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Review of Coursera’s IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate

Embark on an exciting DevOps journey with the IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate on Coursera. Discover the perfect blend of theory and hands-on expertise to elevate your skills.

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Coursera Professional Certificate – IBM Applied DevOps Engineering: Our Verdict (2024)

Course Rating

4.5 / 5

The IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate is a robust program tailored for individuals aiming to advance their skills within the DevOps field. It offers a blend of theoretical and practical learning, covering Agile, CI/CD, and cloud-native technologies. The course is best suited for those with some existing experience, providing professional training and a portfolio of projects. Despite its few drawbacks, such as the absence of academic credits, the program's hands-on approach and industry recognition make it a valuable investment for aspiring DevOps professionals.


  • Professional-level training
  • Intermediate level
  • IBM employer-recognized certificate
  • Financial aid available


  • Python and Linux skills required
  • Not included in Coursera Plus
  • No academic credits

Time-limited offer
$100 USD off your first year of Coursera Plus Annual (expires 1 April 2024)

Table of Contents

DevOps has emerged as a pivotal approach for staying competitive and relevant in the area of IT and software development. DevOps, short for Development and Operations, represents a cultural shift and a set of practices that promote collaboration and communication between development and IT operations teams. DevOps engineers play a vital role in bridging the gap between developers and IT operations, ensuring a smooth and efficient software development lifecycle.

The IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate, available on Coursera, builds on the more introductory IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate and offers a comprehensive educational journey that equips learners with the skills needed to excel in the modern world of software development and IT operations.

In this comprehensive review, we will explore the course content, its depth, and its effectiveness in preparing learners for a successful journey in the field of DevOps engineering.

The IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate available on Coursera
The IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate on Coursera

Course overview

The IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate on Coursera offers a comprehensive journey into the world of DevOps. It is tailored for existing software and IT professionals who are eager to harness the power of modern software engineering and DevOps practices. It assumes a foundation in programming, with Python as the language of choice for most examples throughout the courses, along with some proficiency in using Linux/Unix.

This professional certificate consists of nine courses, providing a deep dive into essential DevOps concepts, practices, and tools. Learners are guided through the principles of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), Infrastructure as Code, Test Driven Development (TDD), Agile methodologies, and cloud-native technologies. The program emphasizes the importance of breaking down organizational silos and fostering a culture of collaboration, which is at the core of the DevOps philosophy.

Learners have the opportunity to work on real-world projects, including creating and executing Agile plans, building and deploying applications using containerization and serverless technologies, developing microservices, and implementing CI/CD pipelines. These practical experiences are invaluable for those looking to transition into a DevOps role. The instructors bring a wealth of expertise to the program, providing learners with insights and guidance throughout their DevOps journey. Their practical knowledge and experience in the field add depth and authenticity to the courses. Upon completion of the program, learners not only receive a Coursera certificate but also gain access to an IBM digital badge, marking their proficiency in DevOps engineering.

Some of the instructors for the IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate
Some of the course instructors

By the end of this professional certificate program, participants will be well-prepared to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the ever-evolving IT landscape. They will possess the skills, knowledge, and mindset required to excel as DevOps engineers, contributing to the transformation of software development and IT operations in the digital age.

 Join us on this journey as we explore each course in detail to provide you with a comprehensive insight into the IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate.

Is the IBM Data Warehouse Engineer Professional Certificate worth the cost?

At a monthly subscription rate of $49, the total cost for the three-month program is approximately $147 (although it could be higher or lower depending on how quickly you complete the program). IBM courses are not included in the Coursera Plus subscription, so it is necessary to purchase access to the specific program. However, the program does allow for free auditing. While this doesn’t give you access to exercises or certificates, it does offer flexibility for those unsure about committing financially. The balance between the relatively low cost and the practical, job-ready skills acquired makes this certificate a worthwhile investment for many.

