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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Who is a Devops Engineer ? A Guide to become a REAL Devops Engineer


DevOps is one of the most widely and wrongly used buzz word in the IT Fraternity in the past few years and even now. Normally we hear a lot of things related to Devops. Companies adopt organization wide Devops policies, Started focusing more into automation and using more tools and  all this end up with another buzz role called DevOps Engineer. Organizations expectations about Devops Engineers are different and sometimes funny as well. Some people think, if you can do test automation you can be a Devops Engineer. Some might say like you are a good Devops Engineer, if you can do CI/CD or create a pipeline. Most of them see this role as a Super Powered Hero who  can do a lot of things alone, which was previously done by a lot of people. One role for too many things and that's it. 

So the question still remains un-answered for many with the same confusion. 

Who exactly is a Devops Engineer ? What is he responsible for ? What can we expect from them ?

In this post, I am trying to clear all your doubts regarding the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer.

What is DevOps?

The term itself is about eight years old, and big names such as Google, Amazon, Netflix, The Gap, and General Motors have made validating investments in it. If you ask this to 5 people, you are likely to get 5 different answers. 
  1. Is it a culture that we need to bring-in to our organisation to make ourselves more responsible and accountable ?
  2. Is it a Process which changes the way we work or enable us to deliver fast ?
  3. Is it a strategy to bring-in more tools and automate many things which will reduce human effort ? 
Actually my answer to this is as follows:

Yes It's a culture within an organization that increases the communication, collaboration and integration of the Development (which includes the QA team) and the Operations (IT Operations) teams.

Yes, It's a process which helps us to deliver quality product more frequently and reliably.

Yes, It's a startegy to automate and speed up the software delivery process so that those Human efforts can be re-invested to things that really matters. 

In-short, People + Process + Tools = DevOps 

It applies to everything from org structure to code structure to infra structure. 

Now comes the real questions which you need an answer for:

Who is a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps Engineer is an ordinary person who have some extra-ordinary skillsets as follows:
A person who understands and contribute to the software development lifecycle and has a  thorough knowledge of various tools for such as source code management, continuous integration, configuration management, Continous delivery, deployment and monitoring.

Who can be a Devops Engineer ?

With the above mentioned skillsets:

Mostly any System Admins who have a passion for coding and development realted activities or
Likely any developers who has interest in deployment and network related operations can become a Devops Engineer. 

I would rather prefer to say , DevOps Engineer is actually “Systems Engineer 2.0.”, somebody who understands the Software Development Lifecycle and brings software engineering tools and processes to solve classic operations challenges.

I have come across a lot of people in my life who claims to be Devops Engineers, without even knowing what does it require to be a Devops Engineer. These are the Must have skills to call yourselves a Devops Engineer:
  • Through Knowledge of atleast one cloud platform (AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba)
  • Good hands-on knowledge in dockerisation, monitoring, Configuration Management and Deployment tools like — Kubernetes, Puppet, Ansible, Chef, Terraform, Nagios etc. (atleast 1-2 in each category)
  • Proficient in any 1 of scripting language like Javascript, Go, Python, Scala, Ruby and C along with Git and Git workflows
  • Experience in developing Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery pipelines (CI/ CD)
If you think you have a tick for all the 4 points mentioned above, you can be proud to be a Devops Engineer, for the rest who are still in the same title but failed to get all these points validated against themselves, don't worry it's all about learning and improving yourself. At-least you know it now. So this is the time to start working towards it. I have an interesting picture from hiredevops which will help you with more guidance in becoming a REAL Devops Engineer.

I hope you might have found this article helpful in shaping your career as a better Devops Engineer.

Good luck!

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