Training is critical inside an organization for DevOps to succeed, but just how do you go about developing a training program for DevOps on the scale needed without breaking the bank?
First though, let’s be crystal clear about what the DevOps training should be focused on and who should be included. Any DevOps training program should concentrate on developing an Agile/DevOps mindset, with the appropriate level of technical training required. The training program should not be centered on technical/tool training. Any training program that is developed should include all levels of the organization, that includes the executive level. Why you ask should all levels be included? Think of it like rowing a boat, if the rowers on one side are rowing the boat and the rowers on the other side are not, what happens? The boat simply goes in circles, much like what is happening with most DevOps efforts in organizations.
So, how can an organization go about developing a DevOps training program that is scalable across the organization? One possible way is to borrow from a technique used in Higher Education. This concept uses the idea of Cohort groups. The idea is that small Cohort Groups would be created at all levels, preferably cross functional cohort groups. Then using an appropriate tool, the groups would be given weekly assignments (readings or activities) where they would be expected to discuss the reading or assignment in their Cohort Group and then depending on the reading or assignment a chat tool could be used to allow all the Cohort Groups to discuss the reading or assignment in order to further knowledge transfer. Some Cohort Groups may have assignments such as Hackathons where they would learn to use various DevOps tooling, possibly in competitions against other Cohort Groups.