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Cisco Employee

My First Cisco Devnet Zone Experience: New and Invigorating

Cisco Live shows over the last 20 years have always been exciting and educational. From hardware devices in the 90's, like the AS5300, to Energy Management Software and Data Center products, I've done booth based demonstrations at shows all over the world. But, this is my first experience in the Devnet Zone. And, what a pleasure. The feeling is so different from the Cisco Live's of the last 20 years, I felt it might be worth sharing. If you've never been in the Devnet Zone, perhaps this will entice you to check it out. It may be a blur at first, like the moving train in the photo below. But, if you spend some time, you'll be well rewarded for your effort.


The atmosphere is different in the zone. Where the World of Solutions is typical of any industry trade show, with giveaways, entertainment and technology innovation on display at booth after booth, the Devnet zone is more like a college campus, with a subtle energy that is both invigorating and new. From beginners through advanced, there are network engineers learning to code and software engineers learning what they can do on a network platform.

The presentations feel more like a class. Instead of a presentation on today's key features and benefits, world class experts are giving you tools you can use to produce next year's big new innovation. These are not professional presenters, they're more like professors, sharing what they know and giving you the gift of their knowledge and experience. And like a college campus, there is a feeling of hope, of a bright future where the tools we are gathering today, will enable the great things of the future. From pretty simple, to super complex, the fundamental tools needed to innovate The Internet of Everything is breathing a subtle excitement into the conversations in the zone.

The picture above is of the train going by a sensor in the Devnet Learning Labs area. This particular learning lab has the user learning about Data in Motion, or DMo. There are three sensors on the track, which are triggered as the toy train goes round and round the track. Your experience is one where you step up to a computer station, log in and do a learning lab - in this case, the IoT lab. The point of the lab is to learn how to use sensors in the real world. The train triggers the sensor and your software changes the traffic signals to the appropriate color to avoid a collision. It's not too complex. It's just the starting point of an Internet of Things journey with Cisco Devnet. In about fifteen or twenty minutes, this ex-software engineer turned marketing guy was able to complete the lab and learn a little bit about modern day interfaces into real devices.

After over twenty years of going to various trade shows, the Cisco Devnet Zone is providing me with a whole new experience. It's exciting and fresh. Even if you are not a developer by trade, I highly recommend stopping but he zone, taking a class and maybe even trying out a learning lab.

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