Have you ever wondered what DevOps is actually? People are talking about it everywhere, it is one of the most demanded jobs and there are a lot of people changing their LinkedIn profile from developer to DevOps engineer. If like me you went through a tough time trying to figure out what exactly it is and why is it so popular, you can stop today. Because in this post I will explain what DevOps is, why is it so popular, what you need to know to master DevOps, complete free courses to learn everything related to DevOps and a bunch of other useful resources
Devops is a pretty new subject. It was created with the increasing amount of servers to maintain and the avenue of cloud computing and modern development tools. Back in the time, when people wanted to create software they just code it, buy a server and host the code on it. No need for automatisation, software quality insurance and more complicated stuff like those.
But the more we optimize things, grow companies, and care about software quality, the more try to automate processes, the more we face problems. We need tools, software and process to do it in a good a clean way. Here we meet DevOps. It helps to facilitate some of the processes of software engineering by providing good tools to build, ship, scale, monitor and ensure the quality of software. With DevOps today big companies can focus on building their product and not managing the infrastructures that serve them.
It is rare to find a DevOps engineer in a newly created startup or company because most of the time, they have limited resources (one server for example), they have a little number of users, and they have a small codebase. So they can code, test, deploy and solve problems easily without the need for external tools or a bunch of automatisation or configuration.
You can consider DevOps as this discipline that helps you operate faster and ship good quality/big software easily and rapidly. It sometimes includes continuous integration (focus on codebase) and continuous delivery(focus on product delivery). there is a simple example to illustrate that. Let’s imagine you are a coder/software engineer at youtube. There was a problem with likes on the platform and you are supposed to delete the functionality (unfortunately entirely 🥲). What do you think the process of deleting this feature looks like? Google have about 900.000 servers. Let’s imagine you finish and it is working on your machine. If we assume that you are manually deploying the product on each server and you can achieve 1000 servers per day (which is kind of impossible) it will take almost 3 years to deploy that. And besides that, you have to make sure it works properly and not introduce bugs in the systems. Also, there are other developers in the team. You must collaborate with them too. It is at this exact moment that DevOps is crucial. You can focus on writing your code and the DevOps engineer ends up automating the flow of building and testing your code (to make sure it works properly without bugs), releasing the features and deploying it on multiple servers at scale. developers who just know 2 or 3 Linux commands can completely focus on what they know best, coding software. And that makes it really interesting to consider DevOps as a complete discipline because when you look at it with all those processes and complexity it can be a really huge domain.
DevOps is something really really new and therefore nothing is completely standard in the domain. every day, we see new tools, new ways of doing things, new best practices, … And unfortunately many schools are not adapted to this change at the moment. So it is really rare to find a perfectly crafted curriculum in university to learn DevOps. So you have to rely on the internet to find the best content to learn DevOps.
Here we will give you a set of tools/software to master to become a full DevOps engine: So it can help you simplify your learning journey.
We will start with operating systems and system administration. It is the most basic skill of a DevOps engineer. You are supposed to write a script that automates a lot of thing on a different computer and the basic knowledge for that are operating systems. You must know things like different operations systems, resources, processes, commands, scheduling, and a lot a bunch of other things. It can be confusing when you are starting from scratch but the more you learn the easier it becomes. There is a special operating system that you must master: Linux. A huge amount of servers run on Linux and it is the most secure server now. So having Linux skills is a good plus for your learning.
As a DevOps engineer, you must at least master one programming language because you can be asked to write automatisation scripts and for that, you need more than tools. Python and bash are great choices but you can also choose to go for this task.
You must also master version control software. That is inevitable. You are supposed to write a script that is triggered maybe at a push on the repository, automate release, rollbacks, … And git is the go-to tool for this subject. You can learn and master git and platforms like GitHub or GitLab.
We can now talk about virtualisation. When you know what operating systems are, you can know to learn how to virtualise them and launch multiple isolated operating systems simultaneously on one or multiple machines. This is very important because it helps isolate the running instances of code in a manipulated instance of operating systems without a lot of unnecessary programs running in the background. This helps to ensure shipped software is in the ideal environment. For example, it is happier that coders write a program, it works on their computer but unfortunately nowhere else. Which virtualisation tools you can ship software with all the tools and configurations needed to run it directly. In order to do that, the most popular tool is docker. It is a tool that you must master as a DevOps engineer.
Automatisation and monitoring tools are a huge part of DevOps. It is mostly used to configure servers, test and build code, and have a bright overview of a system at any time to ensure there is no problem. There are tools like ansible and terraform that you can learn and it helps a lot to configure or provision multiple servers at the same time. You can use those tools to install software, write config files, launch automatic backups, create cloud instances, and much more. On the other hand, we have tools like Jenkins, Github actions to Gitlab Ci that help you automate the build, test and deployment of your software so when you push your code on a repository. And you have tools like Prometheus and grafana that helps you monitor your whole system.
Orchestration tools. in our precedent example, we say that companies like google had hundred of thousands of servers. You need a central way to monitor and orchestrate virtual instances running on those servers. And Kubernetes (ironically a tool created by Google) is the must for that. You must master Kubernetes in others to be able to operate large scale systems.
There are much more topics to cover as a DevOps engineer as cloud computing, security, … And as a DevOps engineer, you are supposed to have extremely adaptable skills because you are always learning and evolving with your environment.
Finally to conclude we have a completely free course including all the tools we have discussed previously and much more to help you skyrocket your DevOps skills very quickly and easily. You can check it out here and subscribe to our newsletter if you don’t want to miss new courses and content.
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