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Alexander Stevenson
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee
 
Cisco_DevNetSpecialist.png
After many hours of study and practice, I was able to earn the DevNet Specialist - DevOps certification from Cisco.
 
cert.png

As a Developer Advocate, it's my duty and pleasure to assist others in achieving their goals. Therefore, I've decided to pen this Knowledge Base Article in order to explain the certification, the exam, and how to pass it. A YouTube video is also forthcoming in the DevOps Shop series from Cisco DevNet, based on this article.

 

The DevNet Specialist - DevOps certification
 

The DevNet certification structure mirrors that of the Cisco certification structure for network engineering in that there are 4 levels, from Associate, to Specialist, Professional, and Expert. We do not need a DevNet Associate certification in order to achieve the DevNet Specialist certification; merely passing one of the concentration exams will earn you the DevNet Specialist. However, the next level, DevNet Professional, does require passing one of the concentration exams, as well as the core exam. This means that anyone wishing to certify as a DevNet Professional, will also become a DevNet Specialist, by passing that concentration exam.

 

DevNet-Certs.png

 

The DevNet Specialist certification is for developers who have three to five years of experiences with application development, operations, security, or infrastructure. It is suitable for network and software engineers interested in automation and programmability and who hold job roles such as:

• Account manager
• Consulting systems engineer
• Network administrator
• Network engineer
• Network manager
• Sales engineer
• Systems engineer
• Technical solutions architect
• Wireless design engineer
• Wireless engineer

 

This certification validates specialized knowledge and skills that connect development, operations, security, and network operations in an environment focused on continuous delivery of applications and services using Cisco platforms and devices.

 

The DevNet Specialist - DevOps exam (300-910)

 

There are several options for DevNet Specialist exams and they are broken down into two main categories: Software specialist, which the DevOps falls under, and Automation specialist.

The current exam required for DevNet Specialist - DevOps is called Implementing DevOps Solutions and Practices using Cisco Platforms v1.1 (300-910). It is a 90-minute exam, costing $300 USD, which tests a candidate's knowledge of DevOps practices as it pertains to deployment automation that enables automated configuration, management, and scalability of cloud microservices and infrastructure processes on Cisco platforms.

You can read about the Exam Overview, Exam Preparation, and Scheduling of the Exam at this URL: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/exams/current-list/devops-300-910.html


Cisco DevNet Exam Updates


As part of the Cisco Certification Roadmaps review cycle, some of the Cisco DevNet exams were recently updated in January of 2024. I passed version 1.0 of the exam, but the changes we see in version 1.1 are minor. Compared to v1.0, all domains (CI/CD Pipeline, Packaging and Delivery Applications, Automation Infrastructure, Cloud and Multicloud, Logging-Monitoring and Metrics) remain identical. A task was updated to reflect the product naming change, replaced Drome with GitLab, and removed Puppet and Chef. You can read about the exact changes here:

https://learningcontent.cisco.com/documents/marketing/exam-topics/DevNet_v1.1_Release_Notes.pdf (page 5)


 

 

How to Prepare for the DevNet Specialist - DevOps exam (300-910)

 

Cisco Training for the DevNet Specialist – DevOps exam teaches you how to automate application deployment, enable automated configuration, enhance management, and improve scalability of cloud microservices and infrastructure processes on Cisco® platforms. You will also learn how to integrate Docker and Kubernetes to create advanced capabilities and flexibility in application deployment. Besides preparing us for the 300-910 Implementing DevOps Solutions and Practices using Cisco Platforms (DEVOPS) certification exam, this training (Items 1-4 listed below) also earns you 40 Continuing Education (CE) credits towards recertification.


Let’s look at the 4 ways Cisco recommends you to prepare for the DevNet Specialist – DevOps exam.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/training/training-services/courses/implementing-devops-solutions-and-practices-using-cisco-platforms-devops.html

 

AlexStevenson_1-1713815819005.png

 


1. There is an official Cisco course on Cisco Digital Learning which prepares us for the DevNet Specialist exam and this is the Implementing DevOps Solutions and Practices Using Cisco Platforms (DEVOPS) v1.0 course, which is a self-paced training that includes video instruction and interactive labs. I recommend this for Cisco employees and anyone who wants the traditional and official training.

https://learningnetworkstore.cisco.com/on-demand-e-learning/implementing-devops-solutions-and-practices-using-cisco-platforms-devops-v1.0/ELT-DEVOPS-V1-024105.html

 

digital learning.png

 


2. Find a class with the Cisco Learning Locator

https://learninglocator.cloudapps.cisco.com/#/course-details/8772

 

AlexStevenson_0-1713818860251.png


It can be taken in a physical or virtual classroom, lasts 5 days, and rewards you with 40 CE credits.

