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Learning @ CloudifyOps

Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, coined the term growth mindset more than two decades ago. The findings of her research defines individuals who believe their talents can be developed through hard work, strategies and input from others have a growth mindset,

As IT professionals in today’s digital world, developing your talent is critical if you want to stay in tune with the changing and ever-growing technology landscape. It is important to have a growth mindset, understand what technologies are important for you to master and incorporate feedback from customers and your organization into your learning program.

At CloudifyOps, we believe a growth mindset is critical for an individual’s and the overall organization’s success. Every CloudifyOps engineer goes through a comprehensive internal training program that fast tracks them from basic to expert level professionals in relevant tools and technologies.

In this blog, we talk to Kumaradas P K, Director – Technology, CloudifyOps, to find out how our engineers are upskilled and ready for the latest in technology.

1. According to you, what are the most prominent challenges people face in developing their professional skills?

I find the biggest challenge to be mastering the fundamentals. Unless you are strong with the basics of any technology or tool, it becomes tougher when you progress to advanced concepts and start applying them in projects. A related aspect that some find challenging is problem solving. Knowing where to look when you see an error message, how to backtrack and work your way to the issue and then identifying the right solution – master the fundamentals and you will find this easier to do.

2. How do you organize your training sessions?

We have basic training material available for all engineers who join us at CloudifyOps. Our training material has been curated in-house completely with the focus solely on hands-on experience rather than only highlighting theoretical knowledge. Our people are given practical scenarios, based on the theory, which they have to fix. Some of these training sessions sometimes end up being actual project issues that we discuss and find ways to resolve. One successful program for us is the buddy system where the young engineers are tagged to senior/experienced team members within the organization.

Another significant aspect of our training is certifications. We always encourage our engineers to complete certifications on basic and advanced Cloud and DevOps technologies. This builds credibility for the engineer, not just within the team but for the organization in the market. As an AWS Select Consulting and Microsoft Azure accredited partner, certifications are an essential way in which we improve our services and consultations offered to our customers.

3. Do you cater to different learning styles? If yes, how do you approach training sessions when there are always different people with different learning styles?

Learning is individual dependent. While there are plenty of standard course materials available for everyone to learn from, customizing training sessions for different types of people is important. We try to know the person first, their personality, what motivates them, and what does not. We understand their learning style before we begin in-depth training. This may mean that we do individual training sessions rather than a group.

4. How do you evaluate and track training and program effectiveness?

Every engineer is given hands-on evaluation exercises on each topic they are trained in. This is followed by one-on-one evaluation sessions with the trainer to help them self-evaluate their knowledge. For each technology track, we have customized training evaluations. After each topic is completed, there are one-on-one feedback sessions to help us understand the morale of each trainee, before we go to the next topic of training.

5. Share an example of how you helped coach or mentor someone.

There have been fresh engineering graduates whom I have coached from the very basics of various technology platforms. Now, those very individuals are confidently training new batches of engineering graduates who join us. It is personally very satisfying to watch them identify their capabilities and realize their own potential.

6. If you were to pick three of the latest technologies, platforms or tools that a DevOps engineer should focus on mastering, what would they be?

Before I say what is important, I have to say three is less considering the current tools landscape and the changes happening in the Cloud market. Now to answer the question, the focus should be on skills more than picking specific tools or platforms.

DevOps as a culture is all about putting the customer first. Any action that an engineer takes should be valuable to the customer. Decision making, collaboration, communication, flexibility, taking ownership – these are all important skills to be a successful DevOps engineer.

In technical skills, you should know Linux fundamentals and scripting languages, infrastructure as code, Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery and enough knowledge of DevOps tools to select the right tool for the customer requirement. To get to this, you need to be constantly learning and enhancing your knowledge.

7. What have you done to improve your skills lately?

Preparing to train the team is a constant way of upskilling myself. 🙂 I spend a couple of hours each week reading up on the latest technologies and online training. At times, I have seen that sharing interesting advancements or technology improvements with the trainees keeps them motivated during training days.

References:

https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually-means

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