In an era where technology is fast assimilating with everything we know, from traditional jobs to business operations, it has become imperative that one employs the new breed of professionals who have shaped their skills based on what the modern businesses and companies need. A DevOps engineer is one such profession, which combines the traditional role of a team leader with a modern-day IT professional to create a profession whose primary objective is to assimilate IT operations into traditional business environments to allow for a more robust data and information infrastructure that allows for fast-paced deployment of software as a mass-production factory would.
Who is a DevOps Engineer?
DevOps refer to the set of practices that combines software development with IT operations, essentially shortening the systems development cycle. This allows engineers to deploy code changes and deliver high-quality software within the shortest possible time.
The professional engaged in this field must have the skill set of both a software developer and IT professional to allow them to constantly update and change the code keeping it in line with the demands of the IT infrastructure.
Role of a DevOps Engineer
A DevOps engineer is rarely needed to start software development from scratch but is required to know the basics of software development languages and has to be familiar with development tools required to create code from scratch or update existing code frequently to suit software development needs. They tackle the coding and scripting that is required to connect various elements of the code such as databases, libraries, SDKs, and integrate data management and messaging tools that are essential to run the software release on various operating systems and production infrastructure. Here’s a detailed overview of the tasks and a DevOps professional:
- Basic knowledge and familiarity with programming languages, Linux and at least one scripting language is needed
- Should be able to work with a variety of technologies and tools, which are open-source, for ease of maintenance of source codes
- Should have a detailed knowledge of multiple IT operations as well as Sysadmin roles to allow for easier deployment and integration
- Should have expertise in testing and deployment of software codes
- Should be familiar with a variety of automation tools that can aid in software development
- Should be familiar with an agile methodology that allows for continuous iteration of software development and testing
- Should be able to connect the technical and business goals of the project
What skills should a DevOps Professional have?
As a DevOps engineer, there is not a fixed set of qualifying skills that you must have. However, the following set of skills can come very handy to your job.
- You must have experience in OS administration on popular operating systems like Windows and Linux.
- You must have experience with automation and configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef.
- You must have a basic understanding of coding and scripting with common languages like PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby.
- You must have knowledge of an OOP language.
- You must have experience in IT operations with expertise in server, storage, and network device installation and monitoring.
- You must have the management abilities to play a supportive and collaborative role in a team environment.
- You must have strong knowledge of virtualization technologies like VMware, vSphere, etc.
- You must have experience with CI/CD tools like GitHub, Red Hat Ansible, Prometheus, etc.
- You must have hands-on experience with public cloud resources and services like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.
- You must have experience with IT monitoring and management tools.
- You must be able to troubleshoot issues in the test and production environment.
The role of a DevOps professional does not follow a traditional career track. It’s a cumulation of a variety of backgrounds into one profession to create a hybrid that suits modern software development needs. A DevOps professional is required to have the best of both system administration and programming worlds and integrate them to create a very specific skill set.
Need for a DevOps professional
The modern era is fast-paced, and starting code from scratch is not always the best possible course of action. Using pre-existing code in tandem with open-source technologies allows developers to put together programs and software that fulfill specific needs and adhere to the requirements of the client or the developer. This allows for fast-paced software development which is efficient and highly profitable as no new code needs to write thus saving a lot of time.
This approach has greatly reduced software development cycles and allowed for easily modifiable source code that can be changed to meet the changing needs and demands of businesses. The testing and deployment processes have become much more important as they decide whether the new code is stable and able to run on popular Operating systems and fulfill client demands. The code needs to be able to handle frequent and incremental changes which is why a DevOps professional needs to be aware of various coding and scripting concepts and be able to integrate various management and other tools into the software.
As a DevOps engineer, you have a hybrid set of skills that are unique and gained from your personal experience. It’s dependent on your job description and how much work you do in the team as a DevOps engineer. The scope of your salary is decided by the functions you undertake as a DevOps professional. As per the DICE Tech Salary Report 2019, a DevOps engineer had an average salary of $110,000 annually. This figure is influenced by the geographic location of your job as well as the range of work you must do. The pay grade sits comfortably above that of IT professionals such as software engineers, developers, systems engineers, project managers, and such. DevOps is a rising profession with more and more business enterprises feeling the need to have a professional DevOps engineer which can allow them to speed up software development cycles.