DevOps Engineer role: Everything you need to know

DevOps Engineer role: Everything you need to know

When an organization is rooted in a siloed structure where development and operations work separately, implementing DevOps often entails an organizational overhaul. DevOps is a methodology that has evolved from the experience and best practices of managing the development, testing, and support processes in a software development project life cycle.  One of the key roles for implementing a DevOps restructuring is a DevOps engineer. So what is the DevOps Engineer role

Job Description of a DevOps Engineer

A DevOps Engineer role is crucial to the project’s overall success, from planning to supporting main KPIs like customer satisfaction and productivity. It is crucial for a DevOps Engineer Expert to integrate project functions and resources throughout the whole product life cycle, from planning to creating, testing, and deployment to support.

A DevOps engineer is a generalist in information technology who should be well-versed in both development and operations, including coding, infrastructure management, system administration, and DevOps toolchains. Since they operate across organizational silos to foster a more collaborative atmosphere, DevOps engineers should also be able to communicate effectively with others.

DevOps engineers must be well-versed in common system architecture, provisioning, and administration. They also need to be comfortable using the standard developer toolkit and practices, such as using source control, giving and receiving code reviews, writing unit tests, and being aware of agile principles.

Job Description of a DevOps Engineer

DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities

What is the importance of DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities? The DevOps Engineer role is very crucial in an organization, but they almost always combine release engineering, infrastructure provisioning and management, system administration, security, and DevOps advocacy. To successfully integrate different activities in a coordinated way and deliver the obligations to the customer’s satisfaction, excellent communication and coordination skills are a necessity.

The tasks needed to create and deploy application code are included in release engineering. The specific tools and procedures vary greatly based on a variety of factors, including the programming language used in the code, the degree to which the pipeline has been automated, and whether the production infrastructure is on-premises or in the cloud. Release engineering may involve deciding on, setting up, and maintaining CI/CD tools or creating and maintaining custom build/deployment software.

The servers, storage, and networking resources needed to host applications are part of infrastructure provisioning and system administration. This may involve controlling physical servers, storage devices, switches, and virtualization software in a data center for enterprises with on-premise resources. This typically includes provisioning and managing virtual instances of the same components for a hybrid or fully cloud-based company.

Although it is frequently underrated or completely disregarded, DevOps advocacy is probably the most crucial function of the DevOps Engineer role. The engineering team members may experience disruption and confusion as a result of the change to a DevOps culture. The DevOps engineer is responsible for evangelizing and educating the organization about the benefits of the DevOps methodology.

DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities
DevOps engineer roles and responsibilities

To conclude, roles and responsibilities of DevOps engineer are multifaceted; they must be agile enough to wear a technical hat while also managing operations. To help you summarize the answer for the question “what is DevOps engineer role”, the following are some of the primary responsibilities of the DevOps Engineer role:

  • Understanding the needs of the customer and project KPIs
  • Putting in place various development, testing, automation, and IT infrastructure tools
  • Organizing the team’s composition, activity, and participation in project management tasks.
  • Managing external interfaces and stakeholders
  • Setting up the necessary tools and infrastructure
  • Defining and implementing DevOps development, testing, release, update, and support processes
  • Having the technical ability to review, verify, and validate the project’s software code.
  • Troubleshooting techniques and fixing the code bugs
  • Monitoring process adherence throughout the lifecycle and upgrading or establishing new procedures for improvement and waste reduction
  • Promoting and constructing automated processes where possible
  • Determining and putting in place cybersecurity safeguards through ongoing vulnerability assessment and risk management
  • Root cause analysis and incident management
  • Coordinating with one another and communicating with customers
  • Choosing and implementing the right CI/CD tools
  • Building a CI/CD pipeline (continuous integration, continuous development, and constant deployment) and working toward continuous improvement.
  • Advising and mentoring the group members
  • Evaluating and measuring KPIs and customer experience
  • Coordinating the regular reporting of progress to the management and the client

What skills do you need to become a DevOps Engineer?

Interaction and cooperation

A DevOps engineer needs to interact and communicate well with teams, management, and clients. The effectiveness of DevOps depends significantly on the quality and amount of feedback received along the entire value chain, but these so-called “soft-skills” are frequently ignored and underestimated.

System management

A DevOps engineer should be familiar with system administration tasks like setting up and managing servers, deploying databases, keeping an eye on security, patching systems, and overseeing internal and external network communication.

