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Case Study | Puppet by Perforce

Hands-On Kubernetes Training Drives Innovation and Enhances Competitive Edge

Puppet by Perforce offers the industry standard in infrastructure automation. The company helps enterprises modernize and manage hybrid infrastructure with solutions to automate, reliably scale, and integrate compliance and security.

Puppet by Perforce’s open source and commercial solutions ensure business continuity, optimize costs, boost compliance and ensure security, all while accelerating the adoption of DevOps practices and delivery of self-service.

"SuperOrbital was my first choice because there was already an established level of trust. I had worked with the owner in the past and knew his classes would be a great fit for our needs."

Challenges
  • Mixed skill levels on engineering team resulted in knowledge gaps
  • Difficult to assess progress of team with self-guided training
  • Canned content didn’t cater to the needs of every learning style
  • Lack of engagement and interactivity, various learning preferences
Value Created
  • Engineering team in position to deploy new apps and products
  • Increased productivity, problem solving skills, and technical prowess
  • Reduced churn when fixing bugs
  • Competitive edge as more customers adopt Kubernetes cloud technologies
Solutions
  • Core Kubernetes workshop
  • DevOps best practices and strategy
  • Subject matter expertise

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Diego Lapiduz, Senior Director of Engineering, has a wide scope of responsibilities when it comes to Puppet technology. One of his primary objectives is to assist the engineering team in finding ways to enhance productivity. A recent project, which involved moving the company’s existing platform to Kubernetes (K8s), prompted the need for more in-depth training on the open source container orchestration system.

According to Diego, “Although our team had a diverse set of skills, their experience with the K8s platform was mixed—some knew a lot, and some had never been exposed to it. I wanted to make sure that each member of my team was operating on a level playing field.”

As an initial solution, 28 engineers embarked on a self-guided cloud Kubernetes training program, but there were several challenges. “Everyone was progressing at a different rate; it was difficult to assess each person’s level of understanding, and the training wasn’t embraced by everyone,” noted Diego.

It was time to look at other options, and Diego began to investigate instructor-led classes. He reached out to SuperOrbital, which specializes in Kubernetes workshops and cloud engineering. “SuperOrbital was my first choice because there was already an established level of trust. I had worked with the owner in the past and knew his classes would be a great fit for our needs.” Diego was also impressed with the quality of instructors, the depth of knowledge, the curriculum, and the impressive feedback from customer references.

“We were excited about the instructor-led training as it would be more engaging and allow folks to step away from their daily tasks for a week and take a deep dive into Kubernetes,” said AJ Johnson, Senior Director of Engineering. “Learning side by side with your peers, with the freedom and blessing from your employer to focus on all-day training, and having face-to-face experience with an instructor is generally how people prefer to learn.”

HANDS-ON TRAINING PREPARES ENGINEERS FOR PROBLEM SOLVING AND APPLICATION DEPLOYMENT

Companies that invest in learning and development will gain a competitive advantage as they understand the importance of keeping up with technological innovation. SuperOrbital’s Core Kubernetes workshop provided Puppet’s engineering team with a blended educational approach, which resulted in greater problem-solving skills, productivity, and retention.

Maggie Dreyer, Principal Software Engineer, and student at the training, was excited about the opportunity to learn about Kubernetes, noting, “The training expanded my skills, gave me a more modern toolset, and provided a solid baseline for learning more.” Since the class, Dreyer has applied her new knowledge to on-premises and SaaS projects at Puppet. “The instructors were engaging and friendly, with a great balance of hands-on and lecture-style training for different learning styles.” Maggie looks forward to continuing her Kubernetes education in the #alumni Slack channel—a shared community for all SuperOrbital students.

"The industry is moving towards Kubernetes. By having a fundamental understanding of what that looks like, our developers will have the tools they need to propel us forward."

AJ Johnson, Senior Director of Engineering

Gene Liverman, Principal Site Reliability Engineer, had some previous experience with Kubernetes and the class strengthened his overall understanding of key processes. “This was my first formal K8s training and it helped me become more efficient. It was practical and engaging, and I enjoyed the ‘learn, do, review’ model.”

Matthew Kirby, Senior Software Engineer, had worked with Kubernetes for over a year prior to the training, and said, “The training filled in key gaps, such as how to get logs out of containers and tools for managing namespaces. It also helped me understand how things work under the hood, ramp up my skills faster, and connect the dots. I feel more competent to deploy applications and troubleshoot any issues.”

According to AJ, “Our engineering team developed a better understanding of how Kubernetes operates, what they need to be aware of when they’re building their applications, important terminology, what tools are available, and how to leverage those to be more effective in their jobs. The class was extremely beneficial, laid a solid foundation, and helped our engineers build confidence in solving potential issues. After the training, our team was in a position to launch a set of products on top of Kubernetes.”

KUBERNETES ADOPTION GROWS AS CONTAINERS BECOME MAINSTREAM

Many IT leaders are containerizing their applications using Kubernetes because of its agility, speed, and efficiency in scaling and managing apps and infrastructure. As adoption grows, it’s clear that Kubernetes will take a more vital role in the enterprise platform tech stack. This trend is accelerating, and Puppet is on the leading edge of meeting emerging business needs and driving innovation.

“The industry is moving towards Kubernetes. By having a fundamental understanding of what that looks like, our developers will have the tools they need to propel us forward. Our customers are also adopting these technologies which means we can serve them better by understanding this platform,” noted AJ. “I was really impressed with SuperOrbital. They did a fantastic job training our engineers with hands-on instruction, and an interactive developer environment.”

“By investing in employee training, especially new technology, this adds value to our existing team and helps us attract top talent. Our engineers developed a deeper understanding of Kubernetes, increased their skills, and are now able to reduce churn when fixing bugs.” said Diego.