Overview Philosophy Supported Vendors (with links to vendor-specific track content)
Here is a proven learning path for you to improve your APM capabilities, at your own pace.
This is based on a self-paced program I developed to take general technologists and mentor them into SWAT-level resources for the APM business unit at Computer Associates. APM SWAT members are elite technologists who engage directly with clients to solve problems and demonstrate correct use of APM technology in those client environments. This can be remote or on-site as the situation warrants.
The learning path can also be followed by in-house resources and yields a consistent set of capabilities and competencies on which to base an APM Practice.
This program is serendipitously similar to certification paths on Coursera, which is growing in popularity as a remote learning platform. I will be making an effort to further duplicate those techniques, as appropriate.
Some sort of Practitioner Certification is a definite possibility, so be sure to let me know if you are interested and we will see when we hit critical mass in order to support that activity. It would be a project-based path, following the book and video content on this site (and possibly others, where appropriate) where you undertake specific deliverables and I review them and opine as to their merit – which is exactly what mentoring is about. You would, of course, need access to a live environment in order to complete the competency exercises, and something to support a remote session (like WebEx, Google+) to deliver the presentation.
I have had tremendous client success in what I call a mentored approach to learning APM. Instead of a chink of5-10 days of ‘Education’ – which is largely focused on how to operate the software, I instead focus on the life-cycle and processes that APM needs in order to be successful. The full details of this program are found in the Service Bureau Overview.
The unique aspect of this mentored approach is undertaking competency exercises using your own APM environment. This means that you build reliable and reproducible skill sets, as well as defining and validating processes, in employing the APM technology to productive use. You can start with an existing environment (typically 6 months after your initial vendor-supplied installation) or you can start from ‘zero’. My goal is to ensure that you AND your stakeholders know exactly what you can do as the deployment is realized and folks start consuming APM information. The Service Bureau Program leverages a deployment goal and divides it into three phases, supporting on-going validation of processes and competency exercises. This means that you start with a basic deployment and quickly evolve it to a professional-grade deployment, practicing and refining processes three times. Total duration is 12-16 weeks but this can grow subject to the shifting priorities of modern IT!
Keep in mind that deployment is not simply configuring agents or business transactions, but a life-cycle of activities including scope, planning, configuration, testing, operations, acceptance and triage (when the app fails, not the deployment! ;-).
Absolutely no vendor today is offering a robust, turn-key solution for APM – technology, staffing and process re-engineering. There will be gaps in any offering and it will fall on you to address those gaps. I want to ensure that you have a plan to address those gaps, and even help expose them if you think you have got it all in hand. It’s not even a secret – just check out the APM Maturity Model if you want to self-assess.
Supported Vendors (subject to change at any time!)
- CA APM (Wily – Introscope)
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