AppDynamics – Our Next 10 Years

Recently, the employees of AppDynamics celebrated our 10th anniversary as a company, as well as the 1st anniversary of our acquisition by Cisco. We’ve experienced so much growth and so many positive changes over this past year, it’s enough to make our heads spin! However, it’s safe to say that AppDynamics isn’t close to slowing down.  

How is it possible to keep up such momentum, you might ask? In a world of ever-changing technology, the consumer is in the driver’s seat. Companies must be able to move fast and adapt to this constant digital transformation. AppDynamics will continue to do just that.

Industry Leading Products

For six straight years AppDynamics has been named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, and as leaders, we must continue to set the precedent. But at times, it gets hard to distinguish one APM vendor from another. One of the simplest metaphors that was ever shared with me during my time here was by a Field Sales Engineer. They told me, “Anyone can hand you an umbrella when it’s raining, but AppDynamics can predict the clouds rolling in over the horizon.”

Acquisitions and Partnerships

The acquisition of Perspica was just the beginning. With Cisco at the helm, and AI on everyone’s tongue, AppDynamics will continue to invest heavily in items that will aid in compatibility and integration. Additionally, as cloud migration explodes, and Amazon achieves their goal of world domination, our strong partnership with them as the only APM vendor on the AWS Marketplace will continue to be our differentiator.

The Humans of AppD

Our biggest concern after the Cisco acquisition was how it would affect our culture. Us AppDynamos have always prided ourselves on the way we operate as a team. I’m happy to report that it’s business as usual, post-acquisition. It’s exciting to note that one of our most important initiatives moving forward is our AppD Cares volunteer organization. As we lean into Cisco’s reach, it’s clear that we align well with the Cisco Citizen program. It’s incredible to see the desire we all have as a company to help our local communities, as well as those in need across the globe.

AppDynamics Around the World

AppDynamics may only have 15 offices globally at the moment, but it would be no surprise if we began slowly integrating into the 380 offices that Cisco has to offer! Because of Cisco’s reach in 165 different countries, it gives AppDynamics the legroom to expand into new markets around the world. While North America and Europe have been our major target markets so far, the onboarding of new employees for APAC and South America is flowing!

With all this being said, I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t predict exactly where AppDynamics will be ten years from now, but I can say that it feels amazing to be part of the journey. It’s imperative that APM remains a crucial part of how companies approach their digital transformation, and it’s clear that AppDynamics will reign supreme in the APM space for years to come. Each and every day is so rewarding to have a glimpse into how our customers utilize the tools we provide — and for them to see the clouds rolling in and have no fear of the coming storms.

A look Into AppDynamics San Francisco HQ

The SF office is right in the heart of downtown San Francisco and is home to 600 employees of our 2,000-person global organization. Located in the North Tower of 303 2nd St. Plaza, it’s just a few blocks away from the SF shopping center and the Ferry Building. AppDynamics currently occupies the 7th and 8th floors of our building, where we have an amazing view of the city.

When you walk into our lobby, you’ll be greeted by our amazing AppDynamos at the front desk. You’ll also find a wall filled with all of the patents and awards that AppDynamics has received.

Once you step inside the office, you might notice balloons with numbers floating by desks. We always celebrate work anniversaries here with balloons and doughnuts! Each number represents how many years you’ve been at AppDynamics.

We have an open desk seating layout with no enclosed offices, allowing you to sit across from your manager or even VP. Our execs don’t even have offices, and they sit on the 8th floor. Each area has an open meeting space with Spark boards, our meeting tool where we can wirelessly present, whiteboard, video or audio conference, and annotate shared content, which makes it easy to connect with all of our fellow AppDynamos across the world.

Each meeting area is uniquely themed and you’ll see plenty of meetings taking place in these conference rooms. The themes range from celebrities like Marilyn Monroe to San Francisco landmarks like Dolores Park. We partnered with local artists to design the art in the conference rooms. Check out our conference room named “Graffiti” on the 8th floor, for example.

Dangerous

Once you walk onto our 7th floor, you’ll find a bike rack that’s easily accessible to all employees, as well as our Innovation Lab, where all of our think tanks happen.

Bike Racks

Innovation Lab

Our balcony is also located on the 7th floor, where employees can hang out or work outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Balcony on the 7th floor

In our Zen room, you’ll find our massage therapists giving massages to our employees. Each SF employee gets a 15-minute massage every week!

Each floor has a kitchen area that we call Town Hall. All of our company-wide all-hands and organization meetings happen here, but this is mostly where everyone hangs out during lunch. We have awesome food perks, which include snack walls, an assortment of beverages, unlimited coffee, catered breakfast on Mondays, and lunch on Wednesdays. We also have bowls filled with fresh fruits and avocados every day!

Town Hall

One of my personal favorite perks includes an iced coffee bar that comes every month from Phin Bar. Phin Bar (pictured) is an urban brew bar that serves Vietnamese-inspired coffee drinks, combined with house-made, locally sourced ingredients — all prepared cocktail-style.

Within each Town Hall, you’ll also find games like ping pong, shuffleboard, and foosball, plus arcade games like Pac-Man and Street Fighter that are rotated out monthly. The Town Hall is ultimately a place of celebration and gathering. We celebrate every holiday here thanks to our amazing workplace team. We celebrate happy hours and have done themed happy hours for events like Spirit Week, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (pictured), ice cream celebrations, Pride breakfast (pictured), and many more. You can occasionally see team celebrations here as well as meet-ups hosted by our employees!

 

Summer in the city is always filled with energy and excitement. Right now, we’re airing the World Cup on the monitors in our Town Halls with employees cheering for their favorite teams.

