I’d like to tell you about DevNet-related events and activities that took place in Kazakhstan at the end of February 2019. We conducted 4 events together with the local CDA team and Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility Program Manager in Kazakhstan.
It’s no coincidence that we chose Astana Hub as a location – it’s a part of the large Astana EXPO infrastructure project. Astana Hub is a unique state-supported place; start-ups and entrepreneurs there receive tax preferences and use infrastructure (office premises, coworking space and conference halls) for free.
Astana EXPO, Kazakhstan
Cisco has been in the Kazakhstan market for many years, and it supports and develops digitalization in the scope of the National Digital Kazakhstan -2020 strategy. The Cisco Co-Innovation Lab was created at Astana Hub to collaborate with the startup environment, entrepreneurs and the public sector; the goal of the laboratory is to support the local IT ecosystem by developing joint new innovative products.
The first two events were conducted for people related to the local Networking Academies. The first event was for schoolchildren and the second one was for students. NetAcad’s instructors also participated in both events. As part of my speeches, I talked about digitization, modern trends in design and programming, and the potential to use DevNet as a platform for learning and skills development. The students were able to:
- Get acquainted with emerging technologies workshops that they could attend in the framework of their academies
- Learn and practiced Python programming skills and tools interacting with REST APIs
- Use a live instance of APIC-EM running in the DevNet sandbox to solidify the new skills.
We gave special attention to the usage of NetAcad IDs by students and instructors to perform corresponding DevNet-related modules and tasks, as well as to a special page where they could start this journey. And according to feedback, many participants were motivated to pass this workshop at their academies.
That’s me presenting at the Astana Hub in Kazakhstan
Other activities were aimed at attracting local IT professionals, developers, and engineers of local Cisco partner integrators and clients.
At the “Cisco APIs for Business, Startups, and Engineers” meeting, I spoke about what the company could offer to Kazakhstani engineers, businessmen and startup-ers within the DevNet program, and about the ability to create and develop products and integrations. Special attention was paid to review of DevNet Exchange, which has two tabs:
- Code Exchange, in which companies and startups can view open-source repositories.
- Ecosystem Exchange that presents solutions which have already been implemented by commercial companies.
Not all event visitors know about all the areas where Cisco is developing and operating. Namely, everybody kept up with the leading positions in Networking, Security, Collaboration, and Data Center but others know a little less about what Cisco is doing in software – network programmability and application development. Thanks to the Cisco Kinetic for Cities pilot project launched in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, many visitors of events were also aware of Cisco’s IoT direction.
DevNet Workshop on Cloud Collaboration
The next two-day event “DevNet Workshop on Cloud Collaboration” brought together a close circle of engineers and developers who expressed their desire and used their appropriate skills to dive into Collaboration programmability. Among others, we have also considered such topics as:
- Automating Webex Teams
- Embedding Video Calls into the Web
- Applications for Webex Devices Programmability
You can do these modules online. All participants could have practice in writing their own code and macros, and testing them using the company’s solutions and RoomKit CE 9.6 Sandbox. Thanks to the local Cisco office, we could also practice at the workshop working with the real equipment, including RoomKit and DX80. So, we could test in practice how our code and some hardware features worked. In particular, it was counting the number of people in the visible area of RoomKit; in the context of one developer’s case, we were able to implement the function of counting the number of students/schoolchildren in a classroom and generating records of attendance. When launching facial recognition features, app developers opened up opportunities to implement functionality to analyze the presence of particular persons at a meeting, manage a content related to the person who made a presentation, and much more.
Realize your wishes and dreams
I heard a conclusion from the participants that APIs allowed using Cisco solutions and products, extending the functionality, and integrating with other products depending on needs. They saw how startups and companies can create new products and integrations which are not yet available in the market, and how using DevNet Exchange can help them promote their solutions, make them scalable, and interesting for companies and customers around the world. They learned that DevNet Sandboxes are available for developers and engineers in which they can test and study their programs and applications, as well as realize their wishes and ideas.