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New Avenues for Operations Engineering Education

by Aslan Brooke on Mar 13, 2013 |
Technology education enthusiasts got together to have a panel discussion on hangops last month about creating new opportunities for operations engineering education. They acknowledge that it is harder than ever to find qualified individuals for today's operation engineering jobs and discussed ways to solve that problem. Those panel guests included Avleen Vig, Patrick McDonnell, Selena Deckelmann, and Carolyn Rowland. 
 
Avleen, discussed Ops School Curriculum on the show. He explained how it began in conversations with his management at Etsy. Those conversations were about an approach to solving the problem of the time it takes to hire a operations engineer and the problem of finding someone with the specific skill set needed. Avleen talked on hangops about creating Ops School to address those problems:
 
"One of the best ways we could do it is if we had a real solid internal training program. Which we shared with everybody else. Ops School kind of grew from that. We said, Ok. Lets have a program where other companies and individuals can contribute, and just bring together all the knowledge in the operations arena and the sysadmin arena and make it freely available for anyone that wants to. So last September we kicked it off, we sent out a few tweets, and within a couple of weeks we had, I think, over 30 pages of things to get started on."
 
Initially a lot of individuals contributed to the outline of topics for Ops School, but now the open source project needs contributions to the content to build up the curriculum. People willing to contribute are being asked to start providing content for the beginner (101) level first. The curriculum is divided into beginner (101), intermediate (102), and advanced (103) level curriculums. 
 
Patrick discussed how Etsy has teamed up with O`Reilly to create audio/video content similar to Ops School Curriculum that is tailored for those that learn by watching others perform technical steps. Additionally Etsy is donating the revenues they receive to charities associated with education. Selena explained her involvement in teaching both python and beginning sysadmin classes to women in Portland, Oregon.  Carolyn shared how she has got approval from USENIX to have a one day summit for university educators to get together and standardize content for operation engineering education.
 
Hangops is hosted by Brandon Burton, web operations engineer at Mozilla, and Jordan Sissel, author of Logstash. Patrick and Avleen have also been on the foodfight show and at the joint meet up driven by DevOpsDC group promoting Ops School.
 
In your opinion, how hard is it to recruit prepared operations staff that are ready to work in a DevOps culture?
 

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