Detailed review

This professional certificate is a 9-course series covering various aspects of DevOps engineering:

  1. Introduction to DevOps
  2. Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum
  3. Introduction to Containers w/ Docker, Kubernetes & OpenShift
  4. Application Development using Microservices and Serverless
  5. Introduction to Test and Behavior Driven Development
  6. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
  7. Application Security for Developers and DevOps Professionals
  8. Monitoring and Observability for Development and DevOps
  9. DevOps Capstone Project

Each course within the certificate focuses on a specific area of DevOps, from Agile methodologies and cloud computing to containerization with Docker and Kubernetes. The practical, project-based approach ensures learners not only understand the theoretical aspects but also gain hands-on experience applying these concepts in real-world scenarios. Let us explore each course together.

Course 1: Introduction to DevOps

The “Introduction to DevOps” course is a foundational stepping stone into the world of DevOps engineering. It teaches deep into the core principles that underpin the DevOps philosophy, emphasizing shared responsibility, transparency, and the embracement of failure as a catalyst for growth. This course serves as the cornerstone of the program, establishing a strong foundation in the principles that drive the DevOps methodology.

A video lecture elucidating the Essential Characteristics of DevOps from Course 1
Video lecture explaining the Essential Characteristics of DevOps from Course 1

By exploring essential concepts such as Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), Infrastructure as Code, and Test-Driven Development (TDD), learners gain a comprehensive understanding of DevOps principles and practices. Additionally, the course emphasizes the transformative influence of DevOps on organizational culture, promoting collaboration across teams and breaking down silos.

As a prerequisite for the subsequent courses in the program, this course equips learners with the essential knowledge needed to excel in the field of DevOps. With a balanced blend of theory and practical insights, it provides a solid framework for those embarking on their DevOps journey.

Course 2: Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum

The “Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum” course represents a significant step in advancing your DevOps knowledge. It goes beyond the basics, offering a comprehensive exploration of Agile methodologies, with a particular focus on Scrum practices.

Throughout this course, you will gain proficiency in Agile principles, including the importance of small batches, the concept of a minimum viable product, pair programming, and behavior and test-driven development. Participants are guided on how to craft compelling user stories, estimate work using story points, and track progress using Kanban boards, all of which are crucial skills in today’s fast-paced development environments. The course excels in showing how these practices lead to the creation of high-quality products that meet user needs, making it an invaluable resource for anyone looking to adopt Agile methodologies in their projects.

Practicality is a central theme, with hands-on exercises employing tools such as phpMyAdmin and pgAdmin for real-world experience. This course prepares you to create and manage relational databases using both graphical interfaces and command-line tools, with a strong emphasis on SQL statements for table creation and management.

By the end of this course, you will be well-equipped to contribute effectively to Agile and Scrum teams, facilitating the efficient delivery of software products.

Course 3: Introduction to Containers w/ Docker, Kubernetes & OpenShift

Containers have become a cornerstone of modern application deployment strategies, and the “Introduction to Containers w/ Docker, Kubernetes & OpenShift” course introduces learners to the transformative world of containerization and orchestration. It equips participants with the essential skills required to deploy applications swiftly across diverse environments.

This course provides a thorough understanding of cloud-native application development using popular technologies such as Docker for containerization, Kubernetes for orchestration, and OpenShift for enterprise-level deployment, providing a thorough understanding of how these tools work together to improve scalability and reliability. Learners will be taught Kubernetes architecture and its pivotal role in managing containerized applications. One standout feature of this course is its hands-on approach, which includes practical labs. The hands-on labs, which allow learners to configure resources using YAML deployment files, are particularly noteworthy, ensuring they can effectively manage containers in real-world scenarios.

As an integral part of the DevOps toolset, this course lays the groundwork for mastering modern DevOps practices. It prepares learners to navigate the complexities of containerization, a crucial skill in today’s DevOps landscape.

Course 4: Application Development using Microservices and Serverless

The fourth course in this series is related to modern application development paradigms. It spotlights microservices and serverless architectures, offering learners a comprehensive understanding of their advantages over traditional monolithic structures.

