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Cisco Press author Keith Barker has over 25 years of experience in IT and networking.  Wondering how he got his start? Read on…

1. How did you get your start in the industry?

In the 80’s I loved the idea of computers, so I applied for a loan and went to Control Data Institute in Los Angeles to study “micro computer technology”.   That led to an entry level job as a field technician with Electronic Data Systems (EDS).  That was the beginning of my career.

2.        What certifications do you have and are you pursing anything next?

Current certifications include CISSP, JNCIP, HP-Mase, BCNP, CCDP and a couple of CCIEs. 

3.        What would your readers be surprised to know about you?

My age.   Not sure how it happened, but I turned 48 in 2012.  Most people would mistake me for 47 or less.  ;)

4.        What’s your tech library look like?

My technical library is mostly digital these days.  Besides using Amazon’s kindle products and services, I also subscribe to the “library in the cloud” from Sarfari Books Online. 

5.        Any favorite blogs or sites that you can’t miss?

I have a few political blogs and sites that I follow, on both sides, in an attempt to keep reasonably informed.

6.        What inspires you?

The fact that people (myself included) can change the quality of their lives with the 3 ingredients of desire, education and persistent effort.  

7.        Favorite authors?

Wendell Odom and Kevin Wallace

8.        Care to speculate on the next big thing?

Artificial intelligence with an amazing interface.  This will have thousands of applications.

9.        How has being an author changed you or has it?

I certainly have been reminded of many of my weaknesses, so that has been a good reality check.   Putting the words on the page also requires a revisit of the technology, which is a great opportunity to confirm the technology and often learn more about it, or see some part of it in a new light.   The learning process continues with each chapter, and I am grateful for that.

10.    Please give your readers 3 tips for success for reaching goals.

  • Write out the goal, on paper, and place it where it is visible, and read it at least 2 times a day.   Make sure that others (whom you trust) also know about the goal

  • Schedule time to move towards your goal, and every day chip away at that goal.  At the end of each day, jot down what can be done tomorrow, as an action item that will take you closer to your goal.

  • Have fun.   Make the most of each day, enjoy the journey, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Keith has co-authored two Cisco Press in the last two years:

CCNA Security 640-554 Official Cert Guide

CCNP Security IPS 642-627 Official Cert Guide - Download Chapter 1 now!