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Welcome to the DevNet Community!

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ai01
Cisco Employee

Cisco NetAcad instructors and students, welcome to the DevNet program! I am very excited to welcome all of you to our community! As a NetAcad alumni myself, with 10+ years of IT experience in different roles, I want to congratulate all of you for the decision to join Cisco Networking Academy. You’re embarked on a fantastic voyage, and I am confident that your instructors will do their best to quench your thirst for knowledge.

For me, when I joined the NetAcad more than 13 years ago, the IT world was a much different place. While at university, a couple of courses about data transmission and digital networks sparked my interest in networking and system administration. Back then, there was only one CCNA certification comprised of 4 courses. Driven by the passion of knowing more, I attended the local NetAcad at my university during evenings and weekends. Over a period of 2 years, I completed all 4 courses and passed the final exam to become CCNA certified. At that time I thought it was a very difficult exam. Little did I know that it was just the beginning. The future would bring many more challenges, much more difficult exams, and exciting projects in my professional life.

I still fondly remember the first time I got my hands on a Cisco router, got on the console, changed the system prompt, configured an IP on the interface, did a password recovery and all that fun stuff. What amazed me at that time was the stability of the code running Cisco devices. Compared to the consumer OS offerings at that time, (witness this shameful display of instability during a live demo when the CEO of the company that was developing the most popular OS at the time experienced a BSOD in front of a very large crowd of developers), the IOS code running on the Cisco devices was rock solid. No BSOD, no crashes, no random reboots.

Instability was very common at that time, and I vividly remember a competition about which Cisco devices had the longest uptime. The winner of one of these competitions was a Cisco switch that had an uptime of more than 8 years! I was delighted. At that time, if my personal computer stayed up a whole week without a BSOD or random reboot I would consider it as being a successful week.

Cisco has come a long way since those times. Today Cisco's mission is to improve everyone's lives through technology and technological advancements. Cisco has integrated voice, video and storage, leveraging the same network that was transporting only data back in the day. NetAcad, together with Learning@Cisco, have always adapted to the new requirements of the market, and have come up with new and updated courses and exams to help you stay on top of new technologies. Today there are several certification tracks available covering Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, Data Center, Collaboration, Wireless, Cloud, Industrial, Cyber Ops and Design. NetAcad alumni have built some of the largest networks in the world, and connected the unconnected over the last 30+ years.

APIs are changing everything

Thinking about the past 10-15 years of my professional life, I am amazed about how much has changed. From running one OS and one application per physical server, to virtualization, to cloud infrastructure, to massively scalable data centers, to containers, everything has changed.

We are going through a massive shift in how applications are developed and consumed and how IT infrastructure is being built to support these applications. Take Microservices for example. The new architectural models that they bring to software development, together with DevOps methodology and tools, have already proven to be significantly more scalable and adaptable to the requirements of businesses. Without new innovations like microservices, we would not have Netflix, Amazon, eBay, PayPal and so many other online platforms and businesses. The old monolithic ways of developing software just do not scale. The main premise of microservices is to break down your application into multiple component services that communicate with each other over APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Combine microservices and the need for deployment automation with managing and maintaining IT infrastructure via APIs and you start to appreciate why everybody is talking about them.

Gone are the days in which it would have been feasible to manually connect via CLI to all the devices comprising a network and make a change as easy as adding a new VLAN. Multiply this by 10, 20, 500 or more switches and routers, and you would never finish before the next change request! Infrastructure needs to be adaptable, needs to be able to dynamically scale up and down based on the needs of the applications running on top of it. We need to be able to automate and to better interact with infrastructure if we want to be able to manage the rate at which it is growing. With the advent of IoT and Cisco Smart Cities and Communities, Gartner estimates that there will be 6.4 billion things connected to the Internet by the end of 2016, a 30% growth over the previous year. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will be connected every day. By 2020 it is estimated that 20.8 billion devices will be connected. That is more than a 3 fold increase over the next 4 years.

So what can DevNet do for you?

Microservices architectures, the need to better manage and deploy infrastructure, and the explosive growth in number of connected devices, all have a core requirement: APIs. The best place for you to get all the information you need about Cisco's APIs, SDKs, sample code, learning labs (tutorials), sandboxes and events is developer.cisco.com. That’s the website for DevNet – Cisco’s developer resource and community. DevNet has extensive resources for Cisco APIs and we keep adding and updating the information we make available. We are always looking for feedback, so please reach out via this community: the Spark room dedicated to this community or in the comments window below.

We are at a turning point in the history of mankind. Never before have there been so many people connected. Today, we are all able to share thoughts and ideas easily and seamlessly. The Internet is shaping our lives and affecting everything from the way we do our shopping, to how we receive health care and how we work and collaborate. Almost every aspect of our lives has already been changed by the Internet and we are just at the beginning.

Let’s build the future together!

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