A DevOps Engineer works to smooth out the communication and production environment between Information Technology (IT) professionals and Software Developers. The overall goal of this position is to guide each team through their tasks while promoting an interchange of information to complete projects both effectively and efficiently.
DevOps Engineers salaries have continued to grow over recent years, especially as more and more businesses have learned the value of incorporating a DevOps culture in their workplace. The average salary of a U.S.-based DevOps Engineer is about $119,750 per year, plus an average annual bonus of about $6,850.
If you’re looking for a role that allows you to use a wide array of skills, while taking on a number of responsibilities within any given project, a career in DevOps could be a great option. The roles and skills taken on by a DevOps Engineer include (but aren’t limited to):
As a DevOps Engineer, what will your typical day be like , and what’s the best way to prepare for a career in this industry? Continue reading to find out the answers to these important questions.
Understand the role of a DevOps Engineer
DevOps refers to software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) working together cohesively. The role of a DevOps Engineer is to coordinate these technical teams to deliver projects swiftly and with limited communication breakdown.
Before the DevOps process was created in 2009, each team would work independently to develop their part of an application. This made the project come together quickly, but it led to problems when combining everything at the end.
The teams would discover bugs and technical issues caused by their specific parts of the project, but they caught them late in development, which could delay projects and add unnecessary costs.
DevOps Engineers work to eliminate those last-minute issues by helping all the teams collaborate along the way and discuss the project phase by phase. Once each component is brought together and the kinks have been worked out, a fully functioning application is ready.
Build your technical skills
As a DevOps Engineer, you’ll be responsible for bringing together many moving parts and understanding how each of those parts works and fits together. This means having a strong coding knowledge and being able to work well with a variety of people is vital.
Here are a few specific skills you’ll need as a DevOps Engineer:
- Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery or deployment (CD). You may be responsible for overseeing changes to code that are immediately integrated into the program to avoid any interruptions. Those changes may be delivered to you to be checked for any issues or automatically deployed directly to users to try out.
- Containers. You’ll need to understand how containers work to isolate the variety of processes within the software. Each container runs a particular part of the process, impacting how the software is tested and adjusted.
- Container orchestration. A DevOps Engineer will use container orchestration to help each application move smoothly and efficiently.
To build up your skills in these areas, having a strong knowledge base of coding languages is key. You can brush up on some of the most common coding languages by checking out the many courses available on our site, such as Python, Node.js, Go, and Java.
Build your soft skills
A large part of working as a DevOps Engineer is having the skills to work with others. Your primary role is to guide a group of people that have different jobs, varying skills, and a wide range of personalities to work together. This requires more than just knowledge of what each of their jobs is and how to get them to communicate with each other in a positive way.
To do this, you’ll need to develop your soft skills. Soft skills relate to how you work, and, as a DevOps Engineer, they’re very important. Not only will you need top-notch soft skills of your own, but you’ll also be helping teams and individuals develop their own soft skills to promote a collaborative working environment.
Some of the soft skills you’ll use as DevOps Engineer are:
- Presentation skills
Each of these skills will help you work with the different individuals on your teams and prepare you for presenting information to those making the final decisions on the project.
How to navigate the hiring process
Once you acquire the knowledge and experience to work as a DevOps Engineer, you still have to get hired as one. This requires applying for jobs, preparing your portfolio, and getting through the interview process. It takes a lot of work to get a job!
Check out a few tips below to guide you through getting the job you want.
Having a solid portfolio helps a potential employer see exactly what your skills are, your previous experience, and what value you’d bring to their company. Be sure to include any technical skills you’ve acquired through your work experience or schooling.
Any certificates, degrees, or online courses will show your work ethic and hopefully impress the hiring team. Also, be sure to describe the type of projects you’ve been involved in to help them get a better overview of your work history.
If you need more helping creating a technical portfolio, watch the video below for a step-by-step breakdown.
And if you want to add interactive features, check out Part 2.
Phone, virtual, or in-person interview
Many companies will do an initial phone screening to get a sense of who you are as a person while evaluating your soft skills. These generally don’t go deep into your technical know-how.
The next step will be a face-to-face interview, either by video conference or in person. You should be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your resume and portfolio, and how you think you could benefit their company. You should also have questions ready to ask your future employer to show your interest in becoming part of their team.
The last stage of the interview process is typically a more technically based one. You may meet with Lead Developers or Project Managers that’ll assess your technical skills. This is usually done by giving you a practical task to test out your abilities to see how you handle the work.
This doesn’t mean you have to be an expert at everything they ask of you, but it’s important to have the right attitude and approach the task in a way that shows you have the ability to do whatever work they assign you.
Check out our technical interview guide for tips on how to practice and prepare for this interview.
You now have the hiring process laid out and can start building the foundation for a career as a DevOps Engineer. Start your journey by taking our courses related to your new career choice and work to be a skilled listener, communicator, and organizer.
Once you’ve built up your skills and have a strong portfolio, get out there and start applying to a DevOps Engineer job.