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How to Become a DevOps Engineer : Roadmap, Skills & Eligibility

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27th Oct, 2022
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How to Become a DevOps Engineer : Roadmap, Skills & Eligibility

According to a report on SD Times, there has been an increase in job postings for DevOps Engineer by 224% on Indeed. It has been ranked at 2nd position in the Best 50 Jobs in America according to Glassdoor. According to the salary report by Glassdoor, the salary of a DevOps Engineer is between $138,000 to $181,000. Here we will be discussing how to become a DevOps Engineer.

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Who are DevOps Engineers?

To be a DevOps engineer, one must have a good understanding of Software Development Lifecycle, including all kinds of DevOps automation tools and CI/CD pipeline tools. There is no single path in the career of DevOps Engineer because they evolve into other different positions such as a System Administrator, System Operation Engineer, Development Operation Engineer.

The responsibility of DevOps is to enhance the outcomes of the business by bringing automation. This ultimately reduces cost and provide a solution to the problems of the organization. DevOps Engineer has the responsibility of managing the server and testing the application. This is why DevOps Professionals must have complete knowledge of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC).

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You need to first understand DevOp’s meaning before knowing how to become a DevOps engineer. DevOps is a practice, movement, or culture that collaborates with software developers and other IT professionals when automating the software delivery process and infrastructure modifications.

You must understand the DevOps culture if you aspire to become a DevOps engineer. It involves various teams working collectively to achieve a common goal. There must not be cultural issues between various IT teams.

The decision-makers and IT leaders must ensure that the whole team is mentored on the DevOps cultural aspects before using DevOps toolsets. This prevents confusion in the teams. DevOps engineers work collaboratively to avoid the issue in the project delivery and stop blaming others for the project issues. The high DevOps engineer salary is not only because of their core technical skills but also because of their ability to work collaboratively in the team.

Things DevOps engineers must know:

DevOps engineers must know some key aspects if they are confused about how to become a DevOps engineer. They should know how to use different automation tools to develop continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.  Various stages exist in a CI/CD pipeline. The first one is the planning stage which involves writing an algorithm for a product. The second stage, i.e. the building stage involves transferring the algorithm into a product that can be used.

Subsequently, the product is tested in the testing stage, wherein all bugs are detected and corrected. The product then transits to the deployment stage, where it is introduced to the end users.

The product must be continuously monitored after it is deployed. The purpose behind this is to detect bugs, fix them, and present the revised version to the client. This is performed to guarantee customer satisfaction after the product is launched. Moreover, DevOps engineers collaborate with the operation and development teams to present quality products in the shortest possible time.  Understanding these aspects can increase your chances of obtaining a decent DevOps engineer salary.

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Who are eligible to become the DevOps Engineers?

Any fresher, Quality Assurance guy, Ops or Developer person can become a DevOps Engineer by going through the required training process to become a DevOps Engineer. To become a DevOps Engineer, one should understand the different tools and also should be able to use different kinds of deployment, testing and development technologies.

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Beginning with Foundation

An individual who wishes to be a DevOps Engineer needs to learn some of the essential foundation technologies in DevOps. Those Foundation Technologies are AWS, Python, and Linux. These are the skills that every DevOps Engineer should master. These are the three dominant pillars of the industry. A DevOps Engineer should always stay up to date and relevant to the latest updates continuously. Let us discuss these appropriate technologies one by one:

1. Linux: 

All the technology can run on Linux. An individual cannot be a competent DevOps Engineer if he does not know Linux. It is a must for a DevOps Engineer to keep learning Linux.

2. Python: 

Python is the programming language that is dominant in the current technologies of the world. There is a vast scope for one who has learned Python Language and also shifts their career in another field such as Machine Learning, Data Science, Artificial Learning and many more. Read: Python Developer Salary in India.

3. Amazon Web Services: 

One should have an excellent understanding of the working of public cloud such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). One can’t become an exceptional DevOps Engineer without the knowledge of Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Service is the best public cloud to learn from because it has the most productive set of tools that anybody can work.

