Blog DevOps Platform 5 ways to bring DevOps to your campus
Published on: January 11, 2022
6 min read

5 ways to bring DevOps to your campus

Educators can give students a career advantage by collaborating with GitLab to bring DevOps lectures, tools, and community straight to the classroom.


Organizations around the world and across industries are adopting the DevOps methodology where development and operations are blended to securely accelerate software delivery. As this approach becomes a mainstay of software development, companies will need skilled professionals to fill key DevOps roles. Yet, as with most technological change, educational opportunities often lag behind real-world applications.

GitLab aims to change this and has developed five ways educators can bring DevOps instruction and our DevOps Platform to your campus, affording students, professors, researchers, and IT teams the unique opportunity to learn DevOps skills firsthand, including DevSecOps, and offering your graduates and organization a competitive advantage.

1. GitLab for Education program

GitLab for Education provides free licenses of Ultimate to educational and research institutions as long as it is used for teaching or nonprofit research purposes. If you’re going to use GitLab in a classroom and want your students to use it for their schoolwork, then this is the option for you. This is set up by a full-time employee of the university and is a full license with as many seats as you need. Our Ultimate license is everything that our major enterprise customers use to create their apps and now it’s available to university students across a variety of disciplines. Signing up is simple via our join page. This kicks off a process that takes a few weeks to complete and ends with a license that brings your classroom or research into the world of the DevOps Platform. Learn how GitLab for Education has benefited other institutions, including the University of Washington, Dublin City University, and Heriot Watt University.

2. GitLab for Campuses

GitLab for Campuses lets your developers, IT professionals, and other employees working with the technical administration of your university have access to world-class DevOps tools. Rather than cobbling together multiple applications for a Do-It-Yourself DevOps solution, we can provide you access to our single DevOps platform at a discounted rate. GitLab for Campuses is an offering that covers a large swath of your user base. You would still be able to grant access to students on your campus to use GitLab just like you can with GitLab for Education, but you have the added benefit of The DevOps Platform being used for running your entire institution’s IT.

3. GitLab Guest Lecture

DevOps might be a brand-new consideration for your classroom; perhaps this is your first time hearing about it. GitLab’s education team is here to help you by providing a DevOps 101 guest lecture, which you can schedule for your class. We can have a lecture during one of your sections or set up a time for multiple sections of your class to come together and learn about what DevOps is and how to learn more. This type of industry information is invaluable for students looking to join a company right out of college. We’re not just talking about The DevOps Platform, but DevOps as an operational and cultural change in software development, as well as how DevOps implementations can be present in non-CS careers and companies. Let our team of former educators help guide your class into the exciting world of DevOps with a guest lecture. Fill out this form to find out more about our Guest Lecture opportunities.

4. GitLab Student Contribution Workshop

Contributing to open source is one of the best ways students can build skills, make connections, and add to their portfolio to showcase their abilities and work. Open source is everywhere in DevOps, especially at GitLab. Not only are several open source projects hosted on GitLab, GitLab itself is open core and open for contributions.

We believe everyone can Contribute, but we know that the first contribution can be daunting; students might not know where to start, how to create a merge request, or what the maintainers are looking for. Even basics like working locally and git commands might be a little confusing if students haven’t encountered them before. One way for students to participate is through our hackathon. GitLab hosts a hackathon once every three months with helpful issue tags and other ways to easily find places where we are looking for contributors to help build the future. Past hackathons have included swag prizes for every merge request that gets merged as well as a top-tier prize for the most contributions. Top contributors to GitLab are also eligible for our Heroes program.

Because we believe so strongly in the power and importance of open source, we are offering a Contribution Workshop where a GitLab team member will walk students through some of the ways they can contribute to open source on GitLab. If your class, student organization, or large group of students wants to learn more about open source contributions, contact us. We’ll take it from there and bring open source to your campus.

5. GitLab Student Organization Workshop

Student organizations still remain one of the best ways to build community among future professionals and make connections that can be vital to a student’s career. Meeting others working or studying in the same field also promotes sharing of information and resources to create an environment that maximizes potential success for everyone. These organizations, like on-campus clubs, professional fraternities and sororities, and even professional organizations with student chapters, are a great way to start building your future with your peers. GitLab is looking to bring a small workshop to student organizations at your university where you’ll not only learn how to use GitLab and start using DevOps best practices, but you’ll also boost some coding skills by actually building with GitLab. We’ll be offering a workshop in Python or Node.js where we will learn to build either a Twitter bot or a Discord bot.

Because of the ever-evolving presence of Covid and travel complications, we can’t promise this workshop will be in person. As of right now, the safest way is to get together virtually. If you are a member of a student organization looking to give your members an opportunity to learn more about DevOps, GitLab, or a fun project to make a bot and level up some skills, then this is the workshop for you. Sign up here

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