For those who have not heard of APIStrat, it is an API conference, focused on the strategy side of APIs, hence its name “API Strategy & Practice”. It is ran by the Linux Foundation and they host an event in different parts of the US each year, this year being Nashville, Tennessee and last year being Portland, Oregon.
Nashville is known for one major activity: eating hot chicken. Was I able to survive going to Nashville trying to skip this activity? I probably wouldn’t hear the end of it. I’m a recovering vegetarian and back to eating meat, so I didn’t let my carnivore community member friends down. Hot chicken was a keyword I definitely heard throughout the conference, aside from APIs. Could the burning sensation I have in my stomach be from deeply missing the APIStrat community, the cause from too much hot chicken, or a combination of both?
Photo credit: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/254804/chef-johns-nashville-hot-chicken/
Although there wasn't hot chicken at last years event, I still enjoyed Portland and having the opportunity to present there. This year I joined their (large and talented) committee team reviewing CFPs. See Kin Lane’s post.
Although the event went from Sept 24th - Sept 26th, and it’s only been two days, the conference is still fresh in my mind. When you run into a community that close, it’s hard to forget. When I say “close”, I mean everyone takes the time to get to know others, the event feels very inclusive, and a lot of community members are ecstatic to be running into others they know. Being able to continue conversations with community members via dinner and drinks after the conference makes it even more memorable.
This years event had 7 keynote speakers, all being very high end and noteworthy people in the industry. I was able to meet more than a dozen people in the API community that I’ve only talked to or seen on Twitter, and be able to see them face to face. The experience is always greater to meet someone and put a picture to a face!
One of my colleagues, Krishan Veer, at Cisco DevNet was invited to present a workshop at this event. He presented on “Secure APIs Development Workshop”. He’s from the Seattle area and also presents at my Seattle APIs Meetup that I host monthly.
I really liked the way APIStrat sets up their sessions, having multiple brief keynotes in the morning, closing it off with one final keynote at the end of the event. Sessions and keynotes should always be brief. As a frequent attendee at events, after 30 minutes my eyes naturally start wandering, no matter how interesting the content is. Some people aren’t made to sit for long periods at a time (looking at screens do not count). I sure can’t!
One of my favorite things at events is to talk to sponsors. If it’s a brief conversation, I probably won’t remember much about their product. (This is why smaller events are better for sponsors as they can leave a memory to attendees, rather than only having time to talk to each person less than a minute). The sponsors were pretty fun to speak to. Not only do I learn more and more about what their product does and why they are there, I get to learn about the “why’s” and their love for the community. The few sponsors that stood out to me and were VERY amiable were Postman, APIFortress, and Microsoft. Specifically the people that were at the booth. They were all great though! I enjoyed speaking to everyone!
If I had to list the presenters that were the well renowned individuals that flew from afar to present here, I’d end up listing them all. A few talks included a Keynote about the future of OpenAPI Specs, the History of the Future of APIs, Tech Humanism, Cell-Based Architecture, and sessions about Microservices, developer tools at scale, more about OpenAPI, Swagger, API Design, product strategy, GraphQL, API culture, API Documentation, SDK generation, and the list goes on!
So where is APIStrat off to next? I’m sure you can follow their adventures from their social media accounts. Let’s hope Seattle next, as that’s where I’m based. *hint hint!*.
Let’s call it “APIStrat: Bringing Hot Chicken and APIs to Seattle”
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Students working toward careers in IT/Networking, network architecture, and network administration face a rapidly evolving landscape dominated by two significant trends:
First, digitization. Analog information in just about all forms (text, photographs, voice, etc.) is being converted to digital form so that the information can be processed, stored, and transmitted through digital circuits, equipment, and networks. The sheer volume and diversity of digital information flooding our networks creates challenges (a.k.a. opportunities) for network engineers.
Second, network programmability allows the network engineer to use software coding skills to develop network applications in programmable environments, and thus get rid of a lot of manual processes. Whether students become developers themselves or, at a minimum, have sufficient understanding of coding requirements to work effectively with software developers who are creating applications to run on their networks, software skills will be crucial to a student's future career.