Throughout this course, learners embark on a journey to create REST API endpoints, document and test APIs using tools like SwaggerUI, and deploy microservices using Docker containers and serverless technologies like IBM Code Engine. The course’s practical approach, conducted in a cloud-based environment, solidifies the learning experience. Learners gain hands-on experience in building scalable and efficient applications, aligning with the core principles of DevOps engineering.

By the end of this course, participants are well-prepared to design, develop, and deploy modern applications and equipped with the knowledge and skills required to excel in DevOps.

Course 5: Introduction to Test and Behavior Driven Development

Testing is a critical phase in the development lifecycle, and this course emphasizes its importance by introducing Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) methodologies. Through detailed explanations and practical exercises, learners gain insights into how these practices can lead to more reliable, bug-free software. The course is commendable for its in-depth coverage of unit testing, including the use of mock objects and test fixtures, which are key to implementing effective testing strategies.

The modules put a great deal of effort into emphasizing the significance of testing, the process of developing unit tests, and the implementation of advanced TDD methods. The curriculum provides insights into test assertions, fixtures, and the use of tools for coverage reports, offering a comprehensive insight into effective testing practices.

Hands-on Lab: Implementing Your First Steps from Course 5
Hands-on Lab: Implementing Your First Steps from Course 5

Practicality is central to this course, with hands-on exercises allowing learners to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. By the end of this course, participants are well-equipped to contribute to the creation of robust and reliable software within the DevOps framework.

Course 6: Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

CI/CD practices are pivotal in achieving DevOps goals, and this course, “Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD),” provides a deep dive into the automation processes that enable frequent and reliable code deployment. It covers a range of tools and technologies, including Jenkins and GitHub actions for automation and Terraform for Infrastructure as Code, offering learners a broad perspective on how to streamline development workflows.

Moreover, the modules included in this course offer a comprehensive understanding of the Continuous Integration (CI) process, listing examples of tools used for CI. It also delves into the Continuous Deployment (CD) process, introducing tools like OpenShift Pipelines and Argo CD.

With a focus on automation, this course equips learners with the skills needed to streamline software development processes, automate tasks, and enhance efficiency within a DevOps environment. The practical insights into setting up pipelines are particularly valuable, giving participants the skills needed to implement these practices in their own projects.

Course 7: Application Security for Developers and DevOps Professionals

Video lecture covering Infrastructure as Code (IAC) concepts from Course 6
Video lecture explaining Infrastructure as code (IAC) from Course 6

Security is often overlooked in the development process, but this course places it front and center. The “Application Security for Developers and DevOps Professionals” course takes a deep dive into the realm of security within the DevOps landscape. It emphasizes secure application development practices, with a focus on security by design and defensive coding following OWASP principles.

Throughout this course, learners gain practical experience in developing applications using security-by-design principles and perform defensive coding in alignment with industry best practices. The course covers principles of secure coding, IBM cloud container vulnerability, vulnerability scanning, defensive coding practices, and penetration testing using Kali Linux. It equips learners with the knowledge to build more secure applications. The course is notable for its comprehensive approach to application security, including an exploration of OWASP principles and the use of tools like Kali Linux for penetration testing.

Additionally, learners explore application performance monitoring and troubleshooting using various tools, ensuring that applications are not only secure but also optimized for performance. This course equips DevOps professionals with the skills needed to build and maintain secure and resilient applications.

Course 8: Monitoring and Observability for Development and DevOps

The “Monitoring and Observability for Development and DevOps” course underscores the critical role of monitoring and observability in DevOps practices. Learners gain an understanding of key concepts such as Golden Signals and the pillars of observability.

Effective monitoring and observability are key to maintaining the health of applications in production. This course covers the foundational concepts and tools necessary for implementing robust monitoring strategies, including Prometheus for monitoring, Grafana for visualization, and Instana. Learners develop the skills necessary to implement effective monitoring and observability strategies in cloud-native environments, ensuring the reliable performance of applications. The practical exercises provide valuable hands-on experience, ensuring learners understand how to apply these tools in real-world scenarios to achieve better visibility into system performance.

