Role Profile

DevOps Engineers are focused on implementing and facilitating the use of DevOps practices within a business. This encompasses multiple stages of the software development life cycle, automating processes around development, testing and release for continuous integration of new features, and subsequent continuous delivery of a product.

DevOps Engineers will typically work as part of a larger team and will need context of both the development and technical operations aspects of a project in order to streamline communication between teams. They are expected to interpret design documentation and specifications defined and delivered by specialist members of the team, such as a business analyst or technical architect.

DevOps Engineers need:

  • Strong logical reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • A methodical, step-by-step approach
  • Attention to detail
  • Business skills like effective communication, teamwork and task/time management
  • The ability to troubleshoot issues where needed
  • The ability to work under direction, use discretion and determine when to escalate issues

To help you determine whether a candidate (a new hire or existing employee) will be working in a suitable job role to successfully complete this programme, you must be able to answer “yes” to the following questions.

  • Will they be doing a full-time technical role revolving around coding, operations and the cloud?
  • Will they be responsible for infrastructure and code pipeline projects and tasks?
  • Will they be responsible for writing scripts and automation tasks?
  • Will they be responsible for project-wide environment management both locally and in the cloud?
  • Will they be responsible with deployment of code into enterprise environments?
  • Will they be actively involved with coding in at least one programming language?
  • Will they be working with databases and connecting to databases?
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Qualifications Earned

By completing the DevOps Engineer Level 4 apprenticeship, learners will earn the following qualifications:

Level 4 DevOps Engineer

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Learning Outcomes

As well as being assessed on their technical knowledge, learners are also assessed on their ability to demonstrate the following competencies through their portfolio and interview.

This ensures balanced development – as the competency standards provide a greater emphasis on the importance of both technical and soft skills relevant to their role in the workplace.

QA DLCs will help apprentices build their portfolio and record these skills throughout the programme.

Logic and Problem Solving

  • Write good quality code with sound syntax in at least one language
  • Apply good practice approaches according to the relevant paradigm (OOP, TDD)
  • Apply structured techniques to problem solving
  • Debug code and understand the structure of programmes

CI/CD

  • Understand all stages of the software development lifecycle, with increasing breadth and depth over time with initial focus on deployment of projects
  • Utilise skills to build, manage and deploy code into enterprise environments
  • Apply automation and scripting techniques to streamline any and all activities within development, testing and deployment

Environment Management

  • Design and deploy environments on an individual and group/project-wide scale
  • Manage environments both locally and within the cloud

Business Skills

  • Respond to the business environment and business issues related to software development.
  • Operate effectively in their own business’s, their customers’ and the industry’s environments.
  • Understand how teams work effectively to produce software and contribute appropriately.

Skills and Behaviours

Apprentices will also need to show they have demonstrated the following skills and behaviours in their role:

  • Logical and creative thinking skills.
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Able to work independently and to take responsibility.
  • Use own initiative.
  • Take a thorough and organised approach.
  • Able to work with a range of internal and external people.
  • Able to communicate effectively in a variety of situations.
  • Maintain a productive, professional and secure working environment.
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Modules

The modules in our DevOps Engineer apprenticeship equip learners with the advanced technical skills they need for their role. Each module develops the core set of skills they must be able to do well to be competent.

In each module, learners will ‘discover’, ‘practice’ and ‘apply’ what they’ve learned. This helps them put their newly-found knowledge into action back at work.

There are 6 modules to complete with the following learning outcomes.

Module 1: DevOps Culture and Methodologies

Module duration: 8 weeks | Classroom attendance: 3 days

This module will introduce learners to the common practices whilst working in a DevOps environment, including Agile, Scrum, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. The module also introduces the fundamentals of Cloud Computing alongside Version Control with Git.

This will include:

  • Agile values, characteristics
  • Scrum roles, artefacts, values
  • Estimation and Planning
  • DevOps as a Culture
  • Intro to Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
  • Environments and Containers
  • Infrastructure Consistency
  • Cloud Introduction
  • Cloud Deployment Models
  • Introduction to Source Control
  • Git Fundamentals
  • Git cloning and forking
  • Merging and reverting
  • Pull requests
  • Jenkins build server – intro, install, configuration
  • Managing and running builds
  • Version control and Jenkins

Module 2: Coding Fundamentals

Module duration: 8 weeks | Classroom attendance: 7 days

This module will focus on the developer skills needed for learners to create applications through Python with connected databases, practicing TDD and OOP when applicable.

This will include:

  • Python Programming Basics
  • Working in TDD
  • Data Types
  • Control Flow, Iteration
  • Lists and Arrays
  • Functions
  • Working with Files
  • Python and Databases
  • Python OOP
  • Collections and Generics
  • Testing in Python
  • SOLID principles

Module 3: Networking and Security

Module duration: 8 weeks | Classroom attendance: 3 days

This module will introduce learners to networking and security principles both generally and within a DevOps context.

This will include:

  • Networking Basics
  • Networking Models
  • Routing and IP Addresses
  • Network Address Translation
  • Security
  • Security Basics
  • Authentication and Authorization
  • Security Attacks
  • Passwords
  • Hashing vs Encrypting vs Encoding
  • Introduction to DevSecOps
  • Pen Testing, DAST & SAST

Module 4: Linux and DevOps Tooling

Module duration: 12 weeks | Classroom attendance: 7 days

This module will take a deep-dive into the build and environment tools within DevOps, discussing the design and construction of pipelines within DevOps CI/CD to support application development, building, testing and release within a local and cloud-based context.

