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7 Must-Have DevOps Engineer Skills for Successful Collaboration and Delivery
DevOps is an essential part of modern software development. The term DevOps refers to the integration of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) with the goal of creating a more agile, efficient, and reliable software development process. DevOps engineers are critical to this process and play a vital role in ensuring that the DevOps pipeline is optimized for maximum efficiency. In a Grand View Research, Inc. study, DevOps Engineers ranked No. 4 on Glassdoor's list of the 50 Best Jobs in the USA in 2022. By 2025, the global DevOps market is expected to reach US$12.85 billion, growing at a compound annual rate of 18.60%.
DevOps has seen a substantial increase in investment from companies in recent years. It is common for users to leverage tools like Chef, Docker, and Puppet. Due to this, there is an increasing need for qualified DevOps engineers.
What does a DevOps engineer do?
DevOps engineers are involved in coding and scripting for various software development kit components, including APIs.
A DevOps engineer is responsible for bridging the gap between development and operations teams by automating the software development lifecycle and streamlining software delivery. They create a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement to help organizations achieve faster time-to-market, improved product quality, and more reliable software delivery.
Automation tools, containerization tools, cloud computing platforms, and monitoring and logging tools are among the tools and technologies that DevOps engineers typically use. The tools automate the software development process, integrate and deploy code changes, and monitor and troubleshoot applications.
Working effectively with cross-functional teams requires strong communication, collaboration, and technical skills. Building and maintaining solid relationships with developers, operations, and other stakeholders is their responsibility.
A DevOps engineer is critical to software development, ensuring that software is delivered quickly, reliably, and with high qualifications.
7 Must-have DevOps Engineer skills
Here are some essential DevOps engineer skills you should know:
Understanding of the software development lifecycle
A DevOps engineer must have a solid understanding of the SDLC and be familiar with Agile methodologies. Additionally, they should be able to assist developers in writing code that is ready for testing and deployment.
Knowledge of automation tools
Automation is a core part of DevOps, and DevOps engineers must be familiar with various automation tools. Tools that can automate infrastructure, such as Ansible or Puppet, as well as continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools like Jenkins and containerization tools like Docker, can be utilized to automate these tasks.
Cloud computing skills
DevOps engineers need a good knowledge of cloud computing and databases. With the rise of cloud computing, DevOps engineers must have knowledge of cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. They should also be familiar with cloud deployment models such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
The ability to use source control systems
Source control systems are essential tools for facilitating collaboration between developers. As DevOps brings together individuals from various sectors, it is critical for DevOps engineers to have expertise in source control or version control systems. These systems enable tracking changes in an application and maintaining different versions of the application. Becoming proficient in version control systems requires effort, as each tool has advantages and disadvantages.
Understanding the importance of version control systems in the DevOps culture is crucial. For example, they prevent dependency issues in modern containerized applications, directly impact DevOps performance, and help build more reliable applications.
Therefore, every DevOps engineer should have experience working with at least one of the following tools: Git, CVS, SVN, or Mercurial. By mastering these tools, DevOps engineers can streamline collaboration and contribute to the successful delivery of high-quality software products.
Networking and security principles
Almost everyone needs a strong knowledge of security, particularly DevelOps coding skills. DevOps skills include code analysis, change management, threat research, security courses, and vulnerability assessments.DevOps engineers need a strong understanding of networking and security principles, such as TCP/IP, DNS, firewalls, and VPNs. Furthermore, they should be knowledgeable about privacy and security regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI DSS.
Collaboration and communication skills
As DevOps engineers work closely with developers, operations teams, and other stakeholders, they must possess excellent communication and collaboration skills. Working in a team, communicating complex technical concepts, and bridging departmental gaps are all skills they should possess.
DevOps engineers must be capable of troubleshooting complex technical issues and developing solutions quickly. As well as being able to think critically and creatively when faced with challenges, they should also be able to come up with efficient and effective solutions.
