Codefresh launched the first course in its GitOps certification for Argo program, GitOps Fundamentals, in January 2022. It is the only certification program of its kind!
Their course tackles GitOps from the ground up, including secrets, repo management, and progressive delivery across an enterprise with real-world examples. More than 1,000 people have completed the GitOps Fundamentals course in less than three months!
In this interview with Kostis, learn why they have selected Instruqt to run the self-paced learning and how Instruqt helps developer advocates educate the tech community to drive brand awareness.
Who is Codefresh?
Codefresh is a next-generation enterprise software delivery platform for cloud-native applications. Codefresh helps you automate your GitOps workflows and advanced deployments such as Canary and Blue/Green and are the premium Argo enterprise solution. Codefresh can support any pipeline end-to-end.
DevOps teams from GoodRx, Monday.com, Deloitte, and more depend on Codefresh to deploy their software in a safe and scalable manner.
Leverage learning to drive brand awareness in the tech community
Argo CD is a Kubernetes-native continuous deployment (CD) tool. Unlike external CD tools that only enable push-based deployments, Argo CD can pull updated code from Git repositories and deploy it directly to Kubernetes resources. This allows developers to manage infrastructure configuration and application updates in one system. Argo CD is one of the fastest-growing tools in the CNCF landscape.
“We have seen many people asking questions about ArgoCD. The same questions come up again and again. Instead of explaining what ArgoCD a thousand times, we decided to create a training and certification where we will educate people on Argo and GitOps,” — Kostis Kapelonis, Senior Developer Advocate at Codefresh.
To help people learn Argo CD, Kostis and his colleagues started by improving the documentation. But they found that documentation is different than having a live workspace where people can get hands-on with the technology. While CNCF offered some training in this area but not specifically on Argo CD, they decided to be the first to provide this type of learning experience.
Why Codefresh chooses Instruqt to run the GitOps Argo CD Training and Certification
Kostis mentioned that before Instruqt, they had tried different solutions. One of them was Gitpod. However, it did not work out because it was too complex. They have also considered Katacoda, which a lot of people were using. But for various reasons, it wasn’t a good choice for them.
Here are the key reasons why Kostis loves using Instruqt:
Zero Setup Kubernetes
Setting up Kubernetes is complex and hard for new users. By providing a pre-configured Kubernetes environment, learners can quickly delve into the learning content. That is what learners want!
Instruqt makes it very easy for the learner and me — the content creator. The platform automatically creates the Kubernetes environment on-demand and teardowns it after the training.
Having everything run in a standard web browser is a game-changer. By creating the course content on Instruqt, learners don’t have to worry about firewall restrictions, incompatible devices, or security software that prevents their software from running.
Flexible Building Tool
Content creators can build labs from the Web UI and Instruqt CLI. Whether you are a visual person or a non-visual person, Instruqt is there for our team.
I can easily define the environments I want in my lab — what I want the learner to be exposed to and for how long.
I can create an instant feedback experience for the learner by running check scripts. This way, we also can check the quality of our course and see how learners are progressing with the course.
Hugely positive feedback from learners and reaching a milestone of 1,000 certified within three months
The tech community loves the GitOps Argo CD certification course. The overwhelming amount of positive feedback was an unexpected outcome for the Codefresh team.
At the end of the course, the learner can give some feedback. They ask questions such as; what they liked and how they could improve.
The responses show that learners are enjoying the content and the format. Kostis has seen comments like ” I want more courses from Codefresh!”.
He also notes that many comments mention the hands-on learning aspect. Looking at the feedback questionnaire, Kostis sees that the learners enjoyed the Instruqt platform.
“Learners found the setup very easy. They didn’t have to install something in their workspace. They could just get started—many like the fact that the environment is in the browser. “
The payoff so far in building the GitOps Argo CD certification is huge. More than 3,000 learners have started the certification in less than three months. Out of those 3,000 learners, 1,000 are now certified. Using education as a marketing strategy is proving to be a success.
Developer Advocates achieve their goals with Instruqt
Kostis explains that as a Developer Advocate, he aims to educate people on new technologies. Based on his experience, hands-on learning is the better educational medium for technology.
Compared to giving people massive documentation to read, the hands-on labs enable people to see the instant result of their actions. They can play, type commands, and see the impact of their commands.