This will include:

  • Resource sharing
  • Docker compose, Docker swarm
  • Containerisation Security principles
  • Kubernetes Introduction
  • kubectl Pods
  • Namespaces
  • ConfigMaps
  • Labels & Selectors
  • Sidecar Model
  • Logging
  • Prometheus Configuring with Kubernetes
  • Managing Container Resources
  • Network Polices
  • Secrets
  • Security Contexts
  • Basic cloud configuration (AWS)
  • Linux files and directories, management of files
  • Linux file structure
  • Linux bash interpreter and terminal
  • Linux user and file administration, ownership, sudo
  • Data streams, pipes, filters
  • Scripting in Linux
  • Linux Networking and Security
  • Creating artefacts
  • Pipeline as Code
  • Pipeline security
  • NGINX Introduction and Configuration
  • HTTP Reverse Proxy Configuration
  • Web Server Configuration
  • Containerisation basics
  • Building and deploying containers
  • Creating Dockerfiles, managing Docker volumes

Module 5: DevOps Infrastructure

Module duration: 12 weeks | Classroom attendance: 5 days

This module will focus on infrastructure as code and configuration management, building upon a learner’s DevOps skills to automate the creation and provisioning of cloud-based infrastructure.

This will include:

  • Introduction to API
  • Building APIs
  • Ansible Introduction
  • Inventory
  • Playbooks
  • Variables
  • Ansible Tower
  • Terraform Introduction
  • HashiCorp Configuration language
  • Data types, variables
  • Providers and Resources
  • Terraform Syntax
  • Configuration file discovery

Module 6: Cloud Computing Specialisation

Module duration: 8 weeks | Classroom attendance: N/A

This module will focus on the specifics of a cloud vendor – AWS, Azure or GCP – including developing and architecting DevOps solutions and pipelines on the platform.

This will include:

  • AWS, Azure or GCP
  • Core services – computing, storage, networking
  • Security Services, Monitoring and Auditing
  • Developing with the platform
  • CI/CD
  • Web application building
  • Decoupled apps
  • Code committing and deployment
  • API management
  • Architecting with the platform
  • Migrating to the cloud, business usage
  • Serverless Computing, Serverless Functions
  • Lambda, APIs, storage and databases
  • Containerisation and container releases

Gateway and End-Point Assessment

Consolidation, Preparation and Assessment (Online)

Duration: 5 learner-led weeks + EPA

The gateway is the final step that learners have to complete, before they take on their EPA. This QA process will ensure that learners are ready for the final assessment, increasing their chances of success.

At the gateway, they’ll submit:

  • A project a summary describing what they intend to complete for their Project and Practical Assessment
  • All functional skills certificates that prove that they have attained Level 2 English and Maths
  • A signed Gateway Form

Once learners have submitted their materials, they will start preparing for the Professional Discussion with an independent assessor.

Finally, learners will go though their EPA which will comprise two assessment methods:

  • Assessment method 1: Project and Practical Assessment
  • Assessment method 2: Professional Discussion

This is a very important stage in our learners’ apprenticeship journey, and we have built in a number of check-points to ensure learners are prepared, confident, and ready to achieve their qualification.

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Why choose a QA apprenticeship

  • 91% of QA apprentices go straight into full-time jobs
  • 2.1 million jobs in the digital economy
  • £42,578 average skilled digital salary

Programme handout

Download the latest information about this QA apprenticeship programme.

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Our apprenticeship programmes

This apprenticeship programme is part of a wider offering, ranging from Level 3 apprenticeships all the way to Level 7 Masters degrees.

Our programmes

= Required
= Certification
Average salary: £ *

5 days

Key for bundle contents
= Exam Preparation
= Exam
= Practice Exam
= Exam Voucher
= Tutor Support
= Pre Course Work
*This is based on QA research

Frequently asked questions

How do apprenticeships work?

You’ll spend most of the time working (80% in fact). You’ll complete work projects – doing all the things you’re learning, right away on the job. The rest of the time, you’ll be learning. In lots of different ways.

You can take your career and knowledge progression as far as you want to go with our apprenticeships – even up to gaining a Master's degree.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

For most apprenticeships, you need to be aged 16 and over, be eligible to live and work in the UK and have three to five GCSEs.

Maths and English are important skills for any career, so you’ll need to have them under your belt. Here’s where it gets a bit technical. You’ll need to (at least) have Functional Skills qualifications at Level 2 in Maths and English. Don’t worry, we’ll check your qualifications for you when you apply and explain.

But, even if you don’t have them yet – all is not lost. You can complete them during your QA apprenticeship.

Each apprenticeship has different entry requirements. Check the one you’re interested in to see if you’re a match.

Who will support me on my apprenticeship?

You'll have a whole team behind you. We'll help you get the most out of your apprenticeship.

  • Skills coach
  • Classroom tutors
  • Your line manager
  • Learner services team
  • Safeguarding

What will happen after I apply?

We’ll get in touch if it looks like you’re a match for the apprenticeship job. First, we’ll call to get to know you better. Tell us what you’re about, what your goals are. We’ll also get your details.

You’ll get a link to upload some important documents – to check you can do the apprenticeship you’ve applied for. (proof of right to work in the UK, your qualifications etc.) Don’t worry, it won’t take long.

When we have these, we’ll call on WhatsApp to check your ID.

Next, you’ll get a link to complete your profile. This bit is important – your profile is your opportunity to tell potential employers a bit about you. Your skills. Your passion. Why you want this apprenticeship.

We’ll keep in touch about the apprenticeship job you applied for. If any others come up that we think you’d like, we’ll let you know. If you’re keen, we’ll help you prep and we’ll set up that interview.

If all goes well…you’ll get the job. Then you just need to start planning for your first day. Hey presto.

If you’re applying for a job with one of our larger employers, you might be invited to an assessment day – or they might have other special steps to take. Don’t worry, we’ll give you all the details.

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