What I’m most excited for this summer is the opening of our new floor spaces. AppDynamics is currently in the process of building out additional office space as well as a formal Customer Experience Center. We’re building out two brand new floors on the 6th & 9th with all-new equipment. The 6th floor should be finished by August.

Here’s a sneak peek…

Meet the Year Up Interns of the Business Technology Team

Year Up’s motto is to “close the opportunity divide,” by teaching young adults the qualities they need to develop professionally to join the workforce. For the first six months, interns take classes to learn both technical and professional skills. Interns spend the next six months of their Year Up experience with a partner company where they apply what they learned while gaining professional experience.

Meet our three Year Up interns: Octavio, Laura, and Chris, and see what they have to say about their experiences working for AppDynamics!

 

Octavio Aguilera

Tell us a little about your role at AppDynamics.

As a Salesforce Support Specialist, I support new and existing Salesforce users with questions and issues they may have regarding the Salesforce tool. I oversee the Salesforce support queue, troubleshooting and resolving user issues. I also work closely with my team to recommend/provide solutions that support key business processes.

How did Year Up contribute to you taking on your role and succeeding at AppD?

Year Up emphasizes academic and professional rigor, setting high expectations for quality of work and professional behavior. A strong structure guided me through the steps necessary for achieving success in the workplace.

Were there any new skills that you learned at AppDynamics that you did not know/experience prior to the internship?

Prior to my internship at AppDynamics, I had very little knowledge of Salesforce, and that honestly made me nervous. However, my team was extremely supportive and encouraging the whole time and I credit that to awesome management at AppDynamics. Now I support teams from various departments!

What is your favorite thing about working here?

My favorite thing about working for AppDynamics has got to be the culture. I never see anyone not smile in this place and that goes a long way for me because it tells me that this isn’t just business as usual – you can actually talk to people and build relationships!

 

Laura Shannon

Tell us a little about your role at AppDynamics.

My role at AppDynamics is IT Support Technician. I work with employees on a daily basis, providing access to applications within Okta, fixing hardware and software issues, providing accounts for new hires, deploying IT equipment, such as monitors and other accessories, and processing terminations of accounts.

How did Year Up contribute to you taking on your role and succeeding at AppD?

Year Up provided me with the opportunity to succeed in my internship at AppDynamics and I leveraged that opportunity to turn it into full time employment after graduating. Year Up helped me see the skills that I already possessed and gave me the knowledge to build upon those skills.

Were there any new skills that you learned at AppDynamics that you did not know/experience prior to the internship?

My IT team at AppDynamics is amazing. Dani, Katherine, and Kai trained me in the specific systems that I rely on daily to resolve issues. The biggest improvement in my professional development has been my public speaking. From the start of my internship to now, I have gone from being an observer in IT orientation to leading new-hires through activating accounts. That confidence stems from my team and I am forever grateful to them for helping me along since the beginning of my internship.

What is your favorite thing about working here?

My favorite thing about working for AppDynamics is my team. They are supportive, kind, funny, and intelligent. My second favorite is the free food!

 

Chris Keller

Tell us a little about your role at AppDynamics.

I am a Jr. Systems Administrator at AppDynamics on the Enterprise Engineering team. My role is to support the infrastructure and services that all employees rely on, from Jira to Engineering Build systems. Although there is a small amount of hardware configuration and troubleshooting, my day-to-day tends to offer challenges in configuring service back ends, integrating applications into our single source of truth, and implementing Infrastructure as Code through our team developed CI/CD framework.

How did Year Up contribute to you taking on your role and succeeding at AppD?

Year Up provided me with the opportunity to challenge myself with a growth mindset by highlighting the skills I already possessed and pushing me to build upon them with expert guidance. The coursework involved mentorship from professionals working in the tech industry, highly successful guest speakers, and topical training in business communication and public speaking.

Were there any new skills that you learned at AppDynamics that you did not know/experience prior to the internship?

While I learned quite a bit during my time at AppDynamics, two key lessons stand out. The first being to always work hard, even if a task seems inconsequential or trivial. Not only does it build a solid work ethic but your participation may be going towards a larger business initiative.

My second lesson involved learning the value of working independently. While Year Up focused on building skills to allow me to communicate accomplishments and propose projects, the routines and structure of the program contrast heavily with the freedom in the workplace. Assessing business needs and planning your time accordingly is vital to being an effective player in any team or role.

The greatest gift from my internship was that AppDynamics taught me to be confident in my abilities and to take ownership in my decisions.

What is your favorite thing about working here?

My favorite thing about working for AppDynamics is how dynamic the challenges that I am tasked with solving are. There is also an incredible pool of talent in the IT Department that I am honored to leverage and learn from.

 

We’re so excited to have Octavio, Laura, and Chris join the AppD family and look forward to continuing our partnership with Year Up.

AppD Hackathon Project Shows APM Power in Digital Marketing

AppD Hackathon Project Shows APM Power in Digital Marketing

Back in the days when my AppDynamics colleague, Piyush Mathur, and I worked for a social media analytics company, we often heard digital marketers complain about their IT systems not scaling due to the additional load generated by big budget campaigns. We also saw enterprises lose a lot of money due to application performance issues, such as when users couldn’t apply a coupon code during checkout.

One particularly memorable eye-opener was when a large Indian e-commerce giant, launching its first mega-sale, invested a significant sum on advertisements and social media campaigns. While the effort brought in significant traffic, poor infrastructure management caused the retailer’s site to crash, resulting in a loss of revenue and brand image.

For AppDynamics’ January 2018 Hackathon, Piyush and I decided to take this real-life problem and solve it with the help of APM. That’s how our hackathon project was born.

The project is designed to provide real-time tracking of every dollar spent on online campaigns on digital marketing platforms—think Google, Facebook, Instagram, and so on—and the traffic each platform brings to the campaign.

