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DevOps Career Path: 6 Demanding & Diverse Roles

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12th Oct, 2022
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DevOps Career Path: 6 Demanding & Diverse Roles

DevOps is the latest buzzword in the field of IT. Though DevOps is still in its infancy, it is taking on the IT industry with a great revolution, and the DevOps engineer career path has a promising future to offer. DevOps is a practice and a philosophy that merges software development and infrastructure operations or at least reduces the gap between the two.

According to an article on gartner.com, by 2022, Gartner anticipates 75% of DevOps projects to fail to meet expectations owing to reasons around organizational lack of knowledge and resistance to change of philosophy. This calls for experienced professionals and knowledgeable people to fill the gap in the DevOps career path.

DevOps is a mainstream strategy with a lot of opportunities. The DevOps industry has been offering a variety of general and specialized roles based on the DevOps methodology. 

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DevOps Career Path

DevOps engineers are among the highest-paid IT professionals today. Organizations that adopted DevOps practices are exhibiting high performance with rapid growth. This has led to many other organizations globally trying to choose the same method. According to the Puppetlabs state of DevOps report, companies who have taken the DevOps philosophy are able to deploy their code up to 30 times more frequently than their competitors.

The report also says that there are 50% fewer chances of code failure. The job search portal indeed.com has witnessed a 75% increase in the listings for DevOps jobs. On the other hand, on linkedin.com, there has been a 50% increase in the mention of DevOps as a skill. 

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DevOps Jobs & Salaries

According to the salary structure graph from indeed.com, DevOps jobs started skyrocketing in the middle of 2015. DevOps engineer salaries witnessed a steep surge in the US, showing the demand for professionals.

According to PayScale.com, salaries for qualified DevOps engineering professionals working in the US are upwards of $93,000. A similar report on payscale.com confirms that a DevOps engineer in India gets an average salary of 6.5L. Read more about DevOps Salary in India.

The average salary for a DevOps Engineer is 6.0 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 4.2 lakhs per annum to 12.5 lakhs per annum (Source). The salary may differ owing to various factors such as location, organization, skill set, experience, etc. There are various career paths after DevOps engineer, some of which are mentioned below.

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DevOps Roles and Responsibilities 

DevOps philosophy is fast evolving and new designations, roles, and responsibilities and emerging. An interesting fact is that though companies list these roles separately, there is a lot of overlap in the responsibilities, duties, and skill requirements. As of today, most companies have the below list of job titles for DevOps engineers.

  • DevOps Architect

A DevOps architect is responsible for analyzing and executing DevOps practices within the organization or a team. He architects the overall DevOps environment bringing in all efficient DevOps methodologies as per industry standards. He brings in the right tools for automation of the processes.

He facilitates the development processes and operations. The DevOps architect also sets up a continuous build environment to speed up the software development, testing, and the production deployment process. In some organizations, a DevOps architect serves as a mentor to the team, guiding the developers and operations teams to resolve issues.

He monitors, reviews, and manages the technical operations from a leadership standpoint. 

Some of the skills required by the DevOps Architect are mentioned below-

  1. Programming languages
  2. Knowledge of tools
  3. Testing skills
  4. Security skills
  5. Scripting skills
  6. Cloud service
  7. Communication
  8. Leadership
  9. Problem- Solving
  10. Decision- making

The average salary of a DevOps Architect is 27.0 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 13.0 lakhs per annum to 60.0 lakhs per annum (Source). The bracket may differ depending on various factors. There is a high DevOps career growth, one must invest in enriching their portfolio.

  • Release Manager

In a DevOps environment, a release manager is responsible for planning, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling the software development and deployment process. He develops the development team and the operations team to be in sync, enabling frequent but short feedback loops.

This ensures faster releases of the software. A release manager is responsible for defining the success and acceptance criteria for the current build of the software. He effectively uses the CI/CD pipeline and overlooks the quality standards of the builds. In DevOps culture, a release manager is more people-centric and tried to minimize the user impact. This means that in the DevOps culture a release manager plays some parts of a project manager.

