A Look Inside DevNet Create 2018
Here we go again folks! We just wrapped-up the second edition of DevNet Create, Cisco’s developer conference. If you are still surprised by Cisco having its own developer conference, you must’ve lived off the grid for the past 4 years. What started in 2014 with DevNet is nicely evolving and growing into a vibrant and active community.
This year on April 10th and 11th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California the whole DevNet team was ready to welcome the attendees of the second DevNet Create conference. The venue for the event couldn’t have been selected better. While on the ground floor you could find the exhibits of the museum, the first floor was completely transformed, literally overnight into a welcoming and cozy DevNet branded space. If you’ve read my blog post from last year on the inaugural DevNet Create conference, you know that we are on a mystic trip to the Moscone Center in San Francisco. I prophesized last year that within 3 years there will be enough DevNet Create attendees to fill up San Francisco’s Moscone Center. I’m glad to say that the number of attendees has doubled compared to last year and we are on the right path to get there!
A history of convergence and a new challenge
It’s in Cisco’s DNA to bring different technologies together and we’ve done an incredible job over the past 30 years. The protocol wars in the 80s, getting voice and video on the network, getting storage on the network, all of these challenges have a common theme: convergence and interoperability. But they have been technical challenges and I believe Cisco has done an incredible job at finding solutions to all of them.
We are faced now with a different challenge:
Helping people understand the limitless capabilities of the network, and how everyone can start today getting new skills that will improve by an order of magnitude the efficiency, automation and scale of the networks of tomorrow.
This might be the biggest challenge of all:
Getting people to really interact and converge with the network.
This is our job in DevNet:
Getting people excited about the future.
Showing them what is possible.
Training and guiding them on what the network can do.
Getting people excited about something these days is no easy feat. Bombarded by all the media and content readily available at the press of a button, we become immune and have trouble in finding valuable and pertinent information for us.
Just like we’ve done over the past 30 years with bringing different technologies together this time we are trying to bring people together and closer to the network than ever before. This year, much like last year, at DevNet Create we are trying to bring together the application world with the infrastructure world. The motto of the conference was: The hands-on developer conference where applications meet infrastructure.
For too long these two worlds have lived separately in different silos. It is now time for application developers to look at the network as more than just pipes and transport, and see all the applications that can be developed on top of the network, as well as taking advantage of all the intelligence coming out of it to improve on legacy applications performance.
On the other side, it is time for infrastructure engineers to start looking at APIs and all the automation and integration opportunities that they bring to how we design, deploy and manage infrastructure. We are basically trying to break down silos and barriers to get developers and engineers working with each other, collaborating, and gaining new skills that will help them advance their careers.
By hosting DevNet Create 2018 at the Computer History Museum, we’ve written another page in the history books. In no other venue can you check out the history of hacking all the way back to the beginnings, and then go up stairs and practice real time hacking in the Black Hat White Hat challenge.
We had several demo pods at DevNet Create this year. DZone, Cisco Kinetic, Cisco Meraki and World Wide Technology showcased their products and answered attendee questions around the technologies used. The close Meraki partnership that was started last year at DevNet Create continued this year with a different give away this time: a Meraki PoE switch, license included! In the Design Thinking booth attendees were presented with the methodologies used to solve and tackle problems before starting a build. Another booth that attracted a lot of attention was the DevNet Sandbox, which offers free development environments to DevNet members.
A critical component in the learning process is working hands-on with a technology you want to learn about. We provided 8 hands-on workshops. During sessions that lasted anywhere from 45 to 100+ minutes, workshop attendees used their own devices to follow the presenter and interact live with a specific technology.
We also tried something new with Camp Create. An experience where a select number of developers, designers and entrepreneurs were split into different teams of 5 and given a challenge to solve in a 2-day time span. Cisco experts provided guidance and mentorship throughout the 48 hours. Several interesting products emerged from the inaugural Camp Create.
We celebrated the end of the first day with a happy hour, followed by s’mores roasting. Stay tuned for an update on the DevNet Create S’mores API, by Michael Chenetz.
With DevNet being a vibrant and growing community, we felt we needed to recognize some members that have made special contributions over the past years. This is the first year we started giving out DevNet Creator Community Contribution Awards. All 5 winners this year have helped transform DevNet into what it is today and I want to thank them for their selfless contributions. The winners are: Jose Bogarin Solano, Paul Giblin, Lisa Leung, Jeff Levensailor and Sam Womack. All DevNet members keep up the great work in the coming year
and who knows, you might be the next DevNet Creator!
I’ve been to a lot of conferences and events around Cisco technologies and DevNet Create definitely has a different feel to it. The consensus is in for this event: the feedback is overwhelmingly positive! Everyone felt welcomed, the venue was amazing, the atmosphere was laid back and relaxed and a lot of knowledge and Meraki gear was transferred.
Big thank you to all attendees that came from all over the world to participate in DevNet Create this year. We’ve had people joining us in Mountain View from Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, Costa Rica, Brazil, France to name just a few. Special personal thanks to Mehmet Burak Uysal, my NetAcad instructor friend that joined us all the way from Turkey! Also big thank you to all the speakers, presenters, organizers without whom there would not have been any DevNet Create 2018.
Looking forward impatiently to DevNet Create 2019!