Why Training Is Important for Employees in 2020
Corporate training is always essential to retain talents within your company, but here is why training is especially important for employees in 2020.
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It is obvious that every employee wants to progress their career and grow as a professional, so they prefer to work for the companies that can help them advance their career. People value the effort their employer pays into improving their skills, and research published in Forbes states that 93% of employees will stay longer if their company provides training. One of the main goals of HR processes is employee retention, so training & development becomes an essential part of business operations.
This is why many companies invest in creating a dedicated L&D (learning and development) department responsible for improving the skills of their employees. One of the results of such investment is the increased employee productivity and performance, which results in a healthier bottom line for a company. Companies able to dedicate at least $1,500 per employee annually report a 24% increase in profits, as compared to companies not investing in their employee learning and development.
This is especially important for DevOps training, as it is a costly endeavor (certified AWS, GCP, and Azure training programs can cost up to $2000). However, skilled DevOps engineers can optimize your infrastructure and processes to significantly reduce your OPEX and increase your business efficiency and profitability — which is especially useful during the upcoming economic recession due to COVID-19 quarantines across the globe.
Therefore, to utilize all the benefits of DevOps in 2020, the companies must quickly gain access to DevOps expertise or train their internal IT engineers into DevOps. How can this be done?
Core Principles and Tasks of the L&D Department
As a rule of thumb, Learning & Development specialists deal with adaptation, mentorship, and Individual Development Plans. They must align the employee’s goals and efforts with the organization’s business objectives by identifying the existing skill gaps and developing training materials to close those gaps. The L&D director is responsible for developing and implementing a corporate training strategy across the organization and must perform a broad selection of technological and managerial tasks:
Develop company-wide training programs that align with long-term business strategy
Assess the individual and department-wide training needs that could benefit the company
Ensure the programs in use are aligned with the current business situation and adjust them should the circumstances change
Optimize training processes to include the latest technology and improve the outcomes
Build and maintain the knowledge base of learning materials and eLearning solutions
Design eLearning courses, auxiliary materials for mentorship and other content for training
Researching and adopting the latest and most efficient training methods
Managing the staff at the L&D department
Securing and cost-efficiently spending the L&D budget
Partaking and promoting all training courses to secure managerial buy-in and commitment of personnel
The position of the L&D director is crucial for concentrating the effort on aligning the employee development plans with the company goals and ensuring the staff is equipped with sufficient skills and tools to do their jobs properly and efficiently.
The problem with this approach in the current situation — it cannot be done fast enough, and businesses that want to survive during the oncoming economic recession want to be nimble and get things done fast. For example, obtaining DevOps expertise internally might take from 6 months up to 2-3 years, depending on the size of your organization and the complexity of your infrastructure.
DevOps outsourcing for Centers of Excellence
Thus said, if you want to provide relevant DevOps training for your employees in 2020, you need to hire some external expertise to deliver it. The best way to do it is by outsourcing the needed DevOps services to a trustworthy managed DevOps Services Provider and follow their operations and developer documentation closely. This will help grasp the DevOps best practices and the basics of their workflow. These external instructors will also help your team master the solutions hey provide quickly, which can form a basis for a Center of Excellence and adopt the DevOps mindset for your IT department.
DevOps is a methodology of continuous improvement of software delivery and infrastructure management practices aimed at the removal of all kinds of waste to reduce time-to-value for your products and promote a culture of collaboration and communication within your team.
Let’s explain how various aspects of this statement cater to the training needs of your team in 2020.
DevOps is a methodology — as any other methodology, it can work wonders when taught correctly and followed daily
of continuous improvement — DevOps transformation is not a one-time act. It is a time- and effort-consuming process that has no final goals, but provides a constant stream of value
of software delivery and infrastructure management practices — DevOps can be used both for automating the software development and boosting the speed and security of infrastructure management processes
aimed at the removal of all kinds of waste — waiting for server provisioning approvals, waiting until the environment is configured for testing, configuring the test environment time and again manually — all of this is waste which is disposed of
to reduce time-to-value for your products — all aspects of DevOps workflows like IaC, CI and CD influence various facets of the software delivery lifecycle, from project requirement analysis, through product development and release, all the way to monitoring and support in production
and promote a culture of collaboration and communication within your team — DevOps is a culture centered around aligning the goals of all company departments — exactly what L&D strategy should provide!