Becoming a DevOps engineer requires a wide range of skills, including understanding the SDLC, knowledge of automation tools, cloud computing skills, networking and security, collaboration and communication skills, and problem-solving skills. Any organization looking to streamline operations and improve software development processes can benefit from these skills. By mastering these essential skills and continually developing new ones, DevOps engineers can ensure that their teams are working efficiently and effectively while delivering value to their customers. With the right skills and mindset, DevOps engineers can truly make a difference in today's rapidly evolving technology landscape.
DevOps always prioritizes the customer, recognizing that delivering a product that satisfies their needs is paramount. To achieve this, DevOps engineers must have a comprehensive understanding of the big picture and a clear understanding of the customer's requirements. However, DevOps engineers often lack this ability, many of whom come from a software development background without specific DevOps training. Consequently, there is a significant gap between software development and DevOps engineering. To successfully bridge this gap, it is crucial for DevOps engineers to appreciate the broader context and focus on satisfying the customer. At the same time, a software developer is primarily responsible for coding what has been requested. By understanding this distinction, a DevOps engineer can deliver high-quality products that meet customer expectations.
Frequently asked questions
Although many contract prices are undisclosed due to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), some companies do make their prices and minimal project budgets available to the public. Microsoft Azure, for instance, publicly shares its pricing on its website, whereas Accenture does not reveal its pricing publicly, and prospective customers must contact their sales department for a cost estimate.
Ukrainian companies can publish their hourly rates on platforms such as Clutch, Upwork, and GoodFirms. If you want to hire Ukrainian developers for your project, the hourly rate of a senior DevOps developer would vary from $40 to $80, depending on the technical expertise. This means that businesses of any size can easily find a trustworthy IT services provider in Ukraine and hire a DevOps engineer or an entire dedicated team for software development and infrastructure management at an affordable price.
Keeping up with the latest trends and advancements in DevOps technologies is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. Follow these DevOps trends to stay current:
- Network with other industry professionals and learn about ongoing advancements in DevOps at industry conferences and meetups.
- Become a part of DevOps online communities: Joining online communities such as Reddit, Slack, and LinkedIn will help you stay in the loop on the latest trends and advancements in DevOps.
- Keep up with DevOps trends and technologies by subscribing to industry newsletters and blogs.
- Discover how you can stay current with the latest technologies by taking online courses and earning certifications in DevOps.
- Participate in hackathons and coding challenges: Participating in hackathons and coding challenges can help you hone your DevOps skills and learn cutting-edge techniques.
DevOps best practices for managing codebases include:
- VCSs like Git, SVN, or Mercurial are valuable tools for managing codebases, collaborating with team members, and tracking changes.
- Implementing Continuous Integration makes it possible to detect and resolve potential issues early in the development process.
- The Continuous Delivery approach automates the release process of software applications, enabling faster delivery and feedback cycles.
- Reviewing code helps ensure the codebase's quality and facilitates team knowledge sharing.
- Code documentation can improve code longevity, including code comments, architectural diagrams, and user manuals.
- Ansible, Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, and other DevOps tools can automate software application development, testing, and deployment.
- By implementing Infrastructure as Code, you can automate infrastructure configuration and provisioning, ensuring consistency and reducing the risk of human error.
No matter where applications are deployed, DevOps teams know they will run the same, regardless of what container they are running in. Containers make it easier to deploy, patch, and scale applications quickly. Development, testing, and production cycles can be accelerated with containers in agile and DevOps environments.
A DevOps Engineer should be proficient in the following programming languages:
- Shell scripting is essential for automating tasks in the Linux/Unix environment, commonly used for infrastructure management.
- Python is a popular language for scripting, automation, and data analysis. It is also widely used for developing infrastructure automation tools and utilities.
- Ruby is a popular language for infrastructure automation tools, including Chef and Puppet.
- Google's Go programming language allows developers to build scalable and efficient applications. DevOps professionals are increasingly using it to build microservices.
- Java is used for building enterprise applications and is widely used in DevOps for developing tools and utilities.
- PowerShell is a scripting language used primarily on Windows systems and is essential for automating tasks in the Windows environment.