There are good reasons why DevOps has become a very-high paying job: Companies of all sizes need technologists who can implement practices that drive high product quality, plus oversee the development lifecycle.
With the advent of the cloud and everything-as-a-service (SaaS, PaaS, etc.), DevOps has grown more prominent, no longer constrained to just a few software projects. And given that importance, it’s perhaps inevitable that businesses looking to hire a DevOps specialist would be increasingly concerned about certifications that show they have the necessary skills.
There is currently a huge demand for DevOps professionals who comprehend both the development and operational side of the development process.
Dice talked about DevOps certifications with Udemy instructor Nick Colyer, who currently teaches DevOps to more than 52,000 students on Udemy and works as a Chief Cloud Architect for AHEAD in Chicago.
What sorts of DevOps certifications are available?
As Colyer explained, there are a variety of DevOps certifications. Each of the three major cloud providers offers DevOps certifications (which, as you might expect, focus on mastering their respective technology stacks and processes). These include:
- Microsoft’s AZ-400 – DevOps Engineer Expert
- Amazon’s AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
- Google’s Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
“In addition, many companies adopting DevOps, are also adopting Kubernetes as a technology,” he added. “The Cloud Native Computing Foundation offers a Certified Kubernetes Administration (CKA)certification which focuses on Kubernetes regardless of where you deploy it.”
There’s also a new series of certifications by Hashicorp focusing on Terraform, Vault, and Consul; Colyer said these are in high demand, given they are common supporting technologies for teams making a DevOps transformation.
How long do certifications generally take to complete?
“These are some of the toughest certifications,” Colyer noted, pointing to AZ-400, which requires you to know about DevOps processes, SRE (Site Reliability Engineering), and code control, as well as Microsoft-specific technologies within the Azure ecosystem.
“Many students anticipate six months or more to achieve these,” he said. “Others like the CKA are more focused and can be completed more quickly.”
The level of difficulty depends on background, but DevOps certifications are among the most advanced certifications you can obtain, in terms of effort and knowledge. “Microsoft, Amazon, and Google users should plan to take associate level certifications first, before moving up to the AZ-400,” Colyer added.
What are the required skills to get certified?
“Among the most important are collaboration skills, code control, and DevOps processes,” Colyer said. “Continuous integration and continuous delivery familiarity, as well as specific technology skills like Azure DevOps Pipelines, Repos and so on are great to have, not to mention an understanding of 1-2 core programming languages, for example Node JS, .NET or Python.”
What are some of the most in-demand DevOps certifications?
“Depending on which cloud provider you are focused on, you might naturally fit into one of the vendor specific certs, and combine that with Hashicorp and CKA certifications as relevant to your organization,” Colyer said.
Why is a DevOps Certification a good thing to have?
There is a shortage of skilled people in the DevOps space, and a certification can assure hiring managers and interviewers that you know enough about process (especially within the context of a particular vendor’s ecosystem) to jump into the company’s workflow immediately.
“Companies are used to recruiting by stating 1-3 years experience in various technologies, however, that’s not feasible when these technologies are so new,” Colyer said. “This makes the certification even more valuable to prove your knowledge to any potential employer, or simply to expand your skills and be better in your current field.”
What are the benefits of a DevOps certification?
As with any technologist position, a certification can not only increase one’s chances of landing a new job, but also boost your value within your organization—putting you in line for promotions.