Continuous learning delivers the best return on your technology investments
Virtualisation has long been recognised as a way for developers to better manage huge applications, along with the underlying infrastructure. However, for the developer creating cross-platform applications, one of the critical challenges lies in ensuring that their application can run in environments that are configured differently.
In the modern digital world, developers seldom get to build an application that is only deployed on one operating system. Instead, they have to worry about how the operating system, file system hierarchy and user interface might vary from one deployment to another.
This is where containers come in, as these offer the same attributes as virtual machines, while significantly reducing the time required to create, configure, ship and run the application. Containers, as the name suggests, are used to package and run an application and its various dependencies, in an isolated, predictable and repeatable way.
According to Amelia DeJager, Specialist Trainer at Impactful, containers essentially guarantee the same functionality, regardless of whether you are running Linux, Windows, operating in the cloud or even in a multi-cloud environment.
“Basically, a container is like a box that packages everything your application needs within, and you can simply shift the box from platform to platform. The app will function effectively, wherever it is,” she explains.
She adds that not only is the process simplified significantly, but containers are also able to scale instantly as required. This alone offers enormous value to both the development team and the organisation as a whole.
According to Amelia, the benefits offered by containers are such that it would serve most organisations well to ensure that their developers are capable of leveraging containers more effectively.
“In much the same way as most office staff use various solutions like, for example, Microsoft Outlook in their everyday work, but they certainly never utilise anywhere near the full functionality, the same could be said of most developers who use containers,” she explains.
Pieter Nel, Executive Head: IT talent at Impactful adds that once companies recognise the need to train their developers in using this environment, Impactful can help them to undertake the journey. The business, he says, offers a complete training environment with different learning elements that will enable them to maximise the capability of the solution.
It is all about relevance in the world, he continues, and the easiest way to remain relevant is to partner with an entity that can deliver a continuous learning experience. He adds that Impactful differentiates itself by working with customers to develop and create the specific learnings required to enable them to succeed on their chosen strategic path.
Facilitators are also there to mentor learners, because not everyone learns at the same pace. Thus, coaching and mentoring are key to helping employees to learn.
Amelia de Jager notes that, from an organisational point of view, having developers properly skilled in leveraging containers will allow streamlining of the production line, ensuring that products are not only more capable, but also reach the end user more rapidly.
“Development methodologies have changed significantly in the past few years. Originally developers wrote code, tested it and then sent it back for changes. More recently, the Agile methodology has been about fixing on the go and adapting and changing on the fly. However, this can lead to catastrophic problems at times, because relationships between the various moving parts are never properly fixed,” she explains.
Pieter Nel suggests that there is a large percentage of businesses in South Africa that claim to lack the technical skills needed to innovate fast enough to attract new customers.
“This means that everything we do from a learning perspective, while technically upskilling their people, is ultimately about enabling our clients to provide a better service to their customers, while assisting them to also improve their bottom line,” Nel says.
Much more than just a course
It is vital that employees are made aware of the advantages of specific technologies, he explains, and especially that they are properly informed as to these solutions’ full capabilities. This is how you get them excited to learn.
De Jager adds that Impactful is a one-stop-shop, so clients can approach the business with their specific challenge, which will be properly analysed to determine what technologies are required to get them to the end of their journey.
“We help you to determine what your business problems are and then assist with the technologies and processes you need to get you there. And of course, we will then train your people to ensure they are able to leverage those technologies to the best of their ability,” she states.
Nel concludes by pointing out that Impactful offers a training journey, rather than just a course.
“In a world that is digitally transforming rapidly, with new technologies and solutions coming to the fore all the time, Impactful’s services have never been more needed. We help your employees to attain their true potential while you are able to maximise the return on investment on the technology you have purchased – all while improving your business and your service to your customer,” he concludes.