So, It’s Thursday May 25th, the day after DevNet Create, Cisco DevNet’s very first developer conference. It’s kind of like the day after Christmas. What I mean by that is, that there is a tiny feeling of melancholy. You know what I mean? All the work and anticipation and then it’s over and you’re a little sad but still happy and ever so slightly you are looking forward to the next time. At least that is what I am experiencing, perhaps if I relive a little bit of DevNet Create I can shake off the blues.

Since I’m a DevNet insider I can start my retelling a little bit before the initial day…

I arrived in San Francisco the Sunday before the event, traveling from the east coast. I wanted to be sure I was there for Monday, in case there were any last-minute details that needed to be taken care of. It seems the DevNet crew really pulled it all together because all I needed to do was help fold-up some t-shirts and organize a little swag. I also printed out the bios of the speakers for the “Apps meet Deploy” session I was hosting as part of Day 1’s Cloud & DevOps Track.

DevNet Create, Day 1

When I arrive on the first day, I have Mini-Hack and Learning Lab proctor duty. I’m thinking that most people will be at the keynotes but the Mini-Hack/Learning Lab space was packed with people eager to start hacking and learning. I know they also wanted to earn some sweet swag and gain an entry in Meraki’s Million Dollar equipment giveaway!

After a few hours my proctoring duties are done for the day, I get ready to host my session. Of all the sessions I attended and the speakers I heard I have to say my speakers were the best:

  • First up was Sonatype’s EVP and CMO, Matt Howard talking about the State of the Software Supply Chain in 2017, this was an eye-opening discussion about software and how to build in quality, improve security, and create new competitive advantages.
  • Next, we heard from Steve Pousty a Developer Evangelist from Red Hat. Steve took us through a live demo of daily development with Kubernetes. Steve showed both command line and graphical options for local fast-iteration development.
  • A real highlight for me during this session was Cory Fowler a program manager on the Azure Functions team at Microsoft and his demo of Server-less Micro-services using Azure Functions and Logic Apps. Since I have very recently been using server-less functions to add voice capabilities to my data center automation, this talk really resonated with me.
  • Wrapping up the session was a very inspiring and quite differently presented recounting of Bitly’s recent data center migration, from Bitly’s Director of Application Engineering, Sean O’Connor.  Sean used only images to represent the different stages of the data center migration and gave extremely good advice and guidance for anyone planning a data center move or really any other large and complex task.

All I can say is WOW! That was one 90-minute session with 4 powerful speakers.

Finishing up Day 1 was the closing Keynote Panel focused on Makers and Making and … can I be honest here? I had no idea this stuff existed, that night I subscribed to Make Magazine. There were also raffles for IoT kits and Spark gear, the raffles were done in real-time with the audience choosing numbers in a quickly hacked app, and then using a random number generator to pick the winning numbers. Then we had beer and wine and mingled!

DevNet Create, Day 2

The second day was just as action packed as the first one, with opening keynotes that were super interesting, more multi-talk sessions divided up between the IoT and Cloud tracks, the mini-hacks, and workshops. To give you an idea of what I had to choose from, there were close to 200 talks, demos, mini-hacks, workshops, and learning opportunities at DevNet Create focused on “IoT and Apps” and “Cloud and DevOps”.

One of those workshops was my own, “Infrastructure ‘TalkOps’ from Old and Clunky to New and Sexy!” where I detailed the process of adding voice capabilities on top of my existing data center automation. Several of the workshop attendees were really excited and told me how they planned on adding voice capabilities to their automation.

Day 2 wrapped up the same way as Day 1 with a keynote panel, more giveaways and beer and wine. For the price DevNet Create was a bargain, packed with great content that focused on all levels of developers across two tracks, plus breakfast, lunch, happy hour, prizes and community.  Hopefully now you can see why I’m a little sad that it is over. However, given the great attendance and feedback I feel pretty positive that DevNet Create version 2.0 will be green-lighted, I hope I’ll see you there!


The DevNet Crew got to have some fun the day after DevNet Create with a recap meeting and some group painting.  I did a little  impromptu DJ duties and received a fun thank you.


John McDonough

Developer Advocate