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Garr Academy - a wonderful experience

What could be right when you get involved in an experience overnight? Here I will briefly talk about my experince at Garr Academy

Garr Academy

The beginning

It all started with a dear friend of mine who sent me this link regarding a never heard before ‘Garr Academy’.

Who’s Garr?

Well, I knew Garr because when I was a child I used to download Ubuntu from the closest mirror to me… which belonged (and still belongs) to Garr.

So, it is a very cute story to tell, but yes, I knew Garr for years.

By the way, Garr is a consortium that holds the entire Italian infrastructure. They have three main datacenters (Milan, Rome, and Bari) and a ton of nodes in Italy.

You can always visit their gins website and have fun while searching for your nearest node. You will be surprised how many nodes are in the network and how close are to you.

Garr Academy

Garr Academy is a training course aimed to train new people in the DevOps world.

I’ve been luckily selected among 9 participants, and here’s what we learned:

  • Ansible
  • Docker and containers
  • Kubernetes
  • Vagrant
  • Influx, Telegraf, and monitoring in general
  • some general knowledge about CI/CD
  • speaking in public and interpersonal skills (dealing correctly with other people, efficient communication…)

We were at the academy from 9am to 6pm, from the 15th of October till the 15th of November, and every day there was some new stuff to learn and to do: a completely different approach than the majority of training courses and university.

We, of course, have done a theoretical part, which was enough to understand what we were doing.

The approach was mainly “you practice this and right before I’ll explain what’s going on. Feel free to experiment.” rather than “I will explain the entire subject and then you will do some exercises”.

It was really fun, and it is my favourite approach while learning.

Final thoughts

It’s been one of my favorite experiences of all time, not only because I met some new awesome people (both colleagues and mentors), but I’ve learned new stuff which I ignored the existence before the course or didn’t know too much.

Until the academy, the DevOps field was unexplored to me, apart from the CI/CD part which I’ve always been a fan of since I discovered Github’s actions.

I feel enriched by this experience and I would recommend this to everyone who wants to become a devop or wants to try out to learn new things.

Contest

There’s been a social contest: the participants to get involved used to post something on social networks tagging “ReteGarr”; I was one of those participants, and I won the second prize.

Notes

All of my notes, where possible, are available at this address under the “Garr Academy” section.

They’re personal notes written in RST. I will update that website once I rewrite/convert some of my personal notes. Feel free to take a look! (everything’s in Italian)

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