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Role Of A DevOps Engineer

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  • Last Updated April 20, 2018

DevOps Engineer

DevOps culture is introduced to build better communication, improved collaboration and agile relation between the software development team and Operations team. Typically the role of a DevOps engineer is not as easy as it appears. It involves looking into seamless integration among the teams, successfully and continuously deploying the code. 

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DevOps engineer is one of the most challenging roles and often organizations find it difficult to find an efficient DevOps engineer. A DevOps engineer must have a strong passion for scripting and coding, has expertise in handling deployment automation, infrastructure automation and ability to handle the version control. 

Typically a DevOps engineer is also senior developers or sysadmins who possess skills in the areas of business, operations, automation and more.

Related Page: What is DevOps Automation?

What does a DevOps Engineer do?

DevOps engineers need to have a thorough understanding of concepts such as serverless computing such as version control, testing, integration and deployment methods.  A DevOps engineer is subject to face continuous challenges when it comes to serverless integration, deployment, technology and incident management. They need to have excellent complex solving skills, must have the ability to think out of the box, and curious. 

It’s important to understand that a DevOps engineer is formed out of the growing needs of the business to get a better hold of the cloud infrastructure in a hybrid environment. Organizations implementing DevOps skills yield better advantages such as spend relatively spend less time on configuration management, deploy application faster and frequently. 

Related Page:  Introduction to DevOps Tools

What does a DevOps Engineer role include?

In DevOps, there is more scope for frequent changes in the code, which includes continuous automating, and deployment. It’s not expected to write the code right from scratch but choosing the right combination of coding, how to integrate several elements of SQL data is important as a part of DevOps engineer role.

DevOps Engineer is responsible for handling the IT infrastructure as per the business needs of the code which can be deployed in hybrid multi-tenant environment which needs continuous monitoring of the performance. DevOps engineer must be aware of the development tools which write the new code or enhance the existing code. 

A DevOps engineer has to associate with the team to handle the challenges arising in the coding or scripting part which includes libraries and software development kits to run the software on various OS and for deployment.

DevOps engineer has to handle code which has to fit across multi-tenant environments including cloud. Hence a DevOps engineer role is more of a cross-functional role which manages and handles software that's built and deployed across challenging applications.

As per Puppet, these are the most important essential skills for a DevOps engineer. 

  • Coding or scripting
  • Process re-engineering
  • Communicating and collaborating with others

Process re-engineering is the most selling skill among the rest. DevOps engineers need to know to choose the selection of best practice tools based on the requirement which best fits the organization’s existing platform and OS. 

DevOps Engineer Roles and Responsibilities:

DevOps Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

  • Test, build, design, deployment, and ability to maintain the continuous integration and continuous delivery process using tools like Jenkins, maven Git, etc. 
  •  Must know how to choose the best tools and technologies which best fits the business needs. 
  •  Ability to automate test and deploy the code and monitor. 
  •  Work in close coordination with the development and operations team such that the application is in line with performance according to the customer's expectation.

Check Out DevOps Tutorials

Skill Requirement for DevOps Engineers: 

  • Extensive experience in operating scripting language like Pearl, Ruby, etc. 
  • Experience in developing and maintaining CI/CD process for SaaS applications by accessing tools like Maven, Jenkins, etc.  
  • Hands on experience in using configuration management tools like Puppet, SaltStack, Ansible, etc.
  • Hands-on experience to build and handle VM’s, Containers utilizing tools like Kubernetes, Docker, etc. 
  • Hands on experience in building, designing and maintaining cloud-based applications with AWS, Azure, etc.
  • Working in regulation with industry standard best practices in close coordination with integration and deployment team. 
  • DevOps engineer must have effective leadership and cross-functional leadership and communication skills. 
  • Expertise in operating Linux environment with good command over any scripting language such as Shell, Python, etc. 

What future holds  for DevOps Engineers

Needs for DevOps Engineers

Opting to choose your career is the most rewarding and positive career one can have. There’s a lot of demand for DevOps engineers in the IT organizations as there are fewer professionals who have the right skills and expertise starting from the top down to the team management.

