DevNet Expert - Starting Point

2 minute read
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This week Cisco announced the DevNet Expert certification exam. This exam and certification is something that I have been looking forward to for a long while. Dating back to the announcement of the certifications that were being provided. This was announced at Cisco Live 2019 in San Diego. I had started to lose some hope that this would become a reality with how long of a delay from the initial announcement to the announcement of availability. But it is now here. So here we go.

DevNet Cert Requirements

For me this is going to be just the lab that is required. I already have the DevNet Professional certification, which has the DevCor exam as a requirement. This exam is the first requirement for the Expert certification. The second part is the lab, which is what the next several months of prep will be for me.

So far I have accumulated a few helpful links from the Internet and the various announcements. Here are the links:

Let’s cover how I plan to use these and how I’m getting started with the studies, right away.

Lab Topics

This is my blueprint. I’m going to be working through each of these items to make sure that I have an adequate proficiency in this arena. The plan that I have is to make sure that I have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are going to make for an efficient execution of the lab.

Equipment and Software List

This is an excellent resource that Cisco is providing. I plan on having a VM built that is going to be emulating each of the pieces of the software on the device. I am anticipating that I will have a machine of similar capabilities, and maybe a UI to it in order to accomplish the practical lab.

Third Party Software Requirements

The first thing that is standing out to me is that I am already pretty familiar with several of these tools that are listed. I have written about them in my Open Source Network Management book. So I initially feel very good about using these tools:

  • Telegraf
  • Grafana
  • Nginx
  • Docker
  • Hashicorp Vault

I also use Ansible on a regular occurrence, and same with GitLab. I have some exposure to InfluxDB, and this may be one of the greater learning curves compared to my general experience with Prometheus.

DevNet Sandbox

The greatest thing that we have as individuals preparing for the exam is that we have a sandbox that provides access to some of the Cisco specific items that will need to be automated/worked on. With that in mind, I’ll be using that whenever possible. Hopefully the resources will be available for me as I look to leverage them.

Summary

Overall I am definitely looking forward to taking a stab at the exam. I may have some other learnings that will come from this. The other aspect as I look at the exam topics is that it is in line with what I work with every day in the day job at Network to Code. This proficiency that is being tested matches up well with my day to day.

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