Many organizations are struggling to realize well-engineered DevOps, even ‘the first way’ of DevOps – continuous flow.
DevOps is an evolving body of knowledge. There is no one-stop shop that covers all roles and the complete range of skills required for DevOps. A DevOps-competent workforce requires an ongoing commitment to DevOps skills development and mastery. Enterprises must approach DevOps training strategically to leverage training resources to their best advantage.
Learning Continuous Flow
The first way of DevOps, continuous flow, is the foundation for DevOps.
Why Is Learning Continuous Flow Important to Engineering DevOps?
A knowledgeable, skilled workforce is needed to meet strategic objectives. Without a solid understanding of DevOps concepts and terminology, communication between people and teams is inefficient and a source of bottlenecks and misunderstandings. Developing hands-on skills for the tools and workflows is needed to understand and implement DevOps pipelines. There is an industry-wide shortage of skilled DevOps candidates. New skills foster innovation. Knowledge workers reduce production costs and reduce mistakes. Having skilled coworkers makes for a satisfying working environment. Employee retention is better. Competitive advantages are derived from knowledge.
How Is Learning Continuous Flow Accomplished?
The following are recommended engineering practices for learning continuous flow.
People are encouraged to be continuous learners with an ongoing commitment to DevOps skills development. DevOps training is approached strategically to ensure DevOps training is well aligned to business goals. DevOps skills gap assessments are conducted and used to define and refine the training strategy. Leaders and cross-functional teams are encouraged to take DevOps fundamentals training. Leaders define a training strategy that best fits the needs and priorities of the organization to meet critical skills gaps.
The training strategy considers which skills and roles can be covered by inexpensive self-study resources. Determine which skills and roles warrant more costly training. DevOps training has a distinct budget. Compliance to DevOps training programs are tracked. DevOps leadership training is offered to management and staff that have a role relevant to DevOps. DevOps tools training includes the recommended engineering practices for using each DevOps tool in the Service Catalog. Staff are encouraged and supported to take DevOps certifications that are relevant to their assigned roles.
A DevOps training program is defined and includes a recommended curriculum for each role including leaders, developers, QA, Ops, and infrastructure and security staff that are operating in a DevOps environment. Recommended DevOps training resources are cataloged, and the catalog is visible for all stakeholders. Merit and recognition programs encourage employees to master DevOps skills.
All staff is allocated time for DevOps training. DevOps mentoring programs supplement formal training. Job swapping and immersive training is encouraged and planned. People are encouraged to attend external conferences and meetups and share what they learn with other team members.
What Is Needed to Implement Learning for Continuous Flow?
The following are recommended engineering practices for implementing a learning program for continuous flow.
Assign roles and responsibilities for DevOps training leadership (e.g., DevOps Sensei, Training PM, evangelist). Conduct a DevOps skills gap assessment. Define a training strategy that best addresses the gaps and fits the needs and priorities of the organization. Define a training budget that includes expenses and time allocations per role and skill.
Determine which skills and roles can be covered by inexpensive self-study resources. Determine which skills and roles warrant more costly commercial training. Identify training goals for each role. Ensure job recruiting profiles match skill requirements for DevOps skills that are most relevant to the organization strategic goals. Put in place the means to make training resources visible and available. Set training goals for teams and individuals. Put in place incentives and recognition programs for completion of training.
Some of the best sources of DevOps training resources are listed below:
1. The DevOps Institute
2. Partners of The DevOps Institute, such as Learning Tree International and Xellentro
4. Recorded talks and publications available through IT Revolution
5. Books such as my own Engineering DevOps, by Marc Hornbeek.
What this Means
Organizations need a trained workforce to succeed with DevOps—even ‘The First Way’ of DevOps—continuous flow. Organizations need to approach DevOps training strategically to leverage DevOps training resources to their best advantage. To learn more about my blueprint for learning all things DevOps, refer to my book Engineering DevOps.