What Does This Mean For NetAcad instructors?
Digitization is disrupting traditional networks and driving the need to adopt evolving technologies. Networks are becoming programmable, virtualized and software-driven. Your students need to understand these concepts and what will be required of them in the professional environment. Cisco DevNet can help you:
Prepare your students for the future by introducing them to concepts and tools used for Software-Defined Networks
Prepare students to work cross-functionally across organizations to help drive network automation initiatives
Teach students about the programming of hardware, controllers and components required to move to the IoT. Here's a good article on this subject – Programmable network will power Internet of Everything.
Call to Action
Join us in Cisco DevNet by providing your input and feedback on how we can help provide the tools, learning labs, mentors and experiences that prepare for student for the future of IoT, digitization, and network programmability.
In the near future, DevNet will be providing learning materials in a module format for NetAcademy that will introduce these technologies to you. Be sure to follow this blog for the latest news.
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For roughly 20 years in a row, Cisco Networking Academy had yet another successful event in Bellevue, WA on March 29-31, 2017! Northwest Regional Cisco Conference: ICT Educator’s. I was proud to be invited to speak at this event. One thing I've learned? Instructors are the heart of Networking Academy!
Cisco Networking Academy is an IT skills and career building program for learning institutions and individuals worldwide. You can find instructors teaching Cisco Networking in over 8000 schools worldwide. It’s important for instructors to gather at regional events and teach each other about different areas of expertise, discover new technologies and concepts, share information on best practices, and learn about the Networking Academy roadmap. What better way to do all this than at an in-person conference?
Who am I?
I’m Tessa Mero, one of the Developer Evangelists for Cisco DevNet, as well as one of the Community Managers for integrating the Networking Academy and Cisco DevNet community as one. Cisco DevNet you ask? DevNet is Cisco’s Developer Community with over 450,000 registered users who use our software and technologies. It was launched less than 3 years ago!
Networking Academy Community on Cisco DevNet
“Explore DevNet tools and resources to support lifelong learning. Prepare yourself for the future of automation, programmable networks, and the Internet of Things. Gain exposure to software development experts driving industry transformation.”
You can find out how the Cisco DevNet community can help your students become more successful. Cisco provides free curriculum to add to their learning. There is also a Networking Academy community on the Cisco’s DevNet website.
Cisco DevNet spoke at several Network Academy events around the country. At this event, I gave a presentation on an Overview of Cisco DevNet and and a workshop on Cisco API’s and Cisco SparkBoard.
It was very surprising to know that many instructors were highly interested in the presentations and wanted to know more information. Their sparked interests brought me to writing this blog, which is a place to get information you need to change how your student learns.
What’s the Purpose?
Cisco DevNet offers free curriculum for Networking Academy instructors to keep students on the latest technology on Programming, APIs, Network Programmability, Security, and the Internet of Things (IoT). All the important skills to help your student succeed with their learning and success. You can find the learning Beta version of the track on the Cisco Learning Labs DevNet Beginner track.
How Does it Work?
Several Cisco DevNet employees used to be college instructors, including me. We understand the amount of time it takes to update and add new curriculum in conjunction with the time it takes for approving new content. Well, we want to solve this by providing you minimal material where you can navigate through the content and choose which modules to add. Now, imagine having curriculum that you never have to update or manage, ever???
To compare the Learning Labs with how Learning Management Systems (LMS’s) work, comparing with Canvas/Blackboard: a Learning Track is a “course”, a Module is a “Module” and a Learning Lab is a “hands-on assignment”. So with this DevNet Beginner learning track, you can either implement all the modules, or simply select which modules makes sense based on the level of your students and what would be helpful to their learning experience. Each module only takes a few hours of their time, and they’ll be able to walk away and implement what they’ve learned. They can even find additional materials and learn new technologies on their own time.
How Do Students Prove Their Work?