This course is essential for DevOps professionals seeking to optimize their systems and applications for maximum efficiency and reliability, offering insights into the tools and techniques used to ensure robust performance and observability.

Course 9: DevOps Capstone Project

Finally, the Capstone Project is the culmination of the learning journey, challenging learners to apply their accumulated knowledge to a comprehensive, real-world project.

In this project-based course, learners are tasked with the development, testing, and deployment of a multi-service application, utilizing all the principles and tools covered in the preceding courses, along with final quizzes. They leverage containers and serverless technologies while employing CI/CD tools for deployment. The Capstone Project is a testament to the program’s effectiveness in preparing learners for the challenges of modern software development and operations roles.

This project encapsulates the essence of DevOps engineering, requiring learners to apply DevOps principles to real-world challenges. It is a testament to their ability to design, develop, and deploy applications within a DevOps framework, making it a valuable milestone in the certificate program.

Graded quiz assessing knowledge on building an Automated Continuous Delivery (CD) DevOps Pipeline from Course 9
Graded quiz on Build an Automated CD DevOps Pipeline from Course 9

What do others say?

Reviews for the IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate are limited on public platforms, but insights from Coursera users shed light on its value. Many learners appreciate the program’s in-depth exploration of DevOps concepts and practical hands-on experience. They find the emphasis on real-world application and the integration of tools like Docker and Kubernetes to be particularly beneficial.

However, it is worth noting that this certificate program might be intensive for newcomers or individuals with limited time availability. Some learners have mentioned the need for dedication and additional resources to fully grasp the content.

In summary, the IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate is well-received for its comprehensive approach to DevOps education, but it may require a commitment of time and effort to reap the full benefits.

Alternatives and complements to this certificate

If you are eager to expand your DevOps expertise beyond the IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate, there are additional avenues to explore. Here are some notable options:

  1. IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate on Coursera: A more beginner-friendly program, this offering from IBM takes you through the basics up to an employment-ready level.
  2. Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Professional Certificate on Coursera: This program emphasizes Google’s approach to DevOps, making it perfect for professionals aiming to optimize services within Google Cloud environments.
  3. Exam Prep AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Specialization on Coursera: This is a great option if you need to work in an AWS environment.
  4. Microsoft Certified – DevOps Certifications: If you are working on delivery within Azure ecosystems, the Microsoft DevOps certifications should be on your shortlist of credentials to pursue.
  5. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA): This certification focuses on Kubernetes, making it an excellent choice for those specializing in containerization and microservices.
  6. The Puppet Certified Professional (Puppet 206) Prep on Pluralsight: The Puppet Certified Professional certification is ideal for showcasing skills in automating server configurations with Puppet, particularly valuable for those interested in infrastructure as code (IaC).
  7. Project portfolio: To gain practical experience, consider participating in open-source projects or contributing to DevOps communities on platforms like GitHub. Engaging in real-world projects and collaborating with experienced professionals can enhance your practical DevOps skills and broaden your network within the DevOps community.


Coursera’s IBM Applied DevOps Engineering Professional Certificate is a comprehensive and valuable program for anyone seeking DevOps engineering. It equips learners with the knowledge and practical skills required to excel in this dynamic field.

It is essential to understand that this certificate program demands dedication and a substantial time commitment. The nine courses cover a wide spectrum of DevOps concepts and tools, ensuring a holistic understanding of the subject. Whether you are a beginner or a professional aiming to enhance your DevOps expertise, this program caters to a diverse audience.

The true worth of this certificate lies in alignment with your career aspirations. If you are genuinely committed to mastering DevOps and are willing to invest the necessary time and effort, this program can be a pivotal step in your professional journey. It not only provides insights into DevOps intricacies but also prepares you to actively contribute to a field where effective DevOps practices are increasingly crucial in today’s tech-driven world.

In conclusion, this professional certificate is a great choice and offers a robust educational pathway for aspiring DevOps engineers. With dedication and determination, it can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career in the DevOps domain.

Time-limited offer
$100 USD off your first year of Coursera Plus Annual (expires 1 April 2024)