Our dashboard provides a big-picture overview of every marketing campaign underway, including how well the company’s infrastructure and services are handling the traffic load. Data is pulled in from various channel APIs, such Google Adwords and Facebook Marketing. The UI displays key metrics such as dollars invested; the number of campaigns running, as well as their health and growth; overall revenue generated; and digital footfall (the number of people entering a store or shopping area in a given time). Our project is unique in that it combines social media analytics and APM on a single dashboard. In our research, we were unable to find a software tool on the market that offers this distinct combination of features.

To succeed in this effort, we needed expertise from different domains. So we reached out to AppD software engineer Siddharth Dutta who, during his tenure at Perspica, gained experience in machine learning algorithms. We also sought help from Perspica founding member Arpita Agarwal, who has a deep understanding of APM.

Where APM Fits In

You may be wondering: How can APM improve digital marketing? Global advertising spend on social media is growing 20% annually, and by 2019 will be worth $50.2 billion, according to ad agency Zenith. This is a great market to nail down, obviously, and we believe our APM-based project can provide an innovative way for marketers and DevOps to scale their campaigns and take their organizations to new heights.

In addition to helping marketers estimate the revenue generated by a particular campaign, our project delivers key metrics to DevOps teams for determining how many extra instances a service—say, apply coupon or checkout—will require to handle the additional load. And while tracking the flow, it also provides real-time insights to the campaign manager—helpful for budgeting across various marketing platforms—and to the DevOps team for optimizing infrastructure cost.

For tracking, we used a GUID (globally unique identifier), which is passed to each application service as a header. This creates a path for understanding user behavior; machine learning algorithms including an exponential model for capacity planning and a multivariate adaptive statistical filtering (MASF) model for baselining (both planned for future AppD releases) are executed to generate real-time insights, enabling marketers to optimize their budget spend strategy across myriad digital marketing platforms.

To prepare for extra traffic, we provided a nascent version of capacity planning, which can be used to plan the number of instances per service required over a particular interval of time. Our load management widget is an effective way to give the DevOps team a heads-up for infrastructure planning. For enhanced capability, the widget can be integrated with various cloud APIs to scale the system automatically in the future.

While our hackathon project is a working prototype, it implements several of AppDynamics’ core features and demonstrates the potential of APM in digital marketing. Without much effort, AppD customers will soon be able to build similar custom applications, particularly as we integrate Perspica’s machine learning technology. Over the two days of the Hackathon, we learned a lot about the market horizon, challenges, and future scope of digital campaign planning—and how a determined and talented team can showcase the power of APM across a dynamic business ecosystem.

Unstoppable: How Belief Helped Fuel the AppDynamics Journey from Start-Up to Market Leader

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

― Gail Devers

Yesterday marked the 10-year anniversary of the founding of AppDynamics on April 1, 2008. Coincidentally, it was also the five-year anniversary of my first day as a full-time employee at the company. And a couple weeks back, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of AppDynamics’ acquisition by Cisco.

Looking back on the past 10 years, I’m amazed by how far we’ve come and the milestones we’ve achieved. From the early years when our Founder Jyoti Bansal, Founding Team Member & CTO Bhaskar Sunkara, and a handful of other engineers were busy writing code while AppDynamics was in “stealth mode,” to closing our first deal in October 2009 with Yap (who purchased just 10 agents), to opening our Dallas and Bracknell offices in 2012 & 2013 respectively, to our first acquisition in 2013 – our first five years were full of fight, hope, and passion. And the last 5 years…well, there’s been a lot of excitement. We entered new markets in EMEA in 2013 and India in 2014, closed our $158 million Series F Preferred Stock financing and opened our India R&D center in 2015, launched a game-changing product with Business iQ in 2016, hopped on the road to IPO, and then, in perhaps the biggest surprise, were acquired by Cisco in 2017. There hasn’t been a dull moment.

Today, we have nearly 2,000 employees globally. Our valuation at the time of the acquisition was $3.7 billion, representing one of the largest VC-backed M&A outcomes in history, and we have continued to experience incredible growth since the closing. It’s been a remarkable journey, and I’m so thankful to all AppDynamics employees – past and present – for their dedication and constant drive for excellence, and to our customers, investors, and Cisco for their partnership.

Like any epic voyage, we’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. At our Sales Kickoff a few weeks back, Jeremy Duggan, AppDynamics’ General Manager of EMEA and my longtime colleague, reminded us of one of these lessons: Belief is without a doubt one of the most significant factors that has contributed to our success. And it’s not unique to us – belief is vital to success in any field or journey. Here are a few examples to show what I mean:

Sir Roger Bannister

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During his presentation to our employees, Jeremy told the story of the recently-deceased Sir Roger Bannister, the first person to run the mile in less than four minutes in 1954. At the time, many believed that it was physically impossible to break the four-minute barrier, and that it was foolish to even try. But Bannister believed, trained, and studied relentlessly to become the first to do it. Amazingly, once Bannister broke the mark, others started to break it within weeks, and more and more people would break it within the next few years. The impossible had become possible based on one thing – belief.

