As you will have seen in our recent article about the most in-demand, highest-paid cloud skills for 2017, DevOps is hot news right now but, as popular as it is, the job requirements and career paths aren’t always that clear – for either professionals or employers. We want to shed some light on what skills you need to look for (or learn) in a good DevOps engineer.
The role of a DevOps engineer is a critical one in today’s businesses, and that brings with it a job that is both technically and emotionally challenging but also immensely rewarding (and well paid!). For that reason, it appeals to a particular individual with a rare blend of skills.
The list of skills required for the ideal DevOps candidate is a long one, and that’s because the role of DevOps reaches far beyond that of a typical IT professional, crossing multiple, highly technical disciplines.
What does a DevOps Engineer Do?
The DevOps engineer is fully involved in all aspects of software development, with a holistic view of the entire software delivery cycle so they need to have strong technical knowledge, the ability to optimize processes and deployment, and also the soft skills required to get everyone talking and collaborating – and to listen and act on what comes out of those conversations. That’s not a mix of skills observed often anywhere – let alone in IT!
It means that DevOps isn’t something learnt on a training course – it’s more a role that evolves from others, which is a good thing for current tech professionals who crave a new direction in IT. They need to build on their existing hard skills in coding, platforms, servers, storage, hardware, infrastructure and networks – and the soft skills required to communicate with multiple teams, whilst maintaining a strategic view of the entire business. DevOps are truly multi-skilled.
What do the most successful DevOps engineers have in their skillset?
If you want to get down to specifics, the most successful DevOps engineers share some core skills:
- They know code – and how to get that code into production efficiently.
- They have a solid understanding of computer languages (PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python)
- They know how to integrate with existing platforms (SQL, Exchange) and know which tools to use (Apache)
- They have expert knowledge of managing the stack (Linux, Microsoft Windows Server and Cloud)
- They can utilize configuration and automation tools when required (Chef, Ansible, Puppet, Kornshell, Jenkins)
- They know how to communicate at a high level – but also manage staff effectively on the floor – breaking down silos to keep departments and professionals collaborating.
- They can make decisions confidently and quickly, adapting to ever-changing code, to maintain rapid development and deployment of new releases.
- They embrace change and are driven to find solutions and optimize processes as they go.
There’s no doubt that the DevOps role is a highly-skilled one that requires a rare blend of competencies and talent to navigate the many, inevitable challenges – but, for the right person, it’s an incredibly rewarding career.
Do you have what it takes to work in DevOps? Take a look at these current DevOps jobs and go for it!