Cisco DevNet recently launched “Badges”. On completion of a module or learning track, they will receive a badge where they will be able to link directly to each one that shows what was accomplished. In the LMS, student can submit an assignment as a “link” to the badge to prove their work.
How Can You Help?
We would like instructors to participate in running through the Learning Track and provide us with their knowledgeable feedback so that we are able to launch this product from beta to LIVE!
The first step to begin this journey is by signing up for a free Cisco DevNet account to access all of the materials and content.
Questions? Email tmero@cisco .com
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What is Hackcon? HackCon is a conference for hackathon community leaders from all over the world. As mentioned in their website, Major League Hacking (MLH) Hackcon gives an opportunity for hackers to meet the community, learn from one another, and to tackle the issues that we are facing together. With two full days of workshops, talks, and discussion sessions, new organizers can learn best practices for running a hackathon, and veteran organizers will share their experiences and help guide the next generation. MLH Hackcon takes place twice per year: once in North America and once in Europe. In short, Hackcon is a place of community and happiness. See lots of images below for proof. ;-) Sponsoring HackCon Github is a huge supporter of MLH events and they were the main platinum sponsor. I was there as a sponsor from Cisco Spark and had a booth up. It was such a great experience to meet so many hackathon organizers and get their input on a variety of topics. What I really loved was how quite a few people shared with me how much these events mean to them and how it's changed their life and career path. And without this community, they wouldn't be where they are today. So Much VALUE! One thing that hackers love is swag and stickers! I was sure to bring a nice big stock of goodies for everyone. I did however kindly ask people to sign up for free on our Cisco DevNet developer portal to access all of our developer tools, APIs, and free resources (learning labs). (We have 400,000+ registered users using our dev tools!). Tools range from Cloud, Security, Collaboration, IoT, Networking, and more! The greatest thing about the younger generation is that they are willing to try new tools and new APIs that are different from what everyone else is using. Once they learn about a new tool, they end up telling everyone about it, and the hackathon community is very close, so recommendation/opinions definitely travels quickly. With 65,000 people attending hackathons in just the last year, this is a huge potential audience! I was very lucky to have 25% of the attendees at this event register to our developer website. Woohoo. And to top it off, many seemed very interested in what Cisco is doing when it comes to creating tools for software developers. This does become helpful when hackers are building new apps and looking for different APIs to use. Hackcon Stands Out One thing I noticed with Hackcon is the very strong sense of community. Not only does everyone come together in person to network and learn from each other, but they keep in contact in several different LARGE hackathon groups on Facebook. They communicate and keep the conversations going on a daily basis and they recruit more hackers and continue to grow their community. I am lucky to be able to be part of several of these groups to follow conversations. The hackers at Hackcon were so friendly that they welcomed me to join all their private hackathon groups. Community! I'd like to share several photos of the event to show you how great of a community the hackathon members are. Thanks to the community sending me many photos to share, I was able to post it all here. MLH's slogan is - Learn. Build. Share.; This is what it's about. Y ou can see the passion and love the hackathon organizers and attendees have. They are here because they love empowering people and bringing them into technology. This is the type of community that changes the world over time. Students attend hackathons because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and network and meet new people.
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On September 7th, 2017, I'll be hosting the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference, a non-profit 5013c 3-day developer event focused on PHP and high level developer topics. You can find information here: PNWPHP This is our 3rd annual event, with the last 2 being very successful. We started off the first event running a Kickstarter fundraiser. We raised over $10,000 to cover the venue costs. Back in 2015, it was a very scary process to wonder if you'll make it out and at least break. Any amount above the costs to run an event is a big deal. (That means money towards a bigger conference the year after). We had a lot of leftover funds after the first year, thanks to our organizer team contacting sponsors and marketing on a daily basis. Now that we are on our 3rd year, we are going bigger and better. We have the best set of speakers, an amazing venue, and delicious food set to be catered. If you haven't seen our event schedule, you can find it here. Have you bought your tickets yet? If you're a student, you may be in for a treat. Please email admins (at) seaphp.com using your .edu email address and we may give a free or discounted ticket based on the program you're in at school. Thanks to the many sponsors for making this event come true: Siteground, Twilio, Oracle, and many more! See you there!