Gail Devers

Another great example is Gail Devers, who was training for the Summer Olympics in 1988 when she began suffering from severe health issues. She was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 100 meter hurdles that year as her condition continued to deteriorate. Two years later in 1990, Devers was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. The radiation treatment that followed caused her feet to swell and blister to the point that she could barely walk, and a doctor even considered amputating them. Through it all, Devers clung to her dream, going on to become a three-time Olympic gold medalist – the second woman ever to successfully defend an Olympic 100-meter title, and a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. On the relationship between belief and achievement, Devers said, “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

Sandy Lerner

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/E4ziIypKrFjOhdUQTPydCCcBV5K9mQ8StAT9I1cI36EzLypNbEhiLeZqwWdEILEOaosAmbUv1xz23A2XoHZtbajYQrVk4TY8RIrYUPPCNeVjT5VQkVBFnsHG_ebvUlnZawWMtZdpLZw


These stories go far beyond the world of sports. In fact, you can look at any field and find that belief is often the foundational element for achieving success. The tech industry, for instance, is filled with case studies. One of my favorites involves Sandy Lerner, who co-founded Cisco 33 years ago with her then-husband, Len Bosack, and was able to reinvent herself and repeatedly find success in the years that followed. In fact, she went on to found and later sell a cosmetics company, write a book called “Second Impressions” (a historically accurate sequel to “Pride and Prejudice”), and found the Women in Mathematical Sciences Initiative at Shenandoah University. Today, she owns an organic farm and helps run a foundation. Through a wide variety of ventures, her recipe for success has remained the same – find a vision, believe, create a plan, execute against that plan, rinse and repeat.

As for AppDynamics, there are countless examples where belief has fueled our journey. In many ways, the company was founded on belief, and it was belief that carried us successfully through every challenge and milestone along the way. Jyoti started the company as a 20-something engineer-turned-entrepreneur. He pitched AppDynamics (then called Singularity) to about 20 VCs and was rejected at every turn until our friends at Greylock Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners finally signed on to invest. Bhaskar, our early sales leaders Jeremy, Dali Rajic, and Joe Sexton, our President & CEO, David Wadhwani, Elise Leung, Amy Hansen, Danny Winokur, and countless other engineers, product managers, sales reps, sales engineers, customer success managers, marketers, accountants, lawyers, and others across the company left more secure jobs, took on major risk, and made substantial sacrifices in order to join. Why? Ask any of us, and the answer is sure to center on belief – the belief that we could build the AppDynamics vision together, shape a new market, and create something that will hopefully continue to inspire others to believe and chase their dreams for years to come.

There’s a funny thing about belief – it gets easier the more you do it. Decades of research in the field of psychology on self-efficacy (one’s confidence in executing courses of action in a wide variety of situations) has shown that belief, combined with subsequent success, creates a feedback loop that increases self-efficacy and makes it more likely that a person will attempt and achieve something in the future [1],[2]. As the novelist David Storey put it, “Self-confidence is the memory of success.”

Even better, belief isn’t purely innate. It’s a skill in the sense that it can be learned and refined through practice. Muhammad Ali famously said, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” He was right.  Through affirmation, visualization [3], meditation [4], goal-setting [5], and other habits, you can build belief over time.

So dream. Believe. Create a plan, and act on it in order to make your dream a reality. Then do it again, and you’ll be truly unstoppable. Best wishes as you build your dreams. I, for one, will be rooting for you.

And to all of the AppDynamos out there, congratulations on an incredible 10 years. From the time Jyoti founded the company, you’ve changed the market and had a massive impact. Just last week, Gartner named AppDynamics a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the sixth consecutive year and placed it highest on the Ability to Execute Axis. With Business iQ, we are providing our customers with correlated visibility into application performance, user experience, and business outcomes, and bringing IT and the business together like never before.

For most startups, acquisition marks the end of their story, but for AppDynamics, it has been a new beginning. Now, with the backing of Cisco, we are in the unique position to redefine how our customers operate, giving them even greater visibility into their full IT stack, allowing them to optimize their digital businesses faster and more intelligently than ever before, and creating what we call the “Central Nervous System for the Enterprise.” That is our goal as we start our next 10-year journey. And as we do this, we have the opportunity to help Cisco make one of the most significant transformations in history as it continues to move more of its business to software and recurring revenue.

In other words, the dream is still out there, and it’s bigger than ever. Let’s go after it in our next decade. It all starts with belief.

Sources:

  • [1] Scherer, M., Maddux, J. E., Mercandante, B., Prentice-Dunn, S., Jacobs, B., & Rogers, R.W. (1982).  The self-efficacy scale: Construction and validation. Psychological Reports, 51, 670.
  • [2] Chen, G., Gully, S. M., & Eden, D. (2001).  Validation of a new general self-efficacy scale. Organizational Research Methods, 4(1), 77–79. 
  • [3] Society for Personality and Social Psychology. “Self-affirmations may calm jitters, boost performance.” ScienceDaily, 17 April 2015. 
  • [4] Walton, Alice G. “7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change The Brain”. Forbes.  Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  • [5] Bandura, Albert (1993).  Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning.  Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148.

Hackathoning with IoT, Blockchain, and AppDynamics

Early in the new year, AppDynamics hosted a hackathon to give employees a chance to explore technologies they were curious about, have fun, and build cross-functional relationships.

I teamed up with a group of women who were interested in researching blockchain. Other members of the team included Balwinder Kaur, Nicole Hu, Audrey Nahrvar, Jeanie Oh, and Ana Le.

There has been much speculation that blockchain will be as disruptive as the Internet revolution of the 90s. This got us thinking about what we could learn from building a dapp, a decentralized application where the backend code runs on a peer-to-peer network. We also wanted to understand the performance aspects of executing and maintaining the application on the blockchain.

A voting app struck us as a great example of a blockchain use case. As a voter, you want to be anonymous but verifiable, and you want your vote to be tamper proof. Blockchain solves these requirements in a couple of ways. It uses public key cryptography to ensure that each vote is recorded accurately. At the same time, the integrity of each transaction is safeguarded by the multiple nodes on a blockchain, making blockchain applications extremely secure. Our goal was not only to code an application but to learn the entire process of deploying smart contracts on the blockchain. We wanted to interact with the blockchain, identify the performance metrics associated with our app, and ingest those metrics into an AppDynamics dashboard. To that end, we bootstrapped a Smart Ballot dapp that initialized the contestants running in the election and tracked the total votes received by each of the contestants. We developed the application on Ganache, a personal blockchain for Ethereum for reasons I’ll explain below.

