Most network practitioners have heard it's time for a mind shift.
More than ever, traditional networking now intersects with principles and concepts that challenge the standard way of doing things, due to the growth of software, programmability and automation. For network engineers up to the challenge, the Cisco DevNet Professional certification track provides a useful way to foster the skill sets that support evolving networking strategies.
The DevNet Professional certification targets more experienced network engineers and requires candidates to pass the core DEVCOR exam in addition to a concentration exam, covering specializations like IoT, unified communications and security.
When pursuing any certification, exam candidates should construct a study strategy. The authors of the recently published Cisco Certified DevNet Professional DEVCOR 350-901 Official Cert Guide, from Cisco Press, said they hope their study guide provides guidance in building that strategy. Authored by Jason Davis, Hazim Dahir, Stuart Clark and Quinn Snyder, the book acts as a launch point for readers to assess what they already know and dig into the topics they don't.
"You can pass a test. But we want to give you a way of thinking where you can gather the requirements [for the exam] and, based on those requirements, build a strategy," Dahir said.
A mindset change is crucial for candidates studying for the DevNet certification because of its shift from legacy networking principles to a focus in software. For example, candidates studying for other networking certifications, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate or Cisco Certified Network Professional, often work with the same gear they're learning about during their day jobs, Snyder said. But, with the DevNet track, most engineers don't encounter the software development lifecycle or write code in their current roles, requiring a conscious effort for them to practice those principles, he added.
Below is a chapter excerpt from Cisco Certified DevNet Professional DEVCOR 350-901 Official Cert Guide: "Automation." This chapter explores topics like the software development lifecycle, APIs and network programmability.
Explore Cisco Certified DevNet Professional DEVCOR 350-901 Official Cert Guide
Click here to read Chapter 10, "Automation."
About the authors
Jason Davis is a distinguished engineer for the DevNet program in the Developer Relations organization at Cisco. His role is technical strategy lead for the DevRel organization as he collaborates with various Cisco business unit leaders, partners, customers and other industry influencers. Jason is focused on automation, orchestration, cloud-native technologies and network management/operations technologies. He has a tenured career working with hundreds of customers, worldwide, in some of the largest network automation and management projects and is sought out for consulting and innovative leadership. His former experience as a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer has provided insights to defense, government and public-sector projects, while his extensive work in professional services at Cisco has spanned commercial, large-enterprise and service provider segments. Most of his customer engagements have been in automotive, manufacturing, large retail, large event venues and health care. Jason has achieved Cisco Live Distinguished Speaker Hall of Fame status and is an automation/monitoring lead for the network operations center (NOC) at Cisco Live events in the U.S. and Europe. He resides in Apex, North Carolina, and enjoys IoT projects, home automation and audio/video technologies in houses of worship. Jason and his wife, Amy, have four children whom they homeschool and cherish daily. Jason is found on social media @SNMPguy.
Hazim Dahir, CCIE No. 5536, is a distinguished engineer at the Cisco office of the CTO. He is working to define and influence next-generation digital transformation architectures across multiple technologies and verticals. Hazim started his Cisco tenure in 1996 as a software engineer and subsequently moved into the services organization focusing on large-scale network designs. He's currently focusing on developing architectures utilizing security, collaboration, edge computing and IoT technologies addressing the future of work and hybrid cloud requirements for large enterprises. Through his passion for engineering and sustainability, Hazim is currently working on advanced software solutions for electric and autonomous vehicles with global automotive manufacturers. Hazim is a Distinguished Speaker at Cisco Live and is a frequent presenter at multiple global conferences and standards bodies. He has multiple issued and pending patents and a number of innovation and R&D publications.
Stuart Clark, DevNet Expert #2022005, started his career as a hairdresser in 1990, and in 2008, he changed careers to become a network engineer. After cutting his teeth in network operations, he moved to network projects and programs. Stuart joined Cisco in 2012 as a network engineer, rebuilding one of Cisco's global networks and designing and building Cisco's IXP peering program. After many years as a network engineer, Stuart became obsessed with network automation and joined Cisco DevNet as a developer advocate for network automation. Stuart contributed to the DevNet exams and was part of one of the SME teams that created, designed and built the Cisco Certified DevNet Expert. Stuart has presented at more than 50 external conferences and is a multitime Cisco Live Distinguished Speaker, covering topics on network automation and methodologies. Stuart lives in Lincoln, England, with his wife, Natalie, and their son, Maddox. He plays guitar and rocks an impressive two-foot beard while drinking coffee. Stuart can be found on social media @bigevilbeard.
Quinn Snyder is a developer advocate within the Developer Relations organization inside Cisco, focusing on data center technologies, both on premises and cloud-native. In this role, he aligns his passion for education and learning with his enthusiasm for helping the infrastructure automation community grow and harness the powers of APIs, structured data and programmability tooling. Prior to his work as a DA, Quinn spent 15 years in a variety of design, engineering and implementation roles across data center, utility and service provider customers for both Cisco and the partner community. Quinn is a proud graduate of Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!) and a Cisco Network Academy alumnus. He is the technical co-chair of the SkillsUSA - Arizona Internetworking contest and is involved with programmability education at the state and regional level for the Cisco Networking Academy. Quinn resides in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Amanda, and his two kids. In his free time, you can find him behind a grill, behind a camera lens or on the soccer field coaching his daughter's soccer teams. Quinn can be found on social media @qsnyder, usually posting a mixture of technical content and his culinary creations.