 

 

3. The Implementing DevOps Solutions and Practices Using Cisco Platforms | DEVOPS learning path on the new Cisco U.

https://u.cisco.com/path/31

This is an Intermediate level Learning Path which takes approximately 32hours and 40 minutes to complete. It consists of 18 courses, 24 labs, 10 assessments, while earning you 40 CE credits. It is a sleeker, more updated version of the Cisco Digital Learning course listed in option 1 and was updated within the last month at the time of this recording. I recommend this path for anyone interested in passing the DevNet Specialist - DevOps exam.

 

cisco u.png


Other relevant paths, courses, tutorials, and videos on Cisco U. which may be helpful can be found at https://u.cisco.com/search?query=DevOps

 


4. Then, there is Private Group training, which brings the classroom or virtual classroom experience to your office or to an offsite location of your choice. It is convenient, practical, and powerful training tailored to the needs of your network requirements. It offers:

• Flexible scheduling
• Virtual Instructor-led
• No travel costs or out-of-office downtime
• The latest Cisco gear and labs
• Customized courses and solutions
• Accommodations for various-sized groups
• Up-to-date Cisco course offerings and technologies

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/training-for-companies/private-group-training.html

I usually recommend this training for groups or teams who want to train, study, and certify together.

 

private group training.png


*** Cisco can also help you with other ways to buy training. Just fill out this form and Cisco will work with you and your organization to find the best training for you and your teams: https://mkto.cisco.com/training_contact_us.html

 

 

Free, Alternative Training to Help you Pass the DevNet Specialist - DevOps exam (300-910)

 

1. DEVOPS Study Materials on the Cisco Learning Network

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/s/learning-plan-detail-standard?ltui__urlRecordId=a1c3i0000005rBTAAY&ltui__urlRedirect=learning-plan-detail-standard&t=1705940561419

 

AlexStevenson_4-1713819100996.png

 


This plan is designed to help you quickly find what you are looking for by organizing the content according to the exam topics. These resources are meant to supplement your learning experience and exam preparation. They are NOT designed to serve as a complete self-study.

 

2. Self-Study based on the exam topics

The official exam topics can be found at
https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/s/devops-exam-topics

In addition, a downloadable PDF of these topics can be found at https://learningcontent.cisco.com/documents/marketing/exam-topics/300-910-DEVOPS-v1.1.pdf


While preparing for this exam, I compiled a list of free YouTube videos and other resources, which map to the exam topics. 

 

** Please note these are my personal recommendations for free resources and they are not official recommendations from Cisco.

 

20%

1.0

CI/CD Pipeline

 

1.1

Describe characteristics and concepts of build /deploy tools such as Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD or Travis CI

·        How To Deploy from Jenkins to Any Data Center or Cloud - Cisco Blogs

·       CI CD Pipeline: a Gentle Introduction - YouTube

·       CI/CD Explained | How DevOps Use Pipelines for Automation - YouTube

·       Operations Stages in DevOps - YouTube

 

1.2

Identify the sequence, components, and integrations to implement a CI/CD pipeline for a given scenario

·       CI/CD - Network Automation Delivery Model - Document - Cisco Developer

·       IOx - Application Deployment and CICD for IoT - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Development Stages in DevOps - YouTube

·       The IDEAL & Practical CI / CD Pipeline - Concepts Overview - YouTube

·       Learn Jenkins! Complete Jenkins Course - Zero to Hero - YouTube (the first 30 minutes are a good intro)

·       NetDevOps CICD Pipelines Can Develop, Test, and Deploy Network Configurations - YouTube

 

1.3

Troubleshoot issues with a CI/CD pipeline such as code-based failures, pipeline issues, and tool incompatibility

·       CI CD Build Failure in Production? | Why? | DevOps Production Issues | Real Time Issues in DevOps - YouTube

·       How a 10x DevOps Engineer fixes a CICD pipeline - YouTube

 

