On a typically cool June 10, 2019, in San Diego, CA, we introduced a transformation in our network engineering certifications, with software, automation, and security woven throughout. We also announced a brand-new set of DevNet certifications that focused on a software-first approach to Cisco’s products and technologies. We had an Associate-level certification, various Specialist-level certifications, and a Professional-level certification. But something was missing. There was this little emblem over the Expert certification: Coming Soon.

Well, now I’m pleased to say, soon has arrived! The Cisco Certified DevNet Expert certification is here, and I know some of you have been chomping at the bit to get your hands on the exam topics and get yourselves certified. You still have to wait until May 2, 2022, to take the lab exam, but the exam topics are available now.

Get the DevNet Expert exam topics

(and start studying now!)

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert logoA software-first approach

While the DevNet Expert resembles other expert-level exams, in that it has a technology core written component (DEVCOR) and an eight-hour hands-on lab component, this exam is one of a kind. First, consider the exam topic domains:

    1. Software Development, Deployment, and Design
    2. Infrastructure as Code
    3. Containers
    4. Network Programmability and Automation
    5. Security

While CCIE topics have delved deep into the realm of protocol interaction, network design, and reliable and scalable infrastructure (now with automation as part of that), the DevNet Expert takes a solid software-first approach as it pertains to the network engineer.

The DevNet Expert exam speaks to the network engineer approaching this new network. It is this new, automation-driven network that leads to digital transformations across all industries. To deliver secure, agile networks, support the future of work, and provide capabilities at the edge, you need people who are experts at wielding software and automation to harness and shape the power of the network.

This is what a DevNet Expert (the individual) can bring to an organization. They can not only design and deliver the necessary automation solutions to transform a traditional network into one that sings to the tune of digital transformation, but they can also build and lead a team to transform the culture of an organization into one that embraces automation as the way to do networking.

Let’s take an example related to the Infrastructure as Code exam topic domain. Today, deploying new network capabilities and features is a painstaking, laborious slog, often causing outages, upset customers, and lost revenue. It’s become so bad that changes are often pushed back and back until they’re absolutely necessary (just as ransomware has slithered in). But without more agility, your customers get frustrated, and your competitors look better.

Developing solutions that drive and transform networks

In comes the DevNet Expert. They design an approach whereby the configuration is abstracted from the CLI so that it can be recorded into a git version control repository. Proposed config changes are automatically tested in a safe lab environment prior to being deployed to production so any issues are found and worked out. Once the tests are good, the configuration changes are deployed into production in the same manner, testing all the way. The team builds confidence and understanding in the new approach, and now network changes drive innovation instead of fear.

It’s this approach to network engineering and the focus the DevNet Expert exam puts on it that excites me. I love building out solutions like this to drive networks. I take any opportunity to do it (I don’t like typing things more than once). I am thrilled to see Cisco putting such a strong emphasis on software and automation, and I am confident that those who receive the DevNet Expert certification are qualified to lead the new network transformation.

The first day to test for the DevNet Expert lab exam is May 2, 2022.


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Joe Clarke

Distinguished Engineer, Customer Experience

Customer Experience