When springtime arrives, developers and developer relation professionals know that it is major developer conference time in the US and around the world. Of course it all started with the annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference, this year in Palo Alto California at the end of March. Most of you know that there are developer events and conferences throughout the year on every continent. At the same time, some of the most important and influential conference,s that impact developer programs and developers, are all scheduled during the months of May and June.
The Grand Slam of Springtime Developer Conferences
Facebook started things off on May 1 & 2 with their F8 conference in San Jose California. This week we have Microsoft Build 2018 in Seattle (from May 7 to 9) and Google IO 2018 in Mountain View (May 8 & 9) in the same week. It was fun to hear Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems, tell developers during his day 2 keynote that he would end at 10am so that some developers could switch over to the Google IO opening keynote. Apple will complete the grand slam with WWDC 2018 in San Jose from June 4th to 9th.
But Wait, there’s even more for Developers this Spring
Ciscolive! happens in Orlando Florida June 10-14. You might think that Cisco is a networking and hardware company, but they also have a great developer program with DevNet. I attended last year’s event in Las Vegas and the DevNet Zone has a huge exhibit and workshop space and loads of developer sessions during the conference.
DocuSign’s Momentum developer conference takes place in San Francisco on June 20-21, just before the end of Spring. “If you thought replacing paper with eSignature was a win, get ready to go further. It’s time for the modern System of Agreement. Get the insights, inspiration, and networking to take advantage of all that’s possible, next, and new with DocuSign.”
So Much New Tech to Learn. So Little Time. Tons of Developer Fun!
So much development tech to digest in such a short period of time. Let’s summarize them all with: more AI, more cloud, more services, more devices, more IoT, compute at the edge, more serverless, more APIs, more tools and more fun for developers of all types, sizes and locations. I’ll try to cover more in coming DevRelate blog posts.
If you are having a developer conference that starts before the first day of Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), send me an email with the details.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
I spent the past few days in Las Vegas for the Cisco Live 2017 C-Scape industry analysts meetup. I had two days (thankfully in air conditioned rooms and buses) of meetings with executives, leaders of product groups, and customers in general sessions, round table discussions and one on one meetings. I also attended the opening keynote with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and had the pleasure to witness his sit down conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook. There is plenty of news about Cisco’s announcements, products, and technologies in the news, so I won’t repeat those sorts of things here. This DevRelate blog post is focused on how Developer Relations outreach can be multiply integrated into a company’s in-person conference.
Best Practices for an Integrated Developer/User Event
At most technology company conferences, you already have most of your executives, product managers, marketing specialists, and technology gurus. Combining partner, analyst, partner, ecosystem and press meetings into the same location makes a lot of sense. Cisco did a great job of bringing us into the middle of their conference including meetings with customers who talked about their success stories. We had plenty of time to ask questions during the meetings as well as during informal conversations during dinners later in the evening.
I got to hear from customers during some of the general sessions and round table discussions. While it is always good to talk with members of the teams, it is a special pleasure to be able to listen to and ask questions of customers and their experiences.
I really enjoyed the discussions with Michael Giresi, CIO of Royal Caribbean about how extended teams work closely together to enhance their customer’s experiences with project teams that include IT, DevOps, Business, Product, and Developer members. From my notes he said “it is about the team being accountable for the complete solution – embedding accountability for the complete experience versus just the application experience. Assign ownership for the performance of the whole solution – assign the right people to the ‘whole team’. The concept of applications and infrastructure being separate is nuts! The old way doesn’t work anymore.”
I also got to talk with Michael Sherwood, Director of the Department of Information Technologies for the City of Las Vegas about the implementation of their Smart City plans to include IoT, Open Data and Developer APIs. Michael even sent me a follow up email yesterday with additional information and links.
It was very clear that software, developers and APIs were front and center in just about every hardware and software product presentation and demonstration. Integrating a very active Cisco DevNet Zone in the convention center with class rooms, hands on workshops, and cool developer solutions also reinforced the theme of developers at the center of everything. While developers often think of APIs for platforms, frameworks and services, Cisco also demonstrated the openness of programming at the ASIC level.
When you are planning your conference, you can leverage your company and team members investments to the maximum by integrating your whole “extended” ecosystem – technology, marketing, research, partners, analysts, experts, authors, consultants, developers, thought leaders, trainers, educators, and others to orchestrate a complete event. For those technology and software companies that integrate and add value, you can also be a part of the larger story during the event. I am probably already preaching to the choir, but piggy-backing on an event to reach out to a larger developer audience is always a good thing.
Just before I left the Cisco DevNet Zone and the convention center, I stopped by the Cisco DevNet Opportunity Project pod. Cisco DevNet is encouraging developers, companies and others to get involved to “unleash the power of data and technology to expand economic opportunity in communities nationwide. To create solutions that help families, local leaders, and businesses access information about the resources they need to succeed.” Find out more about the US Department of Commerce Opportunity Project at https://opportunity.census.gov/
While it was extremely hot outside in Las Vegas this week (glad to be home in the cool environment of Monterey Bay), it was also extremely beneficial to see the awesome team at Cisco and the wide array of tech companies and developers working together to move our industry forward. I hope that you all have success in your future events whether they be small, medium, large, extra large or XXXXL.
What are your Best Practices for a Completely Integrated Developer Event Experience?