We chose the Ethereum blockchain because we thought the large and supportive community would make it easier for us to set up the development environment and publish an application during the two-day hackathon.

The next step was to use Raspberry Pi as a voting device running Web3js (an Ethereum compatible Javascript API). The end-to-end flow of our application was designed to work in the real world in the following way: Each time someone placed a vote on our voting machine, it would convert the ballot into a smart contract that was then compiled into bytecode and sent to the blockchain. The blockchain would then execute this contract, record it in a block (the equivalent of a page in a ledger book), and add the block to the blockchain. From a business perspective, the total cost of processing the smart contracts translated into the cost of registering each vote

With the end-to-end flow in place we now had the opportunity to monitor the performance aspects of the voting application. For example, the total cost of executing each smart contract could be tracked, and if it began to fluctuate in a way that didn’t match our expectations we could decide whether our implementation needed adjustment. Research into blockchain metrics led us to Geth (the Go implementation of the Ethereum protocol). We learned that Geth processes were created when we spun up an Ethereum blockchain environment. Once created, these processes kept track of arbitrary events and measured their duration. We queried a variety of metrics derived from the Geth processes through an RPC API.

One of the most important metrics we looked at was “Gas.” In the blockchain world, gas is the price of computation that is paid to individuals, known as miners, who participate in transacting on the blockchain. Gas is correlated to tera-hashes per second. When a transaction is originated, it has a gas price associated with it, allowing miners to pick and choose the most lucrative transactions. Typically, transactions vary in cost depending on the computational power they require to complete various operations. In this experiment we captured costs per transaction using gas price multiplied by the transaction volume. We also looked at “Difficulty,” which is a standard blockchain measure of how difficult it can be to find a hash below a given target. Significant departures from the baseline performance of the application triggered an alert.

Finally, we wanted to provide visibility into any network issues that could be affecting blockchain actors. We understood that any issues would clearly impact end users as well as applications relying on a blockchain transaction. To that end we captured, total requests/min and response times. Here is a view of the metrics we collected on the AppDynamics IoT dashboard:

Naturally, we encountered some glitches. The main problem we faced was creating an account for ourselves on the Ethereum blockchain. It turns out that it’s huge and not suitable for quickly getting up and running. We tried for twelve hours to download the entire Ethereum development environment before we decided to use the Ganache client.

Experimenting with a new technology is always rewarding. It was gratifying to see how easy it was to deploy AppDynamics to monitor a distributed application running on a blockchain and begin collecting useful information. It is one thing to know that metrics are available in theory, and other to see them displayed on a screen, tracking transactions as new blocks were mined and added to the chain.

 

 

Recap: Summer Internship Program

Our summer internship has come to an end. Our interns put in hard work this summer across their different departments and have made quite an impact here at AppDynamics. While we’re sad they’re making their way back to school, we know they are taking many important lessons with them. In this post, we’ll take a look at the final highlights of their internship.

Intern Speaker Series – Meeting our Executive Team

Interns with Thomas Wyatt, our Chief Strategy officer.

Every Wednesday, the interns met with members of our executive team during our Lunch & Learn Speaker Series. Our interns led conversations with our executive team members –  including our CEO, CTO, COO, and CMO – and had the chance to ask anything on their mind. Execs shared their professional background while giving extremely valuable advice for success. David, our CEO, even asked for their input and feedback on a few things!

Mentorship, Networking & Forming Lasting Relationships

Our interns were paired with mentors this summer who supported them with feedback, guidance, and advice. Our interns built lasting relationships with their mentors who have helped them grow professionally and personally over the past 12 weeks.

In addition to the 1-on-1 guidance from their mentors this summer, interns had a chance to network with our fresh grad hires over the years! Each intern was assigned a fresh grad buddy to show them the ropes when they first started. We had a fresh grad & intern lunch mixer where our recent grads gave valuable advice and shared why they chose AppD for their first role after college. The fresh grads and interns even attended a Cisco & Meraki Early-in-Career happy hour to meet other early-in-career folks within the Cisco Family.

 

Ultimately, our interns had the chance over the summer to bond and build friendships over the summer. We had countless events outside of the office including a graffiti class, cooking class, escape room, a food tour of San Francisco’s Mission district, and a final goodbye bowling party. They’ll be able to look back at the summer together and share these memories!

Final Projects

The work our interns did this summer has made a lasting impact at AppDynamics and in their departments.

All of our SF interns grabbed a mic and took the stage to present the projects they’ve been working hard on all summer  They were able to demonstrate the ownership of their projects, the quality of their findings, and even gave next steps and recommendations for their projects as well!

Our sales interns had the chance to present their final project to the entire sales organization as well in Dallas. At AppDynamics, our interns don’t work on side projects or things to just keep busy. They’re projects that truly make a difference here even after the summer’s over.

 

We’re already looking to bring on the brightest talent as interns & new grads for 2018. Be on the lookout for our open positions on our careers page.

In the meantime, meet some of our 2017 summer interns and learn about the awesome work they’ve done.

Stefan Hermanek – Product Management Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

Carnegie Mellon University, Masters of Information Systems Management

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I’m super interested in tech, tinkering with new ideas, and building products that delight!

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

AppDynamics is in a really unique position to own both IT Ops and Analytics, while also being really driven and focused by customer focus. I love contributing along the way!

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

Managing Disruptive Technologies, Distributed Systems, and Client Side Web Technologies – some tech, some business, just like it should be 🙂

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

I learned a ton about product management in enterprise software. More importantly, I learned how to articulate needs, blockers, and requirements. Personally, I’ve learned a lot about what I’d like to do in my future career, where my strengths are, and what my areas for improvement look like!

