I used to dislike taking online courses when learning new technologies in the past. It would take around 5 or 6 lessons before I started to itch to build prototypes rather than following the lessons. I could never get around to finish the courses I started. This resulted in a lot of half-finished courses, and an incomplete understanding of the subjects within the course.

So, in late 2019 I decided to stick with a few courses from start to finish. The areas I wanted to focus on were:

  • DevOps. Improve my understanding of DevOps and fill in any gaps.
  • Cloud. Get a better understanding of Azure and services for DevOps/Infrastructure.
  • Configuration Management. Improve my skills with Ansible.
  • Linux server administration. Get a more thorough understanding of tools available.

Choosing a platform

My choice of platform ended up being Linux Academy. I’ve known about them for a few years through Coder Radio, back when they sponsored the show. I already knew they offered courses within the DevOps/Cloud/Linux sphere, and they seemed like a good fit.

I a community course that had free video lectures, and used some of the signup credits to purchase a few labs. I was pleased with the content and the labs, so I decided to try out their monthly paid subscription plan. Given the price of the subscription plan, it acted as a nice commitment device to stick with the learning.

Choosing a set of courses

I spent a few days browsing the site, adding each interesting course within in a Trello board. I decided to start with DevOps after discovering DevOps Essentials. The course was not too long, focused on key principles instead of tools, and seemed like a great starting point. After finishing it, I started DevSecOps Essentials since it seemed like a great next step.

The certificates of completion earned in 2019:

Conclusion and plans for 2020

I am pleased with having completed two courses from start to finish, given that I started in late 2019. In addition I have something to show for it, even though neither of the certificates are of professional grade like a Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert.

This year I will continue doing courses with the same areas of focus as in 2019. I also plan on restructuring some of my schedule so that I can throw in a side project or two.