Resources to help put you on the right DevOps career path
The demand for DevOps solutions is set to achieve an annual compound growth rate of 16.5 percent in North America for the 2017-2023 period, according to KBV Research. Globally, the DevOps market size is expected to reach nearly $9 billion in five years. That we’re facing a tsunami of skills shortages goes without saying.
Yesterday’s view of IT operations tended toward the “Dev” side being the “makers” and the “Ops” side being the people that deal with the creation after its birth. The realization of the sheer amount of inefficiencies that occur when these siloed concerns work at cross purposes became a main core driver behind DevOps.
So What is DevOps, Really?
Jez Humble, co-author of “The DevOps Handbook,” defines DevOps elegantly as “a cross-disciplinary community of practice dedicated to the study of building, evolving and operating rapidly changing resilient systems at scale.”
DevOps can be described in many ways. The Agile Admin blog claims it simply as:
“… the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service life cycle, from design through the development process to production support. DevOps can be interpreted as an outgrowth of Agile – agile software development prescribes close collaboration of customers, product management, developers, and (sometimes) QA to fill in the gaps and rapidly iterate towards a better product.”
Education and Training
There are plenty of resources available for wannabe practitioners to cut their teeth, starting with Lynda.com courses on the LinkedIn Learning channel.
- DevOps Foundations – a set of videos designed for beginners;
- DevOps Foundations: Infrastructure Automation – covers infrastructure automation concepts with demos;
- DevOps Foundations: Continuous Delivery – fundamentals of continuous integration and delivery;
It is even possible to earn professional certification. For example, certification for a DevOps engineer from Cloud Academy comprises more than 32 hours of interactive content (including 16 video courses and 11 hands-on labs) to help you learn the DevOps ropes. Courses include content on networking, security and deployment.
The DevOps Institute is another great resource, offering a range of courses to help DevOps practitioners of all competencies gain education and experience. The organization curates its members and the DevOps community in general to track and trend the latest and most innovative approaches to DevOps, and offers certification and “digital badging” to its members.
But what if you don’t want to, or can’t take the steps needed to earn certification?
Kaushal Amin, CTO at Atlanta-based KMS Technology, an outsourcing services provider with 500 developers in Vietnam, said it takes some studying, networking and, above all, people skills. Talk with IT professionals outside of your organization who are already established in DevOps, as experience can be one of the most valuable resources available. Amin proposes three helpful steps for IT professionals looking to learn about DevOps:
- Gain a highly focused understanding of DevOps via low-cost online courses offered by Udemy such as Modern DevOps and Mastering DevOps.
- Talk with friends and colleagues in different roles from your own. Devs should reach out to systems administrators to discuss job responsibilities and tools used. Attend conferences and training sessions to meet people in different DevOps roles.
- Talk with QA test engineers. They’re the people at the end of the DevOps process responsible for executing quality assurance.
Amin suggests that after you’ve gained familiarity with DevOps, try out popular cloud-based app development platforms such as Heroku. These providers often offer free versions that can help foster an easy learning path while showcasing cloud services that can help DevOp teams create business process apps and avoid headaches typically associated with assembling or managing platforms and IT infrastructures.
Tracking the entire software development life cycle is fraught with complexity. Rookies can take comfort in scanning through a glossary of commonly used DevOps terms and concepts.
No collection of resources is complete without a reading list. At the top of most DevOps-related booklists is, “The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win,” by stalwart veterans Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford. Other notable reads include:
- “Building a DevOps Culture,” by Mandi Walls
- O’Reilly Media’s “Effective DevOps: Building a Culture of Collaboration, Affinity, and Tooling at Scale,” by Jennifer Davis and Ryn Daniels
- “The IT Manager’s Guide to Continuous Delivery: Delivering Software in Days,” by Andrew Phillips, Michiel Sens and Adriaan de Jonge
And beyond this website, which offers a plethora of DevOps-related content ranging from articles to videos, podcasts to webinars, another helpful resource is DevOpsLinks.com, a learning community of professionals looking to share tips and best practices. As its founder Aymen El Amri, puts it, “For evangelists, DevOps is a culture and a transformation. For some engineers, DevOps is a set of agile tools and techniques. For managers, DevOps is probably a methodology. For other people it is just a buzzword and for recruiters, DevOps is a job.”