The Cisco DevNet certifications are now one of the most important certification that you can take given the technology trends that are always moving towards the Automation and the Software Development (see SDWAN, IoT, Cloud Computing, Virtualization, etc..)
This means that more and more people are looking to get some practical information on how to approach these certifications and looking for some preferred learning path or topics to pass the exams.
The DevNet Associate Exam v1.0 (DEVASC 200-901) exam is a 120-minute exam associated with the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification. This exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of software development and design including understanding and using APIs, Cisco platforms and development, application development and security, and infrastructure and automation. The course, Developing Applications and Automating Workflows Using Cisco Core Platforms, helps candidates to prepare for this exam.
Here is my experience with the DEVASC certification:
I started to study after a couple of months from the announcement (July 2019) and given my Computer Science degree I have to admit that most of the topics were something that I simply had to brush up from my previous studies. Since 2009 (when I graduated) a lot of things have changed in the Networking World but the main concepts and the baseline is pretty much the same. The first step that I usually take when starting a new certification is to download the exam topics PDF (here) so I can start to understand the main concepts that they’re trying to cover. It’s an Associate level certification so the topics are not detailed but they prepare the students to start in the DevNet Journey that will includes Network Automation, Model Drive Programmability, Telemetry, etc.. I scheduled my exam at the beginning of March but I had to wait until April to take it due the COVID-19 stop here in Italy. I took it online from home and I passed it on my first attempt.
As you can read from the Exam Topics PDF there are 6 main sections:
Software Development and Design (15%):
Understanding and Using of APIs (20%)
Cisco Platforms and Development (15%)
Application Deployment and Security (15%)
Infrastructure and Automation (20%)
Network Fundamentals (15%)
The percentage that you see at the end of the line is the “quantity” of questions that you will find in the exam…and this is fair, trust me! They have perfectly distributed the questions in the exam so use that number as a reference.
During my studies I received and email from Cisco that they created this new training course called “DevNet Associate Fundamentals Course” dedicated to the DEVASC Certification and that there was a 75% Discount for the first 750 people. I took the 1-month plan for $ 75 instead of $199 .
The course is well done, and it has an interactive shell in the browser so you don’t really need anything else to practice. It covers all the topics in the PDF line by line and it’s a good starting point but not really worth the price it costs. At the end of it, I personally felt that the price was too high for the level of details on the topics that they provide and that at the end you definitively need other resources to be ready for the exam.
I will create a series of video courses that will be available here and on my Academy website. Some of them will be free some other will require a subscription but they will prepare you to take the exam and will give you the knowledge to be ready to start your DevNet journey.
Use DevNet Sandboxes as much as you can: You only read access for this exam so you can practice with the Always on SandBox.
Subscribe to O’Really Safari: this is the best investment that you can do. In their database you can find everything you need for basically everything related to the technology.
And you? How are you preparing for this exam? Are you using you own lab or the Cisco DevNet Sandbox?
Please let me know you thoughts in the comments.