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I worked on integrating adoption metrics for Business iQ, from top of funnel to feature-level adoption. The project creates end-to-end visibility, sliceable to the account level. The challenge was identifying owners of data, and then integrating data from various sources, units, time measurements, etc.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

Everyone’s always up for a smile and a joke, and I really loved the energy around the office.

Carmen Martinez – Legal Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

University of San Francisco, School of Law

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

My undergraduate degree was in Business Administration. I have always loved the concept of a business: transforming nothing into something, transforming an idea into a product. However, I easily realized that I didn’t want to get an MBA but instead want to go into the legal side of a business. I went into law school with the idea of going into corporate law or IP. Through various experiences throughout my first and second year at USF, I grew interested in the transactions side especially within the tech field.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I became aware of AppD through previous legal interns. They all had really enjoyed their experience here and said they have learned so much while enjoying their experience. I will say though, that the interview process, was what really sold me on AppD. It was an interesting experience that allowed me to see the culture that was present at AppD. First, I was interviewed by the Senior Corporate Counsel (who ended up becoming my current manager), Evan LeBon. His approach to really get to know what I was looking for in an internship and what my career goals made the process unique. Typically in interviews there is only a “what can you do for the firm/company.” However, this interview felt different because it was also about whether AppD could benefit me as well. Whether I could get meaningful exposure to the legal field that would help me personally.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

I wouldn’t necessarily say a class has helped. All classes have taught me to be analytical when it comes to what I read which has helped in paying close attention to detail, especially in reviewing contracts. However, I was a part of a StartUp Clinic at USF that provided some preparation for this position. Our StarUp Clinic was set up as a Legal Team format essentially, where a corporate, employment, IP and business student worked for a client. Similar to how AppD has different team members within their team, so did our clinic. The dynamic and importance among different team members has translated. However, the type and level of work has been a learning process.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part ?

I was part of the contracts team, therefore I got to work on a variety of agreements. However, the most challenging part came within the first couple weeks of my internship. There is definitely a steep learning curve to understand the AppD product and services offered. Understanding what our product does and does not do is key, because it lets you understand what risks need to be considered and what language in contracts is more important than others.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

Their mentoring approach. What I mean by this is that this isn’t a team that just gives their interns work for the sake of doing work. It isn’t busy work either. But instead these really are learning opportunities that are meant to be challenging. Everyone I have gotten the chance to work with has helped me to not only learn how to review/draft/execute an agreement but understand why it should be done a certain way. They have really committed to teaching me how to be a transactional lawyer and not simply how to do the work that needs to be done. Every team member has their style and their way of teaching but they all have one thing in common: they really want their intern to succeed. Evan, for example, was always willing to explain any type of concept or agreement, provide options, but also make me think thoroughly about any proposal I had. Amy Hansen, our Deputy General Counsel, taught me how to be thoughtful and purposeful in the language I use. I knew very early on that suggestions and edits I gave had to have a justification for them. Her style, made me very analytical in the way I redlined a contract or drafted an agreement. Hwa Lee, the Director of Intellectual Property, instilled the idea that I have to know my audience. That no matter how much we know, if we can’t communicate it to people outside our Legal Team, it makes our job impossible. He also taught me about Open Source so that was pretty amazing.

Overall, AppD’s legal team is extraordinary. The reason being because personal success looks like team success (or at least that’s how I saw it).

Paul Loftness – Security Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

I attend Baylor University in Waco, TX.  I am studying Computer Science and Philosophy.

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I wanted to work in information security.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

The AppDynamics employee I met was extremely sharp.  I wanted to work with people of his caliber.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

Systems Programming

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

I honed my skills in system integration work.  I learned more about regulatory and industry framework compliance.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I worked on the unified compliance metrics development project and the security questionnaires and enablement email list. It has been both challenging and rewarding to to learn how to communicate security information to salespersons with maximum efficiency.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

I appreciated that people were willing to spend time together when not on the clock. This made for a very cohesive team.

Bradley Baniewicz- Sales Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

I attend Baylor University, where I am a Senior pursuing a degree in Professional Selling.

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I chose to focus my studies in the area of sales because I view the ability to sell as a fundamental skill required for success in business. It became clear to me that gaining someone’s confidence and trust is fundamental to succeed in business. I believe the ability to interact with another person is the greatest skill one can possess. Therefore, I wanted to develop that skill and learn to apply it in my career and in my life. Through the opportunity and curriculum in the ProSales program at Baylor, I have been able learn and develop these skills.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I wanted to intern with AppDynamics because I saw it as the place to gain valuable sales experience in the technology industry. I wanted to gain this type of experience with a company that has both innovative and advanced solutions. In addition, I saw it as a place with strong character and leadership – a place that would provide the most professional growth.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

The classes I would say that have prepared me for my internship are ProSales & Communications I and Principles of Marketing & Business Communications.

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

One of the biggest skills that my internship helped me develop was time management. Having to meet deadlines for projects/assignments, while also having time commitments for meetings has helped me prioritize and manage my time. This was absolutely essential in my internship in order to be efficient. In addition, the internship helped me continue to develop my presentation and public speaking skills. Throughout my internship, I was given the opportunity to present in front of the sales team, senior leadership and fellow interns. These opportunities to speak provided me with real experience to present the findings and research that I worked on throughout my internship.

Not only did this internship help me improve my skills, it provided me with insight into the Application Intelligence industry. It also provided me with knowledge about the sales process/structure and strategies.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I assisted in the creation of a Black Friday Vito sequence in order to target retail companies that are preparing for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. I worked on an analysis of 2017 Fiscal year data. That analysis took an in-depth look at the accounts sold into during the 2017 fiscal year, and provided insight into areas for expansion. In addition, I helped with the consolidation of named accounts for Q3 and helped create contact lists for reps with named accounts.

