Table of contents
- What is DevOps?
- Learning Path to become a DevOps Engineer
- Step 1: Choose your programming language
- Step 2: Understand Operating Systems
- Step 3: Learn Version Control System
- Step 4: Learn Networking
- Step 5: Understand IaC (Infrastructure as Code)
- Step 6: Learn about the CI / CD tools
- Step 7: Learn about infrastructure and application monitoring
- Step 8: Learn about the different Cloud Service Provides & Cloud Design Patterns
DevOps in today's date is the ultimate buzz word in the industry and many of my connections, colleagues, and senior developers I know are interested to know more about it. Some of the folks I worked with are now working hard to become a DevOps engineers and project themselves as the DevOps champion in their organization & why not?
DevOps Engineer is one of the most demanding job profiles with no indications of slowing down. In numbers, the demand for DevOps Professionals has increased by approximately 40-45% in the industry within the last 3-4 years and we can observe a constant growth in that number even now. DevOps is a challenging yet interesting job that requires a versatile skillset along with experience and in-depth knowledge in the field. Before jumping into the learning roadmap for DevOps let's first try to understand what is devops and why do we actually need devops in the software development lifecycle.
DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development (Dev) with information technology operations (Ops) participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that drastically increases an company's ability to deliver applications and services at higher velocity. It allows the evolution and improvement of the products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables the organization to develop their customer retention and have a more efficient compete plan in the marketplace.
The DevOps methodology implements 4 major principles and serves as the fundamental blocks for any DevOps infrastructure:
- Automation of the software development lifecycle
- Collaboration and communication
- Continuous improvement and minimization of waste
- Hyperfocus on user needs with short feedback loops
By adopting these principles organizations can improve code quality, achieve a faster time to market, and engage in better application planning.
Major Benefits of DevOps
The business value and efficiency of a DevOps culture lies in the ability to improve the production environment which allows to deliver product faster with continuous maintenance. This allows the devs to anticipate and respond to industry disruptors without delay. Under the banner of DevOps teams are able to respond to demands at the speed of the marketplace.
The goals of DevOps
- Fast Development Methodologies
- Fast Quality Assurance Methodologies
- Fast Deployment Methodologies
- Faster time to market
- Iteration & Continuous Feedback (strong and continuous communication between stakeholders – the end users and customers, product owners, development, quality assurance, and production engineers)
The Pros of DevOps
- Environment Stabilization
- Enforces consistency & increase up-time
- Reduces the Development Cycle time
- Seamless management of requirements and code-repository
- Increased Release Velocity
- Continuous build & push-button deployments
- Prevent Defects
- Regiment processes & automated testing
- Process Metrics
- Track both time at each stage and the errors with exceptions
Learning Path to become a DevOps Engineer
You'll notice that the above roadmap covers a lot of concepts within software development. That's because DevOps covers the entire software development lifecycle from creation and maintenance process to development and to operations which eventually covers the entire technology stack. Now let’s run through the complete roadmap and discuss all the skills & approaches that are required to become a DevOps Engineer.
Step 1: Choose your programming language
DevOps role is not focussed on writing source code but it involves integration of databases, debugging of source code from the IT team and automating processes. Automations is the major fundamental goal in a DevOps infrastructure and it is what helps the team to scale up the software delivery speed.
Also in a DevOps role you should have a working knowledge of the languages the development team is implementing to help the team understand existing source code, review new patches, and provide assistance with debugging.
Programming Languages (My Recommendations):
- Golang (recommended)
Step 2: Understand Operating Systems
The goal of DevOps shapes the opinions about operating systems. Take a moment to remember what those goals are: delivering applications fast and ensuring problem-free performance in production. For this to happen the environment needs to scale easily. It also has to run seamlessly and provide metrics through monitoring that can track problems early and allow them to be fixed first. This typically relies on CI and CD to ensure a rapid but steady stream of releases. OSs not only function the local machines that the team uses to communicate and complete their jobs but also runs the servers that host the team's deployed applications.
What you'll be expected to learn here is the command line terminal which will allow you to become independent of GUI for configurations in the servers. Now since there are multiple CLI and some commands are only executable in the CLI I'll recommend to learn more than one.
