“If it is not repeatable … it’s not automatable.
And if it is not automatable … it’s not scalable.”

I frequently get asked questions like, “how did your automation journey start?” And, “what problems did you face in the early stages?” Learning something new has never been an issue for me. There are a plethora of resources on the Cisco DevNet website and of people within the DevNet community to learn from.

For me, the challenging part was the application of new knowledge. For example, now that I had this newfound passion and knowledge, where, when, and how should I use it? And would my team and company also embrace new ways of thinking, and new practices?

Here’s the scenario we faced

Our team was evolving along with the industry, we were putting up data centers at an increasing rate and our small network team was struggling to keep up the pace. The going ‘box by box’ method was not scalable.

At the time network automation was not well practiced or well understood inside our network engineering team but was sorely needed. We needed to decrease effort and mistakes on daily management tasks by minimizing the direct human interaction with network devices. High on our priority list was improving network security by recognizing and fixing security vulnerabilities and increasing network performance.

Whilst our team was going through this growth phase and transformation, little did I know this would be a turning point for my career. It was a transformation I would speak of many times over and share the lessons learned. Not only from the technical perspective, but also how our team took on this challenge, and how we delivered significant cost reductions by freeing up the network engineering team from spending time and money on labor-intensive tasks that can be easily automated.

Interested in hearing more?

Join me at We Are Developers Live December 10th 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CET) for my session “How Cisco embraced a DevOps culture within its network engineering team.”

Can’t make the session, but have a comment or question? Please leave me a note in the comments section below.

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Stuart Clark

Senior Developer Advocate Of Community, AWS