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DATA AND IT

DevOps Engineer Apprenticeship Level 4

The DevOps Engineer apprenticeship equips individuals with the ability to get valuable working software to active users frequently and safely, reducing time to market and improving the quality of digital services. The DevOps philosophy aims to replace siloed Development and Operations by creating multidisciplinary teams that work together with shared and efficient practices and tools.

This apprenticeship encapsulates the disciplines of software development and support in the live environment. Apprentices will understand and appreciate how their code functions in the real world and troubleshoot any issues that may arise, while taking a cloud-infrastructure focused perspective.

This occupation works alongside other members of agile development teams, IT and business departments, as well as 3rd-party suppliers. Roles can be found in a wide range of public and private sector organisations, from tech start-ups through government departments to multinationals. Any size organisation that builds and operates modern IT services can benefit from this knowledge and skill set.

Typical job titles include: DevOps Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer, Platform Engineer, Reliability Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer, Build and Release Engineer, Automation Engineer, Full Stack Developer, Deployment Engineer.

Level: 4
Qualification gained: Level 4 DevOps Engineer Apprenticeship

Optional qualifications:
BCS Foundation Level Certificate in DevOps
PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer Certification
Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
AWS Cloud Practitioner
HashiCorp Infrastructure Automation Certification

Contact the team
1. Standards to be met
2. Length of apprenticeship
3. Training modules
4. Entry requirements
5. End point assessment
6. Progression
7. Funding

Standards to be met

The Apprenticeship standard sets out the essential Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours that somebody would need to demonstrate to be successful in this job role, this includes practising continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments. Apprentices will need to show they are competent in all the areas detailed in the standard when they take End Point Assessment.

The Knowledge areas of the apprenticeship will be covered through completion of our dedicated training courses which have been mapped to the standard. The Skills and Behaviours are developed through the practical experience gained in the job role, workplace training and mentoring, and the completion of 2 work-based projects.

Knowledge

  • The Business Value of DevOps keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the business value of DevOps in terms of Time, Cost, Quality, with an emphasis on building in internal quality throughout the lifetime of the product.

    The importance of continual improvement within a blameless culture.

  • Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the benefits of frequent merging of code, the creation of build artefacts and ensuring all tests pass, with automation throughout - including common tooling. The principles and application of Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment, including the differences between them.

  • Programming and Source Control keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the principles of distributed Source Control, including how to exploit the features of the tool, such as branching. General purpose programming and infrastructure-as-code. Pair & Mob programming techniques and when to use each.

  • Data and Databases keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the persistence and data layers, including which database and storage technologies are appropriate to each platform type and application when considering non-functional and functional needs; e.g. monolith, microservice, read heavy, write heavy, recovery plans.

  • Security Tools and Techniques keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn a range of modern security tools and techniques - e.g. threat modelling, vulnerability scanning and dependency checking, with a general awareness of penetration testing - to deal with threats and attack vectors within code and across the cyber domain.

    How best to secure data, e.g. encryption in transit, encryption at rest and access control lists (ACL).

  • Effective Communication, Multidisciplinary Teams and Organisation Culture keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn different organisational cultures, the development frameworks utilised and how they can both complement each other and introduce constraints on delivery. Different methods of communication and choosing the appropriate one - e.g. face-to-face (synchronous, high bandwidth), instant messaging, email (asynchronous, low bandwidth), visualisations vs. words. Roles within a multidisciplinary team and the interfaces with other areas of an organisation.

  • Organisation Policies, Standards, Legal and Regulatory Requirements keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn how to use data ethically and the implications for wider society, with respect to the use of data, automation and artificial intelligence within the context of relevant data protection policy and legislation. How their occupation fits into the wider digital landscape and any current or future regulatory requirements.

  • Scripting, Automation, Testing and Documentation keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn automation techniques, such as scripting and use of APIs. What an API is, how to find them and interpret the accompanying documentation. Test Driven Development and the Test Pyramid. How the practice is underpinned by unit testing, the importance of automation, appropriate use of test doubles and mocking strategies, reducing a reliance on end-to-end testing.

  • Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn a range of problem-solving techniques appropriate to the task at hand, such as affinity mapping, impact maps, plan-do-check-act/Deming.

  • User Experience keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn how the user experience sits at the heart of modern development practices in terms of strategies to understand diverse user needs, accessibility and how to drive adoption.

  • Network/Cloud Architecture and Infrastructure keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn immutable infrastructure and how it enables continuous refreshing of software, namely the updating of the operating system, container and security patching. Monitoring and alerting technologies and an awareness of the insights that can be derived from the infrastructure and applications - collecting logs and metrics, configuring alerting thresholds, firing alerts and visualising data.

    The difference between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) v bespoke v enterprise tooling and how to make an informed choice that suits each use case. Maintain an awareness of cloud certification requirements. Architecture principles, common patterns and common strategies for translating user needs into both cloud infrastructure and application code.

Skills

  • Communication, Collaboration and Organisation Culture keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Communicate credibly with technical and non-technical people at all levels, using a range of methods, e.g. ‘Show and Tell’ and ‘Demonstrations’. Work within different organisational cultures with both internal and external parties. Initiate and facilitate knowledge sharing and technical collaboration.

