What is DevOps? How it works and Good for career

By Archer Charles 12-Jul-2022
What is DevOps? How it works and Good for career

Enterprises are quickly shifting to DevOps with the rising need for streamlining software development and staying ahead in the market. With the rapid growth in DevOps adoption comes a surge in demand for skilled and qualified DevOps professionals who can adapt this framework for unique needs a business might have. As a result, many IT professionals are making a career shift to DevOps. Not only is it one of the hottest and most rewarding IT career paths right now, but the growing importance of DevOps for application delivery will put any DevOps professional at the frontlines of this industry-wide revolution. 

If you have been considering a switch to DevOps as your career path, there are several factors to consider before you start your journey.

What is DevOps? The Cultural Philosophy:

The switch to DevOps is not just a physical change. It demands a mental and cultural change across the industry too. In simple terms, DevOps works to bridge the gaps between two formerly siloed enterprise teams, the development and operations teams. Many organisations at a small or medium scale don’t even have individual teams for both these functions. Engineers alone take care of all the necessary responsibilities. In a DevOps model, the development and operations teams work together towards the common goal of optimising their productivity and reliability for the enterprise. These teams work towards frequent communication, increasing efficiencies and improving the service quality they provide customers. DevOps professionals completely own their services and generally go beyond their prescribed roles and titles to identify problems a customer might be facing and look for a way to solve these issues. Security and quality assurance teams also work closely with enterprise DevOps teams. 

Businesses that adopt the DevOps business model have teams that accept the infrastructure and development from start to finish as their responsibility. 

Is DevOps a Good Career in 2022?

DevOps is one of the best career paths for an IT professional today. As a domain, DevOps has seen exponential growth in demand and adoption over the past five years. Additionally, DevOps job roles pay significantly more than other average computer science or tech-driven roles. It provides increased flexibility and mobility too, both horizontally and vertically. 

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Some of the leading benefits of DevOps as a career are:

1. Exponential job growth and opportunities:

Every role related to DevOps has seen significant growth in the past few years. According to projections by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, DevOps as a software domain is projected to grow at a rate of 22% this decade. In comparison, the average growth rate for other IT job roles is 8%. To give you an idea, consider DevOps at the median growth rate of 8%. There are 1.8 million DevOps jobs in the market today. At an 8% rate, this means 1,44,000 new DevOps job roles will be created every year for ten years. With the growing popularity and demand for DevOps, this number is a small chunk and has significant scope for growth in the years to come. 

2. Leading salaries and remuneration in the industry:

Like many other IT-related job roles, DevOps pays quite well. If you want a career that keeps you financially comfortable and you have all the necessary qualifications, DevOps jobs and salaries are probably already in your consideration set. According to Builtin, the average base annual salary of a DevOps Engineer in the States is about $125,000 and goes up to the $300,000 range. According to Glassdoor, this salary sits at $105,000 per annum. While the disparity between these figures is quite high, the base pay for both is significantly more than most IT job roles. The salary you get varies based on factors like your location, experience, skill level and the organisation that hires you.

3. Increased upward mobility:

DevOps engineers have great opportunities for upward growth in this domain in most enterprises. With the right training, expertise and skills, you can go from a Junior Engineer to a DevOps Architect or even become the manager of the entire department. 

DevOps professionals can also switch to related roles such as an SRE or site reliability engineer. That being said, there are sufficient opportunities and scope for growth in the DevOps domain itself because the DevOps engineering domain usually requires skills that work well across industries. No matter what product or business you work with, the DevOps requirements for them are inherently the same.

Also Read: Key Benefits Of DevOps for Organisation Growth

Roles Performed in a DevOps Role:

Based on the organisation you work with and the DevOps position you occupy, you could have a wide range of responsibilities. Key responsibility domains could be related to infrastructure, automation, quality assurance, tooling or monitoring. Some of the responsibilities within these domains overlap and increase your growth opportunities. For example, automation requires infrastructure configuration, code deployment and environment configuration.

Skills Needed for the DevOps Career Path:

CAMS is a popular acronym that defines the DevOps work environment and responsibilities. It stands for Culture, Automation, Measurement and Sharing. 

A DevOps practitioner should have the skills and expertise to adapt to evolving circumstances, empathise with stakeholders and customers and collaborate with their colleagues. Before you choose DevOps as a career, you should know the DevOps skills that will help you succeed. Here are some of the top technical and soft skills that will take your career ahead. 

1. Interpersonal skills:

According to the coordinating developer of DevOps, every problem starts with people. Since collaboration and sharing are a big part of all DevOps operations and the DevOps culture in an organisation, having strong communication skills is a must-have skill. A big part of daily operations in a DevOps role is coordinating with other professionals, helping achieve various objectives and communicating effectively. There are also situations when things go wrong and the right response is needed to keep them from escalating and finding a solution. 

