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Prerequisite for DevOps: It’s Not What You Think It Is

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11th Dec, 2019
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Prerequisite for DevOps: It’s Not What You Think It Is

DevOps is the new buzzword in the IT industry. DevOps has a set of processes to bridge the gap between software development and IT teams. DevOps has a massive demand in the market as it can bring speed and accuracy in software development.

Traditionally development, testing, and operations were considered separate. But now DevOps has brought forth a strong alliance between these different teams. DevOps methodology emphasizes automation so that there is more bandwidth for communication and collaboration between the development, testing, and operations teams. 

A DevOps engineer today has a very crucial role to play in the organization, which is adopting DevOps practices. He is expected to be highly skilled in the DevOps framework, the underlying philosophy, and tools used for the same. Let’s discuss in detail the prerequisites for DevOps engineers.

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DevOps Prerequisites 2019

1. Containers Understanding

Containers are virtualized environments that enable developers to deploy code and generate applications right from their laptops. Containers offer an added advantage over the traditional method of hardware virtualization. Containers actually virtualize the operating system and not the hardware so that the virtualized environments are lightweight and highly scalable.

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Container orchestration systems like Kubernetes function on top of containers to completely automate the process of infrastructure provisioning. Every DevOps engineer must have container technology like Docker, Kubernetes Vagrant, etc. in their resume. Containers have changed the way applications are deployed and shipped. Containers are able to deliver accurately targeted environments for developers to build within.

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2. Understanding the DevOps Tools and Technologies

DevOps methodology is implemented with a bunch of tools with different functionalities like configuration management, automation, continuous integration, build, code repository, containerization, etc. A DevOps guy must at least know one tool from each domain so that the functionality is understood. Read more about DevOps tools. 

Ideally, he must know all the tools that are common in the market. For configuration management Ansible, Puppet, and Chef are the critical players. For creating CI/CD pipeline, it’s Jenkins, and for container technology, it’s Vagrant, Kubernetes, and Docker. For logging and monitoring, Nagios, zabbix, Splunk, and ELK stack play their roles best.

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3. Knowledge of Scripting Languages

DevOps engineers must have good experience in common scripting languages like Perl, Java, and Python. Most of the DevOps tools require some level of scripting to automate things to the highest standard. For example, Ansible uses a YAML scripting language for automation, which is primarily based on Python.

YAML is used to create a complete automation workflow within a configuration management tool. Scripting knowledge will also help to sync better with the development teams and understand their code at a high level. 

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4. DevOps Training and Certification

One of the prerequisites of a DevOps engineer is to have a DevOps certification. Training and certification as a DevOps professional give an edge over others in the market. Ideally, its best to have multiple certifications, one from each set of tools. For example, from the configuration management set, you can go for a “Puppet Certified Professional,” and from the containerization set, you can go for “Certified Kubernetes Administrator.”

These certifications cost you somewhere around 200 to 600 USD, but investing it on yourself is worth it. These certifications can be taken even without actual training, but it’s always recommended to take up training as you get some excellent hands-on knowledge. 

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5. Knowledge of Automation Tools

Automation is the bottom-line of the DevOps framework. A DevOps engineer must be skilled at handling automation at any layer, from development to testing to deployment. Most of these automation tools require some level of scripting, so scripting knowledge is essential too.

DevOps professional must have an excellent hands-on experience on the Infrastructure as a Code (IaS) framework, which is basically automation around infrastructure provisioning using configuration management and containerization technologies. He must also have a good grasp of tools like Ansible, Puppet, Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity, Docker, Vagrant, etc.

6. Testing

A DevOps professional is responsible for the proper execution of quality assurance and the related testing procedures at all levels. So a sound knowledge of different testing tools in the market is a requirement before getting started with DevOps. It also enables him to identify any issues or bugs at any stage throughout the software delivery process.

7. Excellent Collaboration and Communication Skills

The two most essential qualities of a DevOps engineer is communication and collaboration. A DevOps engineer is known to form the bridge between development teams and IT operations, making communication and collaboration skills the DevOps prerequisites. Communication skills help to avoid misinterpretations enabling a high-performance environment for teams to function. A sound DevOps engineer must be a good learner, collaborator, coordinator both in the cloud infrastructure and real life.

8. Knowledge of Networking fundamentals

Building cloud environments and containerized application require you to have a basic understanding of networking. Networking helps to integrate the edge services that are deployed on different containers or virtual machines. Also, for the final developments of the software and the related services to be shipped and deployed onto the client’s environment, a good knowledge of networking is essential.

9. Overall Computer Science Knowledge

DevOps engineers are going to interact with software development teams, testing teams, and the IT operations team regularly. As such, a DevOps engineer must have at least the basic knowledge of almost all the concepts in computer science, including algorithms, networking, cloud, data science, etc. This basic wholesome knowledge enables excellent communication between DevOps engineers and all other teams.

10. Logical Attitude

DevOps engineers will sometimes have to make spontaneous decisions for smooth functioning in the team. Since DevOps engineers are known to fill the gap between developers and IT operations, communication and collaboration become key. DevOps engineers thus have to carry a sound rationale and logical attitude throughout.

They must also exhibit the aura and energy during meetings and other communication channels. In many companies, management and leadership would consider the DevOps lead as the go-to person for all production issues. DevOps professionals must thus live up to these expectations. 

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11. Passion

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A DevOps engineer is expected to be passionate about the work he is doing. Doing work with passion is the ultimate key to success in any career path. It is one of the crucial DevOps prerequisites that should never be overlooked. 


If you are reading this article probably, you have at least some seed thought of choosing DevOps a career path. Here are the requirements that can let you help you in getting started with DevOps. We hope this article has shed some light on the prerequisites for DevOps and how it works.

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


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)

1Is full-stack development the same thing as DevOps?

DevOps and full-stack development are two hugely popular software development methodologies. However, they are not the same; each method comes with its own set of objectives, environments, agility, and outcomes. Consequently, the suitability of both approaches also varies with different project requirements. While full-stack development might be the right choice in specific scenarios to drive growth, DevOps might be a better choice in other scenarios. Full-stack developers are more like all-rounders in the field of application development, while DevOps engineers are specialists in thinking with focus and singularity when it comes to enhancing the value of a software application.

2What skills will help you become a front-end developer?

Front-end development is among the most in-demand career paths you will come across today. As the Internet has become an inseparable part of our lives today, organizations always look for skilled front-end developers for their websites and apps. Proficient front-end developers need to possess both creative and technical expertise and a sound understanding of business, i.e., market dynamics. They should ideally have experience working with web technologies like CSS, HTML, SEO, and languages like JavaScript, etc. Along with technical competency, front-end developers need to be creative and have good analytical and communication skills. Problem-solving and team-building skills are also essential to working in a collaborative environment.

3Is a web developer and a front-end developer the same?

Web developers are involved in creating and building websites and apps from scratch. But front-end developers are expert web developers whose focus is totally on the external or visual aspects of the website or app. They are solely responsible for creating the user interface and how users will interact with an app or site. On the other hand, web developers are totally focused on the functionality of websites and apps to match the user requirements accurately and function flawlessly. Front-end developers need to focus on graphic design, which web developers generally do not bother about. So front-end development is a specialized branch of web development.