This is part one of a two-part series about partner journeys with the DevNet Specialization. In this series, we’ll look at the specialization journey to obtaining the technical skills and how they are used.  This series will also bookend a Cisco Champions Radio podcast about DevNet Specialization that will release on November 16th. 


DevNet Specialization is a program we just launched in June 2020 during Cisco Live US. This program is meant to recognize Cisco partners that have demonstrated technical capabilities and business practices around software programmability and automation on Cisco products and services.

As Chuck Robbins mentioned at DevNet Create, “One of the unique things about DevNet is that it allows you, as a partner, to create your own intellectual property. It belongs to you, and it creates huge, differentiated value for you and your organization.” We believe that DevNet Specialization is the way for partners to differentiate and assure customers they have these capabilities.

Maybe you’re a partner that is looking create applications that securely integrate manufacturing network telemetry with supply chain apps. Or you’re looking to offer as-a-service solutions to deliver security remote office connectivity via Webex, Meraki, and Umbrella. Or you’re looking automate your existing network infrastructure implementation services – Maybe a combination of all three – DevNet Specialization is for you!

Like all Cisco partner programs, technical capabilities are measured through our industry leading certification program – specifically the new DevNet Certifications. These certifications measure both your software skills, and how you apply them to infrastructure services.

When we speak about DevNet programmability and automation – this sometimes evokes fear that we’re talking to the computer science graduate that has been working in software development for the past five years and writes full-feature software applications. Sure, we are talking to that person. We’re also talking to you, the infrastructure engineer, who is looking for a more efficient way to complete your daily tasks and to seamlessly integrate multiple technology stacks.

I think everyone’s journey to network automation looks a bit different, but I think it centers on a search towards simplification. A thirst for knowledge to find a better way to solve both common and complex problems.  Matyáš Prokop, Principal Architect at Natilik and Ryan Wolfe, Programmability Architect at Iron Bow Technologies both demonstrate this.

Matyáš doesn’t consider himself to be a great coder in the traditional sense. Rather, he started his career as a Linux system and network administrator. His eagerness to learn new things led him to using Linux tools and shell scripts to automate network configuration and telemetry with SNMP. As Software Defined Networking came of age, he added APIs and model-driven interface concepts to his approach and began working with DevNet.

With all these tools in his tool chest, Matyáš shows the art of the possible to customers and his sales team. This helps Natilik increase new technology adoption and cut sales cycles. Though he says he’s not really a programmer, Matyáš leads the DevNet practice at his organization and he was just announced as a DevNet Creator at DevNet Create.

Ryan’s programmability career has followed a similar arc. Self-taught in web programming during his adolescence led to his first IT support job, at his own school district. While there he used his web programming skills to help identify weaknesses with the school’s early web portals.

Ryan expanded his skills in the US Marines Corps working as a network and security engineer. Leveraging the skills he already had, he created scripts using PHP to interface with PowerShell to automate tasks. While not the most orthodox method, he was able to solve the challenge and help him adopt the slogan: “The only good code is code that works!”

Ryan is now the DevNet practice lead at Iron Bow where he’s built on his prior knowledge and now applies those skills using Python and JavaScript. There he helps his sales team see the business value of DevNet by using APIs to create custom interfaces that simplify customer processes.

I think these two examples help highlight that launching a DevNet practice in your organization can be possible with resources you may already have.

Join us for the Cisco Champions Radio

podcast on November 16th.

In that the November 16 podcast, I’ll speak with Ryan, Matyáš, and Paul Giblin from Presidio about their journeys towards DevNet Specialization.

Also, in Part 2 of this blog series, I’ll highlight how Paul is leveraging his DevNet skills directly in his sales process. Stay tuned!

Finally, be sure to learn more about joining the DevNet Class of 2020 and become part of the inaugural class of Cisco DevNet certified professionals.

Join the DevNet Class of 2020 to learn more on how you can be part of the inaugural class of Cisco DevNet certified professionals.



Chuck Stickney

Business Development Manager

Cisco DevNet