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About You

In the welcome to this book I introduced the book and my self. It's time for you to now take the time to better understand yourself and what you know, don't know and more importantly what it is you want.

Don't take this chapter lightly. It's important to evaluate yourself from time to time and determine fi you're happy with what you discover.

Here's what I believe you should do next:

  1. Decide what you want
  2. Consider your current situation
  3. Select where to begin in the book
  4. Decide if you want a mentor
  5. Define a study schedule
  6. Join our community
  7. Begin studying

Let's look at each step.

Decide what you want

Before spending time studying a lot of materials you should understand what it is you want to achieve. Learning new things is, generally speaking, always a good idea, but it also always costs time.

I want you to take the time to consider the investment you're making when studying to break into the IT industry. There is a lot to learn and you'll have to be disciplined to learn it, so make sure it's something you really want to do. Once you're confident you do want to invest the time, then there's something else for you to consider: is this book right for you?

This book aligned well with people who:

  • Want to get a job in IT
  • Want to develop their career towards a job in the field of DevOps
  • Are capable of self-studying and finding answers
  • Know how-to help and ask for it

If you're confident this is you, then please continue.

Consider your current situation

This is about evaluating your technical capabilities. It's hard to evaluate yourself so hopefully this part of the book can help keep you focused on drawing out the answers from yourself.

You need to understand what you don't know about technology. You might know a lot and yet you might know very little. It's important for you to gauge what your understanding looks like so that you can determine what topics you need to study more and how you can best utilise the materials in this book.

To help with this, I've written out questions and scenarios in a sub-chapter to this one. The sub-chapter is called "Technical Questions" and you can use it to determine if you feel you're lacking in some areas or strong in others. Once you know what's what, you can better decide how-to approach this book and your overall goal of getting into the field of IT.

Select where to begin in the book

After going through the questions and scenarios you'll want to then decide which topic in the book is right for you: the basics, DevOps, or implementing DevOps.

It's OK to skip over topics you feel confident about. Maybe just give those topics a quick read to see if you can learn anything new.

Just keep in mind that it's important you select the right part of the book, which requires being honest with yourself during the self-assessment.

Decide if you want a mentor

I talk about mentors and mentoring in the "Mentoring" topic, but I want to reiterate here that it's important that you seriously consider a mentor to help you with your studies. Not everyone can afford a mentor, but for those of you who can then you should seriously consider whether having a mentor is a good investment of your money.

Having a mentor affects how you handle planning your studies. Let's talk about that next.

Define a study schedule

Once you know what you want to study and you've chosen not to have a mentor, then you're going to self-define your study schedule around your available free time. If you're unemployed and this learning path is about getting a job ASAP then I recommend applying 3-4 hours of studying per day combined with some practice too. If you're employed - which is the more likely scenario - then you'll want to study for about 10-12 hours per week. If you're employed and have a family, then 4-8 hours is probably more comfortable.

Ultimately you'll have to define when you study and for how long but one thing is for certain: you will have to define a study plan and schedule. Without one you'll simply wonder off the path and never complete your studies. You know it's true.

If you've opted to work with a mentor then how and what you study may very well change. You'll work with your mentor to refine your study plan and have regular calls with them to overcome issues, accelerating your learning quite significantly. With this in mind, the best thing to do before your first meeting is you have an idea of your availability and your family obligations (which come before all else.)

Which ever route you take, take the time to develop a plan of attack otherwise you'll fail every time.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin

Don't set yourself up for failure before you've even started.

Join our community

We have a Discord community called The DevOps Lounge. More about our community is covered in the "Our Community" topic. Head over to the page for more information.

Putting this as simply as I can: don't study alone. There are other people, thousands of them, who are happy to help those willing to ask questions. Just look at StackOverflow, IRC, Reddit, Hacker News, and more. They're communities filled with people who are happy to share what they know and help you become a better version of yourself.

It's important to join a community because everything you do is ultimately for and because of people, so join a community of like minded people and start exploring the topics you're interested in. Ask questions. Explore the answers. Learn more, faster.

It's worth your time even if you just join and observe. A lot can be learned from simply listening (or reading).

Begin studying

And finally this should be obvious: just start studying. Get to it. Start reading the materials, Googling what you want more clarification on (or what simply takes your fancy), and finding answers to your questions, all whilst learning.

Only you can pick up the book and start reading, so get on with it.


Now that you've got an idea of what it is you want, how you're going to get it, perhaps with a mentor, and you're ready to start studying, let's review the book's structure so that you know what's available to you.