NehaManoj

An exercise of expression!

Start your DevNet Journey Today!

Cisco has launched the DevNet certifications on the 24th of February and also launched a program to recognise the first 500 people who certify on this track with a “DevNet500” lifetime tag. I have been fortunate enough to have cleared the exam in time and also join this club. And since that day, I have got a lot of people asking me on how this journey was and if they want to join this, what is to be done.

This blog is top of my mind about DevNet and how to start the journey. I will share my experiences and run through what I did to be a part of the devnet500. Hope this will help answer some of the most pertinent questions, and if there are more, you can always reach out to me.

Any certification is a journey!

Let me clarify this first. Any certification, whether it is Cisco or otherwise, is a culmination of efforts in the past leading to the event. So when people ask – How soon can I also get certified? The simple answer is – I don’t know. You need to be in the game for sometime to garner the required skills and only then attempt an exam to clear it. You can’t just wake up one day and get certified.

What is the DevNet certification about?

The DevNet certification is a very unique offering when compared to traditional network certifications. Here, we are talking about a network engineer with programming skills. Given the scale at which networks are growing, it has become impossible to manage everything manually. As a Cisco engineer, I can tell you that the number of automation requests for deployment, and monitoring of networks are increasing by the day. This is where DevNet comes in. And let me tell you, this is the future. You heard it first from me.

Introduced about 6 years ago, the Cisco Developer Network came with the vision to transform the way networks are built and managed. Over the years, the team worked on creating learning labs, use cases, testing sandboxes and best, a huge community of people working together. After after so many years, we finally have the certifications to flaunt the skills.

All the DevNet certifications are about testing your network programmability and software development skills across different technology stripes. The Associate exam encompasses all technologies and fundamentals of software development while the specialist exams are about a specific area that you are an expert in.

How difficult is the Associate exam? How do I go about it?

If you work with network APIs, if you work with GIT, if you understand software, the Associate exam is pretty straightforward to crack. Remember that this is an Associate exam and so the questions are pretty basic and will only check fundamental understanding about the concepts.

Some of the key topics on which the questions were asked –

  • Software Development Life Cycles and various methodologies like Agile, Waterfall, TDD etc.
  • Operations with GIT. (checkout, branch, pull, commit etc)
  • HTTP requests and responses. Python and CURL constructs for the same.
  • Knowledge of Cisco API infra across product lines. (very foundational)
  • JSON, XML, YAML and also YANG models

Anyone comfortable with the above should be able to attempt the exam and clear it as well. For anyone new, a good place to start is this –

https://developer.cisco.com/certification/exam-topic-associate/

My personal journey

I am a Computer Science graduate and since my school days I was very fond of writing codes. I have never done serious software development in life, but all these years I have worked on numerous automation and software projects. After college, I joined Cisco as a network engineer. Here, I had the privilege to work with some of the largest customers across the globe and solve their network issues.

This combination, plus the explorer mindset put me in the best possible position to get into DevNet. Given I already had experience in working with Cisco Nexus and Cisco Firepower APIs, all it took was to review all the course content from the link shared above, go through some learning labs and sandboxes to refresh the curriculum.

All said and done, while in the exam I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to cross the line. In the end, I did cross by a fair margin and I am happy to be a part of the #DevNet500 club.

I hope this little post inspires you to start your journey and get certified at some stage. I am happy to help you with any suggestions or tips, or try and answer some of your queries as well. Do leave your thoughts in comments. Good luck!

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