Cisco DevNet Associate 200-901 DEVASC Exam: I PASSED, and You Can Too!
I am here to report that I passed the DevNet Associate Exam earlier today! Now, if you are planning to attempt the DEVASC exam in the coming weeks or months, read on.
I want to share with you my exam experience in three big takeaways. Number one and keep this in mind that I have not taken an Associate or Professional level exam in over a decade. I have only been sitting CCIE written exams for a long time. So, here is the leading question. Have you ever wondered why do they have that giant keyboard for you at the exam station at the Pearson testing sites? Well, earlier this morning as I was sitting down for the exam, I wondered about that, like why do they even bother when you pretty much use your mouse to drive the exam software. Anyhow, I let that thought go, thinking maybe that’s just for non-Cisco exams. Now, fast forward to the time after I had finished the DevNet exam, and boy, I found the reason why! So, the moral of the story is that cramming your way to pass the exam will not work. So, before you sit the exam, be sure to put in enough hours to do your hands-on with your Python coding skills, your knowledge of APIs, and everything else that I mentioned in my learning plan that necessitates hands-on.
Secondly. Let me start by saying that there is a big difference between a coder and a programmer. With DevNet track or DevNet Associate exam, you are going to be just fine as a coder, or let’s call it a Junior developer. You don’t need to become Dennis Ritchie or Linus Torvalds. As long as you can effectively integrate with the Cisco REST APIs and Python libraries available on DevNet Exchanges or GitHub, you are going to be okay. Sure, if you are a programmer already, you are welcome to leverage Cisco SDKs to write impressive applications, but that’s not required to be an awesome Network DevOps. Please keep this perspective in mind as you prepare for the exam.
Thirdly. I heard some people who have taken and passed the exam say that the exam was fair. I will agree that the exam is fair if you consider how closely the exam questions test on what’s covered in the official DEVASC blueprint. However, as with most Cisco exams, do expect to see some oddball stuff that has zero value in the real world. Now, if someone is telling you that the best way to get on the automation bandwagon is to start with the new CCNA or if the new CCNA somehow can prepare you for the DevNet Associate exam, let me say that it is just not right. If you want to jump into automation with both feet, then start with the DevNet track and learn your networking protocols and technologies by digging deeper into network fundamentals and Cisco platforms along the way. So, if you are a DevOps or a coder venturing into DevNet, you can learn networking on the side. With Network DevOps or IaC, it is the DevOps that’s coming to the networking and not the other way around no matter what anyone says. The corollary to that is also true, i.e. you don’t need to be a CCIE level networking geek to be an awesome Network DevOps either.
Now, one more point. If you are watching this video, you’re likely coming from one-off three professional backgrounds. Let me explain. If you are coming from development or coding background, then you must attempt to maximize your leverage around software development and design and understanding and using APIs sections. They are about 1/3rd of the exam and should be table stakes for you. If you are coming from DevOps background, then likewise, you must attempt to maximize your leverage around application deployment and security and infrastructure and automation section. They are again 1/3rd of the exam and should be easy peasy for you. Finally, if you are a network engineer or a CCIE like me, then network fundamentals and some part of application deployment and security and some part of cisco platforms and development sections are your best bet, so be sure to maximize them. The reason why I am singling out those personas and the corresponding parts, so you don’t walk into the exam without working on your developmental areas.
Finally, if you are up for some network automation learning, in all sincerity, I couldn’t think of a better curriculum or a learning outline to get started than what you have in the form of the DevNet Associate. Now, if I can do it, I am pretty sure you can, too, as long as you are willing to pay your dues.
Links in the video.
DevNet Associate Course: https://fullstacknetworker.com/courses
DevNet Associate Study Guide: https://www.fullstacknetworker.com/cisco-devnet-associate-and-professional-exam-cert-study-guides-paperback/
DevNet Associate Learning Plan: https://www.subscribepage.com/devnetassociatedownload
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Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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