Chris Riling is one of my contacts on www.linkedin.com. His linkedin page is available here: www.linkedin.com/in/criling.
I first met Chris during a 2006 training course at American Interactive, www.americaninteractive.com. The course at the time was the CCNA/CCNP bootcamp, all-inclusive deal. If you ever need Microsoft or Cisco training, I'd always suggest American Interactive first. Toby (Cisco) and Jay (Microsoft) were excellent! OK, that's enough free advertising for American Interactive.
During the bootcamp, Chris was obviously the youngest person in the class. However, another thing readily apparent was that he was one of the most experienced and knowledgeable people in the class.
Here's an anecdotal story ..there was one person in the CCNP course, made the remark that he wouldn't trust Chris to touch his equpment, since he was too young. Of course, this miffed me, as you can judge a person on experience, and skills, but dismissing someone based upon age alone is a form of discrimination that I frown upon. Also, this person did not know what he was talking about, which made his opinion even weaker. This same individual once even remarked about "disabling spanning tree protocol" on his network. To those of you without networking experience, this is not something you would often do, as the spanning tree protocol prevents switching loops on your network--especially not this person, who later confessed to "not understanding spanning tree". Anyway, karma came back on that guy, and he later failed an exam.
During this course, Chris did present a wealth of practical, hands-on knowledge, that made the camp a much more enjoyable experience for me. I had the pleasure of being seated next to him, soaking up as much of the good Cisco (and Juniper) knowledge as I could from him.
I stayed in contact with Chris off and on over the following years, and he continued pursuing the CCIE certification. I would get updates from him, that he was currently in RTP (Research Triangle Park, where Cisco gives CCIE labs). This showed me that he was really serious about this, as the labs are a substantial investment, at over $1,000 per attempt. Chris did gain the CCIE certification, and I can say that he earned it with his intelligence and experience, and I applaud him.
I recently saw this article about Chris from his linkedin page, and decided to show it here.
The link to the article (a PDF file) is here:
Cisco Academy Featured Success: Chris Riling www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/success_stories/studentImpact/docs/ohio.pdf.
I hope that you enjoy reading the PDF.
If you would like to join my professional network, I'm on linked in: