Udacity DevOps Nanodegree Course Review

While you have heard about DevOps, chances are you do not know exactly what it is. If you are interested in starting a career in the exciting world of IT, this is a position you definitely want to learn about, especially granted the numerous career opportunities that come with it. So, what exactly is DevOps? Well, you can think of a DevOps engineer, the all-knowing developer cum inspector who bridges gaps between IT staffers and developers. They have sound understanding of the business, often knowledgeable across the board of knowledge. They can develop digital pipelines to allow for smooth flow of information to get any kind of digital job done.

If this sounds like a career you would love, there are plenty of options to set you on the right path. One such path is Udacity’s DevOps Nanodegree course. Udacity is an online learning platform that is dedicated to providing worldwide learners with skills in the subjects of information and technology. The platform is highly reputable, but what about this online degree? In this post, we have reviewed this course to help you make an informed decision whether it is right for you. We break the course down, talking about the prerequisites and content before concluding by a look at the job market.

About Udacity and its Nanodegree programs

Udacity (read review here) was founded back in 2012 by two Stanford professors with the idea of bringing the ability to learn complex technological concepts to global learners. Over the years, the platform have partnered with top tier companies in the industry, collaborating to develop in-depth online courses that come with hands-on practice to launch learners into the job market with confidence. Today, the platform offers both introductory courses as well as certification programs known as Nanodegrees. These Nanodegrees focus on only one area, generally taking a few months to complete.

Nanodegree Perks

In order to stand out from competition, Udacity Nanodegree programs come with a handful of extras. These are created with the idea of making the courses run as smooth as possible while ensuring learner success. By signing up for a Nanodegree program at Udacity, you will score:

  • Community support – you will get to interact with learners like you
  • Mentorship – Tech challenges will be no more with a mentor that is ready to give you a hand
  • Career help – your resume will be polished, LinkedIn profile reviewed, and taken through a mock interview in readiness for the job market
  • Projects – you will access real-world inspired projects to reinforce the skills you have learned.
  • Freedom – you will get to design your own learning schedule and learn at your convenience.

Course breakdown: A look at what you will learn

Now, let’s look at this online course and, more specifically, what you will be learning. The overall objectives of this Nanodegree program are to equip you with the knowledge you need to design infrastructures and build pipelines for different deployment strategies. As you make it through each module of the course, you will be met by a milestone project where you can put your newly learned skill to practice. After successful completion of each project, you will move on to the next module sharpening existing skills as you learn new ones in the process. Everything leads to a final capstone where you will be required to apply the skills you have learned through the modules to develop a program of your choosing.

Course prerequisites

As you can imagine, this is an intermediate online DevOps course, meaning that you require prior knowledge before you begin. Udacity lists experience with programming and JavaScript as crucial skills. Additionally, you are required to have the following skills:

  • A good grasp as well as experience with both HTML and CSS
  • Familiarity with object-oriented programming
  • Basic knowledge of Linux Command

If any of these skills are a little out of your league, or maybe you would love to brush them up, you can find a list of free Udacity courses to build a solid basis in any of the skills mentioned above.

Course Breakdown

This online DevOps Nanodegree course has been broken into four modules. As already mentioned each module ends with a project and/or some type of test or quiz to help you gain a good grasp on the new skill you have acquired. Apart from learning through lecture, you will also have the opportunity to apply what you have learned to practice, an important necessity when studying to become a DevOps Engineer. The four modules are broken down below together with a small description of what you will be learning throughout each module:

All Things Cloud

This module starts by introducing you to the basics of cloud computing. You will learn the ropes of all the crucial components that work together to create a seamless flow of data including storage, security, cloud management, and messaging. You will then have a chance to apply this knowledge in the form of a project at the end of the course. Your project will involve working with AWS to create and deploy a static website.

Infrastructure as a Code

Things start to heat up with this module so you better buckle up! In this module, you will write scripts just like those in the field do using CloudFormation. You will learn how servers are secured by laying the infrastructure which is the key backbone of systematic pages. Combining the knowledge from the word go, you will begin to dive in deeper learning some of the most used industry patterns. Additionally, you will begin to see how the core of most systems is created using Cloud Architecture Diagrams. At the end of this module, you will be required to use CloudFormation to design your own application.

