By Gologic with the collaboration of Alexandre Couëdelo.
You will find new and innovative tools every year to add or replace your technical stack. There is a real need for IT professionals to stay on top of the wave by choosing the right DevOps course.
Add the fact that while the “DevOps” position is relatively new on the market, the demand has exploded in the past years. As a result, whether you are a Dev, QA, OPS looking to learn DevOps or add skill to your luggage, a manager looking to upskill your employees, or a DevOps practitioner looking to deepen your knowledge you may be wondering What training should I look for?
In this article, we will have a look at the possible options depending on your knowledge about DevOps and how to choose the DevOps training that makes the most sense in your context.
Where to start?
What may be confusing about DevOps is its “Buzz word” usage, therefore, some reading would be best to get on the right track. In terms of books, we believe in the rule of three:
If you were to read three books about a topic you would be an expert compared to 99% of the population.
So here are the most important books to have in your collection or borrow from a colleague:
- The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, Jez Humble who is notably known as the fathers of DevOps. In this book, you will learn about the IT industry’s challenges and how the DevOps approach proposed to solve them. You will notably learn about the four pillars of DevOps: Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing.
- The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim brings you to a not so fictive company struggling with its digital transformation and IT operation. This book also illustrates the challenge the IT industry is facing. Unlike The DevOps Handbook, The Unicorn Project is an immersive novel that should make you smile at dysfunction when you recognize them.
- Accelerate by Jez Humble, Gene Kim again is a more technical book that aims to explain the methodology and key takeaway from the now-famous “State of DevOps Report”. This book truly takes the time to explain the different correlations between key factors in IT and highlight which to leverage to achieve faster and reliable delivery of software.
If reading isn’t your thing, you may want to consider training such as DevOps Foundation® from the DevOps Institute. Aimed at a large audience of people working in the IT field, this training presents the fundamentals, the basis of terminology as well as the advantages of a DevOps culture.
Strength DevOps foundations
DevOps means fostering collaboration between several roles, system administrators, IT development and operations teams, project management… While individual roles require specific skills there is come to the knowledge that everyone should possess to work in a DevOps environment:
- Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous deployment: these practices are simply the backbone of the DevOps methodology, also forming the basis of the CI/CD pipelines.
- Automation and Pipeline as code: setting up the pipeline and writing simple automation scripts is the second must-have skill and knowledge in a DevOps environment. Check our article on the subject: #1-Jenkins, #2-Concourse, #3-GitLab, #4-CircleCI, #5-TravisCI, #6-Azure DevOps
- Monitoring and retroaction: you build it, you run it? Do you have the skill to detect and troubleshoot problems in production? If not, this has to be on your list. You should read Google Cloud’s Blog to learn more about the key concept of monitoring and discover the SRE model, which is becoming the market standard in terms of monitoring practices.
You can find many articles to sharpen your understanding of these three points. But if you are getting started, you should consider enrolling in a training program to build a solid foundation and obtain. Cloud Providers are at the center of the IT market nowadays, therefore you have to be familiar with at least one of the big 3 (AWS, GCP, Azure). Each of them offers a DevOps foundation certification that cover the three points mentioned above:
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional Exam
- Azure DevOps Solution Certification Exam
- Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
Becoming a DevOps expert
Specialize in a role
Once you know about DevOps and the main DevOps tools, you will need to work on your technical expertise to complete your day-to-day tasks. It may be tricky to find your way through the many skills and technologies available. Luckily, you can rely on roadmap.sh to give you a general ideal of what you will need to learn. The learning path will be very different from one individual to another depending on its interest. There are so many tools and skills that no one can reasonably master them all.
Learn technical skills or new tools
As you can see on roadmap.sh you often have many tools to learn. What works best (at least for us) is online classes and reading blog posts.
You can gain general knowledge about a topic by surfing the web and reading online publications such as dev.to, Medium, The New Stack. We believe practicing with articles and tutorials is the fastest way to learn. You can also opt for online courses. We found that LinkedIn learning and Udemy had a very good offering of quality video content.
Achieve a specific expertise
We talked earlier about AWS, GCP, and Azure DevOps foundation certification but you may want to dig deeper into the user of these cloud services. All provide set of DevOps certification, where you need to select the role you which to be certified for:
On top of being an expert in Cloud technologies, if you really want to stand out you should consider learning Kubernetes. Kubernetes is one of the most successful container management platforms on the market, and many companies have turned to it to manage their workload. As a result, grabbing one of the following certifications is a must:
- Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD): the main focus of this certification is to demonstrate the ability to create and manage cloud applications with Kubernetes.
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA): this counterpart certification focuses on the ability to manage a Kubernetes cluster and understand the inner mechanism of the platform.
In order to properly choose your training, you need to build your plan around three axes.
First, knowing the foundations of DevOps. Knowing about DevOps is a lot like learning about Agile, you need to focus on understanding the methodology and the mindset.
Second, focus on the core practices of DevOps. Those are the skills that let all of our work together and deliver fast and reliable value increments to the end-user.
Lastly, focus on your personnel development, what skill do you need to perform better in your position or aim for a new position. In the latter case, certifications tend to be a must-have because no one can claim they have 10 years of experience on a given technology anymore. So certifications are the best mark of validation.
By Gologic with the collaboration of Alexandre Couëdelo.