Cisco Certified DevNet Associate Review

DevNet Associate is one of the courses and certifications provided by Cisco. This course and certification aim to validates the skills and knowledge in understanding and using APIs, Cisco platforms and development, application development and security, and infrastructure and automation. You will learn how to implement basic network applications using Cisco platforms as a base, and how to implement automation workflows across network, security, collaboration, and computing infrastructure. The course gives you hands-on experience solving real world problems using Cisco Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and modern development tools. When you finish the course, you will have an option to take 200-901 DevNet Associate (DEVASC) exam and earn Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification.

Intro

I have known that Cisco has DevNet community maybe 2-3 years back, but I have never known that Cisco has announced the DevNet course and exam in June 10, 2019 and finally released DevNet courses and exams on February 24, 2020 until I came across a guy sharing his badge of DevNet 500 in Linkedin. Upon searching about it, it turned out that DevNet 500 is a recognition of the first 500 individuals who became Cisco DevNet Certified. I was also curious to get it, but I found that all the 500 badges were given away in just 16 days. However, I found the below video really encouraging as Cisco is still giving away another special badge, DevNet Class of 2020.

I then heard about Cisco d-Cloud D-day ASEAN Perfect Demo Pitch Competition which would give away Cisco DevNet Associate exam voucher to all attendees. Without any hesitation, I registered for it. Even though I was not a winner the competition, but I got the exam voucher I wanted. I got my exam voucher on November 09 2020, and I booked the exam on December 29, 2020 in order to make it to DevNet Class of 2020.

Cisco DevNet Associate

I start my learning DevNet learning process around mid of November 2020. I used course resource from CBT Nuggets DEVNET Associate (200-901 DEVASC) Online Training, Cisco Press Cisco Certified DevNet Associate DEVASC 200-901 Official Cert Guide, Cisco DevNet Sandbox, Cisco dCloud, and Cisco DevNet Learning Labs. If you are familiar with JSON, XML, YAML, Python, Git, Visual Studio Code and Postman, I think you can go fast with Cisco DevNet Associate course. If you are new to them, you can take your time to learn them. One special thing about Cisco DevNet Associate is that Cisco have try to include how to use API to interact with most of their platforms within this course such as Cisco IOS-XE, Cisco Nexus Switch, Cisco Meraki, Cisco DNA Center, Cisco Webex, Cisco Viptela, Cisco FirePower, Cisco ASA, Cisco UCS, Cisco ACI, Cisco NSO. Moreover, this course will also cover YANG data model, NETCONF, RESTCONF, SDK, docker, Linux Bash, DevOps, application development flow, Ansible and networking basics. Just 1 week before the exam, and I was still not ready, but then I found that Cisco decided to delay the DevNet Class of 2020 until February 24, 2021, so I have rescheduled my exam to January 07, 2020 instead. I tried to explore more and more areas of the course and also get more hand-on exercise, but I was still not ready for the exam on January 07, 2020, so I decided to rescheduled my exam again with January 23, 2020 as exam date.

200-901 DevNet Associate (DEVASC)

On January 23, 2020, I logged in to Pearson Vue 30 minutes before the exam to do the check-in. The check-in process was seamless and very similar to previous exams I had to take before. When the exam started, I was surprise that the total number of questions is 105 since I have never taken any Cisco exams with 100+ questions. During the exam, I found that the questions were straight forward and quality of questions were just right. I spent around one and half hour to complete and pass the exam. After the exam, I am quite satisfied with the score I got as it was just around the score I had predicted.

Here are the exam details.

Certification Name: Cisco Certified DevNet Associate
Prerequisite: None
Exam Type: 105 Challenges including multiple-choice question, drag and drop, fill in the gap
Time Allowed: 170‎ Hours included 30 minutes for non-native English speakers
Pass Mark: ~82%
Validity: 3 Years
Availability: Pearson Vue

Final Thought

I am satisfied with knowledge I learned from the course such as working with git, postman, python, API, SDK and etc. I think that the exam is quite good as an overall. I just think that it would be better if they can include challenge like write a script to interact with API or using SDK to do something within the exam itself.

I would encourage anyone who are working in networking field or working with Cisco devices or solutions to take this course as, in the future, there will be less works using the command line and there will be more works using API. Moreover, you will realize that almost every Cisco devices and solutions are API ready, and the way the devices communicate with their controllers are all done using API. Most of Cisco APIs are following industry standards which means that there is no limitation of knowledge you have gained since you can bring it to work with devices or solutions from other vendors, so the knowledge from DevNet is limitless. One more thing is that you can also use it to pivot your career from Networking field to Application Development or DevOps field using DevNet as foundation to build upon.

Knowledge Domains

Cisco Certified DevNet Associate exam covers below knowledge domains:

  • Understanding and Using APIs (20%)
  • Infrastructure and Automation (20%)
  • Application Deployment and Security (15%)
  • Cisco Platforms and Development (15%)
  • Network Fundamentals (15%)
  • Software Development and Design (15%)

You can also find Cisco Devnet Associate exam overview here.

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