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First of all, I want to thank all of you who attended our webinar a few weeks back to talk more in depth about the DevNet Specialization for partners. You and our partners are critical to driving the future of networking with automation, APIs, programmability, and software.  

To quickly recap, I had the pleasure of joining principal analyst at ZK Research, Zeus Kerravala, and DevNet Specialized Partners Reto Schilt-Lu, Chief Operating Officer at Netcloud, and Mark Wall, Practice Manager, Global Engineering at WWT, for a conversation on the new DevNet Specialization for partners.  

We discussed how the network has changed, and why automation matters more than ever. We looked at how our partners around the globe can use new automation and programmability skills to differentiate their skillsets, and create new possibilities for their customers.  

To get the full recap, learn more about the DevNet Specialization, and hear the conversation firsthand, visit https://developer.cisco.com/partner/. 

Your questions, answered

There were a lot of questions asked during the webinar. So today, we’re answering the most frequently asked, to give you the details you need to become DevNet Specialized and to start on your journey towards automation and programmability.

Q: How can I become part of the DevNet community? 

A: Start your DevNet journey here at https://developer.cisco.com/startnowIf you’re not yet a DevNet member, just click the blue “Sign Up Free” button at top right of the page. 

Q: What is this new DevNet Specialization?  

Zeus Kerravala quoteA: The new DevNet Specialization provides a path for new or existing Cisco partners to build or enhance their software development practice, with a focus on automation and application development on top of Cisco platforms.  

Achieving this specialization recognizes partners expertise and ability to support customers throughout the lifecycle with the right people, tools, and processes. It is available at two levels:  

  • DevNetSpecialization: Covering the automation of infrastructure and app deployment within a single technology or domain.  
  • AdvancedDevNetSpecialization: Covers the automation of multi-domain and app deployment, including product management. The eligibility requirements are similar, but the Advanced Specialization is built on stricter guidelines and requires a larger team of specialists. 

Q: Does automation software come with Cisco networking equipment or is automation a stand-alone application or software? 

A: Many Cisco products have open and extensible APIs as part of the solution. With that, you can use a wide range of automation tools, such as Terraform or Sensible, to do network automation.  Additionally, you can use Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) to aid in automation components.  

Automation is the task of using software/programmability to make something happen. This can be done through APIs and standalone scripts, by using automation tools, or using complex custom applications.  

It is important to review the programmability documentation related to the Cisco solution that you are looking to automate to understand the possibilities. 

Mark Wall (002)Q: Going from no automation to full automation can be a very daunting task and may be difficult to persuade management to do. Are there any small tool-like automations to help with daily work? 

A: Mark Wall from WWT, one of our DevNet Specialized partners, suggests taking small steps at first in order start automating  walk, run, then fly. You can start by automating administrative tasks or updates, using scripts or chat bots. Try to find opportunities to use the Command Line Interface (CLI) then advance to using APIs.  

Get a small group of your peers and engineers together to get started on a project. As you see more value from your project, make a case for automation to management.  

Check out our DevNet Code Exchange for examples of how you can start with small walking steps, then start to run faster, then fly through your automation journey. 

Q: What resources are available to help me get started with a DevNet Specialization?  

Cisco offers a wide range of valuable resources to help you develop and grow your software development practice.  

Q: Are there documented stepbystep courses/videos/whitepapers that are available which exemplify real world success in automation that can be viewed? Is there a platform for this?  

August 5 quotes Reto A: The DevNet Automation Exchange is a shared code repository for network automation and guides teams through their journey with a walk-run-fly methodology.  

It also provides various step-by-step use cases for network automation, from listing data, to adding configurations, to activating policies across domains, users, or devices.  

See what you can find to help your projects on the DevNet Automation Exchange 

Building new capabilities for your customers

With the DevNet Specialization, your team builds and enhances critical skills in automation, application development, and programmability that help you meet your customers’ needs. Building your programmability practice is more accessible than ever, and our team is here to help you as you go from walking to running and flying with automation and programmability 

Let’s continue this journey together – building your skills, bringing the future of networking, automation, programmability, and software to life so that you can deliver exceptional value to your customers.  

Have more questions about the DevNet Specialization offering for partners? Leave your question in the comments below or visit http://developer.cisco.com/partner and http://cisco.com/go/devnetspecialization for more information.   

August 5 quote Susie Wee