Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Have you been telling yourself that you need to get started with learning network automation? If you are like me the New Year brings new motivation not just to lose weight, but to learn something new.

Right now, you are in the perfect position to gain new automation skills — for free. All you need is your laptop and an internet connection. DevNet has everything you need to get started, from free learning tracks to free access to Cisco platforms like ACI, NX-OS, and Meraki in the developer sandboxes. If you have not already done so, sign up for DevNet free now.

In this post I am going to share with you 5 learning labs that will help you kick start your 2021 and your network automation journey.

Networking Basics

Before we even get started with network automation, we have to know the basics of networking. If you are brand new to networking this is ground zero. This module breaks down the basics of networking, topologies, and IP addressing.

– Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes.   Start here

Developer Workstation and Environment Setup

This module focuses on helping you setup your computer or laptop for DevNet. You will learn why you need a developer environment, how to set one up, and about version control, and shells. If you are brand new to automation but already have a grasp on networking, I would start here.

– Duration: 3 hours. Start here.

Python Fundamentals

Python is the most popular network automation language right now. This module teaches you the fundamentals of Python, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), JSON, and git as well. These are the core skills for programming and automation. The more you practice, the better you will git!

– Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes.  Start here.

REST API Fundamentals

The previous module touches on APIs and this module dives even deeper while introducing us to Postman. You will enjoy this module because you get to parse data from an actual WebEx API. Enjoy!

– Duration: 1 hour.  Start here.

Introduction to Model Driven Programmability

Now it’s time to get out of our comfort zone. Explore NETCONF and RESTCONF to communicate with Cisco XE IOS devices. Here is where you can gain some real superpowers that you can use to manage your networks.

– Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes.  Start here.

You got this!

So there you have it. 5 free learning labs to help you kick your New Year into gear. Network automation is a journey not a destination. Embrace the journey. Make your goal in 2021 to learn something new every day. I remember how excited I was when I started, but I also remember some of the challenges that I faced. Here is a post on how I got started:

I wish you much success in 2021. This is your year! Don’t let anything stop you. You got this! #DevNet

If you have any feedback let me know in the comments section below – leave me a message, ask a question, whatever you want.

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DuAn Lightfoot

Content Developer Engineer