1.4

Identify tests to integrate into a CI/CD pipeline for a given scenario

·       Getting Started with Integrating Testing into CI/CD - YouTube

·       CI/CD pipelines explained - YouTube (see sections on code analysis and tests)

 

 

1.5

Identify release deployment strategy (canary, rollbacks, and blue/green) for a given scenario

·       Progressive Delivery Explained - Big Bang (Recreate), Blue-Green, Rolling Updates, Canaries - YouTube

 

1.6

Diagnose code dependency management issues including API, tool chain, and libraries

·       Dependency Management with Gradle - Part 1: Fundamentals - YouTube  

 

1.7

Interpret a GitLab CI/CD configuration file

·       Using CI/CD Pipelines for Infrastructure Configuration and Management – Part 2

·       Comprehensive Guide to GitLab CI/CD

15% 

2.0

Packaging and Delivery of Applications

 

2.1

Identify the steps to containerize an application

·       Containers - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Cloud & Containers-Fundamentals - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Containerization Explained - YouTube

·       Docker And Containers Explained | Containerization Explained | Docker Tutorial | Simplilearn - YouTube

·       A Beginner's Guide to CI/CD Pipeline Network Automation with Docker, Github and Python - YouTube

 

2.2

Identify steps to deploy multiple microservice applications

·       Microservices and Orchestrators - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Microservices explained - the What, Why and How? - YouTube

·       5 Options for Deploying Microservices - YouTube

 

2.3

Evaluate microservices and container architecture diagrams based on technical and business requirements (security, performance, stability, and cost)

·       How to Design Microservices Architecture? Uber Architecture - A Case Study | Tech Primers - YouTube

 

2.4

Identify safe handling practices for configuration items, application parameters, and secrets

·       DevOps Master Class - Part 5 - Secrets - YouTube

 

2.5

Construct a Docker file to address application specifications

·       Build YOUR OWN Dockerfile, Image, and Container - Docker Tutorial - YouTube

 

2.6

Describe the usage of golden images to deploy applications

·       How To Prepare a Golden Image with Cisco Secure Endpoint - Cisco

·       What is a golden image? (redhat.com) 

20%

3.0

Automating Infrastructure

 

3.1

Describe how to integrate DevOps practices into an existing organization structure

·       How to Implement DevOps: DevOps Engineer and Team, Process and Metrics - YouTube

·       DevOps Culture and Organizational Structure - DEV Community

 

3.2

Describe the use of configuration management tools to automate infrastructure services such as Ansible, and Terraform

·       DevOps Tools Integration with Cisco UCS Solution Brief

·       Chef - Open NX-OS - Document - Cisco Developer

·       Chef vs Puppet vs Ansible vs Saltstack | Configuration Management Tools | DevOps Tools | Simplilearn - YouTube

·       Terraform explained in 15 mins | Terraform Tutorial for Beginners - YouTube

 

3.3

Construct an Ansible playbook to automate an application deployment of infrastructure services

·       Ansible Playbook Structure - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Automation with Ansible Playbooks - YouTube

·       How to use Ansible to automate your infrastructure - YouTube

 

3.4

Construct a Terraform configuration to automate an application deployment of infrastructure services

·       Terraform Tutorial: Automate Your Infrastructure Deployment with Terraform - YouTube

·       Terraform Tutorial | Automate your Infrastructure - YouTube

 

3.5

Describe the practice and benefits of Infrastructure as Code

·       DevOps Master Class - Part 6 - Infrastructure as Code - YouTube

 

3.6

Design a pre-check validation of the network state in a CI/CD pipeline for a given scenario

·       Validating Pre Commit Network Configuration Changes at Scale with Batfish and Ansible - YouTube

·       Profile and Test your Network with Genie CLI - No Code Needed! - YouTube

 

3.7

Design a pre-check validation of the application infrastructure in a CI/CD pipeline for a given scenario

·       Trigger Build & Release pipelines to validate PR - YouTube

·       Verifying Application Infrastructure Performance in the Pipeline (apperati.io)

 

3.8

Describe the concepts of extending DevOps practices to the network for NetDevOps

·       Cisco 300-910 DEVOPS: Implementing DevOps Solutions | Online Tutorial (testpreptraining.com)

·       Industrial NetDevOps - Getting Started - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Dude... You put DevOps in your Network! A NetDevOps Overview - YouTube

