I passed, just barely. I'll say that your training with Global Knowledge was probably exactly what I went through. I used the Cisco learning library which I heard is the same criteria that all the other training partners use. I actually looked into GK specifically a couple weeks ago and saw the same exactly course outline.
Now if we did have the same training I would tell you that you are not prepared right now. I'm pretty salty, honestly. I don't think the training made available to me through Cisco was appropriate and in fact I got questions that weren't even on the syllabus. Luckily I used a multiple external references like a training course on ACI by Lumos consulting on youtube. And lots of white papers on all the protocols, controllers, api's and yang. Some of it was valuable some of it wasn't.
I am planning to take the exam as well but I do not have any idea on what to expect, especially since the topic is quite broad. I'm curious if this exam will have a hands on / simulations like the other certification. I mean most of the hands one that I am experiencing focus on installations and scripting and I'm wondering if things like this will appear as simulation.
I am kind of in the same boat.
I will take 300-560 NPDEV exam. I only have the online course material from Cisco Learning System. No books, no training questions, nothing, they just do not exist. Course material has 7-8 challenge questions at the end of each chapter, that is all.
Any ideas, past experiences from NPDEV certified people?
Sure that would be good. I took the Cisco Designing and Implementing Cisco Network Programmability (NPDESI) v.1.0. This is a great training very clear and very easy to follow. Also what I like about it is that it has questions that you can test on and very good labs.
I have read white papers random ones but I need to start a collection of them and organize them per topics. On my own I have read several python books just to learn python in general. I took a basic intro class in ACI with Global Knowledge but it didn't cover API just the basic and that was good. I have done labs on devnet. But I still feel that I'm far from ready and I need to do more labs, ready more white papers, and get more documentation per the exam blue print.
I have successfully passed exam NPDESI in January so here is just brief overview what I used as study material in case you are interested. As it is written in exam overview you can expect between 65-75 questions.
For studying material I used SDN recorded seminars + I would definitely suggest to go through DEVNET labs and study material published there. Helped me a lot to understand how actually all those pieces match to each other and get some hands on experience.
I would also suggest to go through YANG RFC 6244 & 6020.
I watched on Safari "Network Programmability Fundamentals" by Kevin Wallace.
My CCNP R&S expires early next year and I am planning on taking the 300-550 NPDESI.
I see there is a new Press Book which has been released, though waiting for it to be stocked by Amazon. The Press Book does not actually mention the Exam, though does have a lot of content which covers the given Topics of 300-550.
Passed NPDESI 300-550 exam!
Let me shortly put some words together as a review of my NPDESI journey. I tried to put some useful links together as reference to start with or as additional resources for studying.
Finally completed, but still not finished!
It was a journey of almost 1,5 years from doing the first real steps on Network Programmability and Automation topics at the DevNet zone at Cisco Live 2018 in Barcelona until I passed the exam on my second attempt last Friday.
In January 2019, I took the free exam shot at Cisco Live Barcelona and failed. At this time I was only really prepared and covered nearly 60% of all content so far, but I do not want to waste the opportunity to take a free exam. The exam itself was not the only reason why I have chosen it, because all my Cisco certifications would have been expired in July 2019. The NPDESI exam is a 300 professional level exam which means passing it will re-certify your professional level certifications.
Let's step back to the exam preparation. As I already wrote I started using the Cisco DevNet free available resources. I went through several learning labs, tracks, and modules focused on basic Python, REST, RESTCONF, NETCONF and API topics. I also did some hands-on at the DevNet Sandboxes, for example with Cisco's APIC-EM.
At the beginning it was not easy to get familiar with all those topics because everything was in the lab and on the projects I worked there was no focus on any scripting or automation. But over time there came more interest on the daly work and it was very helpful to use some parts in real life as compared to the labs.
In June 2018 I found the Cisco e-Learning course NPDESI and decided to purchase it and take the exam after completing it. It is available on the Store at Cisco Learning Network Store:
I think the course is well structured and covers the topics from the blueprint, but as it is with all Cisco certifications you need to look over the plate and use further resources. All the videos are easy to listen and the topics are explained good. I liked the different hands-on labs on the course. Sometimes the labs did not respond properly, but it did not happen very often and a restart of the lab always helped. The labs helped a lot in understanding the section topics by doing hands-on of what they talked about. I can also recommend playing around with the scripts and tools which were used on the labs to get even more familiar with it. You can use some of the scripts from Python and requests from Postman, modify it a little bit, and test it at the Cisco DevNet Sandoxes, for example on Cisco APIC-EM always-on lab.
Let's move on to more resources to use. One additional resource I can highly recommend the O'Reilly book "Network Programmability and Automation: Skills for the Next-Generation Network Engineer" from Jason Edelman:
I did not read the Cisco Press book "Programming and Automating Cisco Networks: A guide to network programmability and automation in the data center, campus, and WAN" from Ryan Tischer and Jason Gooley, but from what I heared it is also a good resource for preparation:
I also used many Cisco documentation pages for several controller solutions like Cisco's APIC, APIC-EM, and ACI as well as some good documentations from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and OpenDaylight web pages:
Make really sure you know the YANG data models. There is a complete section on the blueprint with 23% of the whole exam for data models. Some of the DevNet tracks and modules cover YANG data modelling topic, but I would recommend reading the RFC's as well. Here are the most important RFCs:
On the Wikipedia page you can find all references to any YANG RFC's:
If you did not use version control tools right now, take a look and Git and Github:
At last but not least you need to take a look how Ansible and Puppet can be used to solve Programmability and Automation challenges in modern networks. More focus is on Ansible as it is an agentless tools and easy to begin with:
As I wrote above, I'm not finished with this. I think Network Programmability and Automation is an ongoing process for all modern Network Engineers or better called as Next-Generation Network Engineers.
You need to get more familiar with all the tools and techniques which come along from different vendors and especially from the communities at CLN, GitHub, or any other community you are part of.
Currently I'm working on several projects to use many of the things I have learned during the course and I hope to evolve over time. The great thing about the all communities is that you discover new things almost every day or week which can be useful for your day-to-day work.
Working together on projects and sharing knowledge and experience is one of the things I like the most and anyone can participate and benefit!
Hope you like this short summary.