July 9, 2021

What Is DevOps Certification?

DevOps Certification is a formalized program that ensures candidates have the skills and knowledge required for working in a continuous development environment.

The DevOps Institute (DOI) is the leading certifying body and is a global, member-based professional organization dedicated to advancing the practice of DevOps. The institute is recognized as the universal standard for DevOps competencies from culture to best practices, through their Skills, Knowledge, Ideas, and Learning (SKIL).

DOI-approved courses are offered through Registered Education Partners (REP) stationed all over the world. The courses aim to teach candidates how to operate in a DevOps culture, and later build a sustainable DevOps practice within their own organization.

Why Should I Consider a DevOps Certification?

Today, organizations of all shapes and sizes are embracing DevOps. As such, DevOps pros of all kinds are high in demand.

For individuals, DevOps certification can:

  • Open up better job opportunities
  • Increase salary
  • Improve skills and knowledge

For businesses, DevOps professionals can:

  • Add value to your organization
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Thrive in a collaborative environment
  • Reduce bottlenecks

Registered Education Partners (REP) offer DOI-approved prep courses and administer certification exams all over the world, both online and off.

Here, we’ll go over the different credentials the organization offers and who might consider pursuing them.

For Many, DevOps Certification Presents a Path Toward Success

DevOps certifications are offered at three levels. According to the DevOps Institute, candidates should first earn the foundational certification to develop that baseline understanding of DevOps concepts, processes, and culture. From there, they can focus on improving their leadership skills or more technical areas like security and systems architecture.

It’s worth pointing out that, aside from the DevOps Foundation credential, no single certification is right for every professional. Some DevOps certifications are designed to help IT pros or non-technical managers gain an understanding of the practice and how they might use it within their own organizations.

Others, like DevOps manager certifications, are designed for those with some experience in DevOps who are interested in moving into a leadership role. In these cases, you may need specific work experience or foundational certifications to be eligible for the credential.

Here’s a quick look at the DevOps certifications offered through DOI partner organizations:

DevOps Foundation® Certification

DevOps Foundation is the DOI’s entry-level DevOps certifications, which aims to provide a fundamental understanding of best practices, terminology, and use cases.

At this level, candidates are expected to have some IT knowledge, though there are no prerequisites to earning this certification. The DOI site mentions that this certification is appropriate for a wide range of roles, from project managers and consultants to developers, analysts, and IT pros.

Course objectives include the following:

  • DevOps benefits for business and IT
  • Key objectives
  • DevOps vocabulary
  • Principles and practices including Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, testing, security and the Three Ways
  • The relationship between DevOps and methodologies, such as Lean, Agile, and ITSM.
  • How to scale DevOps in an enterprise setting.
  • Improved workflows, communication, and feedback loops
  • Automation practices including deployment pipelines and DevOps toolchains
  • Critical success factors and key performance indicators
  • Case studies and results from real organizations.

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DevOps Leader (DOL)®

The DevOps Leader certification course is more specialized than the foundational DevOps certification. Designed for those candidates who want to become the “change agent” within their organization, coursework teaches students transformational leadership skills, offering the tools needed to make an impact within their organization with DevOps.

Course objectives include:

  • DevOps and time to value
  • Developing a high-trust culture.
  • Leading organizational change in the enterprise.
  • Understanding the difference between traditional IT and DevOps IT.
  • Learning to prepare investment cases.
  • Mapping value streams.
  • Defining and measuring the right metrics.
  • Target operating models and organizational design
  • How to manage DevOps performance.
  • Shifting the focus on value-based outcomes.
  • Encouraging participation.

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DevSecOps Engineering (DSOE)℠

A DevSecOps Engineer is a certified IT professional focused on security and compliance as a service. DSOE training is a bit different than the other certifications listed here. In this case, coursework centers on the role of DevOps security within the broader DevOps culture, specifically covering how to integrate security and compliance programs into the fast-paced development methodology.

The DevOps Institute recommends this certification program to compliance, IT, and security professionals, managed service providers, engineers, testers, Scrum masters, and more. While materials may be relevant to anyone involved with security or compliance, this certification is more relevant to those working in a more technical role than project managers or other leadership roles.

