Greetings, everyone! Please take a seat. My name is [Author Name], and I'm here to shed some light on the DevNet Expert certification program by Cisco. Today, I aim to pique your interest in this remarkable certification and encourage you to embark on this journey with us.

The DevNet Expert: An Overview

Let's begin by painting a clear picture of what the DevNet Expert certification entails and what you can anticipate when pursuing it. I'll also share insights on how to prepare effectively.

When we conceived the DevNet Expert certification a few years ago, our primary goal was to create a certification that resonated with today's market demands. We wanted it to be relevant, up-to-date, and tailored to the needs of network automation engineers. It's heartening to see even CCIEs showing interest in the DevNet Expert certification, which speaks volumes about its significance.

Aligning with the Software Development Lifecycle

Much like the CCIE exams, the DevNet Expert certification covers the entire software development lifecycle. This journey encompasses design, deployment, development, testing, and maintaining your software solution. As you dive into this certification, you'll find that it mirrors real-world scenarios, offering a comprehensive experience.

The Blueprint: Your Guide

To navigate this challenging path, we provide a blueprint or a set of exam topics that serve as your guide. These exam topics are divided into five distinct domains, each carrying a specific weightage in the exam. Let's briefly explore these domains:

Software Design, Development, and Deployment (20%): This domain focuses on developing software solutions based on performance and availability. Topics include aspects of the CI/CD pipeline, troubleshooting, and tools like GitLab.

Infrastructure as Code (30%): In this domain, you'll delve into coding infrastructure elements. It involves writing CLI applications using Python, consuming REST APIs, and working with tools like Ansible and Terraform.

Network Programmability and Automation (25%): Here, you'll master the art of programming networks. While being a CCIE or CCNP in Routing and Switching is beneficial, it's not a strict requirement. Topics cover areas like YANG data modeling.

Containers (10%): Docker and Kubernetes take center stage in this domain. While it's a smaller portion of the exam, being well-prepared here can be a valuable advantage.

Security (15%): Security is paramount in software development. This domain encompasses OS hardening, securing APIs, and adhering to security frameworks.

A Look Inside a Domain

To offer you a glimpse into the DevNet Expert exam structure, let's take a closer look at a domain. Each domain consists of different parts, including the domain, task level, and subtask level. This hierarchical structure ensures that you thoroughly understand and master each aspect of the domain you're studying.

In the upcoming articles, we'll delve deeper into each domain, providing insights, tips, and resources to help you prepare effectively for the DevNet Expert certification.

Stay tuned for our next installment, where we'll explore the Software Design, Development, and Deployment domain in more detail. It's an exciting journey, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Navigating the DevNet Expert Certification: Part 2

Welcome back to our exploration of Cisco's DevNet Expert certification. In this segment, we'll dive deeper into the specifics of what you can expect when taking the DevNet Expert exam.

Understanding the Exam Blueprint

Before we delve into the exam details, it's crucial to understand how the certification is structured. The DevNet Expert exam follows a well-defined blueprint, consisting of different domains, tasks, and subtasks. This blueprint serves as your guide throughout your certification journey.

Here's a closer look at what you need to know:

1. Domains and Weightage: The DevNet Expert exam is divided into various domains, each carrying a specific weightage. For instance, the Software Design, Development, and Deployment domain accounts for 20% of the exam, while Infrastructure as Code is a substantial 30%. The weightage of each domain reflects its importance in the overall certification.

2. Domain Variation: It's essential to note that not every exam will cover all domains. Depending on your exam form, you may encounter questions from specific domains. This allows for a more relevant assessment tailored to your expertise.

The Two-Part Exam

The DevNet Expert exam is split into two parts, each with its unique characteristics:

1. Design Module (Morning): The design module is the first part of the exam, and it's web-based, similar to a written exam. This three-hour section sets the stage for your entire certification journey. It focuses on planning and designing your software solution. Unlike the practical module, you won't find backward navigation here, and the exam is structured as a progressive storyline.