Some of the skills required to be a successful Release manager include:

  1. Planning Release Lifecycle
  2. Risk Management
  3. CI/CD understanding
  4. Monitoring
  5. Analytical
  6. Leadership
  7. Project Management
  8. Verbal and written communication

The average salary of a Release Manager is 14.0 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 6.0 lakhs per annum to 28.0 lakhs per annum (Source). There is various DevOps career path to choose from and Release Manager is one of those. Depending on their interest, professionals can choose this as their career.

In-Demand Software Development Skills

  • Security Engineer

In the DevOps, world security is popularly known as DevSecOps. The responsibilities include using different tools like log management and configuration management to ensure security throughout. DevOps emphasizes on a continuous security philosophy.

In the traditional waterfall software development lifecycle, security is mainly implemented only when the code is being released to production. But in the DevOps culture, security is a critical factor throughout the DevOps continuous cycles. 

Some of the skills required from a Security Engineer include: 

  1. Ethical hacking
  2. Computer Forensics
  3. Network Architecture
  4. Security Testing
  5. Communication
  6. Problem- Solving
  7. Decision- making

An average salary of a security engineer is 6.0 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 3.0 lakhs per annum to 20.0 lakhs per annum (Source). There are various DevOps opportunities in the market, one must improve their skill sets and increase their chances of procuring them. 

  • Automation Engineer

In the DevOps world, an automation engineer is responsible for developing and maintaining the CI/CD process for all the applications and their builds using tools like Maven, Jenkins, Git, Gerrit, Gradle, etc. He would be automating the configuration management across the infrastructure and platforms using configuration management tools like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, SaltStack, Fabric, etc.

He is also responsible for building and administering virtual machines and containers using tools such as Vagrant, Docker, and Kubernetes. The automation engineer also performs logging and monitoring activities using tools like Nagios, Zabbix, ELK stack, and Splunk.

Some of the skills required from an Automation Engineer include:

  1. Automation Knowledge
  2. Understanding of Robotics
  3. Programming and knowledge of tools
  4. Testing
  5. Security 
  6. Cloud
  7. Communication
  8. Problem- Solving
  9. Team Management

The average salary of an automation engineer is 4.8 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 2.0 lakhs per annum to 12.0 lakhs per annum (Source). The professionals can make successful careers in DevOps as automation engineers.

  • Software Tester

A test engineer in the DevOps culture has to align their test design, test cases, and test automation with the DevOps framework being used. A software tester verifies that the code changes work as intended and also makes sure that the changes do not break the software product as a whole. In short, the software tester ensures that the piece of code meets the success and acceptance criteria put forth by the release manager, as discussed above. 

Some of the skills required from a software tester include:

  1. Programming and Coding
  2. Knowledge of Tools
  3. SDLC
  4. Analytical
  5. Testing
  6. Security
  7. Communication

On average the salary of a Software Tester is 3.8 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 1.6 lakhs per annum to 8.0 lakhs per annum (Source). 

  • Integration Specialist

An integration specialist works with the infrastructure operations teams and software development teams to create the integration and continuity of the code. He creates a holistic view of the working environment. He supports engineering and testing teams to meet infrastructure needs. He also provides some level of support for developed automation. The integration specialist also works with the cloud architects to implement the containers as per the requirements of the software development engineers.

The skills required from an Integration Specialist include 

  1. Analytical
  2. Operations management
  3. Programming and Coding
  4. Knowledge of tools
  5. Collaboration
  6. Communication 
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The average salary of an integration specialist is 14.0 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 4.8 lakhs per annum to 30.1 lakhs per annum (Source).

