New Gig – Developer Evangelist

evangelistI have a new job at Cisco. Starting in August I am the DEVELOPER EVANGELIST for the UK&I.

Why does Cisco need a Developer Evangelist? Cisco sells boxes right!? Wrong! (Well. not totally).  Yes, we sell boxes but those boxes, the Infrastructure, has to be programmable and have APIs. Also, you need people who understand how to program against and consume APIs. These are Developers. Application Developers, Infrastructure Developers, SREs, DevOps, full-stack Engineers… (You get the picture).

In fact, Cisco has a whole organization built around this in the form of DevNet. There are HALF a MILLION members of DevNet today. That’s quite a lot of people who like this stuff.  As more and more infrastructure is consumed by APIs, it creates new ways for applications to interact with infrastructure.

But wait, there’s more! Just look at  AppD, Kinetic,, Contiv, and Google Hybrid Cloud to name but a few. When you start joining the dots between some of these platforms and working with customers and partners on use cases, things start getting quite exciting.

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So What Will You Be Doing Rog? Well, I’m glad you asked. My team has an innovation agenda. We are driving change in the way we build and consume Cisco hardware and software stacks. We are building solutions based not only on Cisco tech, but also emerging technologies like mixed reality, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, smart buildings, and experiences.

And I will, no doubt, draw the odd cartoon along the way

Captain Cloud at Cisco Live 17

Stickers, T-shirts, Cartoons, Cuddly Toys and Big Hugs

Captain Cloud made a big impact at CiscoLive in Vegas. The theme of the event was one of Super Heroes but alas the Captain is not official Cisco branding. But did that stop the big guy getting about and putting smiles on delegates faces. Not at all. When he goes, he goes BIG!

Not only did he bring fun, but fun + education.

For example, those propelar heads at Cisco DEVNET created a coding Escape Room, where the goal was to rescue Captain Cloud imprisoned by the Shadow. It was a hit and winners got their own cuddly toy Captain.

Then there was the SWAG. Limited edition, get them while you can, never to be repeated, Captain Cloud Stickers and T-Shirts, featuring Teddy the Disappointing Unicorn and API Girl. They went like hot cakes and are now adorning laptops all over the world.

And Finally, the Captain was prolifically witty on Twitter.

It was a humbling experience to see your creation brought to life and especially how people reacted so positively to him.  A totally amazing and humbling experience.

Getting to Know Your Friendly Developer

This week I presented to a large bunch of techie types on the importance of getting to know the Developer. Developers are becoming very influential as we know, and traditional IT has to change and provide the Dev teams with what they want, when they want it, or risk becoming wholly irrelevant.

Here is my guide to the Developer

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  1. They love developing and hate anything that distracts them from it
  2. They love stickers. (If you see someone walking towards you, wearing a hoodie holding a laptop covered in stickers they are either a Developer or a 12 year old).
  3. If you get frightened whilst talking to a Developer safe Topics are Game of Thrones or Call of Duty.
  4. Modern Development teams can be fed by two pizzas. (So looked for 3 or 4 individuals wearing hoodies, exchanging stickers, talking about John Snow congregating around a meat feast pizza).
  5. Developers love AWS (other public clouds are available) because it makes their life easier.
  6. Developers hate IT because it makes their lives harder
  7. Developer don’t like infrastructure (see point 1)
  8. Developers hate suits. (Wearing them or talking to them)
  9. Developer dislike salespeople. (only 2% of Developers use sales people as their primary route for discovering new stuff. FACT)

With he advent of the whole DevOps thing they are part of a wider team, many of which do not have stickers on their laptops which is slowing the overall adoption of DevOps in the industry. NOTAFACT

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Pre-DevOps this lot would not speak to each other unless they had to. (especially the Architecture guy as you were never quite sure if he was actually looking at you or not). But now they are all one happy team scrumming, sprinting and failing fast if needed. Certainly no walls of confusion any more.

So my advice is get to know your developer. Yes they can be scary. Yes, some do not blink as much as they should, but under all the intellectual bravado they just want to be loved. NOTAFACT