·       NetDevOps CICD Pipelines Can Develop, Test, and Deploy Network Configurations - YouTube

 

3.9

Identify the requirements such as memory, disk I/O, network, and CPU needed to scale the application or service

·       Capacity and Performance - System Overview - Terraform Enterprise | Terraform | HashiCorp Developer

15%

4.0

Cloud and Multicloud

 

4.1

Describe the concepts and objects of Kubernetes

·       What is Kubernetes? – The Basics of what you need to know - Cisco

·       What is Kubernetes? | IBM

·       Kubernetes Components explained! Pods, Services, Secrets, ConfigMap | Kubernetes Tutorial 14 - YouTube

·       Kubernetes Architecture explained | Kubernetes Tutorial 15 - YouTube

 

4.2

Deploy applications to a Kubernetes cluster

·       Cisco Container Platform 5.0.0 User Guide - Deploying Applications on Kubernetes Clusters [Cisco Container Platform] - Cisco

·       Kubernetes 101: Deploying Your First Application! - YouTube

·       Benefits of Kubernetes | Scalability, High Availability, Disaster Recovery | Kubernetes Tutorial 16 - YouTube

·       How to Deploy Applications in Kubernetes - Geekflare

 

4.3

Utilize objects of Kubernetes to build a deployment to meet requirements

·       Cisco ACI and Kubernetes Integration - Cisco

·       Kubernetes Ingress in 5 mins - YouTube

·       Kubernetes Services explained | ClusterIP vs NodePort vs LoadBalancer vs Headless Service - YouTube

 

4.4  

Validate the success of an application deployment on Kubernetes

·       Check your Kubernetes deployments! — Polar Squad

·       Kubectl Reference Docs (kubernetes.io)

 

4.5

Describe method and considerations to deploy an application to multiple environments such as multiple cloud providers, high availability configurations, disaster recovery configurations, and testing cloud portability

·       Kubernetes Services explained | ClusterIP vs NodePort vs LoadBalancer vs Headless Service - YouTube

·       Kubernetes Deployment vs. StatefulSet vs. DaemonSet - YouTube

 

4.6

Describe the process of tracking and projecting costs when consuming public cloud

·       Managing cost in the Public Cloud | TrueSight Cloud Cost - YouTube

·       Cloud Budgeting: A Guide To Accurately Forecasting Cloud Spend (cloudzero.com)

 

4.7

Describe benefits of infrastructure as code for repeatable public cloud consumption

·       Want repeatable scale? Adopt infrastructure as code on GCP | Google Cloud Blog

·       Repeatable GCP Environments at Scale With Cloud Build Infra-As-Code Pipelines (Cloud Next '19) - YouTube

 

4.8

Compare cloud services strategies (build versus buy)

·       Buy vs. Build Revisited: 3 Traps to Avoid | AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog (amazon.com)

·       Buy vs. Build Revisited, Part 2: Drawing the Line | AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog (amazon.com)

·       Buy vs. Build Revisited, Part 3: From Having Bought to Going to Build | AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog (amazon.com)

·       Cloud Provider Comparisons: AWS vs Azure vs GCP - YouTube

·       Cloud Providers Compared: A Comprehensive Guide to AWS, Azure, and GCP - YouTube

20%

5.0

Logging, Monitoring, and Metrics

 

5.1

Identify the elements of log and metric systems to facilitate application troubleshooting such as performance issues and streaming telemetry logs

·       Telemetry Configuration Guide for Cisco CRS Series Routers, IOS XR Release 6.1.x - Stream Telemetry Data [Cisco IOS XR Software (End-of-Sale)] - Cisco

·       15 DevOps Metrics & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) To Track (phoenixnap.com)

·       Cisco Model-Driven Telemetry tutorial with Telegraf, InfluxDB, and Grafana! - YouTube

·       Microservices Logging | ELK Stack | Elastic Search | Logstash | Kibana | JavaTechie - YouTube

 

5.2

Implement a log collection and reporting system for applications

·       User Guide for Cisco Secure Access Control System 5.8 - Understanding Logging [Cisco Secure Access Control System] - Cisco

·       Monitoring, Traceability & Diagnostics - YouTube

·       Analyzing and Visualizing Streaming Telemetry Data with Splunk - YouTube

5.2.a     aggregate logs from multiple related applications

·       Logstash Elasticsearch Kibana Tutorial | Logstash pipeline & input, output configurations. - YouTube

