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Andrew Monsoon
August 8, 2023
Updated August 8, 2023

Introduction to DevOps: Key Principles and Practices

Introduction to DevOps: Key Principles and Practices

In this article we'll break down the basics of DevOps, its benefits, tools, give you a guide to becoming a DevOps specialist from scratch, and, for bonus, some useful free resources for learning DevOps. Let's dive in!

What DevOps is in simple terms

To understand how DevOps stands for, we should refer to the terms "Development" and "Operations". Devops development (Devops Engineering) is a philosophy that aims to integrate software development and operations processes. In this case, the goal of DevOps is to optimise and automate processes, reduce the time-to-market, and increase the reliability and stability of IT systems.

DevOps principles

DevOps principles are based on several key aspects that make it stand out from other approaches to software development and operations:

  • Collaboration and culture
    The essence of DevOps is a collaboration between development and operations departments. Compared to traditional approaches where development and operations work separately, DevOps fosters greater collaboration and communication, which the Puppet State of DevOps report shows leads to 20-30% faster development times.
  • Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD)
    Organizations using CI/CD release updates 2-3 times faster than those who don't. This increases the speed of delivery of new features and patches, which has a positive impact on business and user satisfaction.
  • Automation
    Automating labor-intensive processes can reduce time spent on routine tasks and reduce errors. Automation can also lead to a 25% reduction in IT costs.
  • Monitoring and feedback
    Collecting and analyzing data on system performance and user feedback allows the team to quickly respond to issues and improve the product. Companies that use monitoring tools are 2-3 times faster in detecting and fixing problems.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
    IaC enables automation of infrastructure deployment and management, which reduces errors and speeds up processes. Using IaC can reduce infrastructure deployment time by 50-60%.

Compared to other approaches such as Agile and Waterfall, DevOps ensures faster delivery speed, improves product quality, and increases team satisfaction. Through its principles, DevOps helps organizations better adapt to changing business and market requirements. by 50-60%.

Benefits of DevOps

  • Increased development speed: according to the same Puppet State of DevOps report, companies adopting DevOps practices are 200 times more likely to release code.
  • Improved product quality: thanks to continuous integration and delivery, error rates in the production phase are reduced by 60%;
  • Improved collaboration and cooperation: DevOps contributes to a 50% increase in NPS (Net Promoter Score);
  • Reduced downtime: Disaster recovery time is 24% shorter for companies using DevOps;
  • DevOps tools and practices;
  • Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD): Jenkins, Travis CI, GitLab CI/CD, Bamboo, and Spinnaker;
  • Configuration management: Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Terraform, and other tools;
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Terraform and CloudFormation;
  • Virtualisation and containerisation: Docker for application containerisation and Kubernetes for DevOps (container orchestration);
  • Monitoring and logging: Prometheus, Grafana, ELK Stack, Datadog, and Splunk;
  • Cloud platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.

DevOps engineer from scratch: step-by-step instructions

Becoming a professional in DevOps engineering requires effort, time and continuous learning. We have written a step-by-step plan on how to become a DevOps engineer:

Step 1: Learn the basics of programming and system administration

First of all, you will need basic programming skills and an understanding of what DevOps does. Most DevOps developers prefer languages like Python, Ruby, or JavaScript. According to GitHub statistics, Python is the 3rd most popular programming language in 2023. Free resources for learning Python include Codecademy, SoloLearn, and the official Python documentation, as well as our Knowledge Base section with Python tutorials.

Knowledge of Unix/Linux is also important as most DevOps tools run on these operating systems. According to data from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023, Linux/Unix is the most popular platform among professionals. Free resources for learning Linux include Linux Journey and the Linux Foundation's Introduction to Linux.

Step 2: Master DevOps tools

Fully understanding what a DevOps engineer does and what tools they use (Git, Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, Ansible, and Terraform) is key to success in this field. These tools enable CI/CD, configuration management, containerization, and IaC practices. Free sources of DevOps information include official documentation as well as online courses on Katacoda.

Step 3: Cloud training

Cloud platforms (AWS, GCP, and Azure) play one of the most important roles in modern DevOps. According to the Flexera 2023 report, 92% of enterprises use multi-cloud strategies. Free sources of information on cloud technologies include AWS Training and Certification, Google Cloud Training, and Microsoft Learn.

Step 4: Obtain DevOps training certifications and credentials

Obtaining a certificate of training in the DevOps engineering profession will help increase the loyalty of your future employer and put your knowledge in front of them. According to ACloudGuru, the most sought-after certifications are AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer, and Google Cloud - Professional DevOps Engineer. Most certification organizations offer free training materials and practice tests.

Step 5: Continuous Learning

The technological world is constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, continuous learning and updating your skills is critical for DevOps engineers. Keep up with the latest trends and best practices, participate in conferences and workshops, and read professional blogs and articles (, The New Stack, and DZone).

And now, as promised, links to useful free resources and training courses:

Offers free courses on DevOps from renowned universities and institutions.

Provides access to free DevOps courses when audited (without certification).

Offers free, hands-on DevOps environments and scenarios for practicing DevOps tools and principles.

A free comprehensive guide for learning Docker, a fundamental DevOps tool.

Don't be afraid to start learning DevOps! You have all the materials you need to dive deep into the profession at your fingertips, all you need is a little perseverance.

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