Knowledge of DevOps tools

Because using the proper tools is critical to DevOps techniques, the DevOps engineer must understand and be able to use a wide range of tools. These technologies cover the entire DevOps lifecycle, from infrastructure and development through monitoring and running a product or service.

Configuration administration

DevOps engineers are frequently expected to be familiar with at least one configuration management technology, such as Chef, Puppet, or Ansible. Many businesses have used these or similar solutions to automate system administration chores including installing new systems or applying security fixes to existing systems.

Containers and orchestration of containers

The application’s code and its runtime environment are combined in a single image via containerization, a concept made popular by Docker. Traditional configuration management tools become less necessary as a result. However, maintaining containers comes with its own set of difficulties, thus knowledge of the group of tools known as “container orchestrators” (such as Docker Swarm or Kubernetes) becomes essential for the DevOps Engineer role. 

Continuous integration and deployment

A DevOps approach to software development relies on the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) processes, which are made possible by a wide range of technologies. Automating the process of developing, testing, and delivering software is the most fundamental purpose of any CI/CD tool or combination of tools.

To ensure that these tools are used effectively, DevOps engineers typically need to collaborate closely with the rest of the development organization. They will typically need experience configuring and deploying one or more CI/CD solutions.

System design and resource allocation

An on-premises or cloud-based computer environment can be designed, provisioned, and managed by a DevOps engineer. It’s crucial to comprehend Infrastructure as Code (IaC), an IT management technique that manages cloud infrastructure resources by using best practices from DevOps software development. Working at DevOps Engineer role requires being familiar with Terraform, AWS CloudFormation, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for modeling system infrastructure on the cloud.

Understanding of scripting and coding

Shell scripting is a common method of automating repetitive activities, and many traditional system administrators are familiar with it. An advanced understanding of agile development processes, including the use of source control and code reviews, is required of a DevOps engineer role in addition to the engineer’s proficiency in building automation scripts.

Capable of working in a group

No matter the specific organizational structure, cross-team collaboration is an essential part of a good DevOps strategy. The DevOps engineer should collaborate with a wide variety of employees across the organization as a coach and coworker, regardless of whether the engineering team is organized into roles-only groups or has separate teams for feature development, quality assurance, DevOps, etc.

Positions in a DevOps team

DevOps evangelist

A DevOps expert is someone who promotes and develops DevOps processes within the organization. The DevOps evangelist often has a strong technical background, but the role is focused on interpersonal communication and process improvement.

Release manager or change advisory board

Organizations that have not yet adopted DevOps or are in the early stages of doing so may have a distinct group known as the change advisory board (CAB) or an individual release manager function.

The goal of such responsibilities is to guarantee that any new application software launched into production fulfills quality and security standards, as well as has received the necessary management approvals.

These jobs were especially critical when software releases were more dangerous. However, with the use of tactics like automated testing and dark deployments, these responsibilities become less important (if not obsolete).

Automation specialist

Every DevOps engineer is expected to be an expert in automation. However, it is not unheard of for a business to have a dedicated automation expert or automation engineer function. This could be someone whose primary responsibility is to manage the CI/CD tooling or to design and maintain automated test suites.

Software developer

Individuals that write either front-end or back-end application code, or both, are commonly referred to as software developers. These are the folks who were once referred to as “computer programmers” before the development of agile thinking.

Quality assurance

The quality assurance (QA) team is in charge of locating software flaws. Historically, QA engineers concentrated on manually evaluating new application code to verify that it did not immediately blow up (“smoke testing”), disrupt current functionality (“regression testing”), or interfere with any other new features (“integration testing”).

The software development engineer in test (SDET) job is increasingly complementing or replacing manual testers in organizations. The SDET is responsible for testing new application code prior to its release into production. Instead of manually testing software, he/she focuses on building test automation code.

Security engineer

Organizations that have not completely integrated security and compliance concerns into their planning and development processes will frequently have a security specialist or team. This is frequently an antipattern because it treats security as an afterthought, and it is considerably more difficult to secure software after it has been planned, created, and deployed than it is to build with security in mind.

Positions in a DevOps team

As such, the DevOps engineer role is not only the cornerstone of your DevOps culture, but also a key link between different teams that will allow communication among them, enhancing productivity and delivering the full potential of DevOps to your organization. Therefore, this introduction will be extremely beneficial to you as you transition your career to DevOps or train yourself to encourage adoption inside your firm after understanding DevOps engineer responsibilities

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