What Does the Core DevOps Curriculum Look Like in 2023?
February 06, 2023

Charlotte Christopherson
DevOps Launchpad

There seems to be no limit to the speed at which DevOps platforms and technologies are changing. DevOps professionals not only need to keep up with all the technological change, they are also having to compete with more and more people who have acquired basic DevOps skills made possible by the rise in popularity of low-code DevOps.

Professionals who are less inclined to develop their skills and advance their careers may fall behind. Luckily, those who do invest time in continuous education (CE) will continue to find opportunities to create value for their organizations, clients and themselves.

Even for DevOps professionals, however, there are only 24 hours in a day, so choices have to be made on where they invest time for CE.


We share our top CE tips so that DevOps practitioners can quickly discover the knowledge and skills DevOps professionals would be wise to keep current on in 2023.

Continuous delivery

Containerization and virtualization continue to dominate the DevOps landscape with tools such as Docker and Kubernetes being used in more organizations. The same holds true for the move from DevOps to DevSecOps. To this end, DevOps practitioners should continue to invest in mastering continuous delivery with CI/CD tools for both on-premise and cloud solutions.

Infrastructure-as-Code

For systems that fall into the PaaS or IaaS space, being able to adopt the Infrastructure-as-Code principle for configuration of environments remains essential throughout the application lifecycle. That's because it supports just-in-time creation of development and testing environments that are consistent, repeatable, easily configured and well-aligned with real-world scenarios.

Testing

Robust testing is becoming ever more important to DevOps success. Skilling up in testing methods and frameworks that support seamless delivery is crucial, and these skills need to cover the spectrum of environment testing, unit testing (coupled with automation and gating of releases), and UI test automation.

Monitoring

Perhaps equally as important as testing is the need for observability through application monitoring, be that for performance, errors or data anomalies and security. DevOps professionals should be applying the same rigor to day-to-day operations of systems as they do to deployments. With the growing trend towards DevSecOps, 2023 will likely see a greater overlap with the work of Infosec teams and more collaboration with them.

Backups

Backup and restore remains a vital skill and should be considered as part of an overall DevOps skills set, since they form the basis of the "mean time to recovery" metric. DevOps professionals should know the processes and tools required to restore systems and data to return to "Business As Usual" as quickly and safely as possible.

Database Operations

For applicable systems, Database Operations should not be overlooked and an awareness of data-driven constraints and requirements should be part of every DevOps professional's curriculum. Understanding the data layer component of an application aids communication in multi-functional DevOps teams, which in turn can accelerate delivery.

Management skills

We have naturally focused on technical skills for our top CE tips, but for anyone who will be leading a team, management skills are every bit as important. Culture is key and people-related challenges have often been identified as the greatest obstacle to DevOps adoption and performance (Gearset State of Salesforce DevOps Report, 2022). Management skills will help leaders build and nurture a culture of continuous improvement that is conducive to DevOps. 

Demonstrating DevOps ROI

Another important skill managers need to master is the ability to communicate DevOps's performance (measured, for example, through Google's DORA metrics) where they are able to translate DevOps metrics into measurable business value. There is no use being able to motivate a team if you can't also justify the investment in DevOps to key stakeholders.

Platform-specific knowledge

The emphasis so far has been on broad-based DevOps skills. However, depending on their own personal preferences, DevOps professionals will find value in picking up platform-specific DevOps skills.

DevOps is ever evolving as are the demands put on DevOps professionals. Those who do their best to keep current on the diverse set of knowledge and skills listed above will be set to thrive and succeed in the coming year.

Charlotte Christopherson is Editor-in-Chief at DevOps Launchpad
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