On 27 February 2020, I took and passed the Automating Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUTO) exam on my first attempt. This was the last exam I took that day, having taken DEVASC and DEVCOR in earlier. This exam was a bit different for a few reasons, which I’ll discuss shortly. Passing both DEVCOR and ENAUTO has earned me the Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certification. Like the other DevNet exams, it was fair and reasonably well-written.
I’ve been working with Cisco products for more than 10 years and earning Cisco certifications for about 8 years, and this was my first specialist exam. You can learn more about the ENAUTO exam here. About 40% of the exam is based on general programming principles and network automation techniques, most of which overlap nicely with DEVASC and DEVCOR. The remaining 60% is divided evenly between Cisco’s biggest three enterprise solutions: DNA Center, SD-WAN, and Meraki at 20% each.
Before attempting this exam, you should already have a DevNet Associate certification (not required) or comparable knowledge, plus at least 3 years of network automation experience. Those skills alone cover probably 30% of the blueprint. If you already passed the DEVCOR exam (or have comparable knowledge), then you’re probably close to 50% prepared.
Throughout the DEVASC and DEVCOR blueprints, you explore a variety of Cisco product APIs at a basic level. As they say, “mile wide, inch deep”, at least as it relates to Cisco products. In contrast, ENAUTO zooms into three Cisco enterprise solutions. In general, you need:
- Familiarity with all available APIs and programmatic capabilities of each product. As an enterprise automation specialist, you need to know which APIs are used to solve which business problems.
- Ability to collect data and update configurations using a larger subset of APIs. Rather than just “get a list of devices”, you’ll be asked to automate more complex tasks involving third-party systems, such as webhook receivers. Some of these tasks require relatively long workflows, such as building a project, then a template, then rendering the template, then committing the template, then deploying the template to a network device.
In terms of DevNet resources, the two most critical ones you’ll need are the sandboxes and API documentation. I discussed these in the DEVASC blog, so I won’t re-explain what they are. Much like the DEVCOR exam, I suggest planning your time wisely to get reserved sandboxes. You will need read-write access to test most of the blueprint topics. The DevNet “always-on” sandboxes typically provide read-only access and, unlike DEVASC, are less useful for ENAUTO.
As I said in the DEVCOR post, I suggest you take the “3 years experience” requirement seriously. Don’t let your personal experience build false confidence in the topics. As a specialist exam, many of these API mechanisms and behaviors are Cisco-specific; generalized automation knowledge is less transferable than with the DEVASC and DEVCOR exams. That being said, you’ll still need that solid base before beginning, hence my recommendation to achieve DEVASC level skills first.
I have not yet published it, but I am in the process of building a 4 course ENAUTO series on Pluralsight to help you study for this exam. The first course will cover some of the general network automation and provisioning principles while the last 3 will each detail an in-scope Cisco product. I promise there will be a YouTube video and corresponding study plan once all the courses are complete. I’ll update this blog post when it happens with the relevant links.
In the meantime, you should utilize my Postman collections that cover some common Meraki, SD-WAN, and DNA Center API calls. I’ve included pre-built DevNet environments to simplify usage, along with example requests for reference. Download the Postman collections for free here.
As always, feel free to ping me on twitter @nickrusso42518. I’m happy to help!
By Nick Russo at http://njrusmc.net