Cisco DevNet Expert: Round 2

Brief Intro

Hello again! For those that are new or need a brief recap of my first Cisco DevNet Expert lab experience, I failed my first attempt and documented my experience in a separate blog post (check it out here!). I won’t go into as much detail as I did in my first experience blog post, but I do want to highlight some of the differences between my two lab experiences. Without rambling too much, let’s jump into my second experience with the DevNet Expert!

The Exam Experience (Take 2)

As I mentioned in my first experience blog post, I wasn’t too surprised that I failed. It was my first time taking an expert-level Cisco exam. The goal of my first attempt was to “feel out” the exam. After my first attempt, I felt the level of difficulty of the exam, but knew it wasn’t impossible to pass. After failing my first attempt, I went back to the drawing board and reviewed some of the topics I was weak in to prepare for my second attempt (specifically, topics in section ‘4.0 Containers’).

With that being said, I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer… In my second attempt at the DevNet Expert… I failed… again.

Before you get out the tissues, I do not feel down about it. As I said from the beginning of this entire journey, every experience in life can be lesson (if you let it). In this specific lesson, I learned the expectation Cisco has for becoming a DevNet Expert. I thought I had what it took to pass a second attempt with a quick turnaround time and was wrong (yes, it’s fine to admit when you’re wrong). Ultimately, this exam required more time and labbing hours than the time I allotted.

Now that we have the negative news out of the way, let’s take a look at some key takeaways from this attempt. A positive result from this attempt is that I scored better in the weak areas from my first attempt (I’m looking at you section ‘4.0 Containers’). I find this to be a small win, but worth noting. During the month preparation between my attempts, I focused heavily on my noticeably weak areas and it paid off (obviously not completely, since I ultimately did not pass, but you get the point!). So where do I go from here?

What’s Next?

Before you ask, I will not be making a third attempt in another month. Actually, I do not plan to retake the exam for at least a year or so. I plan to reassess sometime next year. There are many reasons for the long time off, but let’s start with the number one reason. This Fall, my wife and I are expecting our daughter (first time Dad!). I’m beyond excited and there won’t be anything taking my attention away from her once she’s here. Besides entering parenthood, I also want to let the exam “bake in” and allow it to gain some traction in the industry before making another attempt. There are some things that I hope change with the exam, but I know that will take time since it will require feedback from other candidates.

Even though I’m taking a break from studying, I plan to continue livestreaming on YouTube every Thursday night at 8pm EST. I plan to resume my livestreaming schedule later this month or in early July. I have a list of topics I want to stream, including side projects (resuming my NetCheck project) and possibly learning a new programming language (Go). Please feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@devnetdan) if you prefer one, or have any other ideas!

Well, I think that’s enough about me for one post. Thank you again to everyone that has provided support during this journey. It’s not over yet, but will require some time off while life takes priority. As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@devnetdan) if you have any questions or just want to chat! Thanks for reading!

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