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There’s a new kind of developer meetup in Seattle and San Francisco! I’d like to introduce you to APIs and IPAs, a meetup for software developers and technology professionals that want to know more about APIs, while enjoying some IPAs. APIs and IPAs will have talks and tastings of both technology and beer, usually on the same night. You can find these chapters in Seattle, San Francisco, and Orlando and soon to be expanding to other major cities. Although we did not originally come up with the name (there’s a few very small meetups with the same name), we had no idea it was a thing before we thought of the name. How awesome is the name though, right? APIs and IPAs has incorporated as a non-profit with the official parent name of API CITY. We plan on having our first API Conference in Seattle, WA sometime early 2018. (Details still being worked out). Looking to learn about high level information on APIs? Check out the upcoming events: July 20th, 2017 - Seattle TBA - San Francisco TBA - Orlando FYI, APIs and IPAs has no affiliation with Cisco as it is hosted by various employees and non employees. Cisco is only a sponsor of the event. If you are interested in sponsoring the meetup or the 2018 conference, please DM Tessa Mero on Twitter. PS - Thanks to our current sponsors: Cisco Spark and Amazon Alexa. Check out the images below of the event. Hope to see you at the next meetup! mmmm...food.......
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DevOpsDays is a worldwide series of technical conferences covering topics of software development, IT infrastructure operations, and the intersection between them. Topics often include automation, testing, security, and organizational culture. One of their events was hosted in downtown Seattle, WA on April 26 - April 27, 2017 and I had an opportunity to be an attendee and watch the sessions there. There were also a LOT of vendors and it was quite interesting to speak to so many different companies and learn about their reasons of being at the event and what their company goals are. I’ve also made some great connections. If you didn’t make at least one connection at a conference, then you may be doing something wrong. Be sure to bring business cards to make it easy to exchange your information, as writing it down makes it hard to keep track of. Also, smile a little bit more than usual because it sends an “open and friendly” invitation for people to talk to you, or vice versa. It never hurts to try a little bit right? There are absolutely no disadvantages unless you are trying to prevent smile lines on your face. ;-) On a side note, DevOpsDays also hosts 100% online events to give an opportunity for people who are too busy to make it to the nearest event, or unable to travel to make it to the event. At this event in Seattle, they were all very high quality talented speakers. As a speaker myself, I tend to analyze every move the person is making and how exactly they present each slide. I also pay attention to the way they transition through each slide, which makes my brain work extra hard trying to watch a session. On top of that I tweet like crazy about the conference I'm at! In this particular session, I found it amazing that he mentioned "2017: ChatOps" as ChatOps is becoming a HUGE key term to know. What exactly is ChatOps? Without googling (trust me, this is harder for me than it is for you), I'd say it is "The use of a collaboration tool for managing backend DevOps and other developer processes to automate and simplify business or organization workflow". That's exactly how I see it as I am a Developer Evangelist for a collaboration tool called Cisco Spark. It allows you to chat, make rooms with subrooms, VoIP, video calling (especially with a group), and you can install apps from the Spark Depot to add integrations to your Cisco Spark platform. It is a very secure collaboration tool as we store data at Cisco. One of the things that made me really love Cisco Spark is the very clear API documentation. There's many examples and Learning Labs you can go through to get hands-on experience working with it. We make it very easy for you. <3 ChatOps! I am hoping to return to next years event. Be sure to check out the list of DevOpsDays closest to you (or the online event) and attend at least one! Message (and follow) me on Twitter and let me know how it went. :-)
