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University of Virginia

Continuous Delivery & DevOps

University of Virginia via Coursera


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Amazon famously delivers new code every 11.6 seconds. Just a few years ago, this was unthinkable: many ‘cutting edge’ firms would release software quarterly. When it comes to digital innovation, velocity is critical and many would say it’s the most reliable determinant of success. Bringing an organization to the state of the art (or even functional capability) in this area requires strong work in a combination of disciplines and a combination of both technical and managerial skills. There is no single cookie-cutter approach for achieving this capability. Much like agile, the right focus and formulation depends a lot on the facts and circumstances of the team. This course, developed at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and taught by top-ranked faculty, will provide you with the interdisciplinary skill set to cultivate a continuous deployment capability in your organization. After completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Diagnose a team’s delivery pipeline and bring forward prioritized recommendations to improve it 2. Explain the skill sets and roles involved in DevOps and how they contribute toward a continuous delivery capability 3. Review and deliver automation tests across the development stack 4. Explain the key jobs of system operations and how today’s leading techniques and tools apply to them 5. Explain how high-functioning teams use DevOps and related methods to reach a continuous delivery capability 6. Facilitate prioritized, iterative team progress on improving a delivery pipeline


  • The Importance of Velocity & The Jobs of Delivery
    • If your job is to make software, you’re probably busy. Everyone needs new features yesterday. Stuff breaks. How do you make time to work smarter? How do you know where you should focus the time you do have for process improvement? In this week, we’ll cover the fundamentals of DevOps and continuous delivery with an emphasis on the relationship between required investment and benefits.
  • Your Testing Stack
    • Focusing and automating your software testing is one of the most critical foundation elements to a continuous delivery capability. Thinking like a developer and looking at how to automate repetitive tasks is a lot of what DevOps collaboration is about. In this week, we’ll explore the test stack with a focus on the when and how’s of automated testing.
  • Infrastructure and The Jobs of Ops
    • Something like 99% of the code that delivers your functionality to the user is code you don’t write- it’s an operating system and supporting packages from third parties. The quality and availability of standard components has driven down the cost of software development exponentially. It’s also increased the importance of managing this supporting code and the environments where it runs to support your application. In this week, we’ll look at the techniques and tools teams are using to manage their environments and operations for continuous delivery.
  • Delivering Continuously
    • You now have an understanding of the key components of a continuous delivery capability. The key to success is focusing on the right things at the right time and creating momentum with your initial investments on the capability. In this final week, we’ll look at how teams get their continuous capability online and keep their pipeline healthy.

Taught by

Alex Cowan


4.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 1603 ratings

Start your review of Continuous Delivery & DevOps

  • This level was a great high level overview of DevOps.
    As someone who works at a company where these practices are already being used I take for granted that I understood a lot of what they were saying. However, everything was very clear and I really appreciated that there were lots of interviews with real engineers at the company.

    I gave it 4 stars because I felt it was a little light on content. Definitely a very high level overview.

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