2. Practical Module (Afternoon): Module two is where the real hands-on action begins. This five-hour module is dedicated to configuring and coding your solutions. It includes both hybrid and web-based items, with backward navigation enabled. Notably, you receive all the information you need upfront, allowing you to strategize and prioritize based on your strengths and the point values assigned to each item.

Understanding Design Items

Design items within the DevNet Expert exam can be particularly challenging. They're not conventional multiple-choice questions; instead, you'll receive resources that you must refer to when selecting your answers. Here's a closer look:

Resource-Driven: Design items provide resources that contain the solutions to the problems presented. Your task is to meticulously review these resources to identify the correct answers. This requires a keen eye for detail and thorough examination of the provided materials.

Partial Scoring: Cisco employs partial scoring for design items. Some questions may offer partial credit, allowing you to earn points even if you don't provide a complete answer. This is common in questions involving drag-and-drop or matrix-style responses.

Context Matters

One of the most critical aspects of tackling design items is understanding the context. Cisco provides you with specific resources, and your job is to select the answers that align with the information given. While your experience as an engineer is valuable, it's crucial to prioritize the answers that Cisco deems correct based on the provided materials.

Creating an Exam Strategy

The DevNet Expert exam's design module consists of around 30 items, and you have 180 minutes to complete it. That translates to roughly six minutes per item. Here are some tips for managing your time effectively:

Strategic Allocation: Consider allocating more time to items that require deeper examination and less time for those you're confident about.

Countdown Timer: The exam includes a countdown timer, allowing you to monitor your remaining time. Use it wisely to ensure you stay on track.

Prioritize Efficiently: Begin with items you find easiest to tackle, building your confidence as you progress. Take advantage of the point values provided to guide your choices.

In the upcoming articles, we'll delve further into each domain, offering insights and strategies to help you prepare comprehensively for the DevNet Expert certification. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into the fascinating world of network automation and software development.

Cracking the DevNet Expert Certification: Part 3

Welcome back to our journey through Cisco's DevNet Expert certification. In this installment, we'll tackle an intriguing aspect of the certification process – understanding and navigating the exam questions.

Deciphering Complex Exam Questions

As you progress toward becoming a DevNet Expert, you'll encounter a variety of questions on the exam that will challenge your problem-solving skills. These questions are designed to assess not just your technical knowledge but also your ability to apply it effectively in real-world scenarios.

Let's delve into an example question to get a sense of what you can expect:

"Which approach do you suggest the automation team take to ease the management of Access Control lists:

1. Create a python tool using the click library with commands to manage their sales.

2. Share Postman collection of restaurant API requests to manage the device ACLs.

3. Build an ensemble role that can be used to manage the ACLs.

4. Create an NSO service that manages the ACLs."

At first glance, this question might appear straightforward. Some candidates might quickly lean towards their favorite automation tool as the answer. However, the DevNet Expert exam often requires a deeper level of analysis.

Consider the Context

Cisco aims to evaluate your expertise, not just your knowledge of tools and technologies. To do this, they provide context through additional resources. Let's explore the supplementary materials that accompany this question:

1. Email from the Director of IT: This email paints a challenging picture. It highlights issues with the current process, emphasizing that the team has missed service level agreement (SLA) commitments multiple times in a week. This indicates a significant problem that needs an effective solution.

2. Chat with the Operations Lead: The chat transcript reveals that the Operations Lead acknowledges the problem with the current process. They are open to improvements that can standardize workflows and reduce the variations between requests.

3. Email from the Network Architect: This email provides insight into the network's complexity, with a mix of routers, various vendors, and some older hardware that won't be refreshed for 12 months. It's crucial information for devising an effective solution.

4. Chat with the Service Desk Developer: This chat clarifies that the service desk developer is a key stakeholder, as they create ACL requests. It also mentions that each request has a specific unit cost.

The Complexity of the Question

Now, let's revisit the question armed with this context. Suddenly, the answer isn't as clear-cut. Each option has merits and drawbacks, and the ideal choice depends on various factors, including the stakeholders' needs and the network's complexity.

This complexity is a hallmark of the DevNet Expert certification. It challenges candidates to think critically, analyze information, and make informed decisions. There's rarely a one-size-fits-all answer; instead, it's about selecting the solution that best aligns with the given context and the stakeholders' requirements.