Course objectives include:

  • Benefits, concepts, and terminology of DevSecOps
  • Integrating security protections into continuous delivery workflows
  • How to use Red and Blue Teams and why
  • The role of DevSecOps in the context of the organization and DevOps culture
  • Applying data science to workflows
  • How DevOps security differs from other security approaches
  • Threat modeling, risk management, and other strategic considerations
  • Security metrics that matter

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Continuous Delivery Architecture (CDA)℠

The CDA credential is ideal for professionals that work closely with the design, implementation, or management of the DevOps pipeline, and how those activities support Continuous Integration, Delivery, Testing, and in some cases, Deployment.

According to the DOI, CDA is best suited for IT managers, software developers, project managers, security professionals, QA managers, and testers. Students will learn how to accelerate development, reduce risk, and deliver a better product by architecting automated deployment pipelines.

Course objectives include:

  • Continuous delivery goals and key concepts
  • An understanding of the pipeline
  • Best practices for developing, maintaining, and transforming DevOps collaborative culture
  • Design practices, like microservices and modular design
  • Continuous Integration (Cl), such as version control, builds, and remediation
  • Continuous Testing (CT) best practices
  • Continuous Delivery and Deployment (CD)—best practices for packaging, containers, and release
  • Continuous Monitoring (CM): monitoring and analysis infrastructure, process, and apps

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DevOps Test Engineering (DTE)®

DTE certification demonstrates quality testing competencies within a DevOps environment. The training will cover concepts like test automation, running tests during early development stages, and helping candidates improve quality assurance, security, and operations skills.

Course objectives include:

  • Terminology, purpose, and key concepts of DevOps testing
  • How DevOps testing is different than other methodologies
  • Testing strategies
  • Test management
  • How to analyze results
  • How to choose the right tools for testing
  • When to apply automation
  • Integrating DevOps testing into CI/CD workflows
  • Understanding the role of DevOps testers within the broader DevOps culture

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Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM)®

The CASM credential aims to bring Agile thinking into service management and process design to streamline workflows and deliver better outcomes. This DevOps manager certification is best suited for professionals tasked with process design and optimization—think consultants, project managers, and anyone tasked with improving workflows and driving results. CASM is less technical than, say, DSOE, and focuses more on leadership and culture.

Course objectives include:

  • Gaining a deeper understanding of Agile principles
  • Scrum basics, pillars, values, and key terms
  • Learning about Agile processes like Kanban, ITSM, Lean, and DevOps
  • Developing a strategy for applying Agile thinking to service management
  • Elements and steps involved in process design
  • Understanding the concept of Minimum Viable Product

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Certified Agile Process Owner (CAPO)®

As another DevOps manager certification, CAPO helps business owners understand and implement DevOps inside their organization. The coursework centers around giving business leaders the language needed to implement DevOps strategy, as well as oversee the design and development process, re-engineering, and IT security strategies in the context of the DevOps methodology.

Course objectives include:

  • Learning to oversee Agile process design and improvement efforts
  • Monitoring and measuring the metrics that represent DevOps success
  • Scrum pillars and processes
  • Agile service management
  • Measuring employee performance and conducting performance reviews
  • Overcoming barriers to DevOps adoption

Learn More

Top DevOps Certifications from Third-Party Vendors

Thanks to the rising popularity of DevOps across all sectors, cloud providers, software developers, and others have developed their own courses and certification programs independent of the DevOps Institute.

Similar to the vendor-sponsored certifications related to specific servers, storage systems, networks, or security, these third-party certifications only serve to demonstrate your ability as it relates to that vendor product.

Generally speaking, these types of certifications are designed for the companies running vendors’ tools in their environment. For instance, a company using AWS might require individual employees to take Amazon’s AWS DevOps course to ensure all team members are trained accordingly.

That said, here are the top DevOps certifications offered by vendors:

If you’re working toward a specific career goal, start with the DOI DevOps certifications, and from there, dig into job descriptions to find out if there are any vendor certifications prospective employers tend to mention more than others.

Otherwise, you may want to hold off and pursue vendor certifications after consulting with your employer.

DevOps Certifications Are Just the Beginning

Ultimately, whether DevOps certifications are a wise investment depends on several factors. We recommend that professionals earn the globally-recognized DOI certifications before pursuing those offered by vendors. DevOps Institute courses will serve you well in any organization following a DevOps approach.

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