Being a good DevOps professional means understanding how to apply your skills to make developing and deploying tech faster and more seamless.
The expression ‘DevOps’ comes from a portmanteau of the words development and operations. In the tech world, DevOps professionals are very much in demand and the types of roles you can work in range from DevOps engineer to build and release engineer, automation manager, security architect and product manager.
DevOps teams are fundamental to innovation because they offer a lot of benefits such as the ability to continuously deliver software, and greater ease of deployment along with better security.
In this piece, we’ll focus mostly on continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD), both of which are key components of the DevOps worker’s role.
That brings us to the first of four pieces of advice you’ll need if you want to brush up on your DevOps and CI/CD skills.
Understand the DevOps lifecycle
CI and CD come in to play usually in the middle phase of the DevOps lifecycle, so before a software product is released into the market but after the testing phase during which the application is designed and trialled.
CI refers to the process by which new features are integrated automatically into the original app’s existing codebase after errors and tweaks have been identified.
Then comes CD, which involves packaging and deploying applications from the development server to the production server. When the software has been deployed, operations teams move in to do things like configure servers and monitor any issues.
Finally, as this Cloud Guru article points out, it is very important to “understand customer pain” and know how your skills can help save time on deployment.
Learn the tools
There are a lot of DevOps CI and CD tools out there, many of which you’ll have heard of before like Microsoft Azure, Bitbucket, AWS and Git.
For the development side, you’ll need to know how to code, especially how to read code. Languages like Python are good to know and if you’re looking for pointers on that, SiliconRepublic.com has a guide to brushing up on Python skills.
You might also want to start learning tools like Docker, CircleCI, Maven and Buddy.
For more information on the types of CI and CD tools you can practise, this piece from CBT Nuggets breaks the various platforms down nicely.
Trial and error or fun and games. Whichever way you look at it, one of the best ways of learning these new tech tools to perfect your DevOps skills is through actually trying them out.
GitHub, which is free, is an excellent way of making your coding projects stand out to others in the tech community.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes, especially if you are trying to teach yourself by watching online videos.
Automation is a big part of DevOps and this course available on Udemy covers automation with Terraform, which is another of the many platforms out there to learn. It also has guides on other tools like Packer and AWS.
Online education providers Pluralsight run a course that claims to provide learners with the “big picture” of DevOps. It is geared towards beginners.
Coursera has loads of DevOps courses on its site, too. Whether you want to do a basic overview or learn DevOps for cloud computing, DevOps on AWS, or an IBM approved DevOps for software engineering course, there is bound to be something for you.
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