Cisco DevNet Arrives in 2020: What to Expect
| CBT Nuggets - David Zomaya

Cisco DevNet Arrives in 2020: What to Expect

12/13/2019 update: The exam — DEVASC 200-901 — doesn't go live until Feb. 24, 2020, but you can start preparing for the exam with our new Cisco DevNet training!

In recent years, programming and DevOps have become very important in the IT realm. If you're looking to land a DevOps, automation, or software development role, you need ways to validate your knowledge and skills. Cisco recognizes this need for certification and is launching a new DevNet certification track in February 2020 to support the growing need.

DevNet is designed to meet the demands of an industry that is evolving to focus more on automation and DevOps. As such, there are new DevNet certs forthcoming at the associate, specialist and professional levels with an expert cert coming down the road. In this piece, we'll review what this new program is and its different levels.

Introducing the Cisco DevNet Program

The Cisco DevNet Certification program is a first for Cisco. DevNet certifications will validate skills in areas such as Cisco APIs, Cisco's programmability strategy, security, and network ops. This new cert program is targeted at software developers, DevOps engineers, automation specialists, and other software professionals. For employers, DevNet certification will signal verifiable skills in the domains of automation, infrastructure as code, IoT, DevOps, and Webex.

Cisco DevNet certification will follow the same general path as other Cisco certs. The following DevNet options will be available at launch:

Introducing these certifications shows that Cisco is noticing the changes in the industry. They are actively making an effort to keep up with these changes. Most importantly, Cisco is listening to their community and creating new training paths to meet industry demands.

Cisco Certified DevNet Associate Certification

Starting at the Associate level, there's the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate. Just like the new CCNA, you'll be required to complete only one exam to earn this certification. The 200-901 DEVASC exam will cover a wide range of topics to validate a good foundation at the associate level. These topics will include the following:

  • Software development and design
  • Understanding and using APIs
  • Cisco platforms and development
  • Application deployment and security
  • Infrastructure and automation
  • Network fundamentals

The exam is meant to test your knowledge of software development and design. The DevNet Associate cert will be available Feb. 24, 2020. The associate level certification isn't designed to help IT pros with specialization. Its aim is to establish foundational skills they'll realistically use at this level.

As for prerequisites, there are technically none. However, it is recommended you have at least one year of experience with software development including Python programming. The DevNet Associate certification, typical for Cisco certifications, will be valid for three years.

Here's a look at the our new Cisco DevNet Associate (200-901 DEVASC) training from Keith Barker, Ben Finkel, and Knox Hutchinson:

Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist Certification

The next level is the Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist. At this point you start to focus on an area of specialization. Several specialist options will be available to bridge the gap from DevNet Associate to DevNet Specialist. Beginning Feb. 24, 2020, the following Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist options will be offered:

To earn Specialist certifications, you only need to take one exam to be certified. There also are no prerequisites for these specialist certifications. So, if you're already working in a particular area and make use of these skills, you can pick the specialist certification that best aligns with your current role.

Assuming you have experience in these areas, you can even work on several certifications to further your career. This will continually give you recognition as you're working toward other certifications. DevNet Specialist certifications will also be valid for three years.

Cisco Certified DevNet Professional Certification

The highest level of the DevNet offerings on launch day will be Cisco Certified DevNet Professional Certification. At the professional level you'll be required to take two exams to become certified. Just like the CCNP, you'll need to complete a core exam and a concentration exam.

The core exam will test your knowledge on software design and development. You'll be tested on using APIs, Cisco platforms, application deployment, security, infrastructure, and automation. You can learn more about the core exam, 300-901 DEVCOR, here. You'll notice that the core exam is also a DevNet Specialist certification. This means you will earn a Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist Certification just for completing the core exam. You'll earn recognition for your accomplishment as you work toward your DevNet Professional certification.

The concentration exams will focus on domain specific topics. You'll only need to complete one of the concentration exams to complete the Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certification. Here's a list of the concentration exams:

Any of these looks familiar? They should. The concentration exams are also the Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist exams. This means you'll display the DevNet Professional and your Specialist cert.

These certifications will be valid for three years just like the Associate and Specialist levels. They also will offer several options for recertification when the time comes.

DevNet Expert Launches Later

You might be a little confused about the missing expert level of the DevNet options — which is justified. We've talked about every other level for this program with no expert program. Does that mean there won't be a Cisco Certified DevNet Expert? At the moment, it doesn't look like the Cisco Certified DevNet Expert will be available Feb. 24, 2020. However, Cisco expects to release one sometime in the future.

Today, we don't have a lot of information on what the DevNet Expert might require. If it follows the same trend as other Cisco certification paths, it will likely have requirements similar to the CCIE. This would mean you'll have to complete a core exam a lab exam. Assuming that is true, the core exam, 300-901 DEVCOR, could be a requirement for the DevNet Expert certification.

We'll have to wait and see what happens on the expert level. As of now, your guess is as good as ours.

Wrapping Up

Empowering certification-seekers seems to be an underlying theme with all Cisco's pending changes, and that's a good thing. From changes to their CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE to the introduction of the Cisco Certified DevNet certs, they're providing an offering that focuses on what employers demand and that will give exam-takers the most flexibility.

For example, you can choose to start with DevNet Associate or jump straight into a DevNet Specialist cert. Deciding what is best for you helps you get the most out of your dollar and time investment. The industry is changing and Cisco sees it. Make sure to change with it and keep yourself up to date and pick the career path that is best for you.

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