How to Become a DevOps Engineer: Roles and Responsibilities, and Skills Required

In any organization, the development team makes the products, and the operation team manages and maintains these products. DevOps is a collaboration between development and operation teams, which enables continuous delivery of applications and services to end-users. 

This means that when the development team is ready with the product, it goes to the maintenance and management phases immediately and is released to the end-users with minimum delay.

According to InformationWeek, DevOps will be in high demand in the future with little chance of slowing down. Per LinkedIn, DevOps has increased in need by 50 percent over the past few years. These statistics clearly show that the market demand for a DevOps career is proliferating.

Check out the below infographic to learn how to become a DevOps engineer -

How to Become a DevOps Engineer - Infographic

Let us now look into the detailed description and understand how to become a DevOps engineer. But first, let us understand more about a DevOps engineer.

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What is a DevOps Engineer?

Before learning how to become a DevOps engineer, it is important to gain familiarity with the role. A DevOps engineer is an IT professional who has an in-depth understanding of the software development lifecycle. They need to understand why the organization had to move from one model to the other, the shortcomings of the previous model, the benefits of the new model, and so on.

A DevOps engineer also must know how to use various automation tools for developing continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. 

planning-monitoring

There are various stages in a CI/CD pipeline. The first stage is the planning stage, which includes writing an algorithm for your product. The next stage is the building stage, where the algorithm is transformed into a product that can be used. 

The product is then tested in the testing stage where all bugs are found and corrected. The product finally goes to the deployment stage, where it’s introduced to the end-users. Once the product is deployed, it needs to be monitored continuously, which is a new concept recently introduced into the DevOps lifecycle.

The monitoring stage is what DevOps engineers focus more on compared to the previous stages. It's essential to monitor the product continuously to catch new bugs, fix them, and push the corrected version back to the client. This is done to ensure customer satisfaction once the product is deployed into the real world. Put, DevOps engineers collaborate with the development and operation teams to deliver high-quality products in as short a time as possible.

A DevOps engineer can also venture down other career paths, such as:

  • DevOps architect
  • Automation engineer
  • Software tester
  • Integration specialist
  • Security engineer
  • Release manager

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DevOps Career Roadmap

Programming Language and Linux Fundamentals

DevOps uses programming languages for developing and automating software. To become a DevOps engineer, there are several programming languages you need to learn in addition to specific DevOps tools

The three most common languages used with the DevOps tools are Ruby, Python, and JavaScript. It's advisable to learn at least one of these programming languages to work with the DevOps tools. 

It's also essential for a DevOps engineer to know the fundamentals of the Linux Command Line Interface (CLI). The mandatory Linux skills that a DevOps engineer should have include: 

  • Linux shell - bash or ksh
  • Linux commands - find, grep, awk, sed
  • Networking commands - nslookup and netstat 

Source Code Management

The next milestone for a DevOps engineer is to learn source code management. This is crucial for keeping your projects organized, regardless of the number of code sets you have. Learn at least one of these standard source code management tools:

  • Git
  • CVS
  • Mercurial

You can choose to start with any of these source code management tools. However, we recommend that you begin with Git. Git is used to tracking changes in the source code and can manage large projects efficiently. It also allows multiple developers to work together with ease.

Application Building

A DevOps engineer needs to learn how to build an application and commit to the source code management tool. One of the most popular ways to make an application is by using Maven, an automation tool that helps build and manage software projects within a short period. Maven has a smooth build process, supports parallel builds, and provides instant access to new features with no additional configurations.

Automation with CI/CD Tool

A project object model (POM) file is required to build an application. The POM file consists of a set of jars, commands to be executed, the builds plugins, and builds a profile.

pom-file

To automate the entire process, continuous integration or continuous development (CI/CD) tool should be used. There are plenty of CI/CD tools, such as Jenkins, TeamCity, Drone, etc. 

pomfile-jenkins

Jenkins is one of the most extensively used automation tools on the market. It's an open-source continuous integration tool, helping to automate the constant development, testing, and deployment of newly created codes. The main reasons why you should learn Jenkins are:

  • It has multiple plugins
  • It's easily distributed across multiple machines
  • Easy installation and configuration

Application Testing

Once you’ve completed the build process, you need to learn how to automate the testing process of web applications. Selenium is one of the best testing tools for QA teams, providing fast execution, allowing scripting in several languages, and supporting parallel test execution.

/pomfile-se

Application Deployment

Once the application is tested, it needs to be deployed and run in the production server. To deploy an application, you should know containers and configuration management tools.

pomfile-testing

Docker

Docker is a useful tool that helps to deliver software in containers. It has high scalability and efficiency, provides usable data volumes, and has isolated applications.

Ansible

Ansible is an agentless configuration management tool. Unlike other tools in this field, it provides the capability of pushing configurations onto multiple servers and maintaining them in the required state. It uses SSH for secure connections.

Monitor Applications

Monitoring applications is another important aspect of a DevOps engineer. In this stage, the issues are identified, and changes are implemented quickly.

pomfile-deployment

Nagios is a popular application monitoring tool that helps in comprehensive monitoring, has high availability, and provides immediate remediation.

Cloud Providers

A DevOps engineer needs to know about cloud service providers and their basic applications. Cloud computing is an important skill to learn, regardless of the field, you’re working in. 

pomfile-aws

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular cloud provider in the industry today. Many companies keep their infrastructure on this cloud because it provides higher scalability, greater flexibility, and better security. It's comparatively more cost-effective than other cloud providers.

Other cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, are slowly catching up in terms of speed.

While learning how to become a DevOps engineer, you should also be aware of the salary prospects in the field. Check out the DevOps engineer salary in the following section.

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DevOps Engineer Master's Program

DevOps Engineer Salary

The salary of a DevOps engineer may vary based on the number of years of experience and certifications you have. Here’s an estimate from Glassdoor on the salary trends of a DevOps engineer in the United States and India: 

salary-in-us

  • The average salary of a DevOps engineer in India is INR 612,000 per year.

salary-in-ind

Are you skilled enough to begin a career in DevOps? Try answering these DevOps Practice Test Questions and find out now!

Get Certified in DevOps!

A DevOps certification will ensure that you’ve achieved an expert level of skills and knowledge for continuous integration and development. There are several DevOps certifications you can choose from:

Whether you’re trying to understand how to become a DevOps engineer or take another career path in DevOps, the future looks bright. Considering getting certified in this field, we recommend Simplilearn’s DevOps Engineer Masters Program or the Post Graduate Program in DevOps, which will help you develop the key skills necessary to become a DevOps expert in no time.

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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