Earlier this year Cisco released their new series of certifications (and updates) as per THIS POST. It was a strong move in the right direction for the future of Network and Software Engineers, to show what we needed to becoming skilled at. They also talked about the SDx engineer (as per THIS POST) as being trained in both network engineering and software development.

My first certification in this track is the Cisco DevNet Associate (DEVASC 200-901). Its a great way to move along on the path to being a modern SDx engineer, so worth pursuing. Firstly about the exam:

  • 2 hours
  • 102 questions (yes you are reading that right!)
  • Mixture of Multiple Choice, Drag and Drop, and fill in the blank word answers
  • Pass mark – 82.5% (or 825 on a scale of 300 to 1000)

Based on this being an associate level exam, i was very surprised to see so many questions in the set. And to pay $450 AU for the exam as well is not a cheap exercise.

I took it online – since Cisco have now updated their testing process to support the COVID-19 lockdown, so people can do nearly all written certifications at home (see Cisco Post HERE). This is good news – so we can study and test without leaving the house !

In terms of how I studied for it -I used the following learning tools:

The networking questions within the test were straight forward, based on my CCIE RS/SP background, so it was down to the coding questions where my new learning had to get me through. For those not in the dev space, you need to have learnt about the following areas (all noted in the blueprint):

  • Finesse API
  • GIT
  • Docker Containers
  • Netconf/Restconf
  • YANG/YAML/XML/JSON
  • Python – including requests library
  • diff / unified diff
  • curl
  • http response codes & methods
  • http headers/payload design
  • bash scripting
  • linux CLI

This is well covered in the Cisco library series and the likes of CBT nuggets training videos – you just need to take time and practice and learn how to write code ! The trickiest questions for me were the fill in the blank ones, as you need to remember the exact syntax of the command so you can write the missing words into the string.

It is good to see Cisco moving in this direction, and essential from my point of view for network engineers in the marketplace to keep current with the modern network and requirements of network management/design. Now on to another AWS certification to keep expanding the cloud knowledge, before heading back to Cisco DEVCOR later in the year !

Cisco DevNet Associate DEVASC 200-901 – the journey to SDx
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