Learn these skills to start your DevOps career in 2024!

Paul Hill

December 21, 2023 • 5 min read

    DevOps professionals earn an average of $133k per year in the United States according to builtin. Learn these essential skills to start your DevOps career in 2024!

    Hey it’s Paul from Server Academy and we’re going to cover the skills that we consider the most important to learn to become a DevOps professional. Let’s get started!

    1) Familiarize yourself with DevOps Concepts!

    Become familiar enough with DevOps that you can describe it to someone else (like an interviewer). Become familiar with with the DevOps lifecycle and practices. We like this article from Microsoft that explains DevOps practices and specifically DevOps and the cloud!

    2) Learn Virtualization

    Download and install a free virtualization tool like VirtualBox that allows you to create virtual machines and virtual networks. VMs allow you to practice installing other operating systems and learn in a sandbox without the fear of messing up your computer.

    We have a free course that will show you step-by-step how to create an IT lab with Virtualziation which you can get here.

    3) Learn Linux

    Now that you’ve learned how to make VMs, it’s time to install and learn Linux. Any gui-less operating system like Ubuntu Server, Centos or Alma Linux will do…but we at Server Academy prefer and teach Ubuntu Server. Once you have the OS installed on a VM, you’ll want to learn things like creating users, managing and updating packages, managing firewall rules, etc. Check out our Linux Fundamentals course to get started learning Linux!

    4) Bash Scripting

    Bash scripting is all about automation, and Linux makes it really easy to automate scripts when you combine them with Cron jobs. One example we use in our Linux Fundamentals course is to create a bash script that will backup your /home directory, then create a cron job to automatically run the script once per week.

    5) Python

    Python’s simplicity and power make it ideal for scripting and automation in DevOps. It’s widely used for creating custom tools, automating tasks, and interacting with third-party API’s. Learning Python enables you to handle various DevOps tasks more efficiently and is highly valuable for cross-platform development. Check out our free Python course to learn this skill!

    6) Git version control

    Git is a fundamental skill you must learn as you will be using git version control to manage and backup your source code. It allows teams to collaborate effectively, track changes, and revert to previous versions when necessary. Create a free account at GitHub.com to get started learning git version control.

    7) CI / CD

    Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment are the pillars of the DevOps methodology. They allow you to frequently integrate code changes into a central repository and automatically deploy code to production. An easy way to get started is to use GitHub’s Actions for CI / CD, or create a VM and install Jenkins for CI / CD.

    8) Configuration Management (Ansible)

    Ansible allows you to define your infrastructure’s configuration as code. You can specify which packages should be installed, what user accounts should exist and much more. Ansible ensures that all systems are configured consistently and correctly. You and use a Linux VM to install Ansible and practice making playbooks for other VMs to learn this technology.

    9) Cloud Basics

    You can learn different CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud by creating a free account in each of these CSPs. Create an account, and try creating simple one VM labs to get a feel for how each of them work individually, then practice automating the configuration of your cloud VMs with things like User Data scripts and Ansible.

    10) Infrastructure as Code (Terraform)

    Terraform is a vendor agnostic IaC (infrastructure as code) tool. IaC tools allow you to manage and provision your infrastructure as code instead of needing to click through menus which can take quite a while and is prone to errors. 

    IaC allows you to quickly create and destroy cloud infrastructure as desired. You can also see if your infrastructure has strayed away from the baseline and fix any inconsistencies among your configuration.

    If you sign up for a free account at a CSP, you can use Terraform to create your IT labs, and then destroy the labs with a single command when you’re done using them. Pretty cool!

    11) Containers (Docker)

    Containers provide a lightweight way to package applications with their dependencies. In DevOps, Docker is key for creating consistent environments for development, testing, and production, ensuring that applications run reliably when moved from one computing environment to another.

    Docker hub contains TONS of docker images that you can quickly deploy with Docker. Try setting up a Grafana or another monitoring tool inside a container with docker.

    12) Container Orchestration (Kubernetes)

    Kubernetes is vital for managing containerized applications at scale. It handles the deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts. Learning Kubernetes is crucial in a DevOps role as it ensures efficient and reliable deployment and scaling of applications.

    13) Continuous Monitoring

    You can setup something like an ELK stack (Elastic Search, Logstash and Kibana) to monitor your VMs you setup on VirtualBox. Collect logs, create some dashboards, and configure alerting like for low disk space or high CPU usage. You can use Docker to get an ELK stack up and running in just a few minutes!


    Which of these tools are you learning? Did I miss anything? I want to hear about it! Anything you have to say could help other future DevOps professionals! Leave a comment below and let’s continue the conversation.

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