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Conclusion

If you are reading this article, you must be looking to build a career on the DevOps path. Here is a brief idea of the DevOps engineer career path, which is one of the most rewarding career paths of today. We hope this article has enlightened you about the concepts of DevOps, the DevOps career path and salaries, and the various roles and responsibilities in the DevOps world.

If you are interested to become a DevOps engineer, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s Advanced Certificate Programme in DevOps from IIIT Bangalore

Profile

Arjun Mathur

Blog Author
Arjun is Program marketing manager at UpGrad for the Software development program. Prior to UpGrad, he was a part of the French ride-sharing unicorn "BlaBlaCar" in India. He is a B.Tech in Computers Science from IIT Delhi and loves writing about technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Does DevOps pay well?

Yes, it is a high-paying field. The salary bracket increases with higher experience, skill sets, and other factors. Although there are various roles in this field, the average salary of a DevOps engineer is 6.0 lakhs per annum.

2How hard is DevOps?

Various factors determine any domain's rigour, some of which are guided by external factors and some by internal ones. To say DevOps is the easiest domain to learn would be unsatisfactory. It is not that easy to learn DevOps, but with the right guidance and enough effort, the journey becomes easier.

3How do I start my DevOps career?

In order to begin one’s career in DevOps, one must invest their time in gaining foundation knowledge and getting their basics established. Then enough time should be spent on honing the skill sets and practising. Proper utilisation of professional networking sites should be done to gain better job opportunities.

4Why are DevOps paid so much?

It is a highly hot field in today’s times. It is highly demanded by organizations and due to the demand, the compensation is higher. It is considered one of the high-paying careers in the country.

5What are the benefits of DevOps?

Some of the benefits of DevOps are listed below: 1) Faster delivery 2) Resource utilization 3) Cost-effective 4) Analytical approach 5) Increased automation 6) Provides a stable environment

6Does DevOps need coding?

Yes, DevOps required coding, some of which are mentioned below: 1) Python 2) Ruby 3) JavaScript 4) C 5) Git 6) JIRA

7Is DevOps a good career path?

Yes, definitely! DevOps is an excellent career path. The learners can make a successful career for themselves, provided they strive for it. There is a high demand for DevOps professionals not only in the country but also worldwide.

8What are DevOps services?

Some of the DevOps services are mentioned below- 1) Configuration Management 2) Monitoring 3) Continuous Deployment 4) Reporting 5) Continuous Testing 6) Continuous Integration

9Is DevOps a framework or a methodology?

DevOps is not a framework; it is a method of software development that is a combination of application development (Dev) and technology operations (Ops). This methodology aims to foster a culture of communication between different teams such that they break their own silos and collaborate to develop, test, and launch software applications in a shorter turnaround time with enhanced efficiency and speed. It comprises an infinite loop that consists of steps like planning, coding, building, testing, release, deployment, operations, monitoring, and feedback. Following the DevOps approach, companies intend to improve their product quality and efficiency throughout the software development life cycle.

10Which is better between DevOps and Agile?

DevOps is a software development methodology that aims to combine development and operations teams and facilitate collaboration, communication, and integration between them to build better software products in a lesser span of time. On the other hand, Agile is a methodology that aims to continuously integrate development, testing, and release in short iterative steps. It is an iterative, evolutionary and incremental approach to software development. While Agile is designed to address the gaps in communication between developers and customers, DevOps is designed to address communication gaps between the IT operations and developer teams. While DevOps is focused on continuous testing, Agile is focused on continuous changes.

11Who earns more between a DevOps engineer and a data scientist?

DevOps and data science are two of the hottest career paths today. DevOps specialists who are experts in automation are in huge demand. They are mostly involved in monitoring and automation during software development and earn lucrative salaries too, which are considered among the highest-paying jobs. Data science jobs also pay very handsomely; in fact, surveys suggest that data scientists often earn more than DevOps engineers or application developers. However, data scientists might not be the highest-paid professionals if you scan the global IT industry. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, both data scientist and DevOps engineer jobs are highly rewarding.