Skills Required to become a DevOps Engineer

1. Knowledge of Cloud Service Platforms:

One should have knowledge about different kinds of platforms which provides cloud service such as Azure, GCP, AWS and many more.

2. Good Concept Understanding:

Candidate should have good knowledge of concepts such as Infrastructure as Code.

3. Digital Pipelines Development Experience:

Companies would always prefer someone who has excellent skills and experience in the field of development of Digital Pipelines such as CD pipelines and CI pipeline.

4. Hands-on DevOps Tools and Technology Knowledge:

One should have good knowledge in the areas of deployment, testing, and development of DevOps technologies and tools such as Splunk, Nagios, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Kubernetes, Docker, Jenkins, Git and many more.

5. Fundamental Knowledge of Linux:

One should have a good fundamental knowledge of Linux along with the scripting.

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DevOps RoadMap

1. Understanding the working of Cloud Service Platforms:

One should learn the working of Cloud service platforms because many companies are using their infrastructure on the cloud. It is an essential skill which should be learned. Companies are now combining DevOps and Cloud to get benefits from both together.

2. Knowledge of Using Tool to Monitor and Collection of Important Feedback:

Implementation of changes as soon as possible after the collection of feedback is an essential skill for a DevOps Engineer. Knowledge of Monitoring tools such as Splunk, Nagios and many more are necessary for a DevOps Engineer to learn.

3. Knowledge and Experience of Deployment of Application:

A DevOps Engineer should know how to deploy in the server of production. Knowledge of Configuration and Deployment in the production environment by using tools such as Docker and Puppet is beneficial.

4. Knowledge of Continuous Testing, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Integration

DevOps need to know how things can be automated in the testing stage. The codes should be less complicated so that it can run fine in both development and testing environments. A good understanding of tools such as Chef, Puppet and many more can help a DevOps Engineer in the replication of the Development environment in the server of testing.

Docker is one of the essential tools to be learned by the DevOps Engineer. After every commit, one should also learn to test the codes continuously. For Continuous Delivery, one should know how to integrate by using Tools for automatic testing such as Selenium with Jenkins.

5. Good Knowledge of Tool for Source Code Management and Build Tools:

A competent DevOps Engineer should know how to the process of building on automation. One should know how to build the commit continuously. There are some automation servers that DevOps should know, such as the working of Jenkins. DevOps should know Continuous Integration Pipeline by being able to integrate source code management tools such as Git with Build tools such as Maven.

All tasks must be automated, whether it’s source code management, configuration, or deployment. So, DevOps engineers must be provided with DevOps tools like Docker, Git, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, etc. They must also gather feedback and incorporate the changes at the earliest. Timely feedback increases the workflow’s efficiency. They can use monitoring tools like Splunk, Nagios, etc.  Some organizations may offer higher DevOps engineer salary to DevOps engineers skilled with many of these tools.

6. Skills of Source Code Management:

A DevOps Engineer should have proficiency in at least one source code management tool (version control system) such as Git. Companies will prefer professionals who have experience in the workflows of Git and knowledge of the working of Git.

7. Virtualization:

It involves executing a computer system’s virtual instance in a separate layer that is hidden from the actual hardware. Virtualization enables a big system to divide into smaller ones to ensure many applications or users use the services. Moreover, it keeps a program on one machine inaccessible from the others. Therefore, virtualization is crucial for DevOps.

Envisage that you can virtualize the hardware and make a replica of the existing network. The Ops team and Dev team work together to provide a unified testing interface. DevOps engineers must have basic knowledge of private, public, and hybrid clouds to work on network virtualization.

8. Security:

A DevOps environment’s security involves several practices developed through different strategies, policies, and techniques. Different stages of the DevOps cycle are development, testing, building, deployment, and monitoring. Security is crucial in all these stages. Most deployments occur in a cloud environment. Thus, cloud security considerations must be considered. Tools and containers (like Kubernetes, Docker, etc.) used to manage Cloud security come with their vulnerabilities. Being a DevOps engineer, you must know which privileges to be given to root, admin, developer, etc.

4 Recommended Skills to become a Marketable DevOps Engineer

1. Demonstration of Empathy and Curiosity

A DevOps Engineer should be able to show empathy and curiosity soft skills which are very valuable. One should be able to show that he genuinely cares about the role of DevOps and the company.

