Cisco Chat: Have APIs killed the CLI?

March 16, 2017 - 11 Comments

Have you heard of Cisco DEVNET? 

DevNetZoneWe are the single resource for everything ‘developer’ at Cisco, and we are here to help you learn, code, inspire and connect.

One of our favorite partnerships is with the Systems Engineering organization, #CiscoSE.  Together, we are hosting a #CiscoChat to answer this question: “Have APIs killed the CLI?”

What’a an API? What’s a CLI? What’s a developer?

Bring all your questions to Twitter on March 22.


Prior to the chat, make sure to claim your #DEVNET account!


Let us know you registered by sending us a tweet @CiscoDevNet


Is this a Systems Engineer or a Developer?  

Actually, Hank is both.

Hank Preston DevNet Evangelist

Hank Preston III, DevNet Evangelist

“If you want my CLI, you’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands!”
Maybe an extreme example, but that seems to be the fear of many network engineers.

But is the CLI really at risk of going away? Or, can new network APIs and the CLI happily co-exist?

In this #CiscoChat, “Have APIs Killed the CLI” we’ll consider this question, and have an honest discussion about the future of the beloved CLI, what new APIs offer the network engineer, and how to pick the right tool for the job.



What’s it like working at DEVNET? 

I love being the developer’s advocate and sharing code “things” I think are cool, DEVNET allows me to do that and so much more! Here’s an example.


John McDonough, DevNet Evangelist


Get to know our extended Team, including John McDonough, Hank Preston, Janel Kratky, Chad Peterson, Kevin Corbin, Josh Anderson, Genna Cargill, Greg Hamilton and #CiscoChampion Wendell Odom!




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  1. Looking forward to this chat today!

  2. Until you can do the ten billion things that you can do via the CLI via the API programmatically then, no, the CLI is not dead. Maybe its days are limited, but dead it is certainly not. Even in Wi dows and OSX, sometimes it is more efficient to do things by dropping to the command line and this capability has not been removed by Microsoft/Apple.
    But I agree with the underlining sentiment underpinning this thread that we will start to do things in networking via API methods over the coming months and years.

  3. To participate in the chat:
    ● Make sure you’re logged into your Twitter account.
    ● Search for the #CiscoChat hashtag and click on the Live tab.
    ● The chat will be moderated by the Cisco DevNet channel (@CiscoDevNet) on Twitter. Be sure to follow the accounts to participate. They will begin welcoming guests at 8:00 am PT (11:00 am ET) and posting questions for discussion.
    ● For @ replies to specific participants in the discussion, please use a “.” at the beginning of the tweet so that your question or comment will appear in your public Twitter feed.
    ● If you need multiple tweets to answer a question, please preface each tweet with “1A, 2A,” etc., in order to make it easier for others to follow along with the conversation.
    ● Be sure to use the #CiscoChat hashtag at the end of each tweet so that others can find your contributions to the discussion.
    We look forward to a lively discussion!

  4. It’s almost time to chime in on the exciting & innovative things happening with APIs and how these are impacting the dear CLI! Join this lively #DevNet #CiscoSE community for a virtual forum on Twitter to share your ideas, expertise, to ask questions, engage and learn more! We want to hear from you.. See you on our #CiscoChat this Wednesday 3/22 at 8 AM PT!

  5. CLI will always be around

  6. See you all there!

  7. sure looks a cool use of the ucs and Alexa.
    And of course the intro to DevNet and API programming

  8. It’s hard to resist the urge to start the conversation now! Thanks for getting the conversation going on Twitter. Looking forward to joining in. What a range of ideas already, from talk of prying the CLI from cold dead hands to making a whole new CLI from an API. 🙂 Should be fun, and with plenty of serious opinions, too.

  9. Should be a great conversation. APIs allow engineers to fully impose their will on the network, even create your own CLI if you’d like 😉

  10. I think if the engineer realized that the API is just a CLI in a different form, it would be so much less scary.

    Then they could see that the API is much more powerful and scaleable and repeatable and a bunch more ‘ables.

    Really interested in what will be talked about!

  11. Looking forward to this discussion. Such a great time to be in IT today, particularly in Networking. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s opinions as we shape what the future of Network Engineering is!