Out of respect for the incident in Virginia on Wednesday morning, we decided to postpone the #CiscoChat originally scheduled at that time. The chat will now be held on Friday, June 16, from 9-10a.m. PT. We apologize for any inconvenience, and hope you can join us on Friday.

All too often, very large numbers are thrown around to describe the growth of internet traffic and services. Here’s just a few from recent articles:

1) Annual global IP traffic from cloud-based deployments will quadruple to 8.6 zettabytes in 2019.

2) There will be almost 30 billion connected devices by the end of this decade.

3) Public cloud services will grow to be a $380 billion market globally by 2020.

While these predictions will likely come true (and, in fact, some may be underestimates), they don’t really give us an idea of “what’s in it for us?” We all know that videos on social media, Netflix streaming, and greater use of platforms like Amazon Web Services are a huge drivers of all these trends. But how do we prepare ourselves to work and thrive in this era?

Let me share a few data points that are more meaningful for those of us considering careers in information technology:

  • Python has been ranked the number one programming language in popularity by the popular site CodeEval for five years in a row.
  • In an international study by Infosys, almost three quarters of senior business decision makers said artificial intelligence will be fundamental to their business and product strategy. International Data Corp estimates that Artificial Intelligence-related hardware, software, and services will grow more than five-fold to be a $47 billion market by 2020.
  • Using insights gained from “big data” and analytics is completely changing the very process of decision making at companies. This industry is expected to grow into a $187 billion market by 2019.

There is not a single industry that won’t be impacted by these trends.

The underlying trend in all of these statistics is the rise of software and data to enable business operations, help companies become more competitive, and help them gather insights quickly to make changes. As Forbes magazine proclaimed in 2014, “The reality is that most firms today are already software companies … and will steadily become more so.  There is a new strategic imperative: agile.” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins himself stated, “We have begun the journey to morph into a software company. In the digital world, data – and the insights it provides – is our customers most strategic asset.”

In the networking space, these trends will also have a profound impact. Gone are devices and networks that are closed, proprietary, difficult to manage, and hard to get data from. They are being replaced by networks that are open and programmable in order to make them easier to manage and adapt to changing traffic patterns and to cyberattacks.

If this excites and scares you at the same time, then good! Because with every challenge there lies an opportunity. To prepare for this new world, STEM-related skills are more important than ever. Specifically, understanding computer science and programming languages is becoming a key skill that has broad applicability.

We don’t expect new college graduates to be experts in OpenStack, containers, bots, or Netconf. The good news is that anyone with a solid background in programming fundamentals, computer science, and Linux, just to name a few, would have the ability to easily learn the core technologies that have now become the building blocks of networks. Thankfully, these skills are not out of reach.  In fact, many colleges and universities are starting to introduce these into their curricula.

Join us for a #CiscoChat on Friday, June 16, from 9-10a.m. PT as we discuss hiring and developing early-in-career talent in an industry where products and services delivered are evolving at an exciting pace. We look forward to discussing how you can be prepared to innovate “full speed ahead!”

Links and Additional Information:


To participate in the chat:

  • Make sure you’re logged into your Twitter account.
  • Search for the #CiscoChat hashtag and click on the Latest
  • The chat will be moderated by the Cisco NetAcad channel (@CiscoNetAcad) on Twitter. Be sure to follow the account to participate. They will begin welcoming guests at 9am PT (12pm ET) and posting questions for discussion.
  • For @ replies to specific participants in the discussion, please use a “.” at the beginning of the Tweet. This way, 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., 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 others can find your contributions to the discussion.

Don’t forget to bring your own questions to the discussion as well! We look forward to seeing you there.



Gaurav Khanna

Engineering Manager

Global Sales - Virtual Systems