by Lauren Oh, Citrix
Meet Citrix employee and CUGC Member, John McBride! Whether it is teaching his daughters how to bake or teaching new ways to develop effective APIs, John McBride takes us through his personal journey of how he became an advocate both inside and outside of the Citrix Developer Community
CUGC: What led you to becoming an advocate for the Citrix Developer Community?
McBride: I started my career building apps as a software engineer at a healthcare company. Our role was to make processes more efficient for doctors and nurses and make it easier for healthcare professionals to get their jobs done. Technology needs to get out of the way for patient care, so we built solutions for APIs or SDKs for all of our products. Through this experience, I had an influence in the developer community by providing tutorials and speaking at events about how to integrate and build on top of Citrix SDKs. Six or seven years ago there was an opening at Citrix for this position. We were revamping our Citrix developer community so it was a good fit for me to come in and start building a community base around our SDKs and APIs, as well as encourage community members to build on top of them.
CUGC: Was there anything in your past experience that was related to what you are doing now as an advocate?
McBride: I was always an internal evangelist at my past companies to build on top of APIs and SDKs. I would give lunch and learns and often put up samples where people could get to early prototypes. I would look at new technologies and show some real world examples of how things fit into what we were trying to do as a company.
CUGC: What is a typical workweek like for you as a Citrix Developer Evangelist for the Citrix community, and what aspects are the most innovative for you?
“I like having the ability to provide tool sets that people can start using and enable them to build solutions to extend to their businesses.”
McBride: A good week involves building samples, toolkits, and videos that allow other developers to understand the technology and utilize it in their own systems. It allows me to go home and say we did something really good for our developer community. I like having the ability to provide tool sets that people can start using and enable them to build solutions to extend to their businesses.
CUGC: What toolkits are you supplying to the Citrix Developer Community?
McBride: We have a couple different ways for developers to access resources in the Citrix Developer Community. We have a Visual Studio extension called, “Citrix Developer.” It is something that gets installed in Visual Studio IDE. We surface all of our developers’ portals in that extension. In addition, we give 10-15 high-quality lego block samples on how to get started on a multitude of SDKs. We offer GoToMeeting samples, Sharefile samples, Storefront samples, and XenApp samples. We just released an update that provides NetScaler and Octoblu examples in this extension. The Citrix Developer Community is a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to learn about the Citrix APIs and SDKs that we offer.
We are also highly engaged in open source. Everything we are building is not proprietary and is for external consumption. We take all of our samples and push them out to GitHub. GitHub promotes our open source, and we use Twitter and Google Plus hangouts for on air sessions.
Emerging Trends and Forward Thinking
CUGC: What are some emerging trends you have seen in Citrix technology?
McBride: From a developer standpoint, “cloud first” is what everyone is focusing on. Part of “cloud first” mentality is you have to have APIs and SDKs that your system is built upon. People can then do integrations on top of that or workflows that either spin up or spin down servers or add users or remove users. This is a trend we keep moving forward and why you need SDKs and APIs to build a “cloud first” system. The same goes for XenApp and XenDesktop, I will approach this from a personal experience. When I was in healthcare, we focused on automation, workflow, and using APIs to publish applications. We wanted to have minimal touch on the admin consoles.
CUGC: What are some emerging trends you have seen in the community?
McBride: Internet of Things (IoT) is a big trend. We have Octoblu and many things that work with Octoblu. This is really interesting because you have all of these devices that you can do something with from an app. However, everyone thinks of IoT as devices only. We are starting to uplevel that — everything can be a device if you can communicate with it, including an application or server infrastructure. This is what makes Octoblu even more powerful.
CUGC: What is the most innovative use case you have seen involving a specific Citrix product?
McBride: Just recently one of our Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) members, Barry Schiffer built a configuration extractor for NetScaler using Nitro APIs. I thought this was very useful and it helps NetScaler admins to transfer configurations. This is a great example of something that helps people get their jobs done.
CUGC: If you could teach a class that had nothing to do with technology, what would that be?
McBride: Woodworking. I like working with my hands and woodworking is my creative outlet. Right now I am building shutters for my sliding glass doors. I also enjoy teaching. We have three girls and we are always teaching them something. It can be baking, reading, coding, or how to cut blocks of wood. My nine-year-old daughter codes on the computer, my oldest daughter is a math wiz, and my youngest one is a ballet dancer. Teaching is extremely gratifying in the moment when I see their eyes light up because they understand the concept. That is why I like doing what I do – being a developer and a community advocate – it is definitely along those lines.
If you would like to connect with John McBride, you can find him at myCUGC.