DevOps is widely being adopted due to its rich practices and culture. DevOps is not a tool, as its more of a culture which helps employees to collaborate and communicate efficiently starting from the higher management to the entry-level positions. In spite of the need, yet managers find a hard time to hire the DevOps Engineers having the right skill set fit for the roles and responsibilities. 

An ideal DevOps engineer is expected to have the right balance of cross-functional team skills and technical skills including deployment techniques, automation, and version control. Possessing these skills helps you to establish as a successful DevOps engineer. Its essential for a DevOps engineer to have sound technical skills, besides a DevOps engineer is expected to have the ability to collaborate, handle multiple challenges and most importantly put the customer in the first place above all. 

1. Soft skills

A DevOps engineer has to practice soft skills to promote himself as an outstanding DevOps Engineer. Being as a liaison and connecting the dots among the various IT teams. DevOps Engineers must have the ease to communicate within the team and make sure that everyone in the team is aware of the security and scalability parameters.  
DevOps Engineers must accept challenges and have the ability to remain intuitive. They must be comfortable to get into an organization to understand about the people, culture, and processes how they blend and work to achieve the balance.

Related Page: Reasons for the Rise of DevOps

2. A deeper understanding of the tools, process, and technologies

  • DevOps is emerging quick, and there’s more scope for new technologies. However, devOps engineers use the following tools as a part of their job:
  • Source Control version tools such as  Bitbucket & Git.  
  • Continuous Integration tools such as Jenkins, Bamboo.
  • Infrastructure Automation tools like  Puppet and Ansible
  • Deployment Automation using tools such as  Jenkins and Maven.  
  • Containerization tools such as Docker & LXD.
  • Cloud  Azure, Google Cloud, etc.

3. Security training

Combing development and operational activities is an effective way to streamline business activities, besides faster deployment, there is always a possibility that there are greater chances of vulnerabilities that enter into the code as per Ryan O’Leary. Hence its the prime responsibility of DevOps engineers to write code that’s stable and secure which safeguards the applications from any cyber threats.

It’s ideal to induce testing and security checks right from the initial phases of the DevOps journey. Since the earlier the detection, the cheaper it is to fix it. DevOps professionals, are not expected to have the expertise in security but will benefit from having a stable and secure software.

4. Experience in operating  automation tools

Manual tasks take more time, and for such roles, it’s easier to automate using scripting languages such as Ruby and Python. Automating saves times and it makes sure there are uniformity and consistency in the performance. Also, the time saved by automation can be used by the teams to achieve the company’s business goals. 

A DevOps engineer must be capable of automating technology at any point beginning from requirements gathering till the deployment phase. The infrastructure has to be configured with the team to allow infrastructure automation.   

5. Testing

This is the most strong areas where a DevOps experience and expertise can be seen. Automation and testing go hand in hand and hence strong testing skills are essential for successful DevOps engineer. Testing ensures that there is no breakdown and the application is working as intended. From the initial stages of the development till deployment tests are automated to ensure that the application is intact. 

6. Customer holds the first place

A DevOps engineer has to think from the customer perspective, to deliver value and if the customer’s requirement is in line with the work progress. Having insight into the outcome as a part of the supply chain to yield better results. When a team is facing a hard time to gather requests from operations and development team, the product team must have empathy and remain transparent to achieve successful relations with customers.

Frequency Asked DevOps Interview Questions

7. Achieving Collaboration

A good  DevOps manager must be a great team player first and help identify and get rid of the bottlenecks by helping his teammates according to Gazitt. A great works as a part of the team and any problem within the team is everyone’s problem. A well balanced DevOps engineer breaks the tasks into achievable chunks so that it gets easier. 

Conclusion 

The role of a DevOps engineer is not confined to any particular position. He needs to multitask and handle challenges arising from multiple roles to justify his designation. His vast skills comprise of testing, building, coding, integrating and deployment. He also must possess problem-solving skills.


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