Shipping Cisco’s “Shipped”
Why Shipped is awesome for developers and how Must Win helped ship it
Cisco Announced the Alpha Launch of their new service, Shipped, at their yearly Cisco Live event in San Diego this week. Developers can get their application running locally and deployed in production using tools they use everyday like GitHub, Vagrant, Docker, Drone and Marathon. Point and click to configure an app, write your application code, build it in Drone and deploy with the push of a button. You can be up and running on Cisco Cloud Services for on-demand infrastructure and scalability without any operations expertise in minutes.
My firm, Must Win, is proud to have helped Cisco in the design and development of Shipped. As a team of developers that works on dozens of projects a year we understand the pain points teams face when it comes to deployment, operations, and infrastructure.
You can find us at the Cisco Live event this week in San Diego. We'll be assisting at the hackathon to onboard interested Cisco client developers to the platform. If you’re here come by and say hello! If you couldn't make it, here’s what you missed…
Creating a project is ridiculously simple in Shipped. After you've selected your desired integrations we automatically wire up your new repository with Drone, a continuous integration tool so your code is constantly tested. Builds that pass CI get containerized and are ready for immediate deployment.
Docker containers make deploying and scaling your micro-services easy. Once your builds pass, you just push a button and your service is deployed on the internet almost immediately. Our deployment infrastructure runs on Marathon, which makes scaling your application clusters super easy.
Feature work is happening now to make Shipped a completely integrated software development lifecycle experience. Log aggregation and search, metrics monitoring, alerting, and integration with chat rooms is all right around the corner.
We joined the project early on, after Cisco had had some trouble nailing down exactly what the product should be with another consultancy. Cisco realized they needed a lean team of product-oriented engineers that would understand the high level needs of their product and have the expertise to implement the vision.
“It took us 2 months of working with another firm to get to where we got on day one of our Hack Week with Must Win.”
Keith Chambers, Cisco Systems
Hack Week to “Shipped” in 120ish days
We routinely begin projects with an intensely focused project kickoff we call, “Hack Week.” Dylan (one of our lead engineers) and myself flew to Seattle in February to sit down with the team and flesh out the details.
During Hack Week we met daily to ask questions and get in sync with their priorities, business objectives, and goals. Between meetings we put our heads down to work up our product deliverables (rough wire frame sketches, product ideas, feature specifications, development plans, etc) and then we met up again to go over the work, gather feedback, and iterate. In just a couple days our teams had built strong working relationships, agreed on a unified vision of the product, and created a solid game plan for executing on that vision.
Over the next four months the Must Win team built out the user experience while integrating with other teams at Cisco that were delivering non-user facing components of the product culminating in the launch of the Alpha for its first public users at the Cisco Live’s hackathon in San Diego.
The Future of Shipped
Cisco’s Shipped is in Alpha right now, but as the platform expands you can expect to see integrations with on-premise and public cloud providers, expanded monitoring and logging tools, integration with the Cisco marketplace and more documentation for optimizing your experience.
Push it, push it real good!
Mike Ihbe is a founding partner of The Must Win All Star Web & Mobile Consultancy.
Mike is an expert in a dizzying array of technologies and has loads of experience managing fast-moving dev teams, designing systems, and scaling large applications. When not on the job, he can be found cooking delicious meals on ski slopes in exotic locales.
Special editing credit to my partner in crime, Wil Everts.