“Instruqt is a way to educate people beyond theory. We can explain how technologies work behind the scenes. We can give hands-on experience to the learners. Hands-on experiences are especially important for our certification.”
Codefresh’s hands-on certification plays a significant role in helping people learn technology. People who have not used Argo CD before have shared with the Codefresh team once they’ve completed the course. They feel confident working with Argo CD.
“The best feedback is to hear that a person is understanding technology. Especially when first-timers share, ‘After finishing your course, I now feel confident with the technology.’ “
The sales team is happy with the training and certification
It’s not only marketing that benefits from the training certification. Kostis shares that their sales team is also reaping the rewards because they could see the course’s impact on the community. It’s the proof they need to tell their prospects that Argo CD is growing.
Not only that, people who started the certification also find this Argo CD tool interesting. Eventually, they want to learn more about purchasing Codefresh products and talk with sales.
Grow brand awareness
“I think the largest impact is the awareness we generate with the certification”.
Kostis believes that creating valuable and educational technical content has placed Codefresh on the map. The hands-on certification course helps them play an important role in the Argo CD community.
Sneak peek of Codefresh’s lab
The basic foundation of creating the GitOp Fundamentals Certification course
Easy technical setup and access for learners
When learners begin a GitOps Argo CD course, they enter the Instruqt interface. They will see the Argo CD UI on the browser and several tabs.
Each of these tabs offers easy access to environments that Instruqt has magically already created for the learner. In this example, I have a tab that gives access to a typical command line. I also have a tab with a web interface.
With Instruqt, learners get immediate access to the Argo CD, which is already there on the browser. This is the real Argo CD installation already set up for the learner. I have to say this is one of the most important requirements when choosing how we would like to set up training for our learners.
It’s not a simulation. It’s not a screenshot. It’s the real thing.
Complex environments available on-demand
Instruqt automatically creates a Kubernetes cluster behind the scenes when a learner starts a course. All the environment versions are locked down, so we know precisely what is running. There are no incompatibilities. We don’t need to tell the learner, “you need to have this particular version or hardware.”
Show how your software works together with other technologies
Not only do we install Argo CD itself already, but also additional example applications. The learner can go into the user interface, drill down, and see exactly what happens when you combine Argo CD with another application.
Show real-life interaction with the editor tab
Apart from the terminal, Instruqt also provides an editor and an intelligent editor — it has syntax highlighting. The learner can play around and change stuff and do different things.
Guide learners with assignments and feedback.
The learner has access to the application itself and can deploy things and create “version one”. We have all the instructions that the student must follow on the right of the screen for their assignments.
In my example, I tell the learner to take this command. Go and paste it and run it and do something. Then continue. In the end, we can check if the student has followed the assignments correctly.
The whole learning experience happens in one place
The important thing is that everything is in the browser. You can see the deployment happen. The learner doesn’t need to open five different windows to grasp how the software works. They don’t need to jump between dashboards. They have everything on the same window, in tabs.
In the track, the learner will see the terminal in one tab, Argo CD in the second tab, and the editor in the third. It is entirely self-contained. The whole experience is all in one track.
After the student has finished this track, they go to another track with a different setup. We can always change what the learners need to do without any setup on their side.
They say, “Hey, I’m ready to start a new course” Then the new track opens with new environments and technology already set up and ready to use. It’s magic.
Are there other plans to expand the usage of Instruqt within Codefresh?
Different departments at Codefresh have many ideas on how to use Instruqt to improve the customer journey and even onboard their employees. “Our customer support team thinks it’s a great idea to use Instruqt to educate customers. Other departments in Codefresh also want to use Instruqt for onboarding our new employees.”
The certification course is a great hit on the marketing side right now, so much so that the Codefresh team plans to create part two. So currently, that’s their primary focus — to grow their certification curriculum.
Competitors even see the value of the GitOps Argo CD course. A huge company in the same tech space as Codefresh (the name will remain anonymous) uses Codefresh’s certification to onboard new employees.
Kostis sees this as an outstanding achievement because it is simple for everyone at Codefresh to love their certification course. But for another company in the same tech space, to see the value of the GitOps Argo CD course and use it to train their employees is jaw-droppingly amazing.
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