Digitization is placing unprecedented demands on businesses today and on those responsible for building, maintaining, and expanding their networks as they transform, innovate, and grow.

Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) is evolving the network to an automated, software-driven model that responds at the pace of digital business. And, as the industry embraces DNA, Learning@Cisco is delivering the skills needed to design, develop, and implement new, virtualized, software-centric network models that support ongoing digital innovation.

Three key training and certification programs have recently been introduced, as Cisco continues to expand its progressive learning portfolio:

  • New training for the Network Programmability Design and Implementation (NPDESI) Specialist certification
  • A revised Network Programmability Developer (NPDEV) Specialist certification
  • A new Cisco Digital Network Architecture Implementation Essentials (Cisco DNAIE) boot camp for professionals who are already deploying Cisco DNA


Let’s go into these offerings in more detail.

For Network Engineers: NPDESI

Designed for network engineers, the Cisco NPDESI Specialist certification is for those who hold an active CCNP or CCDP certification and want to learn crucial network programmability skills.

cisco-network-programmability.jpgIt provides network engineers with a comprehensive soup-to-nuts curriculum to develop and validate automation and programming skills and directly addresses the evolving role of network engineers toward more programmability, automation, and orchestration. Training for the exam is offered both as an instructor-led training workshop via Cisco Learning Partners, and as self-paced interactive training replete with videos, integrated labs, and assessments.

Cisco is also introducing Programming for Network Engineers (PRNE), new self-paced training designed to be of immediate value to network engineers looking to use network programming to simplify or automate tasks.

PRNE is a recommended prerequisite for the Cisco NPDESI certification. It covers the fundamentals of Python programming within the context of performing functions relevant to network engineers.

For Application Developers: Revised NPDEV

Cisco is revising its NPDEV Specialist certification to provide application developers with a comprehensive curriculum to develop infrastructure programming skills. It includes instruction on data handling and formats, the fundamentals of networking and network programmability, APIs and automation protocols, data models, operations, and controller platforms and protocols. When you pass the NPDEV or NPDESI exam, you recertify any existing CCNA or CCNP certifications.

Training for the NPDEV certification is being offered both as an instructor-led training workshop via Cisco Learning Partners, and as self-paced interactive training that includes videos, integrated labs, and assessments.

For Engineers Rolling Out Cisco DNA Today: New Cisco DNAIE

Already got Cisco DNA in your organization? We’ve got you covered. The new Cisco DNAIE course supports networking professionals who are implementing Cisco DNA today. Students taking the five-day DNAIE training—available as an instructor-led training workshop with Cisco Learning Partners, and as self-paced interactive training that includes videos, integrated labs, and assessments—will learn general concepts, including the role of orchestration and automation enabled by controllers in Cisco DNA, integration with other technologies, and security implementation.

Reskilling to Stay Relevant

Cisco has been a leader in learning for decades, and we continue to deliver, developing talent truly capable of transforming businesses in the digital age.

cisco-network-programmability.jpgIn the span of 18 months, we will be well on our way to completing a full reskilling cycle with our three million-strong technical community, and will continue to evolve our portfolio with an increasingly interdisciplinary approach.

We’re continuously expanding our list of digital skills training to include topics like Cisco DNA Fundamentals, Data Analytics, Network Programmability, Cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, and Business Skills. These fields are embedded into all of our CCIE programs, as well as in the CCNA and CCNP certifications.

We’re also continuously evolving our certifications portfolio to help keep your skills relevant as the industry evolves and new technologies emerge. Recent additions like the NPDESI, CCNA Cyber Ops, and Cisco Enterprise IT Business Specialist certifications are helping our community develop IT skills essential to ensuring enterprise success today, and in the future.

For more information on the new and revised Network Programmability certification portfolio, please visit the following pages here on the Cisco Learning Network:


To learn more about the industry and technology shifts driving the need for programmable networks, read the companion piece to this post on the "Enterprise Network" blog: "Empowering IT for Massive Network Change" by Prashanth Shenoy.

I welcome your feedback and questions in the comments section below.


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Antonella Corno_final_thumb.jpgAntonella Corno has 20+ years of experience in the IT industry, as part of a career spanning two continents (Europe and North America), in several leading IT companies, most recently at Cisco. While she has been in technology R&D for most of her career, her interest has recently shifted to the training and certifications that are supporting and enabling the workforce of the future, and she is now responsible for the Application, Software, and Cloud Team within the Product Strategy group of Learning@Cisco.