Is It Easy To Learn DevOps?
IT folks usually fall into this dilemma of picking up technologies every few months or so. It is not that simple to pick up a stack for our next adventure and navigate the harsh terrain of the great divide between developers and folks in operations. However, shipping a product with speed and higher quality has become necessary to remain competitive and to improve one's chances of staying relevant, even indispensable, in their respective area of expertise. While various organizations want to adopt DevOps because it has many benefits for both people and the organization, many are unsure of how easy it is to embrace.
What do we need to learn before DevOps?
After deciding to set off on this journey, we then must know how to write a program in any chosen language; the choice of language is ours. We have to get familiar with the software development life cycle and what goes on in the daily lives of those who design, develop, collaborate, test, and publish software.
Some fundamental questions: What is DevOps? Is it for the company or not? How easy is it to embrace change? DevOps is not only for engineers; it's also for non-engineers. Typically, the adoption of DevOps requires formal training.
Adapting to the culture of DevOps is easier for those who have been following agile methodologies, extreme programming, and similar paradigms. We have already been collaborating and communicating using software such as Git, Trello, Teams, Confluence, and JIRA. We achieve project management goals using methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban. It also involves the use of Cloud platforms such as Azure, GCP, and AWS. Even if these names are new to some of us, having a passion for knowing about the systems leads to learning and adopting DevOps. We need to be ready to take on the tasks that overlap between software development and IT operations. Eventually, a team develops a feeling of shared responsibility in delivering quality software with better speed.
What is easy in DevOps?
In a research study on perceptions of subject difficulty and subject choices, it was found that students' subject choices appear to be primarily driven by a triad of perceptions: enjoyment, usefulness, and difficulty (with perceptions being mostly person-specific). Therefore, it is difficult to describe it for every learner or a student objectively.
If one considers DevOps as a subject and wants to ship software at speed and continuously, then one needs to learn quickly. We tend to find answers ourselves because this attitude might make us feel protected. Learning to share problems and their solutions by visiting internet groups, forums, communities, and meetups is easy. For example, if we want to write a custom script to manage the configuration of a remote machine, then instead of writing everything from scratch, it is best to arrange a boilerplate code from a trusted community or a forum and modify it as per requirements. Sometimes applications and services providers have enough documentation to get us started.
Project management software helps us implement Scrum, Kanban, and similar approaches to achieve higher productivity, so it's useful to learn to work with that. There is a little technical difficulty in determining that. It is just about adapting to a new habit of conversing efficiently with close or remote team members. Similarly, learning to use screen sharing and instant messaging tools or other platforms to collaborate is easy.
Tools that are specific to our work environment can be evaluated and selected with the help of technical experts. Choose those tools that help achieve higher productivity.
What is not easy in DevOps?
Continuing the section above, we also need to know that It is not possible to learn everything and be proficient in everything. Currently, it is not possible to automate everything in DevOps, nor is it possible to achieve delivery at speed without a collaborative approach. We can draw lessons from the failures of others.
The selection of tools is demanding, requiring careful assessment of the process and workflows of teams. A wrong and inadequate range of tools affects our learning abilities and hence makes it difficult to learn anything. When a team is not in sync, collaboration fails. There is a notion prevalent that DevOps is only about operations and more automation. The reality, however, is that it has everything from documentation to design to implementation to testing to deployment. Whatever can be automated should be automated. Since it is not easy to learn everything, we need to be selective, choosing the set of tools that are best for us.
DevOps is new for many. It demands a change in our prevalent perceptions, goes beyond the culture of silos, and disrupts traditional, conflicting roles of dev and ops. These attributes make DevOps difficult and not so easy to be adopted, let alone be mastered. Therefore, we must follow experts and industry leaders in learning and imbibing it into our work culture.
Now that we know what is easy and what is not easy in DevOps, we should assess it ourselves and decide whether we want to embrace it. On the one hand, some feel that DevOps is not for everyone. For example, to developers and system engineers, it might seem easy because it is more like learning another paradigm, a new culture, and habits, while not leaving the old ones. On the other hand, some say that it is for everyone. Non-engineers still can use DevOps principles and adapt them to our work based on its nature and requirements.
Though it depends on our work environments and many other factors as highlighted above to select the tools for DevOps, a curated list of DevOps tools with their descriptions, key features, and the price can be found at https://stackify.com/top-devops-tools/.
DevOps at Cybrary
Cybrary has a course that provides students with the fundamental knowledge to integrate security controls, processes, and services into the DevOps pipeline. Please browse the DevSecOps Fundamentals course.
We also have certification oriented courses in AWS and Azure fundamentals, which are adequately supported by Hands-on labs. Please browse our cloud training catalog for these courses.
In this article, we have evaluated the difficulty of learning DevOps, yet haven't drawn a comparison among various DevOps tools. We encourage readers to evaluate their processes, workflows, and examples given in the references to answer this question as they deem appropriate.
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