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UVA Darden Launches Continuous Development And DevOps Online Course

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced a new online course related to continuous iteration in the software development process.

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Launched on October 15 on the Coursera platform, “Continuous Learning and DevOps” will provide learners with the interdisciplinary tools they need to cultivate a continuous deployment capability in their organization, a skill relevant to software development and a variety of other digital disciplines.

DevOps is a software methodology combining development and operations, and typically involves the close collaboration of teams in traditional development and information technology operations roles.

“Today’s most successful product teams move incredibly fast,” said Professor Alex Cowan, Darden faculty member and course instructor. “When it comes to digital innovation, velocity is critical and arguably the most reliable determinant of success.”

Bringing an organization to the state of the art — or even functional — capability in this area requires facility in a combination of disciplines as well as technical and managerial skills. Much like the agile development process, the right focus and formulation for DevOps is highly dependent on the facts and circumstances of the team.

After completing this course, learners will be able to:


Diagnose a team’s delivery pipeline and bring forward prioritized recommendations to improve it

Explain the skill sets and roles involved in DevOps and how they contribute toward a continuous delivery capability

Review and deliver automation tests across the development stack

Explain the key jobs of system operations and how today’s leading techniques and tools apply to them

Explain how high-functioning teams use DevOps and related methods to reach a continuous delivery capability

Facilitate prioritized, iterative team progress on improving a delivery pipeline


Cowan, who teaches courses in the area of design and digital innovation at Darden, also created the popular Agile Development specialization on Coursera, and his Venture Design concept is widely used by both instructors and practitioners.

Darden is a leader in online learning, and its offerings are a key component of the world’s best business education experience, both in degree programs and non-degree programs for leading organizations. Through its partnership with Coursera, Darden has developed over 30 popular massive open online courses, reaching more than 1.1 million people via courses in areas such as agile product development, business strategy, pricing strategy, design thinking and project management.



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