through the motions and you have real passion and get great enjoyment from doing a job you love to do.

His proudest professional accomplishment is his kids. For him, he enjoys seeing his kids light up at some of the techs he brings home and showing them videos of the stuff, they are doing

that is going to change the world.

If he could take anything away from what he has been taught during his career, it would be that you need to pace yourself. Mental health is very much real, it is okay to take a break, take a deep breath and continue. The balance you need to find is ‘Can I still do this and still be happy with everything else that’s going on in my life’?

Daily challenges as an Evangelist…

As a technical evangelist, you will be the face of your company in front of potential customers, partners, and media. You will need to be able to keep up with the latest trends and technologies and represent them in a positive light. For Jason, this requires staying motivated all the time. You may also need to document what you do as your portfolio could be used for promotion or to show off your skillset.

To truly succeed as a Technical Evangelist, you have got to be open to talking to people. At times, he can get a little introverted, but it is one of those things where if you want to go into that type of role then you have got to have the conversations. Sometimes people won’t want to talk to you and that’s fine, don’t let it crush you and move on.

Some advice he would give to anyone who wants to get into the Networking space is to simply start. Once you get the ball rolling and reach out to people, it will get easier, and you will eventually find your feet. Once you get started on something you like, you will be able to branch out into different niches if you discover that it’s not for you.

Jason gives some great answers in our quick-fire round to conclude the interview. His answers involve the best piece of advice he has ever been given to his non-negotiables when hiring. Make sure you tune in now to hear his answers.