How can customer education teams win in today’s hyper-competitive software-buying market? By focusing on creating high-quality content.
But as any customer education professional will tell you, that is much easier said than done. It can be a daunting task to create and maintain an extensive portfolio of educational content when your product experiences frequent updates and releases. But have no fear, it can be done, and we can show you how!
In this episode of Instruqt Creators Connect, Pablo J. López Zaldívar, Senior Curriculum Developer at Sysdig, sits down with our Director of Sales Engineering Sean Carolan to share Sysdig’s success story using GitOps principles in developing and maintaining their hands-on virtual IT labs on Instruqt.
Sysdig is driving the standard for cloud and container security. The company pioneered cloud-native runtime threat detection and response by creating Falco and Sysdig as open-source standards and key building blocks of the Sysdig platform. With the platform, teams can find and prioritize software vulnerabilities, detect and respond to threats, and manage cloud configurations, permissions, and compliance. From containers and Kubernetes to cloud services, teams get a single view of risk from source to run, with no blind spots, guesswork, and wasted time. The largest and most innovative companies around the world rely on Sysdig.
Table of Contents
Short on time? Here are the Spark Notes for this blog:
- A trainer’s worst nightmare is waking up to discover your content did not work; that education engineers got pinged in the middle of the night to repair faulty labs.
- Results of manual content creation that can not accommodate product updates or other changes in time.
- Applying the GitOps approach to building and maintaining educational content enables customer education teams to accelerate the time needed to develop and deploy educational content to their customers.
- Instruqt enables the team to test everything before it is deployed to make sure they run as expected. While the log from the test enables the team to fix it easily.
- Instruqt has made the life of the Sysdig customer education team easy. They will build more hands-on labs on Instruqt to cover all the features.
Challenges in Building Virtual Labs
Pablo pointed out that many of the tools that are available to software developers and instructional designers in the marketplace are quite limited. Many use graphical user interface interfaces, which require many actions and clicks to replicate every workflow. This translates to a significant time commitment and presents significant scaling challenges.
Sysdig created highly-technical content to educate their users, but they encountered several challenges.
Lack of a Well-Defined Development and Review Process
Clarity and transparency are important when building labs. Not being able to pinpoint the precise status of a lab causes headaches.
Slow, Manual Testing
The tool they were using was unable to validate or test content automatically. This caused lengthy manual tests and increases the possibility of missing bugs and errors in the production track.
A direct result of the previous two challenges led to reliability issues. An instructor’s worst nightmare is to show up for a training or presentation and discover something is broken.
Rigid Maintenance Capabilities
The work does not stop after you’ve created a course. Maintaining a track and adding to the content over time is critical in the software sector, where updates and releases regularly occur.
Definition of GitOps
What is GitOps? You’ll find many definitions, but the main idea/goals include:
- Reduce repetitive actions and errors
- Improve the quality of the content
- Increase efficiency/collaboration of team members.
The 4 GitOps Principles
Over the past year, Sysdig has been applying GitOps principles to systematically create and maintain their customer education. Git is an open-source system that is used heavily by software teams. Git provides granular tracking for projects that allow teams to easily review any changes, who authored the change, when the change was made, etc.
Within that framework, there are principles to GitOps.
1. Declaratively Describe the Entire System
The declaration of the desired state of a track can be any file that defines every possible aspect of the track without ambiguities. This gives everyone the ability to go and see what’s the state of the track and the file. It provides a critical single source of truth, regardless of where you are in production or the lifecycle.
2. Immutable Versioning of the State
This principle allows you to review the state of your tracks at any given point in time, instead of relying simply on the latest version of the state. This provides you with the ability to recover quickly from an error.
3. Approved Changes can be Automatically Applied to the System
An additional benefit of having your customer education defined as code reveals itself with the automatic application of changes and with your validations. You can check that all of the changes that were made are in the expected format.
4. State Reconciliation
The fourth principle is all about data reconciliation. No matter where you are in production, or where you are in the lifecycle, you’ll want to have a single source of truth. By running an automated test, you can quickly and strategically debug whenever issues are found.
Find out more about Sysdig:
- Experience free, self-paced education courses and hands-on labs (using Instruqt) at our Education portal
- Check out the latest articles on our blog
- Visit the Learn Cloud Native Hub
- Follow Pablo J. López Zaldívar on LinkedIn
Learn more about how Instruqt empowers customers like Sysdig to create, maintain, and scale high-quality content to educate prospects and engage customers.
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