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First year of Arista’s practical exams

As dates go, it doesn’t get much more momentous than this – we are celebrating the first year of Arista’s practical exams! January 25, 2022 – SDN Pros rolled out Arista’s first ever lab-based exam and we could not have foreseen what this year would truly become.


Arista Core Exams First Anniversary - Infographic of Statistics

SDN Pros, in partnership with Arista, has paved the way for this modern approach, giving Engineers the opportunity to show their abilities in a tangible way. This was an arduous task that took hundreds of hours of preparation to ensure we were able to provide the best, continually updating, adjusting and improving the quality of these exams.


For many students, adjusting to this new style of exams is challenging, demanding a practical application proving onerous; however the inquisitive nature of these engineers continues to push them to engage and overcome the challenge. It is equally difficult for us, keeping up with the demands of this new lab-based environment, but it’s worth it.


The year ahead continues to bring excitement to our SDN Pros and Arista teams, with the success of the L6 & L7 Expert exams on the horizon. We are thankful to have such an innovative and forward thinking team here, constantly pushing the boundaries to create the best in the industry.


“This first year of running all exams as practical labs was extremely challenging. Not only did we bring something new to the market that we feel better tests a candidate’s networking skills, but we did it while manually grading each and every exam to account for the small inconsistencies between submissions when a particular task may be completed with different configurations.

This excellent work can be attributed to the team members of Arista Training and SDN Pros who all believe in helping network engineers get better at what they do. Looking forward to another year of progress and for our first ACE Experts to be certified soon.”

Shawn Jones, COO, SDN Pros

“The move away from multiple choice exams to practical lab exams, while a huge undertaking, has generated so much positive feedback among customers that it is hard to think of conducting exams in any other way.  It has given our customers a chance to prove their skills and feel confident that the investment was worth it.  Manual grading and secondary proctoring has added the “Arista Way” to the process, making sure that we support candidates through the process.”

Rich Parkin, Head of Training Infrastructure, Arista