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Top skills for a DevOps engineer for a good career path

DevOps is the modern practice of development engineers (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) participating together in continuous development, testing, implementation, and support in software development lifecycles. The main aim is to shorten the development lifecycle, providing continuous delivery with high software quality. Several DevOps aspects came from Agile methodology, therefore it is valued as a highly agile approach. The second interpretation of DevOps is a wider understanding of working culture, defining different sets of values implemented in teams. Let us read more about DevOps engineer skills, career path and top certifications.

DevOps Engineer Skills : Agile methodology on a process diagram with six steps
Agile methodology in DevOps career

DevOps as Career. What does a DevOps engineer do?

The role of DevOps engineer implies someone who has relevant hard and soft skills, being capable to overcome the traditional barriers between software development, QA, testing and IT operations teams and matures a collaborative, holistic environment. As a main responsibility, a DevOps engineer skills must incude know how to manage the IT infrastructure, which supports software code in multi-tenant or cloud environments. They are responsible for selecting resources, an appropriate deployment model, direct testing protocol, validating each release and monitoring performance after release. Tasks might include test data preparation, results analysis, problem troubleshooting and issue communication back to the software developers.

DevOps team collaboration
DevOps team collaboration

Although DevOps engineers rarely code from scratch, they must understand the basics of software development languages and be familiar with the development tools used to create new code or update existing once. Working with development teams, they need to connect necessary codes to various application elements, such as APIs, libraries and software development kits (SDKs), and integrate other components such as SQL data management or messaging tools. One of the main focuses shall be on automation and maintenance in the live environment.

DevOps Engineer Skills
DevOps Engineer Skills List

Necessary DevOps engineer skills?

As the role of DevOps engineers includes various skills it does not fall under one career track. Professionals evolve into the position from a variety of backgrounds. A DevOps engineer might start as a software developer who oversees aspects of IT operations. From the other side, a DevOps engineer might move up from a system administrator role because they have gained knowledge about coding, scripting, integration and testing. When selecting a good DevOps engineer it is equally important to focus on the ‘soft’ skills, which brings them to the table on top of their technical knowledge.

Below we have listed the top 8 main skills of DevOps engineers:

    1. Understanding of major DevOps tools
    2. Software security knowledge
    3. Command of automation technologies and tools
    4. Coding and scripting knowledge/experience
    5. Cloud knowledge
    6. Testing skills
    7. Strong communication
    8. Empathy and collaboration skills

Are DevOps engineers still in demand?women and man graphic_ devops engineer_Salary_ money graphs

DevOps engineers are currently in high market demand in various industries such as financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and the public sector. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for these professionals on the world level is around 100.000 dollars per year. Specifically, in German market salary for DevOps engineers can variate from 60.000 till 70.000 Euros per year, depending on region and industry. In Switzerland salary variates from 90.000 till 120.000 CHF per year.

Can DevOps engineer work from home?

Working from home has become a usual demand, especially today in Pandemic circumstances. The good news is that DevOps, as a role was by default built for remote operations. Main processes and automated software delivery methods do not differentiate if the team works from home, office, or any other place. This means that DevOps engineers have adapted successfully to the changes caused by COVID-19 in the software industry. Moreover, last months have highlighted the real demand for well-honed DevOps skills and experience. The latest survey of the DevOps Institute shows that finding and attracting people skilled in DevOps continues to be a challenge. And not only finding these resources but also retaining existing staff was noted as a difficulty.

What DevOps engineer should know

Along with planning activities, putting in place best practices and methodologies, finding recourses and controlling processes, the typical day to day activities of a DevOps Engineer include:

  • Examining the capability of the software to expand as users save data to it
  • Keeping all code changes into a single system so that it can be modified and tested
  • Monitoring the feedback and responses of the users to new releases of a product
  • Designing a setup environment for new users for a better interface that is automated and intuitive
DevOps engineer operating in an agile environment graphic
DevOps operating in an agile environment

Which DevOps certification is best?

DevOps certification is an accredited credential that demonstrates specific competitive skills and subject matter required to be a successful DevOps professional. Obtained through various assessments, educational courses, or performance reviews, they prove that the candidate met rigorous standards. When thinking to start a DevOps career, the first question is which certification is the best one. Here we are presenting an overview of the most popular ones:

Certifications for Devops Engineers
DevOps Certifications

1. Docker Certified Associate

Docker Certified Associate (DCA) is designed for the Docker practitioners with some relevant experience of working with Docker and DevOps tools to validate the skillset with real-world problems.

2. Kubernetes Certification

Kubernetes is one of the top DevOps tools that enable the DevOps team to keep pace with the requirements for software development, making it a power player in the world of DevOps certifications. There are two certification available Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD).

3. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional Exam

AWS DevOps Engineer Professional certification exam tests the technical skills and expertise of the candidates to operate and manage distributed systems and applications on the AWS platform. The exam requires a candidate to have a good understanding of the processes and methodologies for the development and operations.

4. Azure DevOps Solution Certification Exam

Incorporating Azure and DevOps simplifies and speeds up the entire DevOps process, providing faster and more reliable deployments. Thus, the certification lies in the list of best DevOps certifications as the Azure professionals, working as DevOps engineers, are aspired to get this certification.

5. Puppet Professional Certification

Puppet Certification is a great way to validate your system administration experience, increase industry credibility, and get access to an engaged community. The Puppet Certified Professional tests the talented candidates about macro-level knowledge of Puppet IT automation software.

6. Architecting with Google Cloud Platform

The course covers deploying practical solutions, including securely interconnecting networks, customer-supplied encryption keys, security and access management, quotas and billing, and resource monitoring as well. Cloud Solutions Architects, DevOps Engineers, or individuals using Compute Engine usually intend to go for this course.

7. Free DevOps Training Course by Microsoft

The complete course is broken into appropriate sections, which makes it easy for the students to follow. Learn topics such as database integration, configuration management, architectural apps, and much more. There is a final project at the end of the certification, which will allow you to apply the knowledge acquired throughout the lessons.

A list of Tools which a DevOps engineers should know.

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For further articles, please read:

Top 10 DevOps Tools To Look For in 2020

9 Open Source DevOps Tools We Love

Periodic Table of DevOps Tools

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