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Learn DevOps with online courses and programs

DevOps training can be valuable for individuals seeking jobs across a number of sectors. Learn DevOps with online DevOps courses powered by edX.

What is DevOps?

The term “DevOps” is a combination of “development” and “operations.” DevOps isn’t a particular program. It’s a set of practices, tools, and an overarching philosophy that eliminates silos and unifies people, processes, and technology.Footnote 1 Together, these elements help developers and IT operations teams collaborate, which can increase the speed and overall quality of the software development process.

While nearly 75% of all businesses use some form of DevOps today, the concept of DevOps originated around 2007.Footnote 2 At the time, software developers and IT operators questioned the traditional software development model. Under that model, developers wrote the initial code for a software program but worked independently from the operations team, who later maintained and supported the code throughout the software’s lifespan.Footnote 3 DevOps was an effort to combine the development and operations teams and workflows into one. 

Using DevOps practices, teams are able to shift the way that they operate for improved results. By eliminating silos, development and operations teams can work together to solve problems along the entire DevOps lifecycle. That lifecycle consists of a single, continuous loop of phases, and the teams collaborate on each of the phases:

  • Discover

  • Plan

  • Build

  • Test

  • Deploy

  • Operate

  • Observe

  • Continuous feedback

Collaboration and continuous feedback provide important benefits. Teams are able to develop software and apps more quickly, rendering high-quality products, improving customer satisfaction, and enhancing security.Footnote 4

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DevOps course curriculum

DevOps tutorials and courses cover essential skills and knowledge relevant to the field, including:

  • Foundations and tools: Learn about tools like Linux and Unix, explore source code management tools Git and GitHub, and learn about systems management and the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipeline.

  • Automation: Explore automation best practices, learn about essential DevOps tools like Ansible and Terraform, and develop your understanding of security standards.

  • Cloud computing: Learn the importance of cloud computing, how to write infrastructure as a code, and why these skills are essential to software delivery.

Prerequisites will vary depending on the DevOps course that you take, but basic development or software operations skills may be helpful. These skills might include an understanding of Linux systems, a knowledge of networking and troubleshooting concepts, familiarity with computer and network security technology and concepts, and systems administration and troubleshooting.

Explore DevOps jobs

Common DevOps jobs include DevOps engineer and DevOps specialist positions, like an AWS developer. In many DevOps roles, you may be part of a product or support team.Footnote 5

Depending on your specific role, you might have some of the following responsibilities:Footnote 6

  • Write and maintain code

  • Create automations

  • Maintain servers and storage

  • Develop and build apps and software

  • Identify, troubleshoot, and solve issues

  • Perform coding

DevOps engineers possess several key skills and talents, such as: 

  • Understanding of DevOps principles 

  • Experience with Linux systems

  • Understanding of infrastructure components

  • Cloud computing and virtualization knowledge

  • Infrastructure automation knowledge and familiarity with common tools

  • Understanding of security best practices

  • Skill with coding languages like Python or Bash/Shell

  • Understanding of the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment application lifestyle, and tools like Jenkins, ArgoCD, and GitHub ActionsFootnote 7

In addition to these technical skills, DevOps engineers can benefit from soft skills. The ability to effectively communicate and collaborate may be helpful to function within the DevOps model which depends on teamwork and providing continuous feedback. Collaborative management skills are also important as they may help an engineer to develop effective working relationships with all of team members, regardless of their individual roles.Footnote 8

How to become a DevOps engineer online

Because the responsibilities of a DevOps engineer can vary significantly based on the specific role, you will find that education requirements also vary. Some businesses might require that DevOps professionals have a bachelor’s or higher degree, while others might welcome an entry-level professional who has taken a DevOps coding boot camp or other standalone DevOps courses.

Even if a job opportunity doesn’t require applicants to have a formal education in DevOps, investing in a related degree may help you to learn DevOps and develop the skills, experience, and knowledge for your desired role: 

  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or IT can allow you to develop the broad, foundational knowledge that is used in a DevOps career. 

  • A master’s degree in computer science exposes you to more specialized knowledge and skills.

  • Online boot camps in coding, data analytics, cybersecurity, and other related fields can be more affordable, shorter-term education options that help to prepare you for a DevOps career, especially as a supplement to complementary work experience or formal degrees. 

  • Earning a DevOps certificate can also demonstrate your understanding of key DevOps skills and practices, and that certificate may make you a more compelling candidate.

Aside from completing educational coursework, you should also look for ways to gain experience and build a portfolio of your DevOps projects, through internships, volunteering or contract and freelance work.

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