Mandy Whaley, senior director of developer experience for Cisco, spoke with TechRepublic at Cisco Live 2018 about how the company’s large set of APIs let engineers to automate network tasks without learning a ton of code. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Mandy Whaley: Cisco DevNet is Cisco’s developer program and our developer community. We cover all of the Cisco portfolio, so platforms in data center, enterprise, [collaboration], IoT, security, and anywhere that there are APIs, or an SDK, or a way for people to build on or extend or integrate those platforms. We build the developer community around that.
We just had some exciting news. We just reached a milestone of having 500,000 developers registered and active in our developer community, and we’re really excited about this because it’s a milestone that brings us where we can really start to focus on that community as a driver of innovation for Cisco.
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What we’ve seen is that as the scale of networks has grown, and as the demand for agility and speed that operators and engineers need to respond with has sped up, that automation is really key, and so Cisco has been creating APIs across the whole portfolio and then also from the device level to the controllers and then all the way up to analytics and assurance. And what this lets us do is engineers can learn a few pieces of coding, how to make some simple API calls, and they can automate a lot of the tasks that they face in their day-to-day job to make it more reliable, more scalable, and more secure.
Network engineering skills are always going to be critical, and you still need those. What this is is really allowing us to reinvent the network like Chuck said, take it to the next place that we need to serve the needs of the internet and the growth and the scale that IoT and cloud and all these things bring, and it’s really giving the network engineer who has traditionally been that person who’s in the spot and can really solve a problem, we’re just giving them a new tool to put in their toolbox that they can solve problems with.