The project I found the most challenging was the analysis of our 2017 fiscal year data. It was the biggest project I worked on and the most comprehensive to the company as a whole.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

What I enjoyed the most about the team is their helpfulness and willingness to teach. There is an amazing culture at AppD that promotes learning, growth and creativity. This culture is set from leadership and spans through every sales rep in this office.  Everyone I have worked with has left a profound impact on me. Working alongside the Reps in the Dallas office for Ten weeks has been one of my greatest learning experiences.

Joan Hong- Software Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

University of Southern California, B.S. Computer Science and minoring in Cinematic Arts

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I’ve always enjoyed problem solving and logic. When I took my first computer science course in high school and found that both of these are fundamental to coding, I knew that I wanted to learn more. As I discovered how much impact and innovation can be created through tech, I became even more interested in computer science and software development.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I wanted to intern at AppDynamics to learn about how to create, manage, and monitor large scale applications, as well as understand how AppD achieved its high growth and success. The people that I spoke with throughout the interview process were welcoming and excited about their work.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

All of my coding-related courses, including Operating Systems, Principles of Software Development, and Data Structures and Object Oriented Design, helped prepare me for the technical challenges of the internship.

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

I developed my technical skills by building the foundations of a micro-service. I quickly learned about the codebase and other open source frameworks and technologies, such as DropWizard. I also learned to take more initiative to receive as much feedback as possible and to reach out to fellow team members.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I worked on the new initiative, Dev IQ. This project aims to break into the developer market by creating a tool that integrates runtime monitoring data from production deployments into developer tools. I built an end-to-end MVP for the Java version of the product, which consisted of the service itself and the IntelliJ plugin. The most challenging part was learning about and using the codebase, but by the end of the summer, I was much more comfortable with it.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed the most?

Everyone on our team was friendly. My mentor, Suraj, was very knowledgeable and thoroughly answered all the questions that I asked about the project. One of the team members, Vivek, especially impacted my summer by taking the time to reach out, introduce me to more people at AppD, and share his experiences with me.

The Four Things I Learned in Ten Weeks at AppDynamics

It’s Friday, July 28th, 2017, 7 PM, and I’m sitting down to start writing this blog post. It’s the last day of the quarter and I’ve just finished week six of my eleven-week summer internship at AppDynamics. Realizing that I’ve passed the halfway point, I figured now was as good a time as any to reflect on my experience here thus far and set new goals for my remaining five weeks.

I moved to Texas in June with a start date, one suitcase, one duffel bag, and zero friends or family. Since then I’ve had two car breakdowns and countless moments of uncertainty, but I’m still here, and proud that I’ve made it this far! Coming to Dallas and AppD was the first big risk I’ve taken in years and my first time without a built-in safety net to catch me.

Because I’ve been pushed so far outside of my comfort zone, this entire experience (a sales job, life in Texas, and staring senior year/graduation in my face) has taught me more than I ever expected. I can pretty much place all of my life and career lessons of the summer into four buckets…

1: Set Your Own Goals, Then Exceed Expectations.

When I introduced myself to my manager on day one, neither of us knew what I could handle or how I would perform. I’m pretty sure he thought it was funny when I told him, “If you want me to get three New Business Meetings, I want to get six! My goal for the summer is to double any performance metric you give me.” Looking back I probably would’ve had to suppress a laugh if I were him.

But while doubling metrics is probably too lofty to be consistent, that meeting helped set the tone with my manager from the get-go and, more importantly, helped me set a high bar for my own expectations. Once I had said it out loud to a member of leadership, I had to produce or run the risk of looking like an idiot. It also gave me a confidence boost. By setting high goals for myself, other people began to expect more from me.

2: Always Say “Yes” to (and Ask for) New Challenges.

Numbers and analytics have not traditionally been my strong suit. I’ve never had a passion for math and before this summer my excel proficiency was limited. But when your manager asks you to do regressions and data analysis, you figure it out!

In just six weeks I’ve been asked to do all sorts of projects that don’t align with what I believed to be my primary skill sets. It took a lot of Googling and flashbacks to high school statistics, but I was able to produce the content I was asked for. Now I’m actually proficient in excel and understand what goes into doing a business-centric data analysis on KPI’s. I was even able to present my findings to 90+ people at the quarterly sales review! I would never have cultivated these new skills if I had said no simply because I hadn’t done it before or because I wasn’t a “math person.”

Candidly, at first, I said yes to every project simply because I was too afraid to say no. But that evolved into another huge life lesson; you might have to ask for help, but you can figure it out. Additionally, the best projects I’ve worked on this summer are ones I’ve asked for. If you have extra bandwidth, you may as well use it to challenge yourself. Always say yes to projects that present new challenges because they give you the chance to grow and (shout out to lesson #1) exceed your own expectations.

3: Say “Hi” and Ask Questions

According to some reps, they thought I was shy my first week at AppD. I quickly realized I needed to put myself out there with people if I was going to become part of the team and get the most out of the potential mentors sitting a few desks down.

After week one I got advice from my dad who said, “Just say hi to everyone and ask lots of questions.” Really simple, but something that I can take with me in all aspects of life. The information and insight I’ve gained just by asking questions in passing and interacting with AppD employees have been overwhelming in the best way.

The people I’ve met here have helped me make the transition to Dallas easier than I could have ever hoped. They’ve also equipped me with insights into the tech industry and business world that no classroom could ever provide. This is what happens when good people make up a great team and all strive for a common goal.

4: There is No Silver Bullet

One of my favorite things about being an intern is getting to shadow and learn from so many different people. And while there are consistencies and patterns of how the best reps achieve success, there definitely isn’t a silver bullet.