Behind the Scenes of Question Development

It's worth noting that Cisco's exam questions undergo rigorous review processes. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) carefully craft questions to ensure they accurately reflect real-world scenarios. Questions are continuously refined to maintain their accuracy and relevance.

In addition, Cisco employs retroactive scoring adjustments. If a question is found to be flawed or unfair, they take corrective measures to ensure that affected candidates are fairly evaluated.

In conclusion, the DevNet Expert certification goes beyond testing your technical knowledge; it assesses your ability to apply that knowledge in complex, real-world situations. As you prepare for this certification, remember that context matters, and your ability to analyze information and make informed decisions will be paramount.

Stay tuned for the next part of our exploration into the DevNet Expert certification, where we'll delve further into the intricacies of network programmability and automation.

Cracking the DevNet Expert Certification: Part 4

Welcome to the final leg of our journey to understanding the Cisco DevNet Expert certification. In this section, we'll explore the hands-on component of the exam, offer some valuable insights, and wrap up our exploration of this challenging certification.

The Hands-On Challenge

Once you've navigated the intricacies of the exam's multiple-choice questions and design scenarios, it's time to roll up your sleeves for the hands-on section. This is where you'll truly demonstrate your skills and expertise in network automation and programmability.

Here are some key points to keep in mind as you approach this hands-on challenge:

1. Exam Preparation: Before diving into the hands-on tasks, take a moment to review the questions and understand what's expected. This will help you allocate your time efficiently.

2. Points for Precision: In this section, points are awarded based on whether your solution meets all the requirements and constraints provided. There's no partial scoring, so attention to detail is critical. Missing even one requirement can lead to a failed task.

3. Multiple Paths to Success: Keep in mind that there can be multiple valid solutions to a given task. This allows you to showcase your problem-solving skills and choose the approach that aligns best with the context provided.

4. Git Repository Is Key: You'll work within a Git repository to commit and push your solutions. This repository is vital for the exam's grading process. Ensure you follow proper version control practices.

5. Time Management: With numerous tasks to complete, it's essential to set time limits for each one. Spending too much time on a single task can cost you valuable points on others.

6. Countdown Timer: The exam provides a countdown timer, helping you keep track of your remaining time. Use it wisely to gauge your progress.

7. Don't Get Stuck: If you encounter a particularly challenging task and find yourself stuck, it's crucial to recognize when to move on. Being overly fixated on a single task can lead to time management issues.

8. Experiment if Needed: If you're unsure about a solution, don't hesitate to experiment. Trying different approaches, even if they're not ideal, can sometimes lead you to the correct solution. Just remember to follow the constraints and requirements.

9. Proctor Assistance: The exam proctor is there to help, but it's wise not to overburden them with too many questions. They can provide guidance, but it's up to you to solve the challenges.

An Example Task

As an illustration, let's consider a task from the exam:

"Deploy an ACI infrastructure as code (IAC) using Ansible. Your task is to complete an Ansible Playbook that correctly deploys an ACI fabric. Upon completion, the Playbook should create the required tenants, application profiles, and more."

This task is multifaceted, requiring you to apply your knowledge of Ansible and ACI. It's crucial to follow the provided context, instructions, constraints, and validation steps meticulously to ensure success.

Your Path to DevNet Expert Success

As you progress through the DevNet Expert certification, remember that it's not just about demonstrating your technical prowess; it's about showcasing your ability to analyze real-world scenarios, make informed decisions, and apply your skills effectively.

Cisco takes great care in crafting exam questions that reflect the challenges faced by network automation engineers in the field. The context-rich questions and hands-on tasks are designed to separate the experts from the rest.

In Conclusion

We've explored the various facets of the DevNet Expert certification, from its inception to the intricate details of the exam. Becoming a DevNet Expert is a testament to your expertise in network automation, programmability, and problem-solving.

Whether you're aiming to become the first DevNet Expert in your organization or seeking to elevate your career in network automation, this certification is a significant milestone. Your journey might be challenging, but it's a path paved with growth, learning, and exciting opportunities.


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