Learn How to Start Your DevOps Career: A Beginner’s Guide

Somewhere in the middle of my career, when I had already started working in this field, I thought about how I could start working in the DevOps area. The big problem for me was that I didn't know where to start, even though I already had a lot of experience in IT.
January 13, 2023
3 mins read

I was working with networks, security, and backend programming when I was looking for projects as a freelancer.
That’s why I intend to write this guide aimed at those who are on their way to becoming a DevOps engineer or planning to become one.

Learn a Programming Language

DevOps is a field that requires a strong understanding of programming languages. If you are new to programming, you may be overwhelmed by the number of languages available, so try to focus on learning Python, NodeJS, or Ruby. While it is essential to have a fundamental understanding of all three, it is essential to be comfortable with at least one in order to progress in your understanding of DevOps. Python is currently the most popular programming language, and it is a great place to start for beginners. To learn to program, you have to find a few good videos or books and then start learning right away. The best way to learn programming is by getting hands-on experience and creating some apps.

Know Linux Basics

Linux is an essential part of DevOps, and it is crucial to have a strong understanding of it. To learn how to use it, just use it daily and practice everyday. Some key areas to focus on are shell commands, Linux directory structure, and SSH key management. It can be challenging to use “legacy” technology, but a fundamental understanding of Linux is essential for someone learning devSecOps. Once you are comfortable with it, you will be better prepared for what’s to come.

Understand Networking

Networking is the cornerstone of DevOps and the key that enables communication between applications and user devices. To be successful in devOperations, it is essential to have a basic understanding of several networking fundamentals, such as DNS, subnetting, gateways, DHCP, NAT, OSI Model, firewalls, load balancers, proxy servers, and HTTP/HTTPS.

Stick to One Cloud Provider

Cloud providers are a staple of DevOps, and it is essential to have a strong understanding of them. To gain more than foundational knowledge, it is recommended to pick one cloud provider and stick to it. By focusing on one provider, it will make it easier to transition to other providers in the future. For example, if you start learning AWS, you can then take those skills and apply them to Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. Additionally, most of the big cloud providers offer a free tier, which enables you to get hands-on experience without financial commitment to one provider.

Use Git Effectively

Source control is the most important aspect of DevOps, and understanding Git is essential to your workflow. If you already have a foundational understanding of what has been covered previously in this post, I would recommend you to start journey with source control.
Every script you create should be managed through source control, so you can track changes and collaborate with other developers.
You will need to understand concepts such as branching, pull requests, and code repositories, as well as how they fit into the overall development process.
GitHub is currently the most popular code repository platform, and it is a great place to store your work.

Start with Docker for Containers

When it comes to learning about containers, I recomend you to start with Docker. Containers allow for a consistent and portable environment for applications to run on. To learn Docker, it is essential to get hands-on experience, which is easy to do as almost anything can run Docker. You should be able to create, run, download, change, and inspect containers. Additionally, I would highly recommend you start learning about container orchestration, such as Kubernetes.

Learn About Automation

Automation is a critical part of DevOps and essential to streamlining processes and increasing efficiency. You can use automation tools like Ansible, Puppet, and Chef to automate infrastructure, configuration, and deployment. To improve your DevOps skills, try to learn at least one of these tools and understand how they can automate various aspects of the DevOps workflow.

Get Involved in the Community

DevOps is a rapidly evolving field, and it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. One of the best ways to do this is by getting involved in the DevOps community.
It would be good if you can attend meetups, participate in online forums and groups, and contribute to open-source projects.

In conclusion, to become a DevOps engineer, you need to have a strong understanding of programming languages, Linux, networking, cloud providers, source control, containers, and automation. Even though it may seem overwhelming at first, the key is to start small and gain hands-on experience. By actively focusing on one area at a time and participating in the community, you can set yourself up for a successful career in DevOps.

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