Now let’s briefly cover what are IaC, CI, and CD and how they help your business.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is the basic principle of DevOps, where every state of infrastructure is described with text configuration. These files are stored at your Version Control System and are versioned like any other code.
This way the update of any parameters results in provisioning a new infrastructure state with ease, so instead of waiting for Ops engineers to configure every server separately, your development team can create the needed environments in one click without errors.
Continuous Integration (CI) is another basic DevOps principle, where instead of developing features in long separate branches that cause multiple merge conflicts when you try to integrate them before building a new app version, your software engineers produce small clean batches of code that re continuously tested and integrated into the main project trunk.
This significantly increases the speed and quality of software delivery and reduces the number of bugs your team has to deal with.
Continuous Delivery (CD), the final pillar of DevOps processes is all about configuring the DevOps toolchain in such a way that the output of one operation is the input for another one. This logic works both for software development and infrastructure management, creating so-called pipelines — automated sequences of operations that work 24/7, saving your team a ton of time and effort on routine.
How do these principles relate to training your team? Directly.
If you want to keep your business productive and cost-efficient during the recession, 2020 is not the best time to start a long process of building an in-house DevOps team. It is best to outsource this task to a reputable contractor and get instant access to a pool of skills and ready solutions that will deliver the results quickly.
DevOps is not about automation alone — it is mostly bout building a culture of mutual respect and collaboration within your team, so the goals of Devs, QA and Ops engineers are aligned and they cooperate to deliver value to your customers.
Such a cultural shift cannot be bought — but it can be trained, as a child is trained to walk, run, and swim. Get your contractors to show you how to use the DevOps tools and solutions they provide — and how to create plans for delivering new features.
In short — software development and testing time are dwarfed by the time it operates in production. Therefore, OPS ENGINEERS HAVE A FINAL SAY in how to design, build, and test software. Thus, when you need a new product or want to add new features to an existing one, the Ops engineers should provide the initial high-level specifications:
- Whether to build the app as a monolith or as a set of microservices
- Whether to pack the app into Docker containers or VMs
- What testing tools to use to test it
- Whether to deploy the app via Canary, Blue-Green or any other approaches
- How to monitor and maintain the app in production, etc.
All of these are discussed with QA and developers before a single line of new code is written. Then DevOps engineers prepare the manifests and design CI/CD pipelines needed for the project — and the overall project time is significantly reduced due to automation.
This result can be achieved only if Devs, QA, and Ops engineers know their efficiency will be evaluated by their common results. This is possible when they are given the freedom to investigate, experiment, and make mistakes — because there is no innovation without experimentation, and DevOps helps make the mistakes cost nearly nothing. This requires freedom from excessive managerial approval layers and this is exactly the cultural shift DevOps is all about.
Center of Excellence is a pivot group formed from your Devs, Ops and QA specialists, Project Managers, and all other specialists you deem suitable for this project. External DevOps specialists will explain the specifics and logic of using the CI/CD tools, they will help learn to design the needed solutions, but most importantly — they will teach your in-house team to align their efforts and work together. Such a pivot project will help you learn the ropes of DevOps very quickly in addition to solving the main challenge — transforming your company into a lean, mean, cost-efficient DevOps machine.
Should you decide to follow this piece of advice — you will be able to solve the pressing challenges faced by your company during the economic recession and provide invaluable training for your employees in 2020. This will ensure your organization is well-equipped to face what is coming in the next few years.
How to ensure you achieve such results? Work with a trustworthy Managed DevOps Services Provider like IT Svit. We can ensure the DevOps solutions and systems you need are of top-notch quality, as well as the training your employees receive in using DevOps workflows. Should you have any more inquiries — feel free to contact IT Svit!
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