Developer Community Role Models

July 2, 2018 - 7 Comments

Be Like Silvia … and Dmitry … and Jason … and Scott!

I’ve been in the technology business since the early 1980s. In all of that time, there has always been a common thought that said, “on the job training is an important activity for your career”. For example, my own career was dramatically aided when a couple of really good software engineers helped me learn a couple tricks in the C programming language, enabling me to enhance the SCO UNIX operating system in 1990. Today, I’d like to show you three examples, where people got some specific training and are now enjoying the rewards.

Silvia Spiva

But, before I even start on the three enterprise networking experts of this blog, let me introduce Silvia Spiva, @silviakspiva. Silvia is one of my team mates here at Cisco DevNet and is our Community Manager. Silvia is the person who really tracks what’s going on with our community. She’s the key connector who setup my time with Dmitry, Jason and Scott. If you get nothing else out of this blog, connect with Silvia and you’ll start seeing this type of information every day.

Dmitry Figol 

Now, let me introduce you to Dmitry Figol, @dmfigol. Dmitry is a Cisco CCIE networking expert. But, as you will soon see, over the past couple of years, he’s added a key element to that expertise: Dmitry learned to program. Specifically, Dmitry enhanced his career as a Network Engineer by learning network automation and Python programming. As I’m about to show you three times, this has had a profound effect on his happiness and productivity in the workplace. But, if you really want to see what I mean, take a look at this short video and see if you can pick up on his feelings.

Jason Gooley 

It’s not just Dmitry having those DevNet feelings. Next, let me introduce you to Jason Gooley, @jason_gooley. Silvia and I had a chance to catch up with Jason and ask him about his passion for networking engineering, at Cisco Live US. Again, Jason is a CCIE (x2). But wait! There’s more. Jason has completely conquered the concepts of network programmability and automation. In fact, I’m thinking you’re going to want to read his book by the end of this blog if you aren’t already a programming network engineer. And, when it comes to career…well, how about, again, I let you take a look at a short video to see Jason’s thoughts on how life has changed since he added some particular skills to his network engineering pedigree.

Scott Lee-Guard

And finally, my third and final proof point for today comes in the form of Scott Lee-Guard, @CiscoKiwi. Scott leads a team of System Engineers at Cisco. Guess what? Scott also used to be a traditional Network Engineer, specializing in wireless guest access and BYOD networking implementations. And again, Scott enhanced his career by going from doing manual configurations using the command line, to network automation and programming. In fact, I think Scott makes the point himself in the short video below.  Hear how he is empowering Customers and Partners through education.

We’ve just seen three examples of people who were willing to go on camera to talk about how learning network automation and network programming has changed their lives. Each of them has had their lives impacted by this learning! The moral of the story, “If you are a traditional Network Engineer, then learning about Network Automation and Programming will change your life”. As all three of our stars say in the video, there’s a wealth of information on Cisco DevNet.

If you are a Network Engineer, and you’d like to get started, we recommend the learning path for Network Engineers on

Are you ready to share your story of personal transformation and innovation? We’d like to hear from you. Here’s a short video from Silvia asking for your story!

Thanks for reading,

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  1. @CiscoKiwi tells us how to do things smarter, shares his experiences with customers, and provides a roadmap for learning in bite-sized chunks.

    Silvia, thanks for interviewing Scott!

  2. Fantastic way to both acknowledge the hard work and training which has translated in results and rewarding careers. It's a great way to celebrate those who have done it, are doing it, and encourage others to pursue these kinds of opportunities for advancement. The 'on the job learning' in a fast-paced, current state of change is a big success factor in staying on top of in-demand and emerging skills. Great feature.

  3. Big thank you to Chris, Silvia and the entire DEVNET team! I really enjoyed hanging out and spending time getting to know everyone. THE DEVNET Zone is the best place to sync up with peers in the industry and really get your hands dirty with learning the technology!

    Thanks for all the support!

    #DevNet #TeamGSD

    • Thanks Jason,

      It is truly our pleasure. To be funny, I'm thinking that Silvia and I are groupies – groupies of all the rockstars that can do networking AND programming…the rockstars that take the intellectual capital on DevNet and use it to build cool things.

      It's definitely the best part of my job – to tell your stories.

  4. Thanks for the interview, Chris and Silvia!
    I am always excited to collaborate with DevNet members on any project.
    Proud to be the part of DevNet community!

  5. #TeamDevNet is the best! Silvia, count me in like Flynn!

  6. The best part of my job is getting to celebrate the great work done by members of the Cisco Developer Community. So proud of #TeamDevNet!