With employers going overboard to acquire top DevOps talent, it’s time you consider developing DevOps engineering skills.
Imagine implementing a set of practices and technologies at the enterprise level to automate software delivery. From development to testing and deployment, every aspect is automated. That translates to quick, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective processes. Your software’s time-to-market comes down while user satisfaction goes up, dramatically. That’s DevOps for you.
Think of DevOps as an improved version of agile. While agile covers the philosophical aspect of software development and delivery, DevOps leverages automated processes for continuous code deployment. That translates to superior and quick software development. No wonder DevOps comes across as an ideal replacement for agile.
Over the years, DevOps has emerged as the industry norm. It’s everywhere for everyone keen on streamlining access management for greater productivity and business gains. If Global Market Insights is something to go by, the DevOps industry was worth USD 4 Billion in 2019. From 2020 to 2026, the market will likely hit a healthy growth rate of 20% CAGR, thanks to the increasing adoption of cloud computing.
The numbers are encouraging, even for DevOps engineers. Someone with the right skill sets takes home a salary of USD 103,571 per year, while the best in the business can walk away with USD 134,000 or more. The scope and salary will widen further with the increasing DevOps adoption rates. So, acquiring DevOps engineering skills is the way to go if you are looking for a high-paying job.
DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to increase the efficiency and reliability of software development. DevOps aims to break down the silos between development and operations teams and foster a culture of collaboration, communication, and continuous improvement.
DevOps is based on the principles of Agile software development and Lean manufacturing, and it emphasizes automation, monitoring, and testing throughout the software development lifecycle. DevOps teams use a variety of tools and practices to automate the deployment, testing, and monitoring of software, including continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD), and infrastructure as code (IaC).
DevOps has become increasingly popular as organizations seek to increase the speed and reliability of software development and deployment. By adopting DevOps practices, organizations can reduce time-to-market, improve the quality of software releases, and increase collaboration between development and operations teams.
A DevOps engineer is a busy professional with so many core competencies to handle.
As a DevOps engineer, you will act as a conduit between the development and operation departments while implementing the best DevOps practices and tools across the company’s IT infrastructure.
You are responsible for automating software development, testing, and deployment processes to ensure speed, accuracy, and overall productivity across the project life cycle. To this end, you will plan team structures and activities, keep track of software codes, and do away with code bugs. The job profile may require you to implement cybersecurity measures to mitigate risks.
Managing incidences, identifying vulnerabilities, and carrying out root cause analysis will also be a part of your job profile. Also, a DevOps engineer has to interact with clients to know their bottom line and KPIs and keep them updated through periodic reporting. That makes it a client-facing role too.
You need more than just technical knowledge and business acumen to pull off such a dynamic job profile. Here’s a comprehensive roadmap for anyone keen on making a career as a DevOps engineer.
As a DevOps engineer, implementing a wide range of tools and technologies will be your priority. So, here’s a synopsis of what you need to be skilled in.
Tracking the source code changes is key to DevOps. However, conflicting code changes cannot be ruled out with code emanating from several sources. That’s where SCM (Source Code Management) kicks in. It hosts the code in the central library and helps in conflict resolution. When you can track every change the code undergoes, keeping the source code updated and accurate is easy. Popular SCM tools include GitHub, Apache Subversion, Mercurial, and Monotone.
Keeping systems and applications primed is one of the desirable DevOps engineering skills. You must determine when, where, and how to deploy the right software and hardware for the best results. So, having in-depth knowledge of CM (Configuration Management) makes sense. It is a set of tools designed to speed up, simplify, and scale the deployment part. Examples include Chef, Ansible, SaltStack, Docker, Rudder, etc.
CI refers to Configuration Management. It’s, again, a bunch of tools to help you stay at the top of the source code modifications. Each change it goes through leads to automatic code building and testing. The changes are seamlessly merged into the main codebase. Your go-to CI options include Bitbucket Pipelines, Jenkins, CircleCI, and AWS CodePipeline.
CT (Continuous testing) is a process to facilitate quick and reliable deployments across the entire SDLC. It tests code alterations automatically at all development levels to ensure superior codes and quicker processes. Since CT automates feedback accessibility, the time-to-market comes down dramatically. Selenium, Appium, Eggplant, Testsigma, and Tosca are coveted CT tools currently on the market.
You need to be adept at using Continuous Monitoring tools to monitor systems. These tools help pinpoint and weed out issues before they gain criticality. Even Containerization should not skip your radar, as it aids in rapid and convenient deployments.
DevOps is all about collaboration. The company’s development and operations teams must coordinate at every step to reduce hassles and increase productivity. A DevOps engineer coordinates to avoid costly bottlenecks and speed up delivery. Note that the interoperability factor is overriding in a DevOps scenario. You might find yourself assisting the development team on some operations-related issues or vice-versa.
That calls for developing technical skills to handle development and operations tasks. Since interactions with software engineers, clients, and other stakeholders are also involved, you have to develop interpersonal skills and a collaborative mindset. Mind you, your focus has to be on team building, aligning the goals of different teams, and finding the middle ground when conflicts arise.
Your proficiency in Linux will decide your success as a DevOps engineer. Why? Well, Linux is the most preferred operating system for application hosting. Even the majority of CM tools feature Linux-based architecture. So, if you aren’t familiar with Linux, be ready to face issues across the software development lifecycle.
Scripting comes in handy when you have to automate processes. As Devops is much about automation, scripting skills are essential to succeed as a Devops engineer. Proficiency in any scripting language will keep you good to go - be it PowerShell, Java, C, Ruby, Bash, or Groovy. However, you are better off with Python. It is perhaps the most coveted scripting language that can adapt to virtually all environments and applications. Plus, it ensures quick and hassle-free monitoring and deployments, making life easier for a DevOps engineer. It is in demand for machine learning as well.
Nothing compliments DevOps as much as Cloud. Without the cloud, continuous monitoring and automation are unmanageable. It provides a platform to collaborate and execute the entire SDLC, from testing to software releases. Also, with easy and secure access to data, the teams would spend less time exchanging files.
Need we say, learning cloud computing concepts is essential for you to excel as a DevOps engineer. You should know the ins and outs of creating, executing, and managing cloud-based solutions. So, having a working knowledge of all popular platforms (AWS, Azure, and GCP) is vital. Additionally, recruiters usually seek candidates who can integrate DevOps with the cloud.
So, you are a DevOps engineering aspirant. Good for you! It is one of the most coveted professions with a wide scope and decent salary. However, developing existing useful DevOps engineer skills is the way to go. Most recruiters seek candidates with IT, system administration, and software development degrees. Some industry experience can help you beat the competition and land a job. Given the dynamic nature of modern-day workplaces, having some soft skills is also crucial for career success.
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