    Work in agile, multi-disciplinary delivery teams, taking a flexible, collaborative and pragmatic approach to delivering tasks. Application of lightweight modelling techniques, such as whiteboarding, to gain consensus as a team on evolving architecture.

  • Writing and Deploying Code keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Engage in productive Pair and Mob programming. Code in a general purpose programming language. Writing code in such a way that makes merging easier and facilitates branching by abstraction - i.e. feature toggling.

    Incremental refactoring by applying small behaviour-preserving code changes to evolve the architecture. Specify cloud infrastructure in an infrastructure-as-code domain-specific language.

  • Release Automation and Continuous Integration keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Release automation and orchestration as part of a Continuous Integration workflow and Continuous Delivery pipeline, automating the delivery of code from source control to the end users. Automate tasks where it introduces improvements to the efficiency of business processes and reduces waste, considering the effort and cost of automation.

  • Security threats, tools and techniques keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Application of a range of cloud security tools and techniques - e.g. threat modelling, vulnerability scanning, dependency checking, reducing attack surface area - incorporating these tools and techniques into the automated pipeline wherever possible. Assess identified and potential security threats and take appropriate action based on likelihood v impact.

  • Managing, Deploying and Troubleshooting Network Infrastructure keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Deploy immutable infrastructure. Install, manage and troubleshoot monitoring tools.

    Navigate and troubleshoot stateful distributed systems, to locate issues across the end-to-end service.

  • Testing and Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Employ a systematic approach to solving problems, using logic and hypotheses / experimentation to identify the source of issues. Write tests and follow Test Driven Development discipline in various different contexts. Interpret logs and metrics data within the appropriate context to identify issues and make informed decisions.

  • Continuous Learning keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Invest in continuous learning, both your own development and others, ensuring learning activities dovetail with changing job requirements. Keeping up with the cutting edge.

  • Translate User Needs keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Translate user needs into deliverable tasks, writing clear, concise and unambiguous user stories that the whole team can understand.

Behaviours

  • Enthusiasm, Openness and Collaborative Working keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Exhibits enthusiasm, openness and an aptitude for working as part of a collaborative community, e.g. sharing best practice, pairing with team members, learning from others and engaging in peer review practices.

    Is inclusive, professional and maintains a blameless culture.

  • Committed to Continued Professional Development keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Invests time and effort in their own development, recognising that technology evolves at a rapid rate.

  • Accountability, Ownership and Learning from Experience keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Displays a commitment to the mantra 'You build it, you run it', taking ownership of deployed code and being accountable for its continual improvement, learning from experience and taking collective responsibility when things fail.

Length of Apprenticeship

The End Point Assessment cannot be taken until the apprentice has been on programme for at least 12 months. The Apprenticeship will typically take 21 months in order for them to complete all of the training modules, be able to consistently work at or above the occupational standard, create a portfolio of evidence and complete the independent end point assessment.

Key milestones:

person Ongoing skills and behaviours
av_timer Optional interactive sessions
laptop Knowledge
person_pin Talent coach check in
border_color End point assessment


 
START OF APPRENTICESHIP
 
 
Month 1
person_pin Onboarding and induction

 
Month 2
laptop DevOps Introduction

person Collaboration and Culture

 
Month 3
person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop Portfolio Introduction

person Writing and Deploying Code

 
Month 4
laptop Python Programming Fundamentals

 
Month 5
laptop Workplace Project 1

person CI/CD

 
Month 6
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Security Threats

laptop Cloud Services

 
Month 7
person Security Threats

 
Month 8
person Network Infrastructure

laptop Infrastructure and Security

 
Month 9
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Testing and Problem Solving

laptop Workplace Project 2

 
Month 10
laptop DevOps Tooling

 
Month 11
person Translate User Needs

 
Month 12
person_pin Talent coach check in

 
Month 13
person Enthusiasm and Openness

laptop Scripting and Automation

 
Month 14
laptop Workplace Project 3

Month 15
person Ownership

Month 16
person Learning from Experience

Month 17
border_color Submit Project Brief

person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop EPA Readiness Training

Month 18
person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop Gateway

Month 19
border_color Professional Discussion

Month 20
border_color Project and Practical Assessment

Month 21
border_color Completion

Training modules

Apprentices will need to complete all their training modules to cover the knowledge required in the apprenticeship standard and to be fully prepared for the end point assessments.

All modules consist of online self-paced learning and a live training component. These components are linked to work-based projects that the learner completes to support them in building competencies and their portfolio.

Training will be delivered through our flexible live online classes. The following training modules are completed by apprentices on this standard:

DevOps Introduction

In this Module learners will be introduced to DevOps concepts including:

  • Origins
  • Benefits
  • Culture and teams
  • Automation
  • Lean
  • Measurement
  • Sharing
  • Common roles
  • Practices and techniques
  • Methods and approaches for team.

Apprentices will be able to take the optional BCS Foundation Level Certificate in DevOps (not included as part of their core apprenticeship).

