Shifting Focus: DevNet and Programmability


As some of you might remember from my social media accounts or other posts, I attended Cisco Live 2019 a few months ago. One of the large topics mentioned was around a new training and certification path from the Cisco DevNet program. I covered those changes in this earlier post: Big Changes for Cisco Certifications Cisco also had multiple presentations on the subject, like this one:

Moving Forward

Now that I finished my CCIE in the Routing and Switching field of focus, I am looking for my next challenge to keep myself engaged in training and personal development of my skills. I like the new focus from DevNet in this certification path and have decided to focus my efforts on general programmability for a while now.

In making this decision, I began looking at programming languages to focus on. I put some time into this and it didn’t take long before I settled on python. It is the big talk right now in development for networking projects and there are a LOT of resources available. If you are interested in how easily you can get started, take a look at a few of the published python libraries used for interacting with networking equipment such as:

Let the Brainstorming Begin

Basically where I am at now is using my existing programming knowledge from the html and php work I’ve done and translating this methodology and syntax to Python. I have already started trying to think of use cases for what I could program and then how I execute this as a script. From things like locating connected clients to pushing mass changes to multiple devices, the possibilities quickly add up.

*One recommendation if you are doing this as well – execute your scripts on a test environment first! As you’re learning, you never want to go rogue and do your testing in prod.

Other than that, keep an eye out for future posts, there should be a lot coming here soon (I’m hoping!).


  1. I really, really hope the new DEVNET track’s exams focus on labs that allow you to interact with APIs, create or debug programs, JSON/XML, etc. I don’t think the QA format is as applicable to Development skills. You can know how an API works, but getting one to do what you want is another matter.

    • I know to an extent it will focus on Cisco obviously, but I agree- I hope it is generic enough to create we rounded engineers to work with a wide range of API’s and develop the programming “mindset” to, like you said, get an API to do what they want.

  2. […] As you may have read, I recently began getting started with programming for the sake of furthering my personal networking skills. I started working on basic scripts using NetMiko and thinking of ideas on how I could use this for future projects. One of the things that I thought of was around general device management. For instance, what if I wanted to pull current code versions from all of my switches? I would need a list of my switches by management IP and then connect to each of them. This led me to start looking into how to read and write from static files with python, since that is the language I am using. So that’s where I am and maybe where you are too. If you are, here’s what I found on how to accomplish this task. […]


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