The Linux Foundation, in collaboration with the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), today launched a free introductory course to the open source Jenkins continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform as part of what it plans will become a series of free and paid online DevOps tools courses.
Clyde Seepersad, general manager of training at the Linux Foundation, said that while the foundation already provides access to some higher-level conceptual DevOps courses, the launch of the CDF last year provides a knowledge base from which the Linux Foundation can now provide online courses specific to DevOps tools. The CDF is an arm of The Linux Foundation.
The Linux Foundation will also provide courses on Spinnaker, a CD platform, and other DevOps tools that, along with Jenkins, are now being developed under the auspices of the CDF, he added.
In general, Seepersad said demand for DevOps expertise is increasing as organizations more aggressively embrace digital business transformation initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, IT teams are adopting a wider range of cloud-native technologies to build more flexible and resilient applications. DevOps platforms such as Jenkins make it possible for IT teams to build those applications faster.
The challenge many organizations underestimate is the extent of changes to their internal IT culture required to make that transition, Seepersad said—too many organizations still put tools into the hands of developers without really thinking through the workflow issues between developers and IT operations teams.
The most important thing for any organization to do, he said, is to make sure there is an open DevOps dialogue versus tiptoeing around issues that will tend to increase resistance only further.
Ultimately, free training should help expand the overall size of the DevOps community at a time when many IT professionals are trying to increase their skills. DevOps professionals not only command higher salaries, but they are also less likely to be laid off. DevOps teams oversee the development and deployment of applications and can also programmatically manage levels of infrastructure that IT administrators relying on traditional graphical user interface (GUI) tools can’t match. That’s a critical issue when many IT organizations these days are trying to do a lot more with even less.
There’s nothing quite like an economic crisis to focus everyone’s mind. The biggest DevOps challenge any organization typically faces is overcoming inertia. Too many IT professionals have relatively narrow skillsets that conspire to increase the total size of the IT organization. In addition to relying on increased levels of automation to reduce costs, IT leaders want to be able to scale IT environments without having to increase headcount.
It may take a little while longer for the transition to DevOps to fully play out. However, it’s now more of a question of existential survival rather than if or even to what degree to embrace DevOps. Organizations that don’t embrace DevOps processes to ruthlessly automate the management of IT now might very well never get another chance.