On February 1st, we announced that Nebulaworks is a HashiCorp Authorized Training Partner. We’re super excited about this new partnership, one we have been working on for quite some time with the HashiCorp team. Over the past three years, Nebulaworks has been recommending and implementing Consul, Vault, and Terraform to help deliver secure and scalable solutions to our customers as part of modern toolchains supporting DevOps. It is only fitting that as official training on the products became available through a formal partnership program that we would be interested. We can’t wait to see our partnership with HashiCorp grow. But why is training, especially on these tools, a key component to DevOps success? That’s the topic for this post.

A Brief Review: DevOps Principles

DevOps is a way of thinking, a collaborative and highly communicative approach to the software development and IT lifecycle. It is based on a set of principles that an organization can adopt to optimize their development and IT operations processes. While where an organization starts with DevOps adoption is unique, there are a set of fundamental practices. Whether starting with people; by shifting team member skills, realignment of individual goals and responsibilities or the addition of new team members or defining transformative tactical projects which will be addressed a new way, the foundational principles of DevOps remain the same and are the foundation for adoption:

  1. Optimizing the global performance of left to right work streams (i.e., from business, development, and IT ops)
  2. Amplifying feedback loops from right to left, to support continual corrections
  3. Continuous learning and experimenting across teams and work streams

Aside….If you are looking for a complete description and review of these and more, I recommend reading Gene Kim’s book “The Phoenix Project”, a novel about DevOps and IT. It is a great primer.

While DevOps certainly requires a cultural and behavioral shift, it also requires a new set of tools, integrated and working together to remove constraints from the IT supply chain. This, is where HashiCorp comes in.

The HashiCorp Toolset

Critical to a new way of thinking, where optimization of the flow of raw materials, goods is what comprises the IT supply chain is a set of foundational tools. Compared to IT technology in the past, today’s modern tools have a few key items in common:

  • A well-designed and well-documented API
  • Support socialization and sharing
  • Are open, allowing advanced integration and customization

By having these fundamental characteristics it becomes easier to integrate them together, using a systems approach, to begin to provide high degrees of automation while also being flexible enough to integrate new and additional tools into the chain. As one technology exists today tomorrow it may be replaced by something better. The pluggable nature of the future creates a significant challenge,

The pluggable nature of the future creates a significant challenge. One, the frequency between new technology release is increasing, and, the amplitude of skill required is also increasing. Therefore, it makes sense to have a common set of tools which are built with the understanding that they may become the abstraction layer allowing rapid pluggability while providing extensibility for specialized deployments.

This is where HashiCorp has excelled. The tools which have been created by the company are exemplary in this fashion, providing many of the core foundational components which enable teams to adopt DevOps successfully. But like any other new tool, experience (the length of time observing or working with something) and expertise (the knowledge and know-how) is generally missing or in short supply. And this is where official training comes in.

Skill-up Through Official Classroom Training

HashiCorp recognized the need for official training. And they also recognized the requirement that a training partner can’t just be a company with classroom teachers. At this point, companies are not sending employees through training to gain knowledge to pass a certification exam. While that time may come eventually (just like VMware, EMC, or Cisco in the past) today’s needs are far deeper. Students in classes are implementing disruptive technologies to enable transformation! And that cannot be done with book knowledge alone…it requires experience and expertise.

Nebulaworks was thoroughly vetted by the HashiCorp team to determine if we had the technical abilities to teach their official courseware. Through this process, they learned about our team of DevOps practitioners. We discussed how we have both deployed and utilized the HashiCorp tools AND have delivered classroom training for new and disruptive technologies (like Docker and CloudBees Jenkins), were deemed a perfect fit for the first company in North America to become an Authorized HashiCorp Training Partner.

We are very proud to have this distinction and are actively working with the HashiCorp team to schedule training dates across the USA. Stay tuned to the HashiCorp website, or our own training page to see the dates as they are posted. If you have any questions about the classes and materials, you can chat with us at the bot on this page, or send us an email at [email protected]

We hope to see you in a class and/or work with you on your DevOps initiatives.