Python Programming Fundamentals

This module introduces the learners to programming using Python. This will include:

  • Introduction to Python and computer programming
  • Data types, variables, basic input-output operations, basic operators
  • Boolean values, conditional execution, loops, lists and list processing, logical and bitwise operations
  • Functions, tuples, dictionaries, and data processing.

Apprentices will use Python as the language to be introduced to programming. This will enable them to pick up other programming languages that they may use in the workplace.

Apprentices will be able to take the optional Python Institute – PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer certification (not included as part of their apprenticeship).

Cloud Services

Apprentices will gain an understanding of the foundational business and technical elements for cloud and cloud-based services. They will learn how cloud services are provided with Microsoft Azure and AWS Cloud. This module will cover:

  • Cloud concepts
  • Azure services
  • AWS services
  • Core solutions and management tools on Azure
  • General security and network security features
  • Identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features
  • Azure cost management and Service Level Agreements
  • Basic global infrastructure of the AWS Cloud
  • Appropriate solution using AWS Cloud services with various use cases
  • AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Apprentices will be able to take the Azure Fundamentals or AWS Cloud Practitioner exams (not included as part of their core apprenticeship).

Infrastructure and Security

This module will cover the fundamentals of Network Infrastructure and Security. It will include:

  • Understand IPv4 and IPv6
  • Set up and configure DNS, DHCP and other Networking services
  • Differentiate between wired and wireless networks
  • Using Monitoring Tools
  • Principles of Information Security
  • Penetration Testing Principles
  • Threat modelling and Vulnerability Scanning
  • Security risks
  • Infrastructure as Code.

DevOps Tooling

This module will introduce various DevOps Tooling including:

  • Containerisation concepts using Kubernetes and Docker
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vs bespoke vs enterprise tooling
  • Using CI/CD processes using Jenkins
  • Server automation using Ansible
  • Using Configuration Management Tools
  • Linux command line.

Scripting and Automation

This module covers the use of basic scripting to execute IT tasks. Apprentices will learn how common tasks can be automated and how automation allows control of manual, error-prone processes by running scripts. It will build on the previous DevOps tooling module. The module will cover:

  • Using PowerShell to automate tasks
  • Using Windows Command line to troubleshoot problems
  • Major components of the Linux operating system
  • Linux command line
  • Understanding of security and administration related topics such as user/group management, working on the command line, and permissions.

EPA Readiness Training

This two-day workshop will take the apprentice through a practical application of a DevOps project.

  • Apprentices will be provided with a practical project structure which will involve working through coding and deploying activities. This will include being given a requirement specification to create functioning software, testing and deploying this.
  • The EPA Readiness Training will help support the apprentice in preparing them for their End Point Assessment giving them an opportunity to build their programming skills in an immersive exercise getting real time feedback as they hone their skills.

Entry requirements

Apprentices on this standard must be working in a full-time DevOps environment where they will implement and support software, (such as operating systems, middleware and applications) and supporting components such as databases. There are no other formal entry requirements for this Apprenticeship.

Apprentices who have not achieved an A*-C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English GCSE are required to gain Functional Skills Level 2 as part of this Apprenticeship.

Apprentices typically have one of the following:

  • A Level 3 Apprenticeship
  • 2 A Levels or International Baccalaureate or other Level 3 qualification such as a BTEC Extended Diploma
  • 12 months of work experience in the last 24 months if they do not have any other Level 3 qualifications
  • Achieved a Grade C (4) or above in Maths

Additionally, apprentices should have an active interest in software development and computing.

End point assessment

Every Apprenticeship includes an End Point Assessment (EPA), assessed by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). The apprentice will take their EPA at the end of their programme where they will demonstrate they are competent in the role that they have developed in.

This apprenticeship end point assessment will include:

1. Professional Discussion

This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion appropriately structured to draw out the best of their competence. It will involve questions that will focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to this method of assessment.

It will involve questions that will focus on activity and analysis of given scenarios; for example, ‘the benefits of pairing with other developers’ or ‘selecting the most appropriate problem-solving technique to address a given problem’.

2. Project and Practical Assessment

This is a practical assessment during which the apprentice will demonstrate the KSBs assigned to this assessment method based on a post-gateway work-based project. Therefore, the project’s subject, title and scope will be agreed between the employer and the EPAO. The employer will ensure that it has a real business application and the EPAO will ensure that it meets the requirements of the EPA (including suitable coverage of the KSBs assigned to this assessment method).

Progression

An apprentice’s journey doesn’t end when their apprenticeship has finished. This is just their first step to becoming a DevOps professional. A potential next step would be to undertake a higher level 6 or 7 apprenticeship, providing the job role matches the Standard, or they could undertake product-specific vendor training.

Funding

The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £17,000. If you are a Levy payer this means that the maximum that can be withdrawn from your Levy fund for somebody on this apprenticeship is £17,000.

For non or marginal Levy payers (where you have overspent your Levy fund), 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship will be funded by the government meaning you will only have to pay 5% of the agreed price. Please contact us for more information on the Levy and funding.

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