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If you are an IT professional or a software engineer, you may have heard about the DevOps qualification. Perhaps you are currently looking for a new IT qualification to add to your skillset or boost your CV. Maybe you manage a team of IT professionals and are looking to organise some training. Jayne Groll, the CEO of the DevOps Institute, explains everything you need to know about DevOps, who it is for and how it can benefit your career.

About you

Please introduce yourself

I am Jayne Groll, CEO of the DevOps Institute. I am very active in the DevOps, ITSM and Agile communities and I am the author of the Agile Service Management Guide. I am also a frequent presenter at local, national and virtual events.

About the DevOps profession

What is a Development Operations (DevOps) engineer?

There is not a clear definition of a DevOps engineer. Some believe that it is a systems engineer, some believe that it is a continuous delivery architect, others believe that it is the DevOps evangelist for a company. I have talked to many people who have the title, but there is not a common role or set of responsibilities.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer?

DevOps Institute believes that there are many types of DevOps Engineers: DevOps Test Engineers, DevSecOps Engineers, Continuous Delivery Architects and DevOps Leaders.

What are the required skills and characteristics of a DevOps engineer?

See above.

About the DevOps course and qualification

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of principles and practices that help improve the flow of work from idea to customer value. This is achieved through the combined focus on culture, automation, lean technique, measurements and sharing (CALMs).

Who would you say the qualification is best suited to and why?

DevOps Foundation is a detailed overview of the emerging DevOps principles and practices. It is intended to provide a common understanding and vocabulary to anyone involved in or interested in DevOps. This includes all IT Professionals, software engineers, business stakeholders, suppliers and consultants.

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Are there any other reasons people might take the DevOps course?

It is the pre-requisite course to the DevOps Institute’s Practitioner series of courses and certifications: DevOps Test Engineers, DevSecOps Engineers, Continuous Delivery Architects and DevOps Leaders.

What are the benefits for organizations getting their teams DevOps certified?

The primary benefit of certification is that it confirms the learner has absorbed the concepts presented in the course and takes pride in the achievement. Certified teams collaborate better because they have a shared understanding.

What level of prior experience would you say DevOps students require?

DevOps Foundation is for everyone involved in software delivery. A basic understanding of IT practices and principles is recommended, but attendees do not have to have any experience with specific technologies or tools.

Are there any qualifications you think are essential to go alongside DevOps? If so, which ones and why?

Everyone in IT should have a basic understanding of Agile/Scrum theory, regardless of whether they are a developer or not. This is to understand empirical concepts such as agility, minimum viable product and the definition of done. DevOps Institute has a strategic relationship with Scrum.org in order to align Agile practices with DevOps.

DevOps testing is continuous and pervasive, so everyone in IT should acquire some basic ability to write or analyse test cases and results. Similarly, with the move towards “everything as code”, IT professionals should have basic coding skills.

Will taking the DevOps course enable people to work more efficiently? If so, how?

The heart of DevOps is to increase the flow of software delivery from idea to customer value. In order to increase flow, all IT professionals must be more efficient. The DevOps Foundation course includes an introduction to Lean principles such as value stream mapping and improvement katas.

Will the DevOps qualification assist people in finding work?

Yes. The demand for individuals with DevOps certification and experience is rapidly increasing.

Can the DevOps course and qualification benefit a person’s career in any other ways? If so, please explain how?

DevOps Foundation ensures that an individual has demonstrated an understanding of core DevOps practices, principles, cultural considerations, automation and integration with practices such as Agile, Lean and ITSM. The DevOps Practitioner series certifies specific desirable competencies and roles such as Continuous Delivery Architect, DevOps Leader, DevOps Test Engineer and DevSecOps Engineer that are in high demand.

What are the company benefits to those whose staff are DevOps certified?

Commercially, demonstrating that a team is DevOps certified can be a competitive advantage on RFPs (request for proposals) and other opportunities.

DevOps consists of the Foundation level only. What next step do students typically take in their careers after completing the Foundation course?

DevOps Institute’s DevOps Practitioner series of courses is intended to help students acquire a holistic set of competencies that help them transform to the new “T Shaped” professional. Some will take the entire set of courses to ensure that they understand all the emerging practices around DevOps. Some will select the competencies that make the most sense to their role.

Are there any follow-on qualifications and courses that you recommend?

At the very least, we recommend that most IT professionals take the DevOps Test Engineering course. This will enable them to acquire the core testing skills required throughout the value stream. Anyone in a management role should take DevOps Leader to help instil strategic and innovative thinking. Continuous Delivery Architect is appropriate for release engineers and automation architects as well as anyone involved in software development and delivery.

Please provide the following information about the DevOps exam:

What knowledge does it test?

DevOps Foundation tests at the Blooms Level 1 (understanding) and Level 2 (Comprehension). It has about a 90% pass rate. It is 40 multiple choice questions with 60-minute duration. An extra 15 minutes is allotted to individuals where English is not their native language. They are closed book.

The DevOps Practitioner series of courses tests at Blooms Level 1 (understanding), Level 2 (Comprehension) and Level 3 (Application). These are more difficult. They are also 40 multiple choice questions but with 90-minute duration. An extra 15 minutes is allotted to individuals where English is not their native language. They are closed book.

Would you say that it shares similarities with any other project management exams? If so, which ones?

These exams are like some of the ITIL/ITSM and ScrumMaster exams in terms of scope and difficulty, but not necessarily format.

If you are interested in a DevOps qualification, you can take the DevOps Foundation training course with Knowledge Train.

DoI CEOJayne Groll is co-founder and CEO of the DevOps Institute (DOI). Jayne carries many IT credentials including ITIL Expert™, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Agile Service Manager, DevOps Foundation and is a Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)™. Her IT management career spans over 25years of senior IT management roles across a wide range of industries.

Jayne is very active in the DevOps, ITSM and Agile communities and is the author of the Agile Service Management Guide. She is a frequent presenter at local, national and virtual events.

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Simon Buehring

Simon Buehring is the Founder and Managing Director of Knowledge Train.

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