There’s a new DevNet certification available. Pass the exam, and you can become a Cisco Certified DevNet Expert! The exam covers a whole host of topics, so it’s important to prepare well. That way, you can give the exam your best shot.

In Episode 55 of DevNet Snack Minute, Joe Clarke (Cisco Distinguished Engineer) gives us his best practices on how to prepare for the DevNet Expert Exam.

If you are unfamiliar with the exam, here are the Official DevNet Expert Lab Exam Topics.


Infrastructure as Code

Joe begins by discussing the “Infrastructure as Code” portion of the exam, which constitutes 30% of the entire exam. Generally, this topic covers automation and programmable interfaces. You’ll need to be familiar with:

  • YANG-based protocols
  • Ansible
  • Terraform
  • … and more.

Additionally, you’ll want to be familiar with Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO).

Jump to the discussion here.

How Should You Prepare for the Exam?

Next, Joe gives us a general overview of how to prepare for the exam. In no particular order, here are Joe’s main tips:

  • Look at the blueprint on the DevNet website, which includes not only a detailed topic outline but also links to study materials and resources.
  • Practice with the DevNet Sandbox to gain hands-on experience. For example, if you have general network automation knowledge but lack experience with NSO, this is a great place to fill that gap.
  • Go to the DevNet Expert site on the Cisco Learning Network to find a list of other preparation materials like books, web pages, and documentation. This site also lists all the software and software versions that will be on the candidate workstation (for example, the versions of NSO, Python, and Ansible). Eventually, you will even be able to download an image of the candidate workstation for your preparation!

Joe also notes that documentation for Python packages and any other large libraries will be available to you during the exam, so you don’t need to memorize these. Joe’s main encouragement to us? Use these resources, and practice a lot!

Jump to it here.

Exam Format and Wrap-up

Joe mentions that this exam still has a design component, so it’s important not to focus solely on the how, but also on the why? For example, in “Infrastructure as Code,” consider the following questions:

  • What is something I’m doing in my network setup now that I would like to automate?
  • How might I design this?
  • What decisions or trade-offs would I make in various situations?

This is not just a surface-level exam. You really need to do a deep dive and get hands-on experience, which you can do by leveraging the resources available to you.

We wrap up this section with a reminder that general library and package documentation will be available, so neither need to be memorized. Instead, your key to success on the exam will be a strong understanding of these concepts in practice.

See it here.

Oh, and one other point to bear in mind: The exam is eight hours long.

The test will become available for examinees on May 2, 2022. Study hard and good luck!

Want more? DevNet Snack Minute is your weekly, ten-minute coverage of all things DevNet,  Each episode is hosted by Matt DeNapoli, Manager of Developer Advocacy (@theDeNap), and Kareem Iskander, Sr. Tech Advocate with Cisco Learning & Certifications (@Kareem_isk). It’s a great way to learn about Cisco APIs, coding, and other cool stuff. Subscribe to the DevNet Snack Minute YouTube Channel to stay connected!

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Kareem Iskander

Technical Lead

DevNet Developer Experience