Two years ago at DevNet Create, DevNet’s annual developer conference, we premiered the “DevNet Creator” awards to recognize and spotlight DevNet members for their leadership and contribution to the DevNet Community. With DevNet Create 2020 not too far away, we wanted to check in with 2019 DevNet Creator Award winners to see what they’re up to.

Maybelyn Plecic
Maybelyn Plecic

Maybelyn Plecic has a passion for not only learning how to adopt software skills, but making sure her team members are doing the same. She has been coordinating a women’s study group at Presidio, doing a weekly 1-hour coding class. She also leads a larger group for her own teams to cover the Collaboration, Secure Networks, and Data Center topics for regions that are new to coding. Maybelyn has been a leader in showing how a Cisco partner can utilize DevNet Content to move their business forward.

Known as a client-focused, and results-oriented individual, Maybelyn has received recognition from many highly satisfied clients across industry segments. She is an exemplary team leader and self-starter with the initiative to self-train, and the ability to motivate teams of various cultural and professional backgrounds.

We reached out to Maybelyn recently to ask her about her journey:

Q: Why did you join DevNet?
I joined DevNet to help inspire others to gain confidence in learning the programmability mindset. Many people are still intimidated when they get introduced to Python and other programming languages. I’m here to let others know that with the willingness to learn, by putting effort, and by building a habit of touching code helps get us to the next level. I am an advocate for enabling others to build new skill sets so they are prepared to meet the disruptive market demand as we move towards AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning. I am a firm believer in creating a diverse community of developers who know the impact of the solutions through user experience use cases.

Q: What did winning a Creator award mean to you?
It gave me confidence that, with a positive attitude, I can inspire others to better themselves through enablement. The DevNet community is impressive. Susie Wee and her team are amazing advocates in promoting automation in all aspects of our lives. The Creator award reaffirms that we all need mentors and peers to support our learning efforts. That I am not alone in this very challenging market and that I have plenty more to offer to help others be successful too.

Q: What has surprised you most about DevNet and the DevNet community?
I was amazed by Susie Wee. Susie is down to earth and very relatable. We had so much fun taking selfies and talking about enabling women to have more representation in the technology fields. I am very passionate about building more diverse communities. I was thrilled to see that Susie Wee and her team have invested efforts to partner with Presidio and the DevNet community in creating fun, interactive, and very welcome environments to promote learning and sharing. Michelle Curtis and Vinu Thomas are executive sponsors from Presidio who have helped make this initiative between our companies so successful.

Q: What advice do you have for those just joining the community?
My advice is to be brave, try coding and keep learning. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, connect with people who are also learning, and make an effort to have fun in the process. Find accountability to help you build the habit of coding more regularly. Spend 15-30 minutes three times a week or more. Start with a small project and tinker.

Q: What new technologies/innovations are you most excited about?
I am very excited to see what AI and Machine Learning can offer to improve existing and new solutions. I’m also curious to see how many more solutions provide an opportunity to use APIs. I believe there is so much potential in creating a more customer-centric experience. More advanced and intelligent assistance-related services are more reachable with the many available modules/packages, including new programming languages.

Q: If you weren’t a developer, what would you want to be?
I would want to be a car racer, an inventor, a singer, a book author and world traveler with my family of six. I miss traveling the world. We moved often for several years because my parents worked for the United Nations. I love learning new languages and experiencing different cultures. I also enjoy learning about people’s stories. When I became a US Army Reservist, I met many amazing heroes and continue to find more around me.

Q: Are you excited about the new DevNet certifications?
I am very excited about completing the DevNet certifications. This confirms that we have the knowledge and have the capabilities to create automation related solutions that meet business needs. It also inspires others to know that it is never too late to learn this skill. We have so much potential through perseverance and creative thinking to build efficient solutions that benefit more users in very diverse and intelligent software applications.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?
I am very proud of my efforts in working with my team and across the different technology practices in Presidio, our partners, and clients. One of my proudest moments is being a recipient of the DevNet Creator Community Contributor Award 2019. This award shows how significant it is to be an empathetic leader and role model to others. Everyone can make a positive impact in many people’s lives. I am even more proud of enabling more women in technology by being the first female Presidio Distinguished Engineer (PDE). Receiving the PDE is a significant recognition given to less than 2% of the engineering team nationally in Presidio.

I hope to continue to inspire others to continue doing what they love by being excited to learn and to share the fantastic stories with everyone. I am very grateful to have a supportive family from my Lean In Wonder Women network that I lead for several years and the other leaders across the world. Last but not least, I am proud of my family and karate friends. I am two belts away in working through getting my black belt, and because of their support, I’m able to maintain a manageable life balance between career and personal life.

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Amanda Whaley

Sr. Director of Developer Experience

Cisco DevNet