Microsoft Virtual Academy: DevOps

A compound of ‘development’ and ‘operations’, DevOps is a term which was coined in 2008 and popularized through “DevOps Days” conferences which are held around the world.

DevOps is a concept behind which lies the practice of having operations and development engineers working together, throughout the entire lifecycle of a project, from design through development to production. DevOps are here to answer the question of “what comes next?” after the software has left the development team. With DevOps, there is a certain discipline, a state of mind, which comes along with it. This is the Agile discipline of software development, which was basically laid out by the Manifesto for Agile Software Development in 2001:

DevOps Days

DevOps Days

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”

DevOps is almost a kind of movement. It has a strong social and technological statement behind it. In the ‘odd’ years of 2000 – 2010, DevOps went from being an idea to an approach which many follow. An integration of the development team with the operations and productions teams. This new approach called for new kinds of technology, which is what DevOps tools are about.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) has 16 courses on DevOps. It offers IT professionals and developers the technical resources necessary for exploring – and perhaps even adopting – the DevOps way. Courses on DevOps have been available through MVA since 2014, and even though this is one of the smallest sections on MVA, course-wise, there is still a lot which IT pros can take away from this group of videos.

Course Review: DevOps – Visual Studio Release Management Jump Start

One of the most popular courses on DevOps is DevOps – Visual Studio Release Management Jump Start, instructed by Micheal Learned and Krithika Sambamoorthy. This course teaches IT pros how to implement proper software release. Visual Studio’s Release Management can save organizations time and money, by ensuring that difficult release processes are a thing of the past.



The topics covered in this course are:

  • Release Management Architecture
  • Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and DevOps Overview
  • Release Pipelines
  • Deployment Recipes
  • Advanced Topics
  • Recommended Resources & Next Steps

This course has no prerequisites, and it is categorized as Level 200. It is worth 49 points, and it includes six modules and five assessment examinations. There are also slideshow presentations which correspond with the various modules. They can be downloaded and viewed alongside the course, in order to ease the process.

Learned is a Senior Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft, with a focus on Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. He is a Visual Studio ALM Ranger, and World Wide Application Lifecycle Management Lead, for Microsoft.

Sambamoorthy is a Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft, with a focus on Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. Like Learned, she is also a Visual Studio ALM Ranger.

Course Review: Assessing and Improving Your DevOps Capabilities

Another very popular course is Assessing and Improving Your DevOps Capabilities, instructed by Brian Harry, Sam Guckenheimer, Gene Kim, David Tesar, Doug Seven, Richard Campbell, Kris Lankford, and Michelle Bishop. This course is about implementing the various ideas of DevOps into your business or organization, along with its corresponding technology.

Instructors Doug Seven and Sam Guckenheimer

Instructors Doug Seven and Sam Guckenheimer

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Introduction to DevOps
  • Why Everyone Needs DevOps Now
  • Enhancing Your DevOps Capabilities
  • Operational Efficiency
  • The Value of Transparency in the Release Pipeline – Total Economic Impact (TEI) Study
  • Closing
  • Recommended Resources and Next Steps

There are no prerequisites to taking this course, and it runs approximately four hours. It is worth 42 points, and it includes seven modules and five assessment exams.

About the instructors:

Harry is a Microsoft Corporate Vice President, working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server – a server-based product designed to dramatically improve the productivity, predictability, and agility of software development teams by ensuring that all team members have easy access to the information they need to make the right decisions at the right time.

Guckenheimer is the Group Product Planner of Microsoft Visual Studio product line. Sam has 25 years’ experience as architect, developer, tester, product manager, project manager and general manager in the software industry in the US and Europe. He joined Microsoft in 2003 to lead the vision for Visual Studio Team System and has been responsible for its strategy since then. Sam has been instrumental in driving the product line to its market-leading position today.

Kim is an entrepreneur, researcher, and author focused on IT operations, information security, and, DevOps. He is best known as the founder of Tripwire, and as the author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win, Visible Ops Security, and The Visible Ops Handbook.

Tesar is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, focused on DevOps. He creates technical content, speaks at various Microsoft and industry events, provides technical feedback to Microsoft software engineering teams, and consults and implements solutions driving continuous improvement for customers and internal development teams.

Seven is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft. He is the ALM Product Strategist for Visual Studio. He began working for Microsoft in 1999, left to pursue other projects, and then rejoined Microsoft in 2004.

Campbell has seen the computing industry from so many sides – hardware and software, development and operations. He was a co-founder of Strangeloop Networks, acquired by Radware in 2013 and was on the board of directors of Telerik which was acquired by Progress Software in 2014. Today he is an advisor to a number of successful technology firms and is host on two developer podcasts: .NET Rocks! and RunAs Radio.

Lankford is a former Senior Product Manager for Microsoft and the present VP of Product Marketing at Falafel Software. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the software/IT Industry spanning engineering, lean startups, DevOps consulting/solutions, leading agile teams, and product management.

Bishop is a Principal Consultant for Forrester, an independent research firm which provides advice, insight, and consultation to leaders and organizations in the field of business and technology, worldwide.

"Every day, more IT professionals are learning how to make the software creation process better, faster, and more efficient"

“Every day, more IT professionals are learning how to make the software creation process better, faster, and more efficient”

DevOps is here to stay. Every day, more IT professionals are learning how to make the software creation process better, faster, and more efficient. By implementing the ideas behind DevOps – sharing resources, interacting on a personal level, and changing the way software is engineered and produced – we can be sure that the future will keep on advancing in the same amazingly fast pace, without losing the quality of the software or the individuals who create it.

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