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Learn DevOps: The Best Courses and Resources

Throughout your career in tech, you are bound to encounter common workplace issues such as a lack of communication. A communication problem may seem small at first, but it can balloon exponentially throughout the course of a project. To prevent these small issues from ever occurring, many companies use DevOps processes.

DevOps organizes staff within a tech company to avoid communications and project management headaches. The goal of the process is to maintain high-quality software products while decreasing the amount of time spent on development. 

What Is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of principles that combines software development with IT operations. The term DevOps comes from the words: development and operations.

These procedures are designed to shorten the software development cycle by allowing teams to rapidly make changes. DevOps is faster than traditional development practices because it allows the team in charge of coding and developing the software and the team in charge of deploying it to work together.

DevOps is considered an evolution of the Agile software development method, which emphasizes a people-first approach to programming. DevOps takes those ideas and builds on them, creating a looser framework designed to benefit software engineers.

What Jobs Use DevOps Skills?

DevOps is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes to push high-quality software through the development process. This rapid turnaround from conception to delivery has proven effective. There are many companies and jobs out there that have integrated this method into their workflow. 

  • DevOps engineer. This job has sprung up as DevOps practices have gained traction at software companies. The person in this role is in charge of designing efficient practices to suit a specific company and ensuring that the company sticks to those methods.

  • Software developer. There would be no DevOps without the “dev.” Developers work within the DevOps framework to innovate new software and tweak old releases throughout the development cycle.

Devops software developers usually release updates more often than software developers who use other methods. This is because DevOps does not require the developers to seek approval from another department before releasing changes. 

  • IT specialist. IT operations is an equally important part of the DevOps equation. This side is in charge of deploying a piece of software and ensuring that it is stable. As deployment is generally automated, these operators must keenly monitor the rollout after the software goes live. 

Smaller rollouts after the initial deployment ensure that the base architecture of the software is never placed under stress due to huge updates.

  • Systems administrator. Systems administrators are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s networking services are up-to-date and working as intended. To do this, they must follow each rollout closely and make sure that the software has been implemented properly. 

Steps to Learn DevOps

The DevOps method contains several key practices that work in concert to ensure rapid work and maximum stability. Below is how you should go about learning the methods so that you can apply them to your workplace.

1. Learn How to Develop Software

If you’re going to oversee software developers, you’ll have to understand their job. To get started, you should learn common programming languages such as Python, C, C++, Java, or Linux.

Job posts will usually list which programming language is required, so you will only need to learn one language in the beginning.

2. Learn About IT Operations and Systems Administration

In addition to learning about software development, you will also have to learn about the deployment side of the process.

IT operators are responsible for updating a program’s code regularly and automating that process as the software continues to grow. Systems administrators build and maintain servers for smaller organizations. Since they are in charge of ensuring that networks are functioning properly, they are often the first ones to receive feedback on software rollouts.

Once you have an understanding of the development, deployment, and implementation of software, you’ll be able to predict and avoid challenges that may arise in each role over the course of a new project.

3. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

If you are willing to dedicate the time and money, it can be helpful to learn about either side of DevOps by getting a bachelor’s degree in computer science or IT. The majority of job listings will require that applicants have a degree in one of these fields.

4. Supplement Your Knowledge

After you have learned one side of DevOps in a college environment, you’ll still have to brush up on the other side. With plenty of online courses and certificates available, this step shouldn’t be too difficult or time-consuming.

If you’re uncomfortable with self-paced learning, it may be worth it to complete an associate degree in software or IT. This could also make you more appealing to potential employers.

5. Explore DevOps Software

DevOps engineers can use several platforms to complete their tasks. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the open-source Red Hat software are three of the most common DevOps tools.

These options all follow the principles that define DevOps, including continuous integration and continuous delivery. Much like the programming languages mentioned above, different organizations will have different tool preferences. 

The Best Courses to Learn DevOps

A woman in an orange shirt takes notes as she reads text on a Mac desktop computer.
DevOps is at the intersection of software and IT, and you’ll have to study both fields before you’re ready for a job in this field.

As we mentioned above, there are quite a few courses to choose from to beef up your knowledge of DevOps. The classes below will help you master DevOps practices.

DevOps, CI/CD(Continuous Integration/Delivery) for Beginners

This one-hour Udemy course will introduce you to the DevOps process from the ground up. It compares and contrasts DevOps with the formerly popular software delivery cycles, and explains the advantages of the new system.

The course also explores the history of DevOps to show how it has, and how tools have improved in order to avoid some commonly-faced hurdles.

Set up a Continuous Integration (CI) workflow in CIrcleCI

This project from Coursera is designed for people who’ve never worked with a continuous integration tool before. As an example, this course is based around the tool, CIrcle CI, which you can use to implement CI into your routine.

The class explains CI from the ground up, so if you’re looking for a deep dive into the CI process and its benefits, then this course is a good choice.

AWS Developer: Deploying on AWS

If you’re interested in deploying your software on the AWS platform, then this EdX course is the one for you. You’ll learn all the steps to DevOps as they pertain to AWS. You’ll also learn more about collaborating with your team in the AWS environment and automating your work to ensure software rollouts go smoothly. 

AZ-104: Prerequisites for Azure administrators

This course from Microsoft is the first step towards earning your DevOps Engineer Expert certification. This certification is proof that you’ve mastered every part of the Azure ecosystem, and that you know how to work with your team and the technology to guarantee smooth deployment. After passing this course and your exam, you’ll be a qualified Azure Associate, which is a prerequisite to taking the aforementioned DevOps Engineer Expert exam.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Technical Overview

This free course from Red Hat is the first step to getting certified in the company’s enterprise software. This course will let you get a feel for the Red Hat software before you decide to sign up for any paid courses or take a certification exam. 

Why Learn DevOps?

If you’re coming from the perspective of a company, DevOps can drastically streamline your software development process, saving you time and money. 

However, DevOps training may require a shift in company culture. In order for it to work, the organization in question and employees must buy into the fact that a change needs to be made. If you aren’t sure that DevOps is the right choice for your organization, you can explore a few DevOps alternatives before making the plunge.

Starting a career as a DevOps engineer or as a team member using DevOps processes is a different story. By taking some of the courses above, you’ll be prepared to work with a system that is already well-established worldwide. Learning about DevOps before beginning a new job will shorten your onboarding process and allow you to jump right into work.

DevOps can improve the productivity of employees and companies as a whole, and for that reason, its value is almost immeasurable.

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