If you have visited the Cisco community forums lately, you might have noticed that things have changed a bit. In July, Cisco migrated the communities to a new platform. However, the biggest change isn’t the new platform. Rather, it’s the fact that now all of Cisco’s communities have joined together under one roof.
Previously, Cisco’s communities were on different platforms and did not interact. The support communities were in one place, and the partner, technology, and developer communities were elsewhere. The new, consolidated structure provides a superior experience on many levels. Previously, members of one community did not have visibility or transparency to the discussions going on in other communities. With everyone on the same community platform it’s easier for you to follow conversations on all things Cisco.
Another change is that the communities are now more “flattened.” Instead of going down a rabbit hole into a topic that no one is using, the boards are now more conceptually focused, and individual products can be filtered as tags. This change should allow more people to view posts than the previous layout
Why change is important for the community
Bringing all of the communities together is a boon for all members of the community. With more experts looking over the forums, more eyes will be looking at your questions. This should also improve the quality of the answers.
We have already seen some posters who didn’t previously participate in the developer forums, and as more people get used to this new system, I certainly hope for more activity.
One of the goals of Cisco DevNet is to connect developers with Cisco subject-matter experts. We do this through developer evangelism and outreach, education, and support. DevNet is well known for doing this in live, hands-on workshop style events like DevNet Express and DevNet Zone at Cisco Live. Less well known is that our online DevNet community plays a huge role in all of these areas. When you have questions, we can:
- Direct you to learning content
- Link you to developer and API guides
- Connect you directly with knowledgeable people
DevNet is here to support developers!
For developer support, the community forums are a great option. This is a free resource, and the community is large and happy to help fellow developers. DevNet has other options as well, including a searchable knowledge base, live chat, and ticket-based options. Each of these options has its strengths and weaknesses:
The searchable knowledge base gives you information about common issues in specific technologies. This option does not allow for customized questions, but can address some of the common issues.
Live chat gives you the ability to ask questions in real time on Cisco’s Webex Teams platform. This avenue can provide a quick answer to a question. However, the speed of the answer depends on which members of the community are online at the time. This format is also better for short questions rather than complex issues.
Ticket-based cases give you one-on-one attention with a DevNet support engineer, but are generally part of a partner program and can be expensive to get if you’re not a partner. Also, many of our APIs are not supported with the ticket-based option.
In the community forums, you can post a question that the entirety of Cisco’s online community can review. Unlike chat, your question is persistent and does not disappear after several others have posted questions. You can get answers to questions with a higher degree of complexity compared to what you can get in chat. The community fills a great niche for personalized, complex answers without opening a ticket.
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