Last year 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 2019 happening this week, we wanted to check in with last year’s DevNet Creator Award winners to see what they’re up to.
Jose Bogarín Solano, Chief Innovation Officer at Altus, a Cisco Partner in Costa Rica, received the award last year for his many contribution to the DevNet Community. He teaches others at DevNet Express events and is active in Webex Team rooms to answer questions from developers in the community. He has embraced automation and DevOps and applies both in his business with acumen and tenacity.
We reached out to Jose recently to ask him about his journey:
Q: Why did you join DevNet?
A: I was looking for a way to differentiate my company from the bigger competitors. Software, at that time (2014) seemed like a good path. DevNet was a great place to start, an embracing community with lots of content and willingness to help.
Q: What did winning a Creator award mean to you?
A: A recognition of the effort of the past few years in transforming the company from a hardware-resell show to a software-led business, plus validation that the things I have done to provide value to the DevNet community were important and that I was taking the right steps to improve my professional career and help grow the DevNet community.
Q: What have you been up to in the last year?
A: My team has been growing, we have been doing more projects in Europe and the US. Also, we were able to participate in the Cisco as a Platform Innovation Challenge and, thankfully, we won . This last year I have been working heavily on improving the skills of my team and getting familiar with more Cisco technologies like Webex xAPI, DNA Center, SD-WAN vManage and others.
Q: What has surprised you most about DevNet and the DevNet community?
A: I saw the first DevNet zone – , a small spaceplace, a small team with lots of passion for what they were doing and many goals to accomplish. It has surprised me how much DevNet has grown from that first DevNet Zone and that the community, led but the DevNet team, still maintains a very humble and willing to help vibe. No matter how big the community or the team is getting, you can still feel that there is a genuine effort to help and grow together.
Q: What advice do you have for those just joining the community?
A: I am an introvert person, public speaking or even talking in large groups is difficult for me, however, in DevNet I have found an amazing place and people willing to help and listen to what I have to say. My advice is to reach out to someone from the DevNet team, I am sure they will help you or figure out how can.
Q: What new technologies/innovations are you most excited about?
A: Practical uses of AI/ML to improve users’ experience. I feel that, as technologists, we tend to focus too much on the technical merit of a solution and not on the value it provides to its users. I am not really into things like blockchain or AI/VR, however, I am looking to get more experience on AI/ML.
Plus, although it is not as popular as the other technologies mentioned, I am really excited about network automation, I still feel that we haven’t scratched the surface and that as a community. We can do much more.
Q: If you weren’t a developer, what would you want to be?
A: In IT, I will definitively go back to my sysadmin days. If I had to change fields completely, it is hard to say. Maybe a park ranger on a beach or national park here in Costa Rica.
Q: What has DevNet meant for your career?
A: It has been career-changing, but more than that, life-changing. It really allowed my company to turn around and grow exponentially. Giving me and my co-founders the possibility of creating new jobs and more opportunities for individuals in our country.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career?
A: In general, the team that I have built. A very honest, humble and hard-working team where there is always a great sense of collaboration and desire to help one another. Lots of great engineers looking to learn new things every day.
Personally, my involvement with DevNet. It has allowed me to challenge and test myself in learning new technologies and question the status quo of doing things. It has given me the possibility of interacting with the industry thought-leaders and share my perspectives. Being a DevNet Creator is the cherry on top.