The History of the Cisco TAC

The Cisco Technical Assistance Center, or TAC, was as responsible for the growth of computer networking as any technology or other organization. TAC trained the first generation of network engineers, both inside Cisco and out, creating a critical mass of talent that spread out into the networking world, created a new concept of certifications, and set a standard that every other technical support organization has sought to live up to since. Join Joe Pinto, Phil Remaker, Alistair Woodman, Donald Sharp, and Russ White as we dive into the origins of TAC.


1 Comment

  1. Henk Smit on 20 January 2021 at 8:08 am

    Great episode. I wonder if anyone that has not worked for cisco’s TAC enjoys this. 🙂 But I loved it.

    I think you have not emphasized enough what an amazing breeding ground for talent the TAC was in the nineties. I joined cisco’s Euro-TAC in Brussels in februari 1994. As a level-1 (frontline) engineer. A year later we started the specialized “routing protocol support team”. In 1996 I was invited by Development Engineering (by Alex Tweedly) to work with the routing protocol DEs in the US for a while. And then I joined DE myself. I was the first development engineer in cisco that worked from home, in Europe.

    Lots of talent in the global networking industry have worked in that small routing protocol support team in Brussels. Stefano Previdi, Clarence Filsfils, Peter Psenak, IJsbrand Wijnands, Gunter van de Velde, Kris Michielsen. I hope I didn’t forget anyone. They all went on to become Fellows, Distinguished Engineers, developers and/or respected IETF-contributors, they wrote books, RFCs, drafts, etc. There was no place in the world in the nineties to learn about networking better than the TAC. Not in development, and not at our customers. Great times.