By now I hope you know about the brand spanking new DevNet Certifications, and I bet you can’t wait for them to come online. But on the off chance you don’t, make sure to check out DevNet’s new certification track offering courses, exams, and real-live Cisco certs for coders and developers. You can read all about the DevNet Certifications launch at Cisco Live in Susie Wee’s blog.
With blueprints for the DevNet associate, professional, and specialist exams now available, this post aims to demystify the Enterprise Automation exam, and give you a jump start on your preparation with DevNet resources for you to study so you can pass that exam the first time round.
And if this blog just isn’t enough, join me for my webinar, during which we’ll discuss all of these resources and more.
Let’s get started with Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions V. 1.0 (300-435)
First, there are a few ways for you to earn this DevNet Certification:
- On its own – providing DEVNET Certified Specialist
- As the second exam (with DEVNET CORE) — providing DEVNET Certified Professional
- As part of a re-certification for your Cisco Certified CCNP
Network automation is the process of automating the configuring, managing, testing, deploying, and operating of physical and virtual devices within a network. With everyday network tasks and functions automated and repetitive processes controlled and managed automatically, network service availability improves.
Any type of network can use network automation. Hardware- and software-based solutions enable data centers, service providers, and enterprises to implement network automation to improve efficiency, reduce human error, and lower operating expenses.
This certification validates your knowledge of implementing enterprise automated solutions, including programming concepts, Python programming, APIs, controllers and automation tools.
So, let’s get your prepared:
Part 1: Network Programmability Foundation (10%)
Part of understanding automation is to understand the fundamentals of programmability. In this section you will be tested on your knowledge of Git, Python, basic understanding of APIs and how they work, as well as a basic understanding of automation tools such as Ansible and Puppet.
Seems like a lot to get started with. But not to worry, DevNet has you covered! Here are some resources that will help you get started preparing for the exam:
- A brief introduction to Git
- Intro to Python Part 1
- Intro to Python Part 2
- Introduction to CI/CD
- Coding 202: Parsing JSON using Python
If you want to get a deep dive on network programmability fundamentals, my colleague Hank Preston has a series of videos for you to jumpstart your journey into network programmability.
Part 2: Automate APIs and Protocols (10%)
In this section of your exam journey, you will be tested on your knowledge of the Yang models, NETCONF and RESTCONF, and your ability to construct JSON and XML data structures to satisfy each protocol’s requirements. Device level APIs are an important part of your automation journey and it’s imperative to becoming a successful automation engineer.
I’ve compiled some resources for you to get started with basic understanding of device level APIs.
- What and Why of Model Driven Programmability
- Introducing YANG Data Modeling for the Network
- Exploring IOS XE YANG Data Models with NETCONF
- Exploring IOS XE YANG Data Models with RESTCONF
- Introduction to XML
Do you not have the equipment to test and practice against? Again, not to worry. DevNet Sandboxes are a great resource, providing you with free access to live infrastructure.
Part 3: Network Device Programmability (20%)
From Implementing device management and monitoring using NetMiko, to troubleshooting the network using telemetry data, this section will prepare you to leverage a variety of key network automation tools. To get a better grip on the tools, check out the list of learning labs below:
- Intro to Ansible for IOS XE
- Ansible IOS native modules
- Ansible NETCONF modules with IOS XE routers
- Intro to Ansible for IOS XE – Mission
Part 4: Cisco DNA Center (20%)
Cisco DNA Center is a key component to network automation. It is the network management and command center for Cisco DNA, your intent-based network for the enterprise. With Cisco DNA Center you can provision and configure all your network devices in minutes. Use advanced analytics to proactively monitor and optimize your network.
Understanding Cisco DNA Center’s APIs is a key part of this portion of the exam. Knowing how to implement requests using the intent APIs, knowing how to leverage the Assurance APIs to monitor your network, and being familiar with the multi-vendor SDKs, are some of the things that you will be required to understand in order to successfully complete this portion of the exam.
I’ve compiled a list of learning material that gets you started with Cisco DNA Center Platform APIs. Don’t have a Cisco DNA Center instance? … You know what to do … head over to the DevNet Sandbox and make a reservation.
• Cisco DNA Center Platform – Authentication
• Cisco DNA Center Platform – Network Devices
• End to End Visibility and Assurance with Path Trace and Cisco DNA Center Platform
• Execute Commands Across the Network with Cisco DNA Center Platform and Command Runner
• Quickly Deploy Configuration Templates with Cisco DNA Center Platform and Template Programmer
Part 5: Cisco SD-WAN (20%)
SD-What? Cisco SD-WAN allows you to streamline workflows, deploy and manage devices, and enhance application experience. You are expected to understand the implementation of vManage Device Inventory APIs, vManage Configuration APIs, and vManage Monitoring APIs using Python.
Check out these resources to get up to speed with Cisco SD-WAN APIs:
- Introduction to Cisco SD-WAN REST APIs
- Using Postman to interact with the Cisco SD-WAN REST API
- Using Python to interact with the Cisco SD-WAN REST API
- Cisco SD-WAN CLI application developed using the vManage REST API
Part 6: Cisco Meraki (20%)
Meraki has some of the best APIs Cisco has to offer. Understanding the platform is key to automating with Meraki. Learn about how to implement the different Meraki APIs including Location Scanning APIs, MV Sense APIs, External Captive Portal APIs, and Webhook Alert APIs.
Explore the learning materials below:
And that’s it! If you have questions or just need some more in-depth information about this exam and what’s included, don’t miss my webinar on October 10th, 2019 at 8:00 am PST. Register for it today.
The DevNet website has more information about DevNet certifications. Happy testing!