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OpsSchool - Genesis

Yaron Amir, OpsSchool Founder, March 2016

So we decided to build a school... not just a school... an ops school. Not even that, it's a DevOps school - and herein lies our first bump on the road! DevOps! Everybody who is related to DevOps hates the term DevOps, “DevOps is a concept” they say, “DevOps is a culture”, “you should call it PE or SRE or bla bla bla…. Anything but DevOps Unable to come up with a better name, we’ll call it “OpsSchool” (but it's Ops with DevOps accents) For the sake of this article I’ll use DevOps, (just to annoy them) Why are we building the school? Let me tell you, The role of an operation engineer has changed in the past few years, as you may learn from this “The (Short) History of DevOps” clip. Operations teams have adopted many concepts, methodologies and practices from development teams. As the high tech industry is introduced to scale, these concepts are more required than before. In fact, job offers for DevOps have quadrupled in the last year alone. Big companies are spending time and effort training new DevOps engineers, and the community can't keep up with the demand. The shortage of DevOps engineers has become an industry wide problem. Recruiting has become a nightmare, after screening 100 CVs, embedded with the latest and greatest DevOps buzzwords (chef/puppet/elk…), you end up interviewing 5 operations engineers, and if you are lucky (and you seldom are) one will pass the preliminary interview. As related companies constantly “steal” operations engineers from each other, and as this is still a small market - it's a Zero sum game. So how do we break this vicious cycle? We join forces! We’ve decided to gather the industry leaders, and get all of them to work together, contribute together and train new DevOps engineers. Few guidelines/principles/essences/values have been set, for the school:

  • The school is not meant for profit

  • It's based on volunteering

  • It will be leveraged for the good of the community

So we went on a mission (quest?), to recruit the partners that will take this journey with us, the responses are promising and almost everyone who I’ve pitched the idea has told me the same three thing

  1. It's a great idea

  2. We’ve actually thought about it ourselves but never got to execute it.

  3. I hate the term DevOps!

At the beginning when I pitched this idea to my managers I had tons and tons of exclamation marks! I must say at this time I’m having just as many question marks, such as:

  • Who is the audience we want to target?

  • How do we target them?

  • What should be the format of the school?

  • Which technologies should we focus on?

  • If this is a school and I’m running it, am I a principle? Let's say most of teachers would have their jaws dropped. (and btw - In your face Mrs Horenchik)

But as Friedrich Nietzsche Said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

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