·       Spring Boot Logs Aggregation and Monitoring Using ELK Stack (auth0.com)

·       Log aggregation with Spring Boot, Elastic Stack and Docker | cassiomolin

5.2.b    search capabilities

·       Elasticsearch Tutorial for Beginners | Learn the Elastic Stack Architecture | Frank Kane - YouTube

5.2.c     reporting capabilities

·       DevOps: Monitoring Tools (Prometheus and Grafana) | by Rahul Yadav | Medium

·       Grafana & Prometheus: A Match Made in Heaven? | Logz.io

·       Prometheus Grafana: Configuration & Query Examples - (kubecost.com)

·       Jenkins Monitoring With Prometheus & Grafana ||How to monitor the Jenkins Jobs using Prometheus

 

5.3

Troubleshoot a distributed application using AppDynamics with Application Performance Monitoring

·       Monitoring Application Performance with AppDynamics SaaS - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Finding the Root Cause of Application Performance Issues in Production - Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics

·       Introduction to AppDynamics - YouTube

 

5.4

Describe the principles of chaos engineering

·       Intro to Chaos Engineering - YouTube

·       Learn Chaos Engineering Series - YouTube

 

5.5

Construct Python scripts that use APIs to accomplish these tasks

5.5.a     build a monitoring dashboard

·       Dashboard API for Service Providers - Cisco Developer

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/CiscoDevNet/gmm-gw-data-collect/

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/flopach/asset-monitoring-dashboard/

·       Python Interactive Dashboard STEP BY STEP - YouTube

·       How to Build a Dashboard Web App in Python with Streamlit - YouTube

5.5.b     notify Webex Teams space

·       Webex - Learning Labs Center - Cisco DevNet

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/hpreston/webexteamsbot/

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/CiscoDevNet/awesome-webex/

·       Cisco WebEx Teams API DevNet Python Mission 05. Special appearance by A3!! - YouTube

5.5.c     responding to alerts and outages

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/MindloGQ/MerakiWebexAlerts/

·       Building an API Email Alert Script in Python - YouTube

5.5.d    creating notifications

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/obrigg/Cisco-ISE-Email-Notifications/

·       Send Daily Push Notifications to Your Phone Using Python | Build A New Year's Resolution BOT (fast) - YouTube

5.5.e     health check monitoring

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/obrigg/meraki-health-check/

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/CiscoDevNet/merakibeat/

·       https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange/github/repo/gve-sw/Network-Device-Interface-Health-Check/

·       Python Tutorial: Write a Script to Monitor a Website, Send Alert Emails, and Reboot Servers - YouTube

5.5.f     opening and closing incidents

·       ServiceNow and updating records with the Python API - An IT and Dev Blog (meatsac.github.io)

 

 

5.6

Identify additional application requirements to provide visibility into application health and performance

·       5 devops practices to improve application reliability | InfoWorld

·       Application Health Through Observability - YouTube

·       Observability vs. APM vs. Monitoring - YouTube

·       How to Build Observable Distributed Systems - YouTube

 

5.7

Describe Kubernetes capabilities related to logging, monitoring, and metrics

·       Kubernetes Service Observability for Cloud Native SD-WAN Optimization - Cisco DevNet Learning Center

·       Getting started With Monitoring and Alerting for Kubernetes - YouTube

·       Logging and monitoring Kubernetes | Sumo Logic

·       Getting Started with Kubernetes | Observability: Monitoring and Logging - Alibaba Cloud Community

·       Managing Kubernetes Performance at Scale (cisco.com)

 

5.8

Describe the integration of logging, monitoring and alerting in a CI/CD pipeline design

10%

6.0

Security

 

6.1

Identify methods to secure an application and infrastructure during production and testing in a CI/CD pipeline

 

6.2

Identify methods to implement a secure software development life cycle

 

Best of Luck!

 

Comments
Gopinath_Pigili
Spotlight
Spotlight

Congratulations..!! and thanks for sharing...!!

theVPNbloke
Level 1
Level 1

Thanks for sharing! this will be really useful.

Amazing

Alexander Stevenson
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Thank you for the comments everyone!

hanumara
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

This is Amazing, thanks for sharing Alex...!!!

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