If you really want to get the most from your cloud, you need people who know DevOps. There’s only one little problem with that. How the heck do you know if someone really gets DevOps?
Good question, and there didn’t used to be any good answers — other than, hire them and hope for the best. Which is, ahem, not ideal.
Fortunately, DevOps certifications are appearing just in time to keep you from relying on luck for your cloud hires.
“DevOps isn’t a product but rather a culture and process. There are certain technologies and skills someone working in a DevOps environment should have. Our goal with this new RHCA concentration is to offer a way for employers to validate these critical open source skills, and in the process, further enable enterprises to accelerate application delivery.”
Red Hat’s certification, Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) with a DevOps concentration, is a high-level one. To obtain it, you must first be a Red Hat Certified Engineer and a Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer. Then, you must pass five additional exams:
- Developing Containerized Applications course and exam;
- OpenShift [Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service] Enterprise Administration course and exam;
- Cloud Automation with Ansible DevOps;
- Managing Docker containers with RHEL Atomic Host; and
- Configuration Management with Puppet DevOps.
While some of these skills are universally useful, no matter your cloud, the program’s focus on OpenShift, Ansible and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Atomic Host makes it best for companies already committed to Red Hat technologies.
Mirantis, an OpenStack cloud company, takes a more vendor-neutral approach. While the company is not offering DevOps training and certification per se, it is offering vendor-agnostic Kubernetes container management and Docker certification.
This certification is recommended for cloud professionals that either already know Kubernetes and Docker or have, at least, taken a Kubernetes and Docker bootcamp. Mirantis also offers a self-paced Kubernetes and Docker class.
The proctored Kubernetes and Docker certification (KDC100) is a hands-on, 30-task exam, priced at $600. This includes a certificate, listing on Mirantis’ verification portal for prospective employers and certification signature logos for those who pass the exam. While not as high-level as Red Hat’s RHCA, it’s a serious certification for middle- to high-level DevOps experts.
On a lower level, the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is developing its own DevOps certification. The LPI has long been known for its entry-level Linux courses and certifications. Fabian Thorns, LPI’s Director of Certification Development, explained
“DevOps, at its core, is a collaboration model supported by a specific set of tools. We have been observing this tool chain maturing over the last few years and it’s the right time to talk to LPI’s open-source community about how we can provide proof of proficiency in handling these tools and implementing DevOps solutions.”
Indeed it is time. The LPI hopes to hold its first DevOps certification tests in the fall of 2017.
Of course, you could forgo training and decide not to add DevOps experts to your IT staff. As W. Edwards Deming, an American economist, once said, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
But that would probably be a mistake.