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What Does It Means To Be A DevOps Engineer?

By definition, DevOps is a software development framework and an organizational culture change that automates and integrates the activities of development and IT operations teams – two groups that have long been known for usually working separately from one another.

Practically, the best DevOps processes and cultures extend beyond aforementioned operations to incorporate feedback from application stakeholders like platform engineering, infrastructure, security, compliance, risk management, end user experience – into the software development lifecycle. This makes the roles and responsibilities of DevOps engineers become ever more apparent, as they’re the key personnel to the success of this advanced technology innovation.

DevOps encapsulates the current state of modern software development cycles, which have evolved over the years from massive application-wide code releases every few months or even years to iterative smaller feature or functional updates released as regularly as every day or several times a day.

1. What is DevOps?

DevOps is a combined term, an amalgamation of two processes: Software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). DevOps takes on the quality of people, procedures and skills to reduce the time needed to build a system, as well as provide continuous delivery of high-quality applications at a faster rate than conventional development and infrastructure management processes. Ultimately, DevOps is about satisfying the ever-increasing demand from app users for regular, creative new features as well as consistent performance and availability.

2. The importance of DevOps

It can be taken from this chart how serious DevOps is considered to the success of businesses in 2020, almost half of the respondents, which took up 48.1% claimed that it was extremely important to them. Thanks to its speed and quality in working processes, DevOps helps companies offer better services to their customers, increase productivity and compete more effectively on the market. It enables faster development of new products and easier maintenance of existing deployments. If a DevOps model is effectively applied, it should guarantee a more reliable, secure infrastructure through the use of cutting-edge technologies while keeping the product cost at a reasonable level. 

3. What does a DevOps engineer do?

As the title suggested, a DevOps engineer is a person who practices DevOps in a business environment. An engineer who finds their career shifting to a DevOps professional usually comes from a developer/IT background and has a good understanding of the basics of coding, writing scripts, means of IT implementation.

4. DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities

A DevOps engineer’s responsibilities vary as per the roles, but the intent is common, to create automated distributed delivery and deployment methods. They focus on configuration, documentation, optimization, and support of the infrastructure components.

4.1. DevOps Evangelist

They’re the ones who prepare and conceptualize the whole operation and are also in charge of a company’s DevOps culture. DevOps Evangelists take care and ensure that IT practitioners are adequately educated to introduce a DevOps culture in the company, where they devise working plans and implement them.

4.2. Release Manager

They are in charge of the DevOps products from start to finish, managing and supervising the entire distribution process. Coordination, integration, development, testing, implementation, and distribution are all phases in which they are involved.

4.3. Automation Architect

also known as Integration Consultant, in a DevOps working environment, systems depend heavily on automation, so this is a critical position. They test designs and implement continuous automated implementation techniques. 

4.4. Developers/Testers

The key role of a DevOps process. Unlike an actual developer/tester, their roles have greatly increased. Initially, they will only use code to simulate the client’s specifications and produce a build for the QAs to test. The real developers and testers, on the other hand, are supposed to code, test, deploy, and track the application in a DevOps practice. 

4.5. Experience Assurance Professionals (XAs)

This is an advanced role of QAs, these professionals are expected to test the features and functionalities while paying attention to the end-user experience.

4.6. Security Engineer

Security Engineers work with developers to provide their deep-dived expertise on the systems. They make sure that each implementation process is kept in line with security protocols. 

4.7. Utility Technology Player

All-rounders who can work and operate effectively between platforms, tools, networks, servers, databases, and even in development and support phases. 

5. How to become a DevOps engineer?

A DevOps engineer’s set of skills comprise testing, building, coding, integrating, deployment and problem-solving. This role is usually a senior position, so it requires extensive industry experience in either a development or operations capacity.

Engineers are required to have hands-on experience with cloud-based applications, be familiar with utilizing tools as well as management tools. In short, to become a full-fledged DevOps practitioner, a complete qualification in computer science with a focus on software development is a must, other equivalents from industry bodies and vendors may be equally well regarded. 

The ability to write secure codes, deep understanding of automation tools are also important skills one should have, since DevOps engineers are responsible for handling the IT infrastructures. DevOps engineer must be aware of the development tools which write the new code or enhance the existing code.

Aside from technical aspects, soft skill is one thing every DevOps engineer should keep in mind, their line of work asks for constant communication, so they must be comfortable communicating clearly and with ease to get their message across. When it comes to educating key people on security and scalability, they have a lot to share in various parts of the company. DevOps engineers are insightful when it comes to understanding needs, they can go into a company and understand how individuals and processes communicate in order to expertly fill technology gaps.

6. Conclusion

The designation of a DevOps engineer is not confined to any particular position. They need to multitask and handle challenges arising from multiple roles to justify the responsibilities. 

Because of its rich practices and culture, DevOps is widely adopted. DevOps is more of a culture than a tool, allowing workers at all levels of the company to collaborate and interact effectively, from upper management to entry-level roles. Nowadays, hiring DevOps engineers having the right skillset fit for their roles and responsibilities is every employer’s need, as the trend in DevOps integration for organizations is increasing worldwide, so is the demand for such miracle workers. So it’s never late for those who want to invest their time and effort to up their learning about IT aspects and start preparing to become a DevOps Engineer.


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