DevOps engineers are multidisciplinary specialists who know how to automate processes and know-how developers, QA and managers work. They know how to program, quickly master complex tools, and don’t get lost in the face of unfamiliar tasks. In this article, we will try to tell you what it takes to become a DevOps engineer.
What a DevOps engineer does? When it comes to DevOps it is important not to confuse the terms. The point is that DevOps is not a particular line of work, but a professional philosophy. It is a ethodology that helps developers, testers and system administrators to work faster and more efficiently through automation and seamlessness. DevOps is short for Development Operations. The DevOps movement emerged in 2008 and was designed to solve problems that had accumulated. So many companies saw the problem in the interaction between the development and operations teams.
Developers believed that if their code ran locally, there was no problem, they could run it in production. If there were problems, the exploitation team would say, “This is a problem with the code, let the developers handle it”. Because of this approach, the product releases were constantly delayed, and the quality of the final product often suffered. Another major factor was that many changes were rolled out per release, and it was very hard to understand what caused the problems in production.
DevOps was meant to solve these problems. It was supposed to be the link between the development team and the operations team. Conventionally, there are several roles in DevOps culture that correlate very well with the professions:
Build Engineer – the person in charge of building code. Pulling up dependencies, resolving conflicts in the code – that’s all about him.
Release Engineer is in charge of getting the code from development to production. What build will go into production; this is what the release engineer is in charge of.
Automation Engineer – is the automation engineer. He automates everything that moves. And what doesn’t move, moves it, and automates it too. Running tests, staging deploys, deploys into production – these are all his tasks. A key role in the DevOps approach.
Accordingly, a DevOps engineer is a professional who implements this methodology into the work process:
- In the planning phase, the DevOps engineer helps decide what architecture the application will use, how it will scale, and select an orchestration system.
- Next, he configures servers, automated code checking and pouring, and environment validation.
- Then automates testing, solves deployment tasks.
- After release, it’s important to collect feedback from users and implement improvements. DevOps makes sure that users don’t notice these
improvements and that the update process is continuous.
- And at the same time it solves dozens of tasks that help establish a system of work of developers, QA, system administrators and managers.
How to become a DevOps engineer? Entering the profession requires preparation in advance. You can’t just come to it from scratch, not understanding anything in IT. You need a technical background:
- Ideally, if you’ve worked for six months or more as a systems administrator, operations or testing specialist. Or at least have an idea of how applications start up, what environment they can develop in, and what to do if you see a bug. If you have no experience, take any Linux administration course, repeating everything that happens on your home machine.
- Understand how networking works – learn how to install, configure and manage local and wide area networks.
- Take a look at how programming works – write some scripts in Python or Go, try to understand the principles of OOP (Object Oriented Programming), and read about the general product development cycle.
Generally speaking, a DevOps engineer is more about the experience than knowledge of specific software. DevOps guys are constantly learning, studying, and testing new projects and technologies. They must constantly ask themselves the question: will this technology improve our project? What is the better language to choose: Ruby, Python, Go? And how are we going to deliver changes in production so that we
don’t break working systems?
The main thing to understand is that a DevOps specialist has a really good outlook. To broaden it, you have to constantly engage in self-study.
The following are sample steps that will help you grow from, for example, a system administrator to a DevOps engineer. Remember: the list is just a direction, you will have to hone your skills yourself.
- Figure out how Git and Github work if you haven’t already. Install GitLab on your server.
- Learn the JSON and YAML markup languages.
- Install and try working with databases – not just MySQL, but NoSQL as well. Try MongoDB.
- Figure out how to manage multiple server configurations at once. For example, with Ansible.
- Set up load monitoring and logging right away. Try a bunch of Prometheus, Grafana, Alertmanager.
- Look for the best deployment solutions for different languages – it’s easy enough to get acquainted with them, you will implement and understand them on a training or working project.
How much does DevOps earn? DevOps engineers, including beginners, are now required by large banks, corporations, cloud services, trading systems, and other organizations that care about maintaining their IT solutions.
The average median salary according to data at DevOps is between 45 and 160 thousand funds. Entry-level positions start at £45,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to £144,900 per year.
Conclusion: DevOps is complicated. You have to combine the skills of several professions at once. Become someone who is willing to offer improvement where other IT professionals don’t even think about anything else. It pays a lot, but it also requires a lot of knowledge.