Choosing the right DevOps certification training can seem like a daunting task. From the DevOps Institute to an AWS certification offered to Microsoft Azure courses – there are so many different options that it is hard to know which one to choose, especially if you are new to the concept of DevOps.
If you are looking for an in-depth overview of the best available options, this blog post is just what you need. We’ll go over some of the most popular DevOps certifications and discuss what type of audience they are best suited for.
When we’re done, you should be able to make a more informed decision about which certification is perfect for your goals.
DevOps vs. Agile
First and foremost, it is important to know that DevOps and Agile are not interchangeable concepts. They are similar, but DevOps is a superset of Agile.
Agile and lean concepts have been around for decades now, and they continue being popular because they work well – there’s no denying it. By focusing on incremental and iterative development, Agile allows teams to deliver features sooner and get feedback from users more quickly.
DevOps takes the best of Agile and builds on it, adding practices like Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). These allow teams to deploy code (or product) changes as frequently as possible, leading to better quality products and happier customers.
While you can have Agile without DevOps, you cannot have DevOps without Agile. This is a seemingly trivial but important distinction because many people mistakenly think that DevOps is just a buzzword for Agile.
If you are looking to get into the certified DevOps professional world, an Agile certification may be a good place to start.
1st Step: Agile Thinking
Here are a few Agile certifications that will help you embrace the Lean-Agile mindset:
- Agile Fundamentals – Starting with the basics of Agile, this ICAgile course has the broadest target audience. It is aimed at anyone looking to obtain a basic understanding of Agile. It is not too technical, so it can be helpful for anyone working in an agile team or simply wanting to learn more about the concept. In this course, you will better understand that Agile is something your business “is” and not just what it “does.”
- Agility In The Enterprise – This is the course for you if you want to know more about enterprise-level agility. It details scaling Agile, implementing it in different environments, and dealing with resistance to change. The target audience for this course includes Agile Team Facilitators, Agile Coaches at the program or team levels, and similar roles.
- Agile Software Design – Software engineer and developer teams, system designers, technical team leads, and anyone involved in technical design and development will benefit from this course. It covers topics like design thinking, user stories, and rapid prototyping – all of which are essential for creating high-quality software products in an agile way.
- Agile Programming – This course emphasizes learning and practicing agile techniques in the context of programming. It offers lots of hands-on exercises and examples that teach the Agile mindset to agile developers, programmers, development managers, technical team leads, and those who wish to enhance their agile programming skill sets.
Shifting your mindset to the Lean-Agile point of view is essential if you want to be successful in the world of DevOps professionals. It is important not only for developers but also for project managers and anyone who oversees or supervises software development projects (e.g., business analysts).
Not only that – in this highly innovative age, Agile and DevOps go well beyond the world of IT! You don’t need to be in the tech industry to get value from taking an Agile certification. Many companies are starting to see the benefits of implementing Lean and Agile concepts into their businesses as a whole.
2nd Step: DevOps Basics
With a clear understanding of the Agile mindset, you can now learn the concepts behind DevOps. Here are a few relevant certifications:
- ICAgile Foundations Of DevOps – Once again, we start with the cert with the broadest target audience. Foundations Of DevOps from the International Consortium Of Agile is intended for anyone interested in learning about DevOps. It covers topics like the history of DevOps, its key principles, such as Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), best practices, DevOps tools, and similar. It doesn’t matter if you are a team member, manager, or simply an aspiring DevOps engineer – this course is for you!
- DevOps Foundation – DevOps Foundation from the DevOps Institute is designed for team members, managers, and executives alike. It provides an overview of DevOps’ key concepts and practices, helps with identifying opportunities for adopting DevOps within an organization, and teaches how to create a business case for DevOps.
- SAFe DevOps – Grounded in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), this course is for anyone starting with DevOps, including team members and technical leads. It covers infrastructure automation, Continuous Integration (CI), automated testing, continuous deployment techniques, release on demand, and similar. This course will help you accelerate your time to market and increase the quality of your products.
The DevOps certifications listed above are more general in nature – you are not required to know more than the basics of Agile to take them. However, if you want a specialty certification or to learn more about a specific topic, there are plenty of other options available as well.
For example, if you want to focus on software testing and automation:
- Agile Test Automation – This course is for software testers and developers who want to automate their testing process. It covers topics like test automation strategies, system and integration tests, data-driven testing, and more.
Or if you’d like to enhance your cloud computing skills:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – This associate certification is for those who want to learn more about the AWS services and how to design and implement distributed systems on the AWS cloud platform.
- Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) – This Kubernetes certification was developed in collaboration with the Linux Foundation, aimed at those looking to gain more knowledge about the Kubernetes automating system.
Each specific certification will come with a set of prerequisites. Make sure you meet them before registering for the exam.
When you are ready to advance your DevOps career, you will want to prepare for the more advanced certifications.
3rd Step: Advanced DevOps Training
Once you have a firm grasp of what DevOps is and how it can help your organization, it’s time to take your training to the next level. Here are a few of the more advanced DevOps certifications:
- ICAgile Implementing DevOps – Further down the DevOps ICAgile learning track, you will learn about the actual implementation of DevOps in your organization. This course is for team members and supporting staff who want to learn how to apply the principles they learned in Foundations Of DevOps. Topics such as virtualization, cloud computing, and designing and implementing a deployment pipeline are covered in this course.
- ICAgile Expert In DevOps – To become a true DevOps expert, you will want to take the Expert In DevOps certification. This course is designed for those who have at least six months of practical experience in DevOps and takes a deep dive into topics like architecting systems for scale, performance monitoring and optimization, creating a culture of continuous learning, and more.
- DevOps Leader – The DevOps Institute offers a Leader certification for those who want to manage and direct a DevOps transformation. In this course, you will learn about change management, team dynamics, problem-solving and more.
- Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert – One of the most advanced DevOps certs is the Microsoft DevOps Engineer Expert. Aimed at developers who are already experts at Azure DevOps administration and development, this course will solidify your DevOps knowledge and prepare you for a wide range of responsibilities.
Framework-Based vs. Framework-Neutral
You might notice that some of the options on our list are tied to a specific framework, such as SAFe. While there is nothing wrong with getting started with a framework-based DevOps training and certification program – in fact, frameworks can help with standardizing your operations – there is also the option to go framework-neutral.
This means that you will be learning about the general concepts and practices of DevOps but will not be limited to a specific methodology. Potentially, this can give you more flexibility in how you want to implement DevOps within your organization and can make it easier to move between frameworks if needed.
The whole point of DevOps is to adapt and change as needed – so you should feel free to mix and match different methods and tools as you see fit. The important thing is that you can understand the principles behind DevOps, regardless of which specific program you choose.
When it comes time to choose a certification for your DevOps education, the options can seem overwhelming. With so many different programs available, how do you know which one is right for you?
The best way to start is by identifying your goals and needs. What do you want to learn about DevOps? What are you hoping to achieve with this professional exam? Are you looking for a specific skill or area of focus?
Once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, it will be easier to narrow down your options. There are plenty of great programs to choose from, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs perfectly.
Do not rush into taking any particular course – take the time to research each one thoroughly before making your decision.
And as always, feel free to reach out to us at The I4 Group if you have any questions about getting started in DevOps. We would be happy to help!