Python for DevOps: Python Scripting Tutorial for Beginners

One of the common questions asked by aspiring DevOps engineers is that, do we need python for DevOps? In this blog, we will explain to you why python is important in the DevOps world.

Information Technology is not like it used to be before. Most of the sysadmin tasks are getting automated using tools and scripting languages. Which includes configuration management tools like chef, puppet, Ansible, etc, and scripting languages like shell scripting, python, ruby, etc.

Also, the way people and teams worked has changed drastically in recent years with the advent of new philosophies such as DevOps and methodologies like Agile.

Unlike before, different teams have started working together and there is more and more automation from application development to deployment. Tools like Vagrant and Docker and Kubernetes made developers’ life so easy by reducing the time to set up, test development environments.

Cloud computing has drastically changed the way how servers are provisioned. You don’t need to wait for days to get a server provisioned for your application deployment. With a few clicks, you will have your server ready for deployment. The process gets easier by writing automation scripts for server provisioning and configuration. One such example is the python boto library. Using boto SDK you can automate AWS server provisioning.

What python has to do with DevOps?

Gone are the days where DevOps engineers had to work with only CI/CD tools. Nowadays, every company wants customized versions of tooling and utilities to fit their CI/CD requirements. One simple example is a python script to parse JSON to test a functionality in the CI/CD process.

This has led to a shift where people are involved in the day-to-day operations of infrastructure and CI/CD are asked to write custom utilities and modules to make automation, release, and monitoring better.

No company wants to babysit releases and pipelines. To develop custom utilities you should know some level of programming and the common language preferred in DevOps for such uses cases in Python. Arguably Golang is also getting there. Because most of the modern DevOps tooling is built in Golang.

Also, with more and more MLOPS projects, DevOps engineers have to work with ML engineers, data engineers, and data scientists. Python is a common language between all these teams. As a DevOps engineer, you will be responsible for writing small utilities and scripts for ML pipelines.

So programming has become a necessity for DevOps engineers, and python is a great language to start with.

Why Python For DevOps is Important?

Following are some of the key reasons why python of DevOps is important

  1. Python is one of the best scripting languages. The vast availability of python libraries allows you to write scripts that could communicate with system internals, manipulate files, strings, manage networks and so on.
  2. Once you learn python, you can write automation scripts in a well-structured way. Moreover, every Linux system today comes bundled with python.
  3. Many DevOps teams use python for building custom utilities, web apps for custom data visualization and more. The main reason is, it’s easy to learn and you can develop utilities in days rather than months.
  4. Besides, tools like ansible are purely written in python. You can develop custom ansible modules for your automation tasks. Also, it is not limited to just Ansible, there are many tools written in python that lets you create custom scripts to work with them better.
  5. Most importantly, during DevOps interviews, you would be asked to solve programming or scripting challenges. Python is the best choise to clear those interview rounds.

So, there are enough reasons why you should learn python for automating manual tasks.

Python Courses To Skill up in DevOps

If you are completely new to Python, we suggest you go through a guided online course or a book to understand python fundamentals.

Following are the suggested courses to get started with python for absolute beginners.

  1. Introduction to Python
  2. Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3
  3. The Python Bible™ | Everything You Need to Program in Python

Python Scripting Tutorial for Beginners

The first step to getting started with python is to learn the basics which are needed for scripting. Here we are not going to cover python for application development but for automation.

In this knowledge base, we will cover a set of articles that will have necessary beginner tutorials to get you started with python scripting. Following is the list. Subscribe to our mailing list for updates on the following tutorials.

  1. Python Basics and Flow Control
  2. Python Functions
  3. Lists, Dictionaries, and Structuring Data
  4. String manipulation and Regular expressions
  5. Working with Files
  6. Python Exception handling
  7. Debugging python scripts
  8. Working with Linux system configuration.
  9. Monitoring alerts using python
  10. System health checks using python
  11. Managing cron using python.

Real World Python for DevOps Tasks

To learn and master any tool or programming, you need to do real-world project tasks. We will discuss some of the real-world use cases using python for DevOps.

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