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Ctrl Alt Delete Hate is a hackathon, powered by AngelHack, Code For A Cause, Tech Stands Up and We Persist, designed to leverage the power of people and technology to fight bigotry, hate, racism, and any forces seeking to divide humanity. We believe that the technology community has a responsibility to organize and utilize our collective skills and resources to protect and serve a unified, peaceful and inclusive society. This event was held on April 1st - April 2nd, 2017 in the ThoughtWorks co-working space in San Francisco, CA. On day 1, individuals made post-its on the walls. There was categories of skills and attendees would put their name next to what their skills are. Later in the day, people began to collaborate and find the people who matched the skillsets to put their team together. (Example: UX, Designer, Developer Frontend, Developer Backend, Project Manager, etc..). By the end of the day, teams were formed and the creative juices began to flow. By day 2, there were 6 teams giving their last touch ups and ready to give their 60 second pitches. Every single idea was great! Cisco DevNet was present (or you can say me!), who is also a partner sponsor of AngelHack. It was a lot of fun giving out swag and talking to attendees. This event was different than any hackathon I’ve been to. Attendees were not interested in competing or winning any prizes. (It was embarrassing that I didn't realize this until the end. People had no interest in prizes I had to offer. I should have asked the organizers for more details). The other sponsor gave out a few sweaters and the rest gave out stickers. Although people were very engaged in their project, they were still interested in what Cisco was doing in their DevNet program. This type of hackathon is the future. Hackathons should be a place where people gather to share ideas, passions, and to solve a problem by teaming up with individuals who share different skillsets. Attendees were not stressed out and were well rested and seemed to be really enjoying working on their applications. Let’s keep it this way. Until next time!
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You know what’s so great about hackathons? It’s always solving a problem in this world and making it a better place to live in. NYC Ports and Logistics is a 48 hour hackathon located in, of course, the beautiful city of New York City that took place on January 20th, 2017 - January 22nd, 2017! The hackathon started off the day prior to the event where hackers were able to socialize and network with other hackers. Since a majority of them just met each other, it was important for them to find teammates with different skillsets to create a new application. Austin Hyland (my colleague) and I had a great time talking to different teams slowly forming and making sure they were all well formed. There were over 125 participants (developers, business people, designers, domain experts, lawyers) building prototypes, rapid fire market validation and business model invention. (Information from the devpost website). There were many sponsors, including Microsoft Azure, SendGrid, and Cisco DevNet. Of course, let’s not forget the wonderful venue sponsor Galvenize and Blender Workspace! [image: Learn, Code, Inspire DevNet stickers using one of our phone lenses we gave out] Cisco DevNet was very excited to have a booth and help out hackers using our APIs. (Tropo API and Cisco Spark API). We gave out a prize for expensive Meraki routers to the team who had the best use case of our APIs. The grand prize for the entire event was a $5000 cash prize! The winner we chose was "LCL Enterprises". The app was about using hardware to keep track of LCL packages. They wanted to add the ability to send customers automated messages. For this hackathon they added coded examples of individualized messages when packages were shipped and broadcast messages when cargo arrived. Then they used HTTP to send variable data to the code and fire up the text messages. This piece was automated in the back end which was in Ruby on rails. This was a great event, especially because it was ran by the organizer Daren McKelvey who was very organized and worked very hard to make sure it was a successful event. As a sponsor, one thing that stood out with Daren compared to other organizers is that he went out of his way to make sure each sponsor was content and had all the information they needed. We hope to be there again next year!
