Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where to learn ACI

I remember walking through Cisco Live last year in San Francisco and hearing all about ACI and the Cisco DevNet program. To be totally honest, I shrugged it off as just something that was trying to get hyped up and would not have any real impact on what I do. 
Well......that has changed over the last year for me. What made it change? I guess a desire to learn and grow. I have also seen how learning to code is becoming very important to any IT position. There is a lot of power in the software layer and learning to harness that power is very important to be able to accomplish our jobs. So, with that in mind I have started to learn Python. Why python? I come from a scripting language background with my years as a Windows admin. I never jumped in with both feet, but I did enough to be dangerous. And learning to write code has always really interested me, I just didn't have a good reason to do it. Now, with ACI and SDN showing promise and no longer buzz words to me I am going to dive in and learn. 
So now that I am going to learn, where to start. I've been digging through the Cisco DevNet site and found a ton of great resources there. They have on demand labs and tutorials to get you started in Cisco ACI. They also have a very active and helpful Cisco Community. If your interested in learning, this is a great place to start getting information. There is also the Cisco Live site. After having gone last year, I can't stress enough how great this event is for learning and networking with peers, but they also put all their recorded sessions up on the site for people to view after the conference is over. Let's face it, there is so much information that comes out of Cisco Live that it is really hard to keep track of it all, so this feature is great when you need to refresh that session that you took early in the week before you burned out on Thursday. The website has recorded sessions from the last few years of Cisco Live and you can even filter by "Developer Network" which will bring up all the DevNet sessions. I've also come across and started their python course. Codecadamy has a few other languages and technologies that they teach that are all free. It is good for people who want to learn by doing. I've used both video and hands on training before, and I definitely learn better by putting code to screen. But if you would rather learn through video type of training then INE has some really good python classes that you can get and watch. 
I'm very new into ACI and Cisco DevNet, but I'm very excited by what they are showing. I hope that these resources help and let me know if I missed anything or if there is another great place to go and learn.