2. Branding Yourself by getting involved with the community

One should be able to market his career using and showing the essential skills. A good DevOps should be highly engaged in a growing and active community. Personal Branding will depend on the interest and expertise of an individual. Being active in online forums, Blog writing, or being a speaker at events of the industry is an excellent way to build self as a brand. One can also get involved in the DevOps related open source projects to showcase their ability, skills, and knowledge.

3. Automation

One should have excellent automation skills to become a competent DevOps Engineer. The DevOps Engineer should automatically manage the deployment and server. Automation skill is one of the essential skills for a DevOps Engineer to enhance their power of earning.

4. Building New Skills

DevOps should always keep on learning new skills that will still help him to grow in his field. One can move to a higher position by gaining new skills in the area of DevOps such as Senior DevOps Engineer.

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If you want to know how to become a DevOps engineer, you must know their roles and responsibilities, as discussed below.

Roles and Responsibilities:

DevOps engineer works with the operations and development teams to create and run software systems. So, they must collaborate with QA (quality assurance) professionals, software developers, and other IT staff.  Other key responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include:

  • Writing documentation for the server-side functionalities.
  • Developing, installing, testing, configuring, and maintaining IT solutions.
  • Developing processes and plans for expansion of the existing technologies being used.
  • Communicating operational requisites and development forecasts with all team members.
  • Automatically deploying updates into the production environment through configuration management software.
  • Performing routine application maintenance and troubleshooting measures to ascertain that the production environment operates flawlessly.
  • Identifying performance enhancements and alternative solutions and recommending required modifications.

Common tools used by DevOps engineers:

  • Automation tools: Chef, Puppet, and Ansible
  • Configuration management tools: Chef and CFEngine
  • Containerization tools: Docker
  • Monitoring tools: Zabbix and Nagios
  •  Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools: Travis CI and Jenkins

How long does it take to become a DevOps engineer?

This is a common confusion many aspirants have when they search for how to become a DevOps engineer. Usually, it takes nearly six months to become a DevOps engineer. This is based on the assumption that you own fundamental Linux admin and networking skills. The time required depends on other factors like your existing skills, career position, and your grasping ability.

Conclusion

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If you are new to the field of DevOps, You should focus on learning new skills. The developer can quickly become a DevOps Engineer because they can easily understand the developer’s daily needs.

If a DevOps Engineer was a developer previously, then he will be able to enhance further the efficiency of developers using his prior knowledge and experience. One can spend time building tools instead of building software to gain some better practical experience in software developing. 

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)

1What is a version control system?

A DevOps engineer should have enough understanding of Git and GitHub. In fact, it is crucial for a DevOps engineer to be well-versed with these concepts. For example, if there are tons of people located and are based in different locations, and are operating from different sections of the world, will have a need to communicate with one another. Therefore, to effectively collaborate with one another, it is important to have a version control system. Moreover, a version control system also helps to back up a remote repository. The system is very extensive and helps developers to roll back the changes as per the requirement. Through a version control system, the software development team can track the code modifications. BitBucket, Git, and Github are some of the popular version control systems.

2Why is understanding Linux and OS concepts important for a DevOps engineer?

To establish a career as a DevOps engineer, it is significant to be acquainted with operating systems like Linux and other OS concepts. Linux is one of the most preferred OS that exist now and many companies use Linux as their optimal operating system for their applications. Although not much expertise is required when learning Linux, it is expected of you to have a general understanding of Linux variations to have a command of its concepts. Other OS concepts such as threads & concurrency, process management, memory management, and I/O management.

3How to become a DevOps Engineer?

The understanding of DevOps is not restricted just to developers or engineers. As someone who is passionate about knowing the practices, technologies, and automation processes, you are eligible to become a DevOps engineer. Moreover, to make tasks easy, a collaborative environment is the need of a DevOps engineer. As a sysadmin, performance tester, support engineer, etc., you are eligible to become a DevOps engineer. Being from an IT background, one is responsible to deploy and manage applications for production.

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