In the ever-evolving world of technology, the need for a Lean and Agile approach in maintaining an organization’s infrastructure has become quite transparent in the last few years. The classic linear and rigid approach to securing, installing, and maintaining systems and networks of ITOps doesn’t hold up with the current fast-paced environments where quick changes must be implemented with no delay.

That’s the reason why so many companies are now moving from traditional ITOps to the newest, more modern and agile DevOps (development + operations) teams that know well the importance of focusing on flexibility and efficiency above all. And that’s also the reason why DevOps engineers are in such high demand these days, and a certification can make all the difference if you’re looking for a well-paid and satisfying tech job.

What Is DevOps?

DevOps merges together the skills possessed by software developers and people involved in developing the product (Dev), with those boasted by information technology operators (Ops). This last one is a blanket term that includes systems engineers, network administrators, operation staff and all other professionals responsible for maintaining all the technologies, systems and applications needed to run an organization.

Traditionally, the “Dev” professionals are those who “make” software, while “Ops” professionals take care of it after it is deployed. This siloed approach has done more harm than good, since it slowed deployment speed and prevented seamless software delivery. Today, companies prefer to focus on releasing small features to receive nearly instant feedback from customers and improve the overall quality of their products. DevOps harnesses the principles of Agile and Lean methods to merge the “Dev” and “Ops” together, and integrate all their knowledge and competencies into a single, enhanced role. (To learn more about DevOps pros, see DevOps Managers Explain What They Do.)

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How Is DevOps Different from Traditional IT (and Better)?

DevOps can be seen as an “upgrade” to traditional ITOps in the sense that a DevOps engineer does not focus only on the last portion of the product life cycle (the maintenance stage), but takes part in every stage of the process, from design, to development and support.

DevOps teams solve problems from a different angle since they have all the necessary skills to understand the service on a much deeper level, and focus on speed and flexibility rather than on method. The methodology used by DevOps breaks the process into smaller increments known as sprints (Agile software development), granting a much higher degree of freedom in applying quick changes and speeding up the delivery process.

How Sought After Is a DevOps Engineer?

With a yearly average salary of $104,335 in the United States, becoming a DevOps engineer is one of the most sought-after careers in the world of technology. Without DevOps, the operation and development teams are isolated and cannot work in sync to test and deploy software.

Unsurprisingly enough, Gartner already determined that at least one-fourth of top global 2000 organizations had adopted DevOps as their core strategy by the end of 2016. Many companies need this quickly growing role to reduce the time required to deploy new projects without delay by at least 30%. An environment based on agility is at the core of any company which wants to stay competitive today, especially since organizations embracing DevOps culture to deploy code face 50% reduced risk of deployment failure.



How Can You Become a DevOps Engineer?

Becoming a DevOps engineer requires a certain degree of flexibility since cross-training is absolutely a must-have in this profession. The first step to make a transition toward this career is to start acquiring skills outside your traditional role’s bubble, and focus on development rather than just IT operations. Getting some experience with tools such as Git, Jenkins, Docker, Ansible, Puppet, Kubernetes and Nagios is quite important to start learning how to build tools rather than just software.

If you come from a developer position, knowing how to deploy as well as earning some experience with Perl, Ruby, Python, Chef or Puppet scripting is definitely a plus. All in all, your goal is to be able to do a lot with as little as possible, so the more you learn how to automate processes, the better. DevOps is all about automation, so this truly is a core skill you want to master if you are aspiring to this position. (Just implementing DevOps isn't enough; it has to be implemented properly. Learn more in When DevOps Goes Bad.)

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The Advantages of a DevOps Certification

Online DevOps courses are with all probability the best way to evolve your career as a software tester, system admin or application developer (just to give a few examples) into a fully-fledged DevOps one. A good course, like the one offered by Edureka, will teach you how to use tools such as Docker to build and deploy containerization, or Nagios to perform continuous monitoring. Your training should focus on automation as much as possible, so a program that includes Jenkins, Maven and Selenium tools is usually better.

A DevOps certification is the first step to obtaining a comprehensive understanding of this discipline and becoming more desirable in the technology marketplace. Other than providing the trainee with better job opportunities, taking a full course is a fundamental validation of one’s skillset in this gap-closing field. Even skilled professionals can benefit from a certification which could help them improve or advance their careers, or learn new skills that are needed in cross-functional teams. Since the productivity of a DevOps pro is usually higher than the productivity of regular Dev and IT combined, completing such a course is useful for professionals and teams who want to increase the added value they provide to their organizations.

Conclusion

Adopting the DevOps culture brings value to an organization in many ways. It improves software quality and stability, it increases collaboration between the development and operation teams, reduces the time of development cycles, and enhances productivity and efficiency. For all these reasons, and more, any professional who can showcase a DevOps certification is bound to stand out from the crowd and find better employment opportunities.