I usually do not care too much about diplomas or certifications. To me, one’s value isn’t reflected by a piece of paper but rather by his or her actions, dedication, motivation and efficiency. And yet, I decided to become DevOps certified and furthermore, become a teacher for that very same certification. Have I gone insane or did I make a choice based on reasons that could appeal to you? Read further to find out.
Set up a standard.
I have been advocating DevOps for years now, reading everything I could about it when it was just a fun word created by Debois and recently writing quite a lot and giving conferences about it too. One thing that always strike me is that, no matter the context, no matter the experience of the people I’m speaking to, there is always one person asking me: “but can you tell me what exactly is DevOps?”.
DevOps strength is also its weakness. By not defining a manifesto, a chart of good conduct or even a clear definition, DevOps leaves room for improvement over time but also creates what it tries to break down: silos. By being so undefined, you end with people “in the know” and the others who are desperately trying to get a grasp of an idea that’s clear to many.
A certification, while arguable, brings exactly that level of standardisation we needed. By enabling me to have a clear definition of what DevOps is, it gives me the opportunity to spread it further but not only that, I also finally talk about the same thing as others around the globe. Gone are the days where you would see a new definition a minute, now that we all know – and agree on – what we are talking about, we can finally start to actually do it.
I could have stopped here, taking the certification, being all knowledgeable about that topic but it would have been a bit against DevOps’ philosophy. Sharing is caring and if I get people to understand at least the basics of I what I preach, then we understand each other better and I make others better at their job (hopefully). And that’s exactly why I became a teacher: to spread the word and get people who don’t know to finally know. People over everything else, right?
The DevOps Institute.
Ok this part will sound a bit like a commercial but I’m just going to explain the reasoning behind my decision to go with that one.
There are many certifications about the topic popping up these days so it was not necessarily an easy decision to make. After all, since we are still discussing whether or not to have a certification on that specific field, nobody was more legitimate than another. And then I read this article by our dear Alan Shimel: here.
The fact that his name was associated with a certification intrigued me and I went to check it out. Then I realized that names I was already familiar with were also a part the institute (Lisa Schwartz and Jayne Groll) which made me think I was actually facing serious people.
I read a bit more about them and discovered that both Gene Kim and Sanjeev Sharma, two persons I highly respect and read a lot from, were part of the institute’s board.
That was it! It all went super-fast after I took contact with the institute. I filled up the usual forms and in no time, I was in the program, training myself to become the trainer, reading even more about DevOps, learning some new things and exchanging with brilliant minds before taking the final exam.
What it all means
While it won’t change your life, those of you who wanted to become unicorns still have to buy a costume for that, becoming a certification trainer gives you the opportunity to meet and help people who want to know more. Whether or not they take the actual test does not really matter. What matters is that you hold the same speech as others around the world and that people who come to you with questions might leave with a bit better understanding of what it is that you talk about.
Before comments rain down on me, telling me that this is heresy and that I should be condemned to watch Nyan cats for 48 hours non-stop, I just want to precise that I do not have any interest in anything other than my job. I am just advocating for a certification and explaining why I took this one more than another.