According to Glassdoor analytics, the DevOps profession is among the ten most paid jobs in 2021 . This is understandable: the demand for professionals who can manage the cloud infrastructure of an organization and help companies move their services to the cloud has grown significantly due to the forced transition of most businesses to telecommuting.
Earlier, the demand for DevOps was great, and time has shown that the trend continues: many recruiters call the DevOps position their # 1 task in recruiting in 2021.
So, it is a great moment to take a closer look at this specialization, with the help of experts from Boosty Labs company, which specializes in DevOps services.
The reason why DevOps jobs have been “not out of style” for several years in a row, is obvious: this is due to the digital transformation of the business, which led to an increase in the volume of IT services and an increase in the number of development teams. Until a certain point, developers could independently maintain the operation of their code, and then it became expensive to have “universal fighters” on the staff, since such developers had to pay more money for additional expertise in related areas, although, in fact, they were distracted from their main activity. On the other hand, operations teams in their classic form could not fully satisfy this request. In other words, the need arose to expand knowledge of approaches and techniques for managing product environments for development teams.
Is DevOps a separate profession or a specific range of responsibilities?
First of all, DevOps is a methodology for building workflows that makes it possible to simplify and accelerate the delivery of the final product to the user, which, in turn, allows the company to be more competitive in the market.
Although many see DevOps as a certain technology stack or just a fashionable job title, it is essentially a culture of interaction between different teams (not only development and operation, but also QA, management, etc.) at all stages of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
It is widely believed that the only goal of DevOps is to reduce the Time-to-Market metric, but to the goals of DevOps, we should also add tighter integration of teams on product development and code operation, fewer bugs through more frequent releases, which allows you to deliver changes to the production environment incrementally, as well as reduce recovery time after refusal. And in the end it turns out that, in pursuit of these goals, we cannot impute this to the duties of a specific specialist, since this is the area of responsibility of all teams in general.
It is for this reason that it is difficult to name any specific specialists who are involved in these processes, DevOps engineers, and even more so – to outline a certain range of their responsibilities. Undoubtedly, the engineering component will often prevail here, but this is not always purely engineering work.
The current challenges in the DevOps engineering marketplace
If we talk specifically about the labor market, then the greatest challenge is a shortage of high-level DevOps specialists.
If we talk about the specialists themselves, then we should note some passivity in communications and an emphasis on delving into a strictly defined stack of technologies, which does not always correspond to the T-Shaped model of skills and is due to the “hype” of a particular technology. However, this is not a problem, because due to the high demand for such specialists, a project or a company corresponding to their skills set is highly likely to be found without any problems.
How to find the right DevOps for your team
In fact, the criteria for “correctness” are quite subjective. A specialist who is in demand in this area in a certain company may be out of place in another. And in many cases it will not even be his fault – much depends on the developing circumstances and the criteria set by the company in relation to the specialist. The more specific these criteria are set, the more chances you have to find a more “correct” specialist.
The must have for a job seeker is burning eyes, good communication skills, desire and ability to learn and self-development, and, of course, a certain technical background.
Can a project survive without DevOps?
From time to time on the Internet, you can read about companies abandoning the testing link, leaving only developers. Some companies are not interested in hiring such specialists. Some take it out on their own, others may not be ready to implement and use DevOps practices on their own.
The company must be ready for DevOps transformation, and the request for this transformation must be generated naturally and ultimately pursue specific business goals. In this case, it is highly likely that DevOps practices and the specialists involved in them will really be in demand.
What soft skills should a DevOps engineer have?
The most important thing is a solid understanding of the structure of Linux operating systems and knowledge of computer networks and network protocols. As for the tools and technologies used in DevOps, the easiest way is to scroll through the current vacancies and see what is required most often, since even for solving a single task there may be several tools at once with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Soft skills are no less important in DevOps work than hard skills, since the methodology itself implies active interaction of development specialists with information technology services specialists and the mutual integration of their work processes into each other. It is important to have critical thinking, teamwork skills and organizational skills.
The list of basic technical skills also includes knowledge of the basic methods and approaches for building and operating information systems (in most cases these will be infrastructures provided by cloud providers), basic network protocols, the basics of operating systems and network security, as well as knowledge of at least one scripting language for automating routine tasks.
Experience in building and operating CI/CD systems, interacting with various APIs, containerized applications, as well as their orchestration is welcomed, and sometimes required (knowledge of Kubernetes is most often expected here, since it has practically become an industry standard).
A DevOps professional is expected to be well versed in the various tools and technologies used throughout the software delivery lifecycle.
What challenges do DevOps need to be prepared for?
Like any IT specialist, DevOps must constantly learn. Technologies are developing very rapidly, new ones appear, existing ones become obsolete. You can’t just learn once and work like that until retirement. The more you work, the more you realize how much you still don’t know. You need to understand this and be ready for it.
A qualified DevOps can grow into a very competent specialist with excellent knowledge of information systems architectures, building and setting up internal processes of interaction between different teams, able to think and design information systems for the future with the option of flexible adaptation to changing conditions.