Q: What have you been up to in the last year?

The DevNet Creator award was the start of (and perhaps conduit to) a big 2018 for me. I placed second at Presidio’s yearly “Shark Tank” coding contest with a CUCM Chat Ops tool called TACOS. I was asked to make a Proof of Concept for Cisco Live using DNA Center APIs which was featured on the floor of the World of Solutions. Our concept, “Honeycomb” was an energy monitoring and analysis tool for cost savings in the datacenter. Also at Live, I was invited to speak on a panel with DevNet’s Susie Wee and Hank Preston on “Career Pivots” to discuss my transition from Networking to Code. A month later at our own Presidio conference, I helped plan the “DevOps” track for Presidio and returned the invitation to have DevNet join us (Susie Wee as keynote, Hank Preston with his “NetDevOps”) and taught a few classes myself. At our conference I was awarded “Engineer of the Year”. For the last few months, I have been working on a cloud contact center project on AWS, which has included a ton of serverless architecture (API gateway, Lambda) and chat bots using Lex, Lambda and Elasticsearch. I also just completed a customer wireless pilot for “Cisco DNA Spaces”, which I customized to add captured data to an Amazon SNS topic for an emergency notification system. I look forward to returning to Create this year to share more of what I’ve been up to – whether you catch my talk on “More efficient governments through contact center AI”,  join my workshop on “How to teach an old prog new tricks”, or just chat over the campfire with some s-mores!

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?

What makes me most proud of in my career is when I can inspire others. I love it when someone I work with approaches me with a new idea to get my take or to help them execute. Sometimes I’ve never talked to the person before, but I’m always happy to help. Being able to inspire your peers is beyond titles or certifications. I hope that sharing the use cases I’ve found for coding helps others think with APIs in mind to really bring value to the customer! If it’s not in the GUI, look in the API docs – there is our value as integrators. 

Q: If you weren’t a developer, what would you want to be?

I help my wife sometimes with her lesson plans and really get into it. I think if I weren’t in the field I’m in (or if it paid what it should) I would be a teacher.

Q: What has surprised you most about DevNet and the DevNet community?

What has surprised me most about DevNet is how much fun they have in doing their job, and in general. They are always posting goofy pictures on Twitter, and  always have witty responses to the questions I ask (which they do often, and in short time). A lot of us work from home most days, so the sense of humor I’ve encountered and friendships I’ve made (online and offline) are that much more meaningful.

Q: What new technologies/innovations are you most excited about?

AI and Machine Learning are the most exciting for me. The terms have been around for a while, but the algorithms keep getting better and the data sets keep getting larger, more open and shared. That has led to some pretty scary accuracy.  One example of this is indico.io, a product that provides sentiment analysis (among other things). I fed a year’s worth of conversations from our “Presidio Codes” Webex teams space into the API and was able to sort by who was the Happiest or most Angry. I could run it through a Myers-Briggs test, or check for Political Affiliations. I could see right away how this could be used for IVR queueing, hiring or training exercises, or directed marketing.

Another word I’ve heard buzzing around lately, microservices works to brings cloud and containers a step further and modularizes the application into smaller function-specific mini applications that work together through APIs. With this approach, the elasticity of the cloud is tuned to the needs of the subscribers, and the business only pays for the network and compute resources they need on a more granular level. The early adopters at this point are the usual suspects: Airbnb, Uber and Netflix.

“the microservice architectural style is an approach to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API.”

Principals of Microservices (PPT)