Changes to Cisco Certification Program: What’s New in 2022?
November 11, 2021

Cisco is a certification vendor that provides all the interested candidates with a variety of certificates focusing on different subject areas. Some of them are enterprise networking, CyberOps, security, Data Center, DevNet, design, and service providing. To stay relevant, Cisco introduces new certification tests and withdraws outdated ones. There is little information currently available on changes to the Cisco certificates and exams in 2022. However, one certification has been announced, known as Cisco Certified DevNet Expert. In this article, we will take a closer look at this new option.

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert: What Is It?

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert is a certification that evaluates the competence of the specialists in planning, designing, developing, and maintaining complex automation-driven network environments as well as utilizing automation technologies, methodologies, and practices for the improvement of networking. To get this certificate, the applicants need to ace one written test (Cisco 350-901) and one DevNet expert-level lab exam. The first one is from the professional-level certification path, while the lab test will be available from May 2, 2022. Those individuals who want to pass both of them and earn this new option may get acquainted with the exam domains in advance.

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert: What Should You Know About Its Lab Exam?

All in all, the lab test will measure the skills of the individuals in designing solutions based on a hybrid, on-premises, or public Cloud deployment as well as recommending a deployment strategy to mitigate risk and impact on service availability. It will also evaluate their expertise in modifying the existing network automation solutions based on the technical and business requirements, utilizing Git in a CI/CD development workflow, and troubleshooting issues with a CI/CD pipeline.

Furthermore, this exam pays attention to creating scalable solutions for infrastructure automation, a RESTCONF or NETCONF payload based on a given YANG module, a NETCONF filter by utilizing XPath, and a basic Cisco NSO service package in order to meet the given technical and business requirements. Besides that, the interested professionals need to possess the expertise in creating, modifying, and troubleshooting scripts by utilizing the SDK documentation and Python libraries to automate against APIs. It is also important to have the skills in automating the configuration of a Cisco IOS XE network device, deploying an app on a Cisco IOS XE device, modifying and troubleshooting an automated test by utilizing pyATS to meet the requirements, as well as creating the YANG model-driven telemetry subscriptions.

Moreover, this lab test is about creating Docker images, packaging and deploying solutions by utilizing Kubernetes or Docker Compose, and creating, consuming, and troubleshooting a Docker host and bridge-based networks. In addition, it takes a look at using tokens, headers, and secrets to secure a REST API, using OWASP secure coding practices into all the solutions to meet the given requirements. A potential candidate needs to possess the skills in using a secret management system to secure an application, using OAuth2+ to obtain an authentication token, creating a certificate signing request (CSR) by utilizing OpenSSL, sending CSR to a provided certificate authority, as well as using the certificate to secure a web application.

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert: What Is the Format of Its Lab Exam?

The lab exam is 8 hours long and includes two modules. They are fixed in time as well as will be delivered in a fixed sequence. The first module focuses on the design and lasts three hours. Its format is web based. It comes without the backward navigation and has hidden point values. The second module has the time frame of five hours. It covers such domains as developing, deploying, testing, and maintaining. Its format is hybrid (web based and hands-on). To complete this test, the individuals need to attain the passing score in each module.

It should also be noted that the lab exam has some requirements regarding the experience of the potential candidates. Those who are interested in the Cisco Certified DevNet Expert certification need to possess five to seven years of experience in designing, deploying, operating, and optimizing NetDevOps technologies and solutions.

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert: How to Prepare for Its Prerequisite Exams?

May is not soon, so there is a lot of time for preparation. On the other hand, there are many things that you need to do during the preparation process. First of all, the applicants should pass the written exam. It is 120 minutes long and concentrates on the Cisco platforms, utilizing APIs, infrastructure and automation, as well as application deployment and security. Therefore, you need to be ready to prepare for both the written and lab tests.

For instance, on the official website, the interested individuals can find the training courses for these certification exams. On the other hand, the specialists can explore various third-party IT learning platforms to find some alternative preparation tools. At the same time, it is important to remember that the lab test may require specific preparation. There is still no complete self-study program or training course for this exam, so it is recommended that you pay attention to the blueprint. You can check this document to get familiar with the topics of the test and realize in which areas you have skill and knowledge gaps.

Final Words

The Cisco Certified DevNet Expert certification can be of interest to different job roles. Some of them include a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE), a NetDevOps Engineer, a Cloud Developer, a Network Engineer, a Cloud Engineer, a DevOps Engineer, a Network Architect, and a Network Automation Engineer, among others.

Those students who are interested in this path just need to wait a little for the start of the registration process. If you are not sure about your knowledge level, you may consider some preparation. In addition, remember about Cisco 350-901 as the main qualifying test for the certificate and be ready for the lab exam to manage your time deliberately.

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