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Optimism + Developers = Innovation

Cisco Employee

As we prepare to host our second DevNet Women-in-Tech (DevNet WiT) Do-er’s event in Las Vegas at Cisco Live, I have been talking to many people who work in technical fields as developers and engineers about their careers -- What inspires and drives them to work in technology?  What is frustrating? What do they find motivating and rewarding?

A common theme that has emerged is a core belief that technology can solve problems and make things better. Solving problems and ... coffee also rated highly in the motivations category.  Innovation is a word that comes up often in these conversations. Whether it is using technology to track bee colonies, or connect smart cities, there is optimism and hope tied to the the idea that we can use innovative, fresh ideas to solve important problems.

In our Cisco DevNet team, we feel strongly that innovation and developers go hand and hand. Innovation fuels our developers and inspires our community.  So we wanted to create some moments and space to focus on innovation with our developer community at Cisco Live US in the DevNet Zone.

We are hosting two amazing speakers who will spark your thoughts around innovation.  These speakers will plant ideas that will stretch, challenge, and inspire you.  You will leave with a challenge to disrupt yourself and to go create something new.

I am excited to attend these sessions, and to see how they shape my thinking.  You can register for these sessions in advance, and add them to your online schedule.

From Vision to Prototype: Practical Strategies to Drive Innovation

Adriana Gascoigne will be speaking in the DevNet Zone on Monday July 10.  Adriana is the Founder & CEO of Girls in Tech, and she knows what it takes to push a new business idea from the ideation phase to devising a true product concept. Adriana has held many executive positions at Silicon Valley startups and now shares her product development and branding insights as an advisor to early stage companies. In this session, Adriana will guide you through the critical steps to innovating your idea into a viable product, including defining your problem statement, your ideal customer and practical ways to test your concepts. She will cover common hurdles, such as building versus buying, creative ways to quickly iterate and how far to take your first prototype. Adriana will also touch on practical tools that enable and empower entrepreneurs to drive innovation within their industry, such as Slack, Basecamp and Asana and more.

Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work

Whitney Johnson the author of "Disrupt Yourself" will be speaking in the DevNet Zone on Tuesday Jul 12 on disruptive innovation.

The idea is simple, but powerful: disruptive companies and ideas upend markets by doing something truly different – they see a need, an empty space waiting to be filled, and they dare to create something for which a market may not yet exist. An expert in driving innovation via personal disruption, Whitney Johnson will demonstrate how you can put the power of disruptive innovation to work. To help your company in unexpected ways, dare to innovate. Dream big dreams. Do something astonishing. Disrupt yourself.  In this session, Whitney Johnson will share stories of disruption and will teach you how powerful disruption can be in your organization’s evolving reinvention. Johnson builds on her investment background as co-founder of two early stage venture firms, and an award –winning equity analyst to provide a fresh perspective on innovation and change.

In addition to these sessions, we have a whole week of coding classes, hackathon activities, mentoring sessions, meetups and more planned to help you get hands-on with Cisco platforms and connect with other Cisco developers.

The full schedule of DevNet Zone activities includes:

Sunday, July 10, 2016: The DevNet Women In Tech Do'ers workshop is two half-day sessions on Sunday July 10 (the day before Cisco Live, Las Vegas) where you can get hands-on with hardware and software in a supported environment. We are focusing on the Internet of Things for this workshop, so you will be playing with hardware and software. The DevNet Women in Tech Do'ers workshop is free! We are also offering mentoring sessions through out the week.

Saturday-Sunday, July 10: A DevNet hackathon – focusing on Cloud Collaboration technologies, and a DevNet Springboard event – focusing on network programmability.    We will have some DevNet Women there for you to talk to and work with. (How awesome would it be to have a couple DevNet Women in Tech teams in the hackathon!) Both the hackathon and Springboard event are free, though you must pre-register.

Find out more and register for the free Hackathon

Find out more and register for the free Springboard event

Monday-Thurs., July 11 - 14, 2016: Participate in all DevNet Zone activities including coding classes, API deep dives, and workshops.

Attending the DevNet Zone activities requires registering for the Cisco Live Explorer Pass for $69.

Find out more and register for Cisco Live.

I hope to see you there!

Mandy Whaley


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