How to Become a DevOps Engineer?
Today, DevOps is used by most of companies and is a widely used technology. DevOps engineers are thus in greater demand in the market. In order to become a DevOps engineer, you need to possess a specific skill set and be well-versed in advanced technologies. You must understand the roles, responsibilities, and tasks of a DevOps engineer before you begin your career. You need to understand how they function within any organization and how they will benefit the company.
In this article, we will learn about DevOps methodology, the role of a DevOps engineer, the required skill set, and various tools used by them.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a strategy or methodology that is used for the development of software. It helps in bridging the gap between the developers and the IT teams working together within the same project. It boosts up the collaboration of both teams to improve the working capabilities of both teams.
Using DevOps methodology, every organization can release small sets of features frequently and quickly. It allows the customers to provide feedback on every set and making changes to these small sets is comparatively easier than making changes to the complete software.
DevOps engineers should be able to understand the entire concept of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and the various tools used in automating the tasks to develop continuous integration/ continuous delivery pipelines. They work closely with the developers and IT staff to monitor the software releases. DevOps engineers can be developers who are able to code, deploy, and have knowledge of network-related operations or can be system administrators who focus on testing the codes.
Explain the role of DevOps Engineer
Before moving further, it is crucial that you understand the role of a DevOps engineer and in what field they can start their career. Basically, a DevOps engineer can be both a developer or belong to the IT team.
- Improving CI/CD pipeline- The responsibility of a DevOps engineer may vary from company to company but the main tasks will include- creating and improving the CI/CD pipeline. In short, you can say that the job of a DevOps engineer is to bring the code from the developer’s plate to the production. They will remove all the bugs and operational issues that may impact the users. Apart from this, a DevOps engineer creates automation tasks for making the deployment task easier.
- Maintaining cloud infrastructure- Cloud computing offers you a pool of resources and services that will help in setting up the complex configurations in an efficient way. Thus it requires a DevOps engineer for managing these complex configurations. They help in managing the vast cloud infrastructure that includes- load balancers, security components, databases, and others.
- Configuration management- A DevOps engineer requires the right set of tools for managing the configurations as they won’t be able to manage the vast enterprise-scale infrastructure. Some tools like Puppet, Chef, etc. help in defining the software and required features for each server for carrying out deployment automatically based on configuration files.
- Monitoring- DevOps are also responsible for handling the monitoring process for detecting and minimizing the errors for customers. They help in achieving high reliability and identify the vulnerabilities that may impact the production deployment. Monitoring is a crucial part for every CI/CD pipeline to ensure effective code deployment.
Tasks and duties of a DevOps engineer
Below we have mentioned some of the tasks and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer.
- They help in designing the required tools and processes that will help in managing infrastructure.
- They will be able to work on several platforms along with knowledge on different programming languages.
- They help in automating the workloads across various cloud providers.
- They will be able to automate the process of testing and deployment.
- They will be able to support the internal and external stakeholders on several platforms.
- They will be able to create the required tools and processes for improving user satisfaction.
Skill Set Required to Become a DevOps Engineer
For effective working and enhanced productivity, the following skills are key for DevOps engineers.
Having knowledge of advanced coding might not be necessary for a DevOps engineer but it will help you to get along. But if you have knowledge of programming languages like Java, Python, etc. will help you to get into a DevOps engineer role easily. If you are good at coding then you will be able to save time, cost, and effort by optimizing the code, debugging the code, fixing deployment errors, and simplifying the development lifecycle.
Some processes in a DevOps environment like provisioning of the server, installing and configuring the required application, are automated. DevOps engineers are somehow responsible to keep these things running seamlessly. Thus they require strong coding skills to build and operate tools that will automate the DevOps process.
2. Virtualization and Cloud
Virtualization refers to the abstraction of computer systems from their physical components, allowing them to run on layers independent of the physical hardware. Virtualization breaks down the large systems by partitioning them into smaller systems, and allows multiple users or applications to use a server. Virtualization is considered to be an important part of DevOps. By virtualizing the hardware and cloning the existing systems, the development teams, IT and testing teams can work more closely for more effective results. It helps in making it possible to provision standardized environments specific for dev, test, and production systems.
Virtualization works as a core mechanism behind various clouds like public, private and hybrid clouds. A hybrid cloud is a commonly used configuration that helps in integrating the internal data centers and public cloud resources. If you virtualize the computing resources, it will handle the transition efficiently from the data center to the cloud
3. Automation Tools
Among various available DevOps automation tools, the most commonly used DevOps tools are Puppet, Kubernetes, etc. The DevOps process can be automated from code generation to build, test, and deployment. Even the testing is also automated with the right set of tools that will provide continuous feedback to development teams.
Considering the agile work process, organizations used to follow a step-by-step iterative process for developing applications along with a consistent link between test and development. DevOps is a one step ahead of it. Testers are not only limited to checking the functionality is working properly, but also required to test various operations, performance, security, and many other aspects of the development cycle.
Testing can be done at every stage of the software development lifecycle, from the very beginning like from planning through to coding phase and till the deployment phase.
Tools used by a DevOps Engineer
A DevOps engineer uses various advanced tools for efficient working and improving productivity. Here, we have mentioned some of the most commonly used tools in various categories.
- Process automation tools (for example- Jenkins, Bamboo, etc.) – These help the DevOps engineers for customizing and automating delivery pipelines.
- Source control ( for example Git) – These tools help in tracking the progress of development work, providing a version history, and creating version “branches”. Developing code in several branches is easy to be merged with the “main branch”, which can be efficiently promoted to the production environment.
- Code repository (for example Github, Bitbucket, etc.) – It helps in integrating the source control software within the DevOps process.
- Containerization( tools like Docker and Kubernetes) – These tools help in packaging your application along with all required configuration files and libraries, without relying on the system dependencies, into a container that can later be run as an independent application on a physical machine. A DevOps engineer is capable of handling containerized applications. Thus having the required knowledge of container principles and Docker is important.
- Serverless software – Today most DevOps teams depend on serverless infrastructure for deploying the code in any language and scale as per the requirement, without the need to manage the actual servers. It is crucial to deploy the CI/CD pipelines and microservices applications. You can consider using the AWS serverless ecosystem. DevOps engineers must be familiar with tools like Amazon Lambda.
- Configuration Management ( for example Puppet Enterprise, Ansible, Chef, etc.) – These tools help the DevOps engineers configure, manage, and deploy the infrastructure as code (IaC).
- Monitoring software ( tools like Nagios, Datadog, etc.) – These tools help the DevOps teams in tracking the infrastructure, identifying the issues, and finding instant solutions for issues.
- Project management solutions ( tools like Jira, Trello, etc.) – These are majorly adopted by the DevOps teams for managing the project items and providing work-progress-related documentation. These solutions help the DevOps team in monitoring the progress of their teams, identifying issues within the process or workflow.
In today’s digital enterprise, DevOps engineers play a major part. In this article, we have highlighted the main roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer, along with the knowledge of CI/CD pipelines, maintaining cloud infrastructure, monitoring and configuration management, and other technical skills that should be required for the position. To become a DevOps engineer, you need to go through this guide and master your choice of language, platform, and tools.
Being a DevOps engineer is a challenging position. However, it is one of the highly paid jobs available. It will lead you to more promising career roles like DevOps team leader, head of infrastructure, head of IT, etc.