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Curated Code Repos Get Your Integration Project Done Faster, Better


September 27, 2018 - 1 Comment

Having a hard time getting started on your next big integration with Cisco products? Found the platform and API docs on DevNet but need help turning this into running code? Check out Code Exchange, one more way DevNet makes it easy for developers to be successful with Cisco products and platforms.

Code Exchange is an online, curated set of code repositories that help you develop applications with/on Cisco platforms and APIs. Inside Code Exchange, you will find hundreds of code repositories – code created and maintained by Cisco engineering teams, ecosystem partners, technology and open source communities, and individual developers. Anyone can use this code to jumpstart their app development with Cisco platforms, products, application programming interfaces (APIs), and software development kits (SDKs).

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Curated for quality

There is a large and growing amount of sample code and applications, helpful tools and libraries, and open source projects related to Cisco technologies on GitHub. However, finding up-to-date content best suited for your immediate needs can be difficult. Code Exchange helps you tackle this challenge.

To get things started, our team of DevNet Developer Advocates identified candidate repositories using GitHub crawlers and an algorithm that scores repositories based on a number of criteria. We then reviewed top repos to make sure they are in good shape and of general interest to the DevNet community. While we do not actively maintain all of the code, we provide confirmation that the code is a worthwhile investment of your time before accepting it into Code Exchange.

Simple filters for technology space and programming language may be used independently or in combination with keywords you provide to zero in on the set of repos most relevant to your immediate needs. Want more guidance? Sorting by those most recommended by DevNet Developer Avocates, or the date the repo was last updated, presents you with the best and brightest projects.

Key Features:

  1. Curated view of code repositories related to all Cisco platforms
  2. Easy discoverability using filters and search features
  3. Link to repository on GitHub for direct access to code and contributors

For example, let’s say you are looking for some sample code written in Python for automation of Cisco IOS XR platforms using APIs defined by native and standard YANG models. Simply enter that in the Code Exchange search field and filters and back comes a set of highly relevant resources.

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Or perhaps you’re looking for Javascript for an integration with Cisco’s collaboration platforms? Let Code Exchange do the heavy lifting.

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Community contributions provide even more options

At present, the majority of the code in Code Exchange comes from GitHub organizations managed by employees at Cisco. These include some obvious ones, such as Cisco DevNet, Cisco, Cisco Systems, and Cisco SE, as well as others that are less obvious at first glance, such as Talos, IOS-XR, and Meraki.

That said, we realize, and very much appreciate, that a huge amount of very useful code for working with Cisco technologies exists throughout the community at large. We encourage and welcome contributions to Code Exchange from the entire DevNet community, including code in your personal GitHub account.

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Follow these base requirements to prepare your GitHub repositories related to Cisco technologies:

1. Include a LICENSE in the repository
2. Add a clear README
3. Ensure repository is publicly available
4. Show evidence of repository being maintained

Then fill out the form and DevNet Developer Advocates will take a look!

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How to make sure your repo is accepted

What better way to get your application, your company, your name out in the community working with Cisco products and APIs than to have your repo featured in Code Exchange? In addition to meeting the requirements enforced by the submission form, there are several things you can do to help us realize how great your code is and gladly accept it into Code Exchange.

Your README should provide new users with all the information they need to understand what your repo contains, including a getting started section with step by step instructions for how to install, run, and/or use it, and where to turn to get answers or to provide feedback. Your README will show best in Code Exchange if written in Markdown (i.e. README.md). We are in the process of adding support for reStructured Text (i.e. README.rst).

It is also highly recommended to include a CONTRIBUTING.md file that outlines how best to contribute back to the project by reporting issues, fixing bugs, adding new functionality, etc. Is it best to fork the project and send a pull request? Should an issue be opened first? What if I simply want to ask a question? Make it clear and easy for others to not only use your code but also help make it better.

Tips for enhancing the discoverability of your repos

At the time of project submission, you can identify the set of technologies to which your code is related. Identifying all and only those that truly apply is very helpful. Equally important is to add a meaningful description and GitHub topics. The search functionality of Code Exchange relies on these as well as first and second level headings in your README.

We hope you give Code Exchange a try and that it enhances your productivity with Cisco technologies. We aim to expand and improve Code Exchange, and we welcome and appreciate your contributions and feedback.

Got comments or questions? Leave me a comment right here on the blog.  You can also contact us by email at askcodeexchange@cisco.com, or contact me  on Twitter.

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1 Comments

  1. I've been asked offline what the meaning of the "score" is within Code Exchange, and how we calculate it. A score of 1-10 is assigned based on an automated analysis of how well a repo meets the base requirements (e.g., LICENSE, README, updated recently), as well as some metrics from GitHub (e.g., forks, stars, watchers). Scores are recalculated and updated periodically.