Operation Systems to learn (My Recommendations):
- Linux (recommended)
To understand the technical as well as the conceptual knowledge becomes important in a DevOps role and thus should be your major focus to grasp while learning more about OS.
- Process Management
- Threads and Concurrency
Step 3: Learn Version Control System
While working in a DevOps role knowledge of Git and GitHub is a must. The Version Control System makes it possible for teams to collaborate and build software products from different parts of the globe and helps in having back-ups on the remote repository. The system helps developers to roll back to the previous commits and the source code’s last version if needed. It helps manage the source code for the software team by keeping track of all the code modifications.
Some popular version control systems that you can focus to learn includes:
Step 4: Learn Networking
Web applications follow networking protocols to establish the communication between the user and the server thus while working in a DevOps team it becomes very important to understand the different fundamental concepts of networking as the knowledge of request types, maintenance of the transfer methods and how we can secure them, prevention of data infiltration or data leakage etc. Overall in any DevOps lifecycle cybersecurity plays a big role.
Networking protocols that you can focus to learn includes:
Step 5: Understand IaC (Infrastructure as Code)
Infrastructure as code (IaC) uses DevOps methodology and versioning with a descriptive model to define and deploy infrastructure such as networks, VMs, load balancers, and connection topologies. Just as the same source code always generates the same binary an IaC model generates the same environment every time it deploys.
IaC plays a major role in Continuous Delivery pipelines as it allows you to automate the processes involved for providing faster deployments and updates.
IaC Strategies to learn (My Recommendations)
- Container Orchestration
- Infrastructure Provisioning
- Configuration Management
Step 6: Learn about the CI / CD tools
CI & CD is the fundamental block upon which the DevOps lifecycle is built. It supports the major principles of integration of development & operations in a DevOps infrastructure. CI/CD introduces ongoing automation and continuous monitoring throughout the lifecycle of apps from integration and testing phases to delivery and deployment. Combined together these connected practices are often referred to as a "CI/CD pipeline".
CI/CD tools supports multiple phases of the pipeline and helps in automating the processes involves in the software development lifecycle.
CI/CD tools that you can learn (My Recommendations):
Step 7: Learn about infrastructure and application monitoring
With DevOps the expectation is to develop faster, test regularly, and release more frequently all while improving quality and cutting costs. To help achieve this DevOps monitoring tools provide automation and expanded measurement and visibility throughout the entire development lifecycle i.e from planning, development, integration and testing, deployment, and operations.
Internal issues with your application can manifest in various different ways so it becomes best to monitor multiple metrics. Some common application monitoring tools are:
Sometimes problems/issues with the application infrastructure reflects same amount of impact as compared to application issues. Some common infrastructure monitoring tools are:
Step 8: Learn about the different Cloud Service Provides & Cloud Design Patterns
As most of the organizations use Cloud Services on their platforms hence it becomes important for DevOps professionals to learn about Cloud Services and Providers. Focus your learning curve to understand cloud technology and its requirements & benefits concerning the organization. Meanwhile some important topics that you can focus more are Cloud Formation & Architecture, Cloud Service Models, Deployment Models, Virtualization and Cloud Computing, etc.
Some recommended cloud service providers are:
Cloud Design Patterns are the philosophies that produce the scalability, reliability, and security of cloud applications. While you learn more about the cloud providers & different cloud services you should also understand these design patterns.
Cloud design patterns to learn include:
- Data Management
- Design and Implementation
DevOps as domain values certification. It serves as a verified credential for your DevOps skills. There are various DevOps certifications like Docker Certified Associate, Azure DevOps Solution Certification, Harness Foundational Certification, Puppet Professional Certification and many more. DevOps Certifications not only scale your knowledge but also validates your skills in a particular domain that is beneficial for advance career prospects.
Well everything that we have covered may seem to be a very long roadmap but you don't necessarily have to become a master of it but definitely the core knowledge can help you better understand the entire DevOps lifecycle. Although the journey to get into the field and becoming a DevOps Engineer is somewhat seems to be long but it is totally worth it as the demand in the market for DevOps practitioners is growing rapidly and of-course we cant miss on the amazing career opportunities available on the field.
Also to conclude this I must mention this role is not suitable for someone who is just fascinated by the trend of DevOps but definitely for the one who finds interest and is passionate about the entire technology revolving around DevOps.
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