Cisco's Pioneer Awards—described as the Emmy Awards for engineering—celebrates Cisco developers' outstanding work.
Each year, teams are nominated in the categories of Core technology, Product, and Productivity. Judges then choose two to three finalists who go before a committee of judges. Finalists speak on how their program or work is innovative and pioneering.
This year, judges chose four winners—these engineers, their Cisco colleagues and leaders joined together for a celebratory dinner where speeches were given and trophies handed out.
This year's winners include the Enhanced Telemetry for Encrypted Traffic Analytics team in the Core Technology Category—this group created a way to detect unusual behavior in your network even through encrypted traffic.
Another winner in the Core Technology Category was the Vector Packed Processing team who created a framework that provides quality switch router functionality.
The AP3800 and AP2800 Series Access Points with Flexible Radio project won the Product Innovation Category by making a way for wireless products to optimize based on network loads.
The DevNet Sandbox team won the Productivity Solution Category through creating a project that allows the testing of building applications on top of Cisco technology.
The Enhanced Telemetry for Encrypted Traffic Analytics team, the Vector Packet Processing team, the AP3800 and AP2800 Series Access Points with Flexible Radio team, and the DevNet Sandbox team all got to enjoy this celebration that recognized their hard work.
Many of the speakers noted the importance of the winners' friends and family, saying that there are multiple people who surrounded and supported the engineers while they worked.
David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect, congratulated the winners, "You have now entered the community of Pioneer Award winners."
"You are the Nobel Laureates of Cisco," says Ward, "You are at the highest level in technology."
David Goeckeler, Executive VP and General Manager of Engineering, said that the Pioneer Awards represent both the heritage of innovation and future of Cisco.
Susie Wee, VP and CTO of DevNet Innovations, stated that Cisco's innovations have led to industry transformations.
SVP and General Manager of Cisco's Internet of Things and Applications Rowan Trollope remembered his days as an encryption programmer when he was 16 years old.
"It is a real honor to be here and recognize the work that you've done. It is inspiring to thousands and thousands of people," says Trollope.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins tells the audience he looks forward to the Pioneer Awards night each year because it allows him to connect with innovators and engineers.
"Externally, you don't get the appropriate credit you should," says Robbins, "Not only do we appreciate your work, but the world is a better place because of it."
"My ask of you is—continue doing what you're already doing," says Robbins, "You are at the heart of innovation."