2. Programming skills:

If you want to create a DevOps career, coding is a necessary skill even if it’s only fundamental level skills. Most of the programming work in a DevOps role means using Python or similar programming languages or writing shell scripts while automating tasks. You might have to write scripts for calling APIs or use existing shell scripts for manipulating files. Certain organisations and roles also need Windows PowerShell and VB-Script knowledge. In either case, you must have a coding foundation which can teach you the basics and concepts of your business environment. 

3. Automated building/testing:

Automation is one of the DevOps core principles. Build automation is another small step toward traceability, consistency and reliability. Once this is done, DevOps professionals need to automate the tests for their build. In some situations, this demands a large mindset shift and a significant amount of work. However, automated building and testing is a significant step in the right direction. DevOps culture is built around such steps. DevOps professionals generally use Selenium, Robot, Postman or similar automated tools for testing. These tools need to be incorporated into the automated release process.

4. Containers:

In most enterprises, DevOps Engineers use containers for a large part of their careers. Several organisations generally use containers like Docker or switch to them for a wide range of workloads.  Containers are isolated runtime environments that make up most operating systems and run on virtual machines or servers. DevOps professionals can launch containers efficiently, which makes them ideal to run tasks efficiently, a key DevOps focus. 

5. Configuration:

Configurations are another significant part of DevOps engineers’ daily roles. Most work and responsibilities in automation processes include configuring systems that perform tasks. Even IaC or Infrastructure as Code is built on the foundation of environment and infrastructure configuration using a specification language. DevOps environments usually prefer IaC as it helps track changes, allowing DevOps professionals to measure the output and results. Most accidents and losses in productivity result from trying to track problems without realising configurations have changed.

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6. Version control:

One of the tools DevOps engineers use frequently is Linux-based operating systems. The most common tool used with these systems by DevOps professionals is Git. Another popular alternative for Git is TFS, or another subversion or version control system. All version control systems perform the same task, which is tracking codebase changes. The configuration of automated delivery pipelines is usually set to version control. You need to store the IaC files in the version control system too. Often VC systems are hosted on a platform running a pipeline and can be configured to start the automation process. A VCS is also the foundation of change-management systems within a DevOps environment.

7. Package:

Developers from various projects or groups generally need similar features. They could require authentication, logging or other kinds of functionalities that plug into software development environments. DevOps environments embrace sharing so that professionals can include and package functionality. DevOps engineers could also dive in directly and create a package to be shared. Alternatively, they could manage both private and public package repositories. It’s critical to note that package repositories are a new and critical delivery destination. 

8. Networking skills:

If there’s a problem you cannot identify, it is probably a network error. Another fundamental skill along with coding skills is networking skills. You don’t need to have advanced knowledge, just enough to understand the IP protocol as well as a fundamental understanding of routing and certificates. Even within a cloud environment, you should know how subnetworks and networks operate. Containers also have a unique network configuration that you must consider.

Common DevOps Jobs and Opportunities:

DevOps teams comprise skilled and trained professionals who work together but either perform diverse roles or are cross-trained to carry out several roles. Their roles could vary from team to team or the same role might have a different title depending on the organisation. The bottom line is that each DevOps role in an organisation is critical to their DevOps journey. Some of the common and most high-demand DevOps roles are:

  1. DevOps engineer: This professional oversees the software development lifecycle and DevOps workflows and fosters cross-team communication in a collaborative environment. 
  2. Release manager: This professional oversees CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipelines and other operations related to deploying and building applications.
  3. Automation engineer: This professional plans and delivers automation solutions to eliminate repetitive, manual tasks while supporting CI/CD pipelines.
  4. Software developer: This professional is responsible for writing and updating application code with IaC instruction sets and unit tests wherever applicable.
  5. Software tester: This professional ensures a product meets defined quality assurance standards and is released safely to customers. 
  6. Security engineer: This role focuses on infrastructure and application security focusing on compliance and data integrity. 
  7. DevOps evangelist: This role aims to promote the DevOps initiatives of organisations and streamline its benefits with a heavy interpersonal communication dependence.
  8. User experience engineer: This professional ensures a product meets the UX goals and expectations in alliance with release and testing goals. 

Progressing in a DevOps Career:

If you start your career as a junior DevOps engineer, your growth chart is promising and full of possibilities. The first step is the obvious leap from Junior engineer to Senior DevOps engineer and then a team manager or lead. 

Another option for professionals in this domain is using their programming skills to become software engineers. DevOps also enhances your collaboration and communication skills, which can make you an effective project manager in IT or other industries.

Making a move towards DevOps is not like working on a new badge or reaching a destination. The DevOps model is a professional journey that is fundamentally changing how operations and development work today. Using the leading DevOps processes, practices, workflows and frameworks based on its cultural philosophy help in integrating security with your software development process at a greater scale and speed without compromising on safety. It also minimises risks and ensures compliance while reducing costs and friction. If this career path seems like your calling, give your career the boost it deserves and enrol in a training course on Koenig to develop your DevOps skills and expertise.

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Archer Charles

Archer Charles has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.

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