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Why attend this workshop? What if these technologies have no use for you and you feel you have no reason to join? Stop right there! As someone who has been going to conferences for far too long, I can give you a few reasons why joining our workshop will benefit you: Your computer tech skills will increase by practicing troubleshooting and setting up new tools as well as learning new technologies. It will increase your awareness of the technologies available that could eventually, from your knowledge, help a company or individual in the future. Networking, networking, and networking! In every session or workshop I’ve ever attended, I have always met at least one person who added value to my life, whether it is professionally or personally. It’s great to meet new people, especially when they share similar interests as you. In our workshop - Intro to Spark - we will go over APIs and building your own chat bot. You will make your first REST API call and be able to make a Spark bot. I will guarantee you will be amazed on how easy it is to create one! You can have absolutely NO coding or programming background and experience to be able to participate. Adrienne Moherek and I will ensure there will be enough stopping points for everyone to catch up, if necessary. One of us, at all times, will be walking around helping anyone with questions, so no one will fall behind. (Disclaimer: if you have computer technical issues, you may fall behind). After the workshop, you will realize the power of chat bots and how they can change the way you work by automating workflows and making your job easy. Click Here to Register for our Workshop! If you are attending our Workshop and using social media, you can Tweet at us! Adrienne Moherek - @amoherek Tessa Mero - @tessamero Cisco DevNet - @CiscoDevNet Hashtags to use: #DevNet #CLEUR Want to Prepare in Advance for the Workshop? Set up a Cloud9 account. (We have no affiliation with the company). It is 100% free to use with 1 private app and unlimited public apps. This is what we will use to deploy our application very fast! Note: Credit card required, but if you prefer not to use one or do not have a card, please email tmero (at) cisco (dot) com and I will set you up an account on our DevNet team in Cloud9! Please use the subject line “Workshop - Need C9 Account” so your email becomes priority. Want to Get Ahead of the Workshop? Run through the Learning Labs: Coding 101 - REST BasicsIntroduction to Cisco Spark Calling REST APIs using Postman Creating a Spark Room, Adding Participants and Posting Messages Create a Cisco Spark Bot Note: Not all of the content will be used in the Workshop, but this is basically the information we will be going over. We look forward to seeing you there!
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What is ZendCon? ZendCon is a web developer conference aiming towards PHP Developers, ZenD Framework developers, and the general web developer community, with an average of 400-450 attendees. The conference runs every October and is on its 12th annual event. It aims towards enterprise development and the latest in technologies, including open source technologies. You can find more information at zendcon.com. DevNet Booth Cisco DevNet was an Exhibitor Sponsor during this event. DevNet is a developer program at Cisco. We had a cute booth set up and gave away a lot of goodies, ranging from Bluetooth speakers, camera lenses, and sunglasses. It was a lot of fun to really get to know attendees and have great conversations on what people are working on. It’s always amazing to see how many people that weren’t aware of the changes with Cisco and the amount of software tools we have available to help improve their work. With a lot of APIs, Open Source Software, and all sorts of goodies, it never hurts to check out what is available at developer.cisco.com. Speaking Sessions I had the honor and privilege to have an opportunity to speak at ZendCon. I spoke on two sessions, one on RESTful APIs, and another on building custom applications. It was excited to have participation in the audience very interested and asking a lot of questions. I definitely can’t wait for the event next year! Summary Great conferences always stem from the roots of having a great organizer(s). With Adam Culp having a reputation of running spectacular events, I would always recommend others to attend his conferences. His next event will be SunshinePHP in February 2017 located in Miami, Florida. I have attended SunshinePHP a few times in the past and is definitely one of my favorite PHP conferences. Check it out! Can we sponsor again? Yes please!
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Although I represent a multinational corporation, I try to stay away from "being a corporatey" type of person. I am very honest about the things I like and don't like about what a company is doing, which is why developers respect and are open to listening to me. One thing I really REALLY appreciate about Cisco is that they are very supportive of open source communities and all type of technologies. RAML stands for "RESTful API Modeling Language" and is doing some great things to the contributor community. They are sending all types of gifts ranging from fun swag to gift cards by rounding up sponsorship prizes from companies and organizations. As a current sponsor to RAML's organization, Cisco DevNet is VERY excited about what RAML is doing for their contributors and decided to, in addition to our previous sponsorships, sponsor 10 x $50 Amazon gift cards. Thanks to Mike Stowe who reached out to me to ask about sponsorships. Since I'm on an airplane and cannot search for funny "celebration" type of GIFs, could you do me a favor and send out a tweet with a GIF and be sure to tag @tessamero, @ramlapi, and @ciscodevnet =) Thank you :-)
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