This partner blog is written by Rik Farenhorst, DevOps leader at Xebia and CEO of Xebia's latest product company, called instruqt. Xebia is one of HashiCorp's partners in Europe, co-organized HashiConf EU in 2016, and is a leader in DevOps training, consultancy and solutions in the Netherlands, France and India. Xebians are quite experienced in most of HashiCorp's products and use and advocate them at their customers.
Xebia instruqt provides a learning platform for DevOps tools. Last year we noticed a significant shortage in DevOps talent. DevOps concepts are often hard to master for organizations transitioning to DevOps. We have been using HashiCorp products in our customer projects for some time. Our observation is many organizations have a DevOps skill gaps. This becomes a showstopper for the innovation power and speed required to remain competitive in today's digital era. In our quest for an effective approach to transfer knowledge and skills we always focused on: coaching-on-the-job, forming specialized DevOps teams that include experts from the customer, and on-site classroom based training. These methods have merit but they are not the most effective or fun way to learn. We were on the search for an alternative way to spread the word about leading DevOps products.
In June 2016, at HashiConf Europe in Amsterdam, we introduced the so-called HashiContest. The format was a self-paced workshop with gamification features (e.g. a leaderboard), content, and challenges. The workshop provided deep-dives into products such as Consul, Terraform, Nomad and Vault. Our contest ran for the two-day conference. At the end, we gave prizes to the user who completed the most challenges in the shortest time. The high number of conference attendees who participated in HashiContest surprised us. The turnout grew further when Armon Dadgar and Seth Vargo decided to give the platform a try. The popularity and positive feedback encouraged us to build the learning platform. The intent of the platform, to be a fun and effective way to learn about DevOps tools. At HashiConf 2016, we presented this vision in our session 'Learn Data Center Automation Through Gamification'.
We used variants of HashiContest at meetups and conferences to refine the platform. Enter today's version of instruqt! Instruqt is a new community-driven, gamified learning platform. You compete in byte-sized, hands-on challenges against peers worldwide. Along the way you learn DevOps / Cloud technologies and their concepts in a fun and effective way. Check it out at instruqt.com!
We are proud to launch instruqt during the week of March 6 during Google Cloud Next 2017 in San Francisco. Sign up now, for free, to give it a try. Please do not refrain from providing us with your candid feedback. Our intention is for the instruqt platform to appeal to a wide audience of IT professionals. All feedback during these early phases is crucial for us, especially from IT pros in Cloud and DevOps.
We will be hosting a tournament on instruqt.com during Google Cloud Next. There will be competitions for Consul, Vault, and Nomad. We intend to add competitions for the other HashiCorp products soon. All learning content is free to play during the month of March 2017.