Get Ready For DevOps
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 02 August 2023

DevOps is more than just a fusion of development and operations. It is the cultural change that organizations everywhere are adopting to become more agile and innovate at scale.CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) is one of its central tenets. Here we look at three short online courses on the topic from Coursera, edX and Udacity.

c1 cd cyclesCI/CD is a set of practices complementary with Agile software development that automates the process of building, testing, and deploying software. It aims to reduce the risk of introducing errors into software, speed up the delivery of new features, improve the quality of software, and make it easier to experiment with new ideas. We recently covered some appropriate developer tools, see Top 7 CI/CD Pipeline Tools now we consider how to gain relevant knowledge and skills.


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The Udacity course Building a Continuous Integration Pipeline is newly available as a 1-month course, assuming  5-10 hours per week. It is at Intermediate Level and its prerequisites are having basic understanding of Node.js or Python and experience with AWS services such as CloudFormation and IAM.

Udacity takes a learn-by-doing approach which incorporates projects based on real-world scenarios. By taking this course learners will develop CI/CD systems that automate the processes between developers and the cloud environment and acquire the skills of build automation, continuous deployment and deployment rollbacks. It comprises the following:

  • Introduction to CI/CD
    Identify use cases for CI/CD and describe the principles of Continuous Delivery.
  • Continuous Integration and Continuous DeploymentDesign a CI/CD pipeline using a visual mockup and articulate the benefits of CI/CD to stakeholders.
  • Building a Continuous Integration Pipeline
    Create a variety of YAML Workflows and design a git branching strategy to support a development team's workflow. Create a custom GitHub action and deploy it to GitHub Marketplace. Design and execute a CI pipeline based on a given set of requirements.
  • Enabling Continuous Delivery with Deployment Pipelines
    Create/deploy the necessary infrastructure/resources for building CI/CD pipelines. Secure a CI/CD pipeline by leveraging secret storage and utilize caching strategies to speed-up application build times. Create alerts to monitor your pipelines and automate deploying an application to multiple AWS accounts.
  • Course Project: Movie Picture Pipeline
    In this project, you will design and implement a CI/CD pipeline using GitHub Actions. You will demonstrate the skills they learned in this course to execute the deployment and verification of frontend and backend applications to an existing Kubernetes cluster.

If you want a microcredential in DevOps, this course is also part of the 4-month Cloud DevOps Engineer Nanodegree.

Similarly, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) on the Coursera platform is part of two IBM Professional Certificate programs - IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate and IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate.

The CI/CD course is expected to take 10 hours to complete and has four modules and a final exam:

  • Module 1 (1 hr) Introduction to CI/CD
    Discover what CI and CD are and the benefits they bring to the DevOps pipeline. Explore popular CI/CD tools and see why it’s acceptable for different teams within an organization to use different CI/CD tools. Also learn about Infrastructure as Code (IaC), the process by which code is used to automate the provision and management of infrastructure.
  • Module 2 (3 hrs) Introduction to Continuous Integration
    An overview of the features of CI and its benefits for DevOps. Explore social coding, a core concept underlying CI, and the four steps for conducting it. Learn about Git, the version control system that enables DevOps examining the five steps of the Git Feature Branch Workflow and the Git commands essential for performing them. Learn about standard CI tools, starting with Jenkins, CircleCI, and Travis CI. Explore GitHub Actions, in greater depth, discovering the features and benefits it provides for CI.
  • Mod 3 (5 hrs) Introduction to Continuous Delivery
    Explore CD’s goals, benefits, key principles, and best practices, discovering the requirements of a CI/CD pipeline and the difference between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment, a closely related process. Learn about standard CD tools, including Argo CD and Tekton, and how to choose the best tool for the job. Explore Tekton in greater depth discovering its essential components and how they work together to create a CD pipeline. Learn how to build a pipeline from Tekton tasks, pass parameters to a pipeline, and build triggers that start pipeline runs. Implement reusable Tekton tasks from the Tekton Catalog,  create your own tasks to automate linting and unit testing and discover how to complete your CD pipeline by building a container image and deploying your application to an environment.   

The third course is also part of a larger microcredential. DevOps on AWS: Code, Build, and Test is on the edX platform and is the second of four courses in the DevOps on AWS XSeries Program. This course is free to audit and is shortest of those we have looked at, just 2 weeks.

In the first week learners are introduced to DevOps cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that you can use to deliver applications and services faster and at a higher quality. They then get hands-on with AWS services, such as AWS Cloud9, by setting up a development environment for a sample application.

In the second week, they discover why it’s important for teams to incorporate testing into the software development lifecycle at different stages of the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, getting hands-on with AWS solutions by performing various application tests with AWS CodeBuild, automating the release process with AWS CodePipeline, and automating code deployments with AWS CodeDeploy.

As is obvious from this syllabus it is specific to AWS, but this is the cloud with the largest share of the market so there is a lot of potential in gaining the DevOps on AWS certificate.


More Information

Building a Continuous Integration Pipeline (Udacity)

Cloud DevOps Engineer Nanodegree (Udacity)

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (Coursera) 

IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate

IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate.

DevOps on AWS: Code, Build, and Test (edX)

DevOps on AWS XSeries Program (edX)

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 August 2023 )