Optimizing our Developer Program – Conversation with Cisco and Conviva

Three Critical Developer Program Best Practices

October 19, 2017

Written by Olivier Wellmann, VP of Product at Conviva

Recently, Rick Tywoniak, Cisco’s Sr Director of DevNet, as well as Kate Grochowski, Editor at, and Olivier Wellman, VP Product at Conviva, joined an online seminar to discuss how to best optimize a developer community.

The discussion revolved around a few key points:

  • Why developer programs are increasing in importance?
  • What it means to optimize their implementation.
  • Infrastructure best practices that could be applied to developer programs of all kinds.

Rick shared that as Cisco evolves from hardware to software company, the importance of developer programs increases exponentially, evidenced by DevNet’s rapid growth to nearly half a million developers since its inception in late 2013. Olivier pointed out that Conviva’s business model is linked to the devices and hours they can monitor, thus bringing their developer program even more into the forefront.

Both Rick and Olivier believe that education is key to attracting developers to your program, and that you should know what you want to achieve from a program, what direction you want it to take, and what ideal state you want to reach as a result.

Here are some key implementation tips that came across:

  • Hit the ground running. You may find that you can get up and running fast by outsourcing elements to an organization like rather than re-inventing the wheel.
  • Stress to your audience that your developer program is for their benefit and will help them grow their business faster.
  • Break down the silos between system engineers and development teams to gain evangelists throughout the organization.
  • Architect your program so developers can quickly get access to, find and understand what they need and rapidly develop their code, accelerating their time to market and getting that first win.

As far as developer program infrastructure goes, both Rick and Olivier drive to address key factors: 1) speed of deployment and 2) continuous improvement. Consider offering a ‘sandbox’ that gives developers access to easy to use tools and technology normally beyond their reach.

Creating developers program is both art and science. At Conviva, our community is critical to our business, and taking the best possible care of our developers is coded in our DNA.