There are many different types of software developers in today’s industry. We are often segmented in what our tasks are. Mobile, web, front-end, back-end, are just a few examples. Another way to think of developers is the size, scale, and complexity of the applications we apply our craft. Each day that passes, it seems as if more applications are being required to cover integrated tasks, from sales, to inventory, to accounting, to human resource management, and more, all rolled into one package. Applications that are used by more than one business unit inside the enterprise. These applications for the enterprise environment require the rise of the enterprise developer.

I’m not discounting the incredible challenges that come with designing, implementing, and distributing software either solely or predominantly intended for single users or business groups. Those challenges are indeed very real. I’ve personally enjoyed some of the non-enterprise projects I’ve worked on immensely. Many of the same concerns we face on those applications roll over to the enterprise developer. However, when working on these enterprise-level applications, challenges seem to magnify.

The Rise of the Enterprise Developer

Gravity… it’s a real downer

I like to think of this as being like gravity. Working on a small application is like the impact gravity has on the common housefly, Musca domestica. It’s a concern, but by and large, not something that impacts the fly too much. The housefly can rather freely fly around. When working on enterprise-level applications, the concerns magnify. When one thinks of an African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana, gravity is it.

In a similar fashion, the enterprise developer must take things like security, the network, application interconnectedness, and more into account on a much larger scale. What issues arise when the network is slow, or down, in a single user bookkeeping application become greatly magnified when you’re looking at an enterprise-grade application – magnified in terms of complexity to resolve, but also in terms of impact to an organization. 

Enterprise developer solutions 

This is where Cisco is uniquely situated to bring our years of experience to the table to assist enterprise developers in their work. Cisco is known for our amazing tools for our operational and infrastructure colleagues, but as many tasks are moving earlier in the development cycle, or shifting left, we are innovating on solutions and platforms to help there as well. 

Here’s one example, as enterprise developers, we are leveraging third-party APIs more and more. As we move our applications to the cloud and implement microservices, APIs are utilized to an even larger extent. But do we always know how “good” those APIs are? I’d submit that no, we don’t. Cisco started and continues to contribute to the open-source project APIClarity. This helps the enterprise developer capture API traffic using a service-mesh framework to bring insights into the APIs being used.  

Another example is our work on Panoptica which brings healthy security insights for cloud applications. As the development culture evolves and topics like security are having a seat at the table in the development cycle, we can use Panoptica as a single pane of glass for our Kubernetes, Service Mesh, Container, and API security. Shift-Left Security brings with it many benefits and challenges. Solutions such as Panoptica help make our lives, as developers, much easier. 

Level up at Cisco Live! 

The rise of the enterprise developer is not new, but as we further rely on microservices, containers, and APIs for their success, the role has become more complex. Cisco Live! is a great place to learn more about the culture shift that’s impacting developers. I’m very excited to be attending Cisco Live! this year live in Las Vegas, NV, from June 12th – 16th. I’m even more excited to have the opportunity to give three different sessions.  

New this year at Cisco Live! is the opportunity to reserve yourself a seat in the sessions. Use the links above to pre-register. Or, register to attend these sessions online! The Cisco Live broadcast will follow the sun to bring learning and experience to everyone.


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Grace Francisco

Vice President

Developer Relations Strategy & Experience