Start Building

By now, you should be familiar with source code. Next, you will learn how source code is used to power systems across the World Wide Web. You will also learn how to build pipelines here, discovering how to monitor and log plus, detect if your system is running efficiently. You will also get a sneak peek into how professionals use a Configuration Management Tool to make changes to sites. You will end the module by building and launching your own pipeline to get some practice from start to finish.

Meet the Kubernetes

In this final module, you will meet one of the most important tools in the field of DevOps, Kubernetes. Here, you will learn how to create a cluster and test your application to ensure that it performing optimally. Since you now have a good grasp of the basics, it is time to appreciate how powerful this knowledge can be when working with machine learning microservices. You will master abstraction and gain a wide range of options and possibilities to add to your skillset. You will have an exciting project waiting for you at the end of this module. You will work with a machine learning microservice hands on attempting to make it operational.

The Capstone Project

This is where you are set free to bring your imagination to get a glimpse of the exciting world of DevOps. You will be required to build your own CI/CD pipeline for multiple deployment strategies. You will need to understand the different types well as you will be selecting the method that best suits each business model.

Course Duration

Well, this entirely depends on you. Being an online course, you are free to set your own learning schedule and pace. Udacity recommends that you can complete this course when you dedicate 10 hours per week to learning. While the workload is heavy at some points throughout the program, others are manageable even if you are working full or part time.

Course instructors

A thoughtfully written curriculum is only a piece of the larger puzzle when it comes to learning DevOps online with Udacity. It is important that you check out the instructors too, ensuring that you are learning from a team of qualified and experienced professionals. This online course has a list of experienced instructors that will take you through the different sections of the program. Here are the course instructors:

Kesha Williams

Kesha is the software engineering manager for Chick-fil-A and current Amazon Alexa Champion. She has 20+ years of experience in the business, having worked side by side with industry leaders to solve complex problems while launching better and more efficient systems.

Alfredo Deza

This Olympic athlete has extensive experience as a software engineer and open source developer. He is experienced in all aspects of the field which adds to his capabilities to build extremely complex yet fully-functioning systems.

Carlos Rivas

Carlos is a Senior Solutions Architect at Infiniti Consulting. He is the go-to fellow for businesses that are seeking to make digital conversion at the cloud and has a long list of big names in the world of business on his portfolio.

Course Cost

There are two payment plans. The first plan, pay as you go, is determined by the number of months you have access to the course. So, the longer you take, the more you will pay. The pay as you go plan is billed at $399 per month. Take advantage of the free one month promotion that is currently ongoing when signing up for this course.

You can also make a lump sum payment for this course and enjoy a discount of 15% while you are at it. Taking advantage of the one month free promo, this brings the cost of this online course to $255 per month to be paid up front. This is a great deal if you are confident that you can complete the course within three months.

A look at the DevOps Engineer job market

Well, if you have decided that a career as DevOps Engineering is your thing, let’s just say you are jumping into the industry at the right time. According to market surveys, the demand for DevOps Engineers is expected to grow for years to come. The average salary of a DevOps Engineer, according to Glassdoor, is $133,000. Of course, just like with any career, the longer you stay in the job market and grow your skills, the higher your earnings and opportunities.

Course ratings

Udacity has a strong reputation as a top online learning platform. Here is how learners gauged this online DevOps course:

Pros

  • Great instructors
  • Hands on projects
  • Curriculum that builds a good foundation
  • Introduction of in-depth concepts

Cons

  • More of an introductory course
  • A bit pricey
  • Some modules seem rushed

Final thoughts

Some of the learners who have completed this online DevOps course from Udacity mentioned that the program felt more like an introduction on DevOps. While we noticed this a few times, the amount of graduates who reported landing a job upon course completion was surprising. While some learners also reported that the course is a bit pricey, it is hard to beat any entry pay plus a program that allows you to learn at your own pace.

For these reasons, we believe this online DevOps course from Udacity is worth its salt, especially for learners who are already building a career in cloud computing. To get the best bang out of your buck, sign up for this course today and enjoy a 50% off your fees! We wish you a happy learning!

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