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How to build career as a DevOps engineer

This evolving role involves a lot of responsibilities rolled into one with the aim of solving organisational issues and improving business processes

How to build career as a DevOps engineer

 Brijesh Kohli

The world is moving at a fast pace. Enterprises across the world are going through a digital revolution with automation and Artificial Intelligence at the forefront of this paradigm shift. Enterprises that are onboard the digital transformation journey are always looking to strengthen their IT organisation with a workforce skilled in emerging technologies, and this has increased the demand for professionals who are proficient in new-age tools and systems — one such emerging concept is DevOps.

DevOps can be defined as a modern strategy used to mitigate IT-related issues impacting software and service delivery. Intended to shorten the systems’ development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality, DevOps encourages an environment of communication and collaboration, within the IT organization to improve the agility and quality of their delivery.

It also helps improve predictability, efficiency, and security and empowers developers with more control to create a better production infrastructure. For these reasons, DevOps is being adopted and integrated by most tech companies today, paving the way for an interesting and fulfilling career path.

As per Forrester, more than 50 per cent of enterprise businesses are now actively using internal or external DevOpsservices. The adoption of DevOps practices rose 17 per cent in 2018 as compared to 10 per cent in 2017, according to Statista.  

Top organisations that have included DevOps practices in their Software Development cycle have experienced a 63 per cent improvement in the quality of software deployments. And as per IDC, the DevOps software market is projected to grow to $6.6 billion by the year 2022. This has unlocked numerous career opportunities around DevOps. 

What does it mean to be a DevOps Engineer and what skills are needed?

DevOps engineers work with IT developers towards facilitating better coordination among the various IT-related functions by streamlining and automating the integration and the deployment processes. 

To be a proficient DevOps engineer, one needs to be adept at certain skills like programming knowledge, system administration, network and storage, infrastructure management and compliance, automation tools, visualization, cloud computing, security, testing, and good communication skills. Here, we have explained some of the important skills you need to perfect to become a preferred DevOps engineer.

  1. Programming knowledge: As a DevOps engineer, you have a huge responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of operations and knowledge of coding languages such as Python, Java, NodeJS, .NET, React, Angular, Ruby, and others can help you understand your roles and responsibilities better.
  2. CI/CD: DevOps process involves a lot of development, testing and deployment technologies for developing automated Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery pipelines. Continuous integration (CI) combines the work products of individual developers into a repository. Continuous delivery (CD) is intended to reduce the conflicting points which are inherent in the deployment or release processes. 
  3. System administration: System administration includes building, deploying, testing and debugging servers regularly. The person responsible for system administration is directly responsible for the overall health of the system and therefore it makes more sense for the DevOps Engineer to know more about system administration as that helps make decisions regarding automation of systems and servers.
  4. Network and storage: Managing network issues is an important part of DevOps professionals' responsibility, as they deal with servers and storage. Therefore, it is important to know about network systems, servers, and storage and get familiar with their management and processes.

Are there courses for DevOps?

While organisations often lookout for experienced developers who are interested in DevOps and possess the skills mentioned above, training and certifications can always add to a candidate's knowledge and confidence to be an industry-ready DevOps Engineer. Many reputed institutions offer specialised courses for computer science students in DevOpsand other IT related programs in emerging technologies. 

Career prospects

As per a Grand View Research report, the global DevOpsmarket size is slated to reach $12.85 billion by 2025. As enterprises across the globe are striving for digital transformation, there has been a tremendous rise in the adoption of cloud technologies and agile frameworks, and this calls for better collaboration within the IT teams to improve operational efficiency. Consequently, DevOps engineers have grabbed jobs across many tech companies. 

As a DevOps professional, one can choose from various profiles, including DevOps leader, Code Release Manager, Automation Architect, Q/A, Software Developer/Tester, and Security Engineer.

According to the DevOps Institute’s 2019 DevOps Skill Report, 39 per cent of respondents around the globe were recruiting for the DevOps Engineer/Manager title, followed by Software Engineers at 29 per cent, DevOps Consultants at 22 per cent, Test Engineers at 18 per cent, Automation Architects at 17 per cent, Infrastructure Engineers at 16 per cent, and CI/CD Engineers at 16 per cent.

 Apart from a good job profile, one can also expect an attractive salary package. Reported in recent research by PayScale, a DevOps Engineer typically makes up to Rs 20 lakh a year.

Furthermore, as DevOps is a growing technology with lots of IT processes dependent on it, professionals tend to move to related roles in a few years, growing in expertise and experience. 

A DevOps professional needs to be a multitasker. As it is still an evolving role, it is a lot of responsibilities rolled into one with the sole aim of solving organisational issues and improving business processes.

If you have decided to take up a career in DevOps, it would be best to kickstart your DevOps journey with a certification course from a reputed institute, and by keeping yourself open to learning, you’ll grow much faster in the industry.

— The writer is Director, Xebia Academy Global 

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