Hello, I'm Dean Armada, your career and certification captain. Today, we're delving into the realm of the Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist Core certification, often referred to as DevCore. If you're new to this channel, I invite you to explore more about tech careers and certifications, cybersecurity, cloud, data centers, and my journey as an IT instructor.

The DevNet Specialist Core Certification: An Advanced Step

DevCore is a significant milestone in the Cisco DevNet certification journey. It serves as a prerequisite for those aiming for the professional or expert-level certifications in the DevNet domain. Once you've conquered DevCore, you'll be set to explore concentration exams that align with your specialization, whether it's in security, data center, enterprise, IoT, or another area of DevNet solutions.

An Unexpected Challenge: The DevCore Exam

The DevCore exam is a unique challenge. While it might seem like a natural progression from the DevNet Associate (DevASC) certification, it's significantly more advanced. Many have made the mistake of underestimating its complexity. It covers an extensive range of topics, including GitHub, containers (Docker and Kubernetes), Linux, Ansible, Python, and a multitude of applications like web, databases, and mobile.

One remarkable aspect of this exam is its focus on different types of APIs, which can be especially challenging. Additionally, it delves deep into DevOps tools and advanced security concepts, making it a formidable test of your expertise.

Preparation: A Lesson in Humility

I confess, I fell victim to overconfidence. After acing the DevASC, I believed DevCore would be a breeze. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's essential to allocate a minimum of two months for dedicated preparation. You'll need this time to absorb the wealth of information, from advanced GitHub practices to intricate Python scripting.

Resources and Costs

In preparation, I primarily relied on instructor materials, but the official guide from Cisco Press is also an excellent resource. The exam, with code 350-901, costs $400 USD. It's a 120-minute ordeal featuring roughly 100 questions, and the passing score falls within the 750 to 850 range.

The Rewards of DevCore

Obtaining the DevNet Specialist Core certification is an impressive feat. It positions you as an expert in network automation, making you a valuable asset to companies serious about automating their networks and embracing DevOps practices. While the demand for this level of expertise is still somewhat niche, when the need arises, you'll be well-compensated for your skills.

Verdict: Ratings and Future Prospects

Exam Content: 4.5/5 (Broad and Advanced)

Relevance to Current Technology: 5/5 (In Tune with DevOps Trends)

Value for Money: 4/5 (Depends on Career Goals)

In conclusion, DevNet Specialist Core is a certification that opens doors to advanced levels of expertise in the world of network automation and DevOps. While it's not the right fit for everyone, it's invaluable for those aiming to excel in automating network operations. Its broad scope and complexity make it a challenging but rewarding certification to pursue.

Assessing the Certification: A Balanced Perspective

Now, let's scrutinize the DevNet Specialist Core certification from different angles. First, when it comes to exam content, it's an extensive landscape to cover. Automating a diverse array of technologies, from data center networks to security appliances, is no small feat. While it's a core exam, meaning it touches on the fundamentals of Cisco's DevNet solutions, it's surprisingly vast. This breadth might lead you to question whether you'll ever need to automate everything, from enterprise networks to security. It's a valid concern and one of the reasons I'm rating it at 4. This isn't to say the knowledge isn't valuable, but it's crucial to assess its practicality within your specific career path.

Moving on to market demand, I'd rate it at 4.5. Currently, there's a niche for specialists with expertise in advanced DevNet solutions. While not all companies are actively seeking professionals at this level, I foresee a shift in the future. As businesses increasingly embrace automation and orchestration, certifications like DevNet Specialist Core will become more sought after.

In conclusion, the DevNet Specialist Core certification offers a unique blend of knowledge and skills in the world of network automation and DevOps. It equips you with the tools to tackle diverse challenges across various domains. However, it's essential to consider its breadth and the current demand in your career path. As the industry evolves, this certification is likely to gain more recognition and value.


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