I’ve watched the high-energy, extroverted “sales shark” excel, but have also worked with equally successful people who are quiet in nature and take a remarkably different approach with their customers. Despite personality differences, there are three things I’ve seen every successful rep display: persistence, adaptability, and an unending desire to learn and improve.

At AppD I’ve observed a culture fostering this positive individual growth. There might not be a silver bullet for prospecting or closing deals, but the sales organization and leadership has found a way to enable success for reps of all personalities and tenure. This is the kind of culture that breeds achievement and builds high-performance teams.

Higher Expectations Going Forward

I’ve experienced unprecedented personal and professional growth in the past six weeks at AppDynamics, and it has inspired me to expect more from myself and made me even more hungry to learn. Upon reflection, all four of my life lesson “buckets” from this summer seems a bit simplistic. My experience here, however, has been anything but. Only after reflection did I really notice that this summer has clearly come down to working hard and asking for opportunities.

If my internship at AppD has taught me anything so far, it’s given me a new perspective on my career as I enter my senior year of college. I’m no longer looking for a first job. I don’t want to just take whatever position comes with the highest salary. Instead, I want my first position to act as the launching point for my entire career. I will pursue an AppD culture; somewhere I can learn, expand my responsibilities and thrive. I want to live by the mantra, “If you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room.”

Finding a place where I can learn and grow as a young professional is now my #1 priority. Going forward I won’t look or ask for jobs, but opportunities to prove my potential and show the value I can add. Thank you to the AppDynamics team for providing me with a launching pad for my sales career.

I’ll end with the infamous words from GlennGary Glenn Ross and the ultimate sales lesson: Always Be Closing.

Abby Stratton is a rising senior at Northwestern University. She is originally from Excelsior, MN and is excited to apply the learnings from her summer internship as she pursues a career in technology sales.

Celebrating the Future of Cisco and AppDynamics

Celebrating the Future of Cisco and AppDynamics” originally appeared on http://blogs.cisco.com.

Today, I had the sincere honor to stand with leaders of AppDynamics to ring the Nasdaq opening bell. I can now say that AppDynamics and Cisco are one team. In ringing the bell, we celebrated the amazing company that the founders and leaders of AppDynamics created as well as a new era of innovation that Cisco and AppDynamics will create together. The talented team at AppDynamics, along with their industry-leading software technology, provides an amazing extension to Cisco’s strategy and transformation.

AppDynamics is helping solve numerous challenges for companies by providing real-time visibility into the performance of applications as well as business analytics that are increasingly critical in the digitizing enterprise. No other player in the industry is delivering these insights more effectively than AppDynamics.

The acquisition of AppDynamics is part of Cisco’s broader strategy to drive growth for the company, our customers and our partners. Through acquisitions, strategic partnerships, investments, co-development and internal R&D, Cisco is better able to anticipate, capture and lead market transitions. AppDynamics is special for a number of reasons. It is the largest acquisition we’ve announced since Cisco’s new leadership team was announced 22 months ago. At the time of the IPO, AppDynamics was on track to be the fastest growing publicly traded company in the enterprise software space. AppDynamics represents a great step forward in both our digital transformation and that of our customers and partners. Combining AppDyanmics’ unparalleled analytics with Cisco’s incredible global reach will enable us to accelerate AppDynamics’ success and broaden Cisco’s software offerings, a key area of investment and growth for us.

AppDynamics accelerates Cisco’s push to bring further software and network relevance in Hybrid Cloud, as well as drive our transformation to greater percentage revenue from recurring revenue and subscription models. With AppDynamics, Cisco will provide unprecedented visibility into the performance of customers’ applications as they move them from private cloud to public cloud and multicloud environments. This, together with Cisco’s analytics at the network and datacenter layers, provides market leading differentiation for Cisco. I am excited about the value that this acquisition will deliver to Cisco’s customers, partners and investors. We are proud to welcome AppDynamics to the Cisco team.

Thank You, AppDynamics Customers and Partners

Today is a big day for all of us associated with AppDynamics. It’s been a short nine years since Jyoti Bansal started the company and brought Bhaskar Sunkara on board. Together they saw a clear opportunity to bring greater performance and reliability to software and applications in a world increasingly defined by digital experiences. Since then, the hard work of nearly 1,250 employees around the world has propelled AppDynamics to one of the most important enterprise software companies in the market.

And today, it brings me great pleasure to share that AppDynamics is taking the next step in our journey — and formally joining forces with Cisco.

Cisco is committed to providing AppDynamics with the autonomy we need to run the business as we always have. Together, we’re investing further in our widely-recognized culture of innovation, our obsession with customer success, and our remarkable account and sales teams.  This combination has made us one of the fastest growing software companies around and we couldn’t be more excited about our ability to accelerate our growth even further given Cisco’s reputation and reach.

Our joint vision remains the same — we believe the success of our customers’ technology and the success of their business are inextricably tied. We remain fully committed to helping our customers build and run digital first companies by bringing together developers, IT ops, and business owners. Our enterprise customers will be able to transform their products into dependable connected services, creating new business models and generating new sources of ongoing revenue.

In fact, this vision is even more relevant now than it was in 2008, when AppDynamics was founded. User expectations are continuing to rise, IT environments are becoming more dynamic and complex, and competitive digital experiences are rapidly improving. We’re here to help our customers navigate all this. We know that we exist to help them stay ahead of these challenges and empower them to realize the benefits of these opportunities.

With that said, I’d like to personally thank our customers and our partners: Thank you for betting on us!  Without your support, vision, and evangelism, we would not be here today. We’re incredibly proud to work side by side with you and couldn’t be happier to have you along with us for the journey ahead. You have my commitment that we will work every bit as hard over the next decade as we did over the last nine years. I look forward to many more amazing years doing everything we can to make you successful.

David