If you have your own best practices where you integrate multiple audiences, partners, press, analysts, users, developers and others in your events, send me an email with what works best for you.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Susie Wee, VP and CTO of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems, gave a presentation at our recent 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference. The following is a recap of her session, “Our Journey to a Growing Developer Program”. [David I note: the graphics used in this blog post were not part of the presentation slide deck]
Susie started her session by asking the audience a few questions to understand who was attending and what they wanted to get out of her talk. A great way to start any presentation in order to make any “course corrections” to help the audience.
Susie mentioned that the Cisco DevNet developer network started about 3 years ago. Before that time Cisco had a series of APIs and SDKs for developers but no real developer program and community. What Cisco had was more of a partner community to resell Cisco products. Certifications were offered for the partners. You could ask a couple of questions about the early outreach to developers: why does Cisco have a developer program and isn’t Cisco a networking hardware company?
She explained that Cisco DevNet is a developer community and an innovation ecosystem. Technologies that are available to developers include: Internet of Things, Software Defined Networking, Cloud computing, Collaboration technologies (many developers will recognize Cisco Jabber), Security solutions, Data Center offerings, DevOps solutions, Services and Open Source.
As part of Susie’s talk and also the main focus on the upcoming DevNet Create Conference (May 23-24, 2017 in San Francisco, CA), one of the main themes follows the sentence template of “Where Applications Meet xxx”. Developers who build applications should be able to easily fill in the “xxx” with some of the following: Infrastructure, Things (IoT), Places, People, Design, Architecture, Microservices, Deployment, Security, Analytics, etc. Between the apps that are developed there are interfaces to connect those apps to, well, everything! That is part of what Cisco provides beyond their traditional networking solutions.
Susie explained how Cisco DevNet focuses on helping developers:
She mentioned that DevNet has more than 415,000 members, who work in more than 24,000 companies, provides 252 learning labs, provides 80 active APIs and more than 170 yearly developer outreach events.
Key to the success of Cisco DevNet are a laser focus on solving three key challenges: how to operate as a developer program, provide a clear value proposition for developers, and continue to grow a fiercely loyal developer community.
One of the stories that Susie mentioned was how DevNet attached itself onto the popular Cisco Live conferences that are help throughout the world. They put together all of their developer learning materials and created a DevNet zone on the side of the main conference. Attendees walked past the area and started telling their friends that there are cool learning labs over in this corner of the conference area. The buzz started to spread among attendees that there was a lab where you could develop software to integrate with Cisco technologies. John Chambers and his Cisco management team stopped by and saw what was happening in the DevNet theater and hands on lab. Now, at Cisco Live, the DevNet zone is the busiest section – Cool!
DevNet – 5 Lessons Learned
Susie shared the 5 lessons that they’ve learned during DevNet’s journey:
5) Operate like a startup and build up your developer credibility
4) Play to your strengths and build a technically talented “extended” team
3) Make your developer members heroes inside their companies and also in their communities
2) Help your team be wildly successful and ensure that your community has a heart
1) Innovate, Innovate, Innovate.
Innovate or Be Left Behind
Developers have to solve big problems. A developer program’s mission is to help developers build innovative solutions for their companies and their customers. Your developer program has to continue to provide innovative features, content and tools that will help your developer members create innovative applications. Our industry moves forward, fast. Developers move forward, fast. If your developer program does not innovate to keep up with developer needs, your company and your developer program will be left in the dust.
Thank you, Susie Wee and Cisco, for being a part of our 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference.
Cisco DevNet – https://developer.cisco.com/
DevNet Create Conference (May 23-24, 2017 in San Francisco, CA)
Susie Wee’s session live stream replay is available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ciscodevnet/videos/1962907540605184/
Session Title: DevNet: Fostering innovation where applications meet infrastructure
Session Description: How did a networking company start behaving like a software company and build a thriving developer community? How is DevNet achieving scale by engaging a broader internal and external community? The mission of Cisco DevNet is to provide developers with the tools, resources and code they need to create innovative, network-enabled solutions. But it’s more than just the technologies – DevNet is fostering innovation to help developers create seriously cool stuff. Join Susie Wee as she shares the successes, challenges and lessons learned in building a successful joint developer and innovation program, as well as what’s next for the DevNet community.
Susie Wee – VP and CTO of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems
Susie is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems. She is the founder of DevNet, Cisco’s developer program for infrastructure and application developers, which catalyzes innovation by the developer ecosystem. DevNet covers the breadth of Cisco’s portfolio including networking, cloud, data center, security, collaboration and IoT. The innovations from DevNet improve end user experience, the operational experience and developer experience with the network. Under her leadership, the DevNet community has grown to over 400,000 developers in less than three years.
Prior to her current role, Susie was the Vice President and Chief Technology and Experience Officer of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group where she was responsible for driving innovation and experience design in Cisco’s collaboration products and software services, including unified communications, telepresence, web and video conferencing, and cloud collaboration. Before joining Cisco, Susie was the founding Vice President of Experience Software Business and CTO at Hewlett Packard, and Lab Director at HP Labs. Susie was the co-editor of the JPSEC standard for the security of JPEG-2000 images. She was formerly an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits, Systems and Video Technology and IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. While at HP Labs, Susie was a consulting assistant professor at Stanford University where she co-taught a graduate-level course on digital video processing.
Susie received Technology Review’s Top 100 Young Innovators award, ComputerWorld’s Top 40 Innovators under 40 award, the Red Dot Design Concept award for augmented collaboration, the INCITs Technical Excellence award, the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame award, and was on the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. She is an IEEE Fellow for her contributions in multimedia technology and has over 50 international publications and 57 granted patents. Susie received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.