[10] DevOps training and certification

After 9 publications about standards in IT Training and Certification obviously there is a need for updates.
Not all new products can be explained. Some seem to have a rather high influence on how to select IT Training for different IT pro’s.
Reactions and possible suggestions for updates are highly appreciated!

Most recent discussions have to do with Devops. More in particular about relations with other products like Agile and ITIL but first, let’s explain what Devops is about.

Wikipedia defines it as:
DevOps (a clipped compound of development and operations) is a culture, movement or practice that emphasizes the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It aims at establishing a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.

It seems that the definition, using words like culture, movement and practice has difficulties to make it concrete, while the only goal of Devops is to span the entire delivery pipeline. They include improved deployment frequency, which can lead to faster time to market, lower failure rate of new releases, shortened lead time between fixes, and faster mean time to recovery in the event of a new release crashing or otherwise disabling the current system. DevOps aims to maximize the predictability, efficiency, security, and maintainability of operational processes. Very often, automation supports this objective.

Companies that practice DevOps have reported significant benefits, including significantly shorter time-to-market, improved customer satisfaction, better product quality, more reliable releases, improved productivity and efficiency, and the increased ability to build the right product by fast experimentation.

Since 2009, when the term was introduced at the Agile 2008 conference, Andrew Clay Shafer and Patrick Debois discussed "Agile Infrastructure". The term "DevOps" was popularized through a series of devopsdays starting in 2009 in Belgium. Since then, there have been devopsdays conferences held in many countries worldwide.

Differences with Agile and ITIL
Agile represents a change in thinking, whereas DevOps actually implements organizational cultural change. One goal of DevOps is to establish an environment where releasing more reliable applications faster and more frequently can occur. Release managers are beginning to utilize tools such as application release automation and continuous integration tools to help advance this goal, doing so through the continuous delivery approach. Some people seem to think that ITIL is completely out of date, since Devops was introduced. ITIL however, certainly has a much more detailed and more precise set of practices. The need to simplify processes and work more agile and lean also influences the discussion. ITIL has the image of a beaurocratic standard that was commercialized since the ownership moved partly to a commercial Organization (Axelos).

Anyway, we try to be more independent and see both standards as influential to standardize processes and to use to improve people’s knowledge and skills.
Talking about knowledge, the way IT professionals can use the Devops theory is looking like most of the standards. Many training providers have taken Devops in the portfolio.
The certification system however depends on the provider.

The EXIN DevOps Master certification comprises an advanced exam and a training that includes practical assignments to prove the competences of candidate DevOps Masters. It seems to be a unique approach as we still don’t see any Devops exams from APMGroup or PeopleCert (or others?).
Especially professionals with knowledge of - and experience in - Agile, LeanIT, Testing and IT Service Management, all domains where DevOps is applied, can benefit from their existing knowledge and experience when adding the EXIN DevOps Master certificate to their resume. By doing this, EXIN is relating all these standards but this doesn’t include that candidates will be certified on levels that mean something for the certification systems of the other standards. So, for certification purposes, after being certified for Devops Advanced one still needs to go from Foundation level to the higher levels for ITIL, or to the Foundation level of Agile.

In practice it is not needed to have all these certificates to prove that you have the knowledge on a certain level. We believe that people should be able to prove to have certain skills. These skills need to guarantee that they have certain abilities to deal with the standard and framework and implement and use it in practice. How this can be certified with skills-tests is still a way to go!

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Alejandro Debenedet (10/10/2016)

Excellent article Joep as always!  

Manny Varela (10/10/2016)

DevOps Institute (DOI) has been delivering entrprise-level DevOps and Agile certification courses and education for two years, by way of a global network of Registered Education Partners (REPs).  PEOPLECERT is DOI's exclusive accreditation/examination/certification partner.  DOI's current catalog includes DevOps Foundation Certification, Certified Agile Service Manager, and Certified Agile Process Owner.  Four addition role-based follow-up courses will be added to the offerings by years-end 2016.  Please visit devopsinstitute.com for more information.

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