Cisco’s most passionate customers agree with experts inside our company: Design Thinking is a powerful tool to leverage the benefits of software and a programmable infrastructure.

We believe Design Thinking is so important that we developed a framework and toolset around it. It takes the best research-based methodologies from this discipline and can help you become proficient in using it in your own projects.

Design Thinking is a tool for creative problem solving. It’s for everyone who is building products or services. And that includes network engineers and software developers. I’ve long been a proponent of Design Thinking, and I recently joined the Cisco Champions podcast to talk about what it means in the world of software and programmability.

Listen to the Podcast: Design Thinking for Innovative Solutions – a discussion with Cisco Champions Jose Bogarin, Altus Consulting; Matyas Prokop, Natilik; Paul Giblin, Presidio; Edwin Zhang, Cisco; Lauren Friedman, Cisco.

Design Thinking Champion podcast

Know Your Customers

The core of Design Thinking is empathy. The better we know our users and customers, the greater the chance we can serve them with the right products and services.

Nearly all business and technology problems are complex and require expertise from people in multiple disciplines. Design Thinking is a crucial tool for helping people on multi-disciplinary teams build understanding – for the other people on the team and for the users. From a foundation of empathy and understanding, it is much easier to move forward effectively.

Inside Cisco, we use Design Thinking in cross-functional teams that include developers, product managers, designers, business development managers, community managers, developer support personnel, and so on.

To learn more or get started with our design thinking tools and templates, please visit our website.

Design Thinking Screenshot

Design Thinking and Programmability

Design Thinking takes on a critical role when you’re building automated solutions, or using Cisco software and APIs to extend open platforms into new areas of business. When you embark on these projects, it’s even more important that you include all stakeholders in the project scoping process. As Cisco Champion Matyáš Prokop, Principal Architect at Natilik, says, “Design Thinking is an important tool to better understand and serve customers.” Natilik is a Cisco partner that has used Cisco software and APIs to find new ways to engage with their customers and grow their business.

For engineers and developers, APIs make it easier to develop business solutions quickly. (For multiple examples of this, check out the automation solutions developer have posted on Cisco DevNet Automation Exchange.) Design Thinking is one great tool our developers use to make sure they are building the right solution for the customers — to address solutions to the right stakeholders, to understand their pain points.

And If you have a useful automation innovation, you too can share your code with other developers, on the DevNet Automation Exchange.

Automation Exchange Screenshot

Design Thinking and software are playing critical roles in the digital transformation of businesses. Our Cisco Champions are as excited about these new opportunities as I am.

Listen to the Podcast: Design Thinking for Innovative Solutions

We’d love to hear what you think. Ask a question or leave a comment below.
And stay connected with Cisco DevNet on social!

Twitter @CiscoDevNet | Facebook | LinkedIn

Visit the new Developer Video Channel


Edwin Zhang


Software Development