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Top 9 Devops Engineer Skills

by StarAgile

May 18, 2020
Category DevOps


The technologies and the systems are changing very fast and in this fast paced environment, one needs various skills and have to learn them on the go. One of the top skills that are a buzz word in today’s world is DevOps. 

DevOps means performing software development and IT operations at one go. These operations are performed by DevOps engineers and other team members such as DevOps Architects, Operations Engineers, and Software Developers, etc. 

DevOps engineers must have various skills required for their day-to-day work.  There are both technical and soft skills required for this position. Many companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, etc are hiring DevOps engineers on a large scale. Many medium and large companies are also hiring for these positions. 

Get inspired from this article and know about the top skills required by the DevOps engineer before you become a DevOps engineer.

Top 9 DevOps engineer required skills

1.Coding Skills

One of the top skills required by DevOps engineers is Coding. Typical DevOps engineers need to do many tasks and coding is one of them. So you need to understand specific software such as Ruby, Python, Java, and C++. These skills are used in automating the tasks and to write programs that enable continuous development and continuous delivery. You need not know all the software packages thoroughly, but the best thing to do is to be “master of one and be jack of all”, that means you can master one software and other software’s are similar which can be read and learned.  

2.Linux

As a DevOps engineer, another OS and Platform you need to know is Linux. Linux is a very secure Operating System. Many developments, testing and production environment are based on Linux. Again you need not be an expert in Linux but you need to know the Linux fundamentals as many companies are having their platforms on Linux. Also, many configuration management tools such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet have their master nodes on the Linux OS. Linux is not a user-friendly operating system but a highly secure Operating system, and that’s why many people prefer this OS. This is why Linux fundamentals are important for DevOps engineers.

3.Scripting

Since many DevOps engineer tasks are to automate the processes and typical scripting skills are very important. The scripting languages one must know as DevOps engineers are Javascript/JSON, Perl, PHP, Shell, Bash, and Node.js, etc. These are similar but have their advantages and strength unique to themselves. They are not hard like programming languages such as Java or Python or C++, but easy to master them all.  With these, you can automate many manual tasks for development, testing, production, continuous integration, and continuous delivery. You need to know to automate the complete DevOps pipeline such as Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Testing, App Performance monitoring, and infrastructure settings and configurations.

4.Cloud

Cloud is one of the latest transformational technologies which are a must for DevOps engineers.  Many companies are shifting their in-house systems to the cloud, as the cloud offers many advantages. Top cloud service providers are Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google, and IBM. Cloud provides a centralized platform for test, deploy and release codes. Cloud also helps in orchestration and to back up the data in the cloud. It also provides continuous integration /continuous delivery tools, a cost-effective and secure platform. You can also monitor, secure and track the cost by various cloud tools. DevOps engineers must learn how to operate the cloud platforms and just one of the cloud service providers thoroughly.

5.Testing

As DevOps builds the application and manages the IT operations from start to end in the Software Development Life cycle (SDLC), one must also know the testing of the applications. There are various testing tools both open source and licensed tools which are available for various testing plans such as Integration testing, Regression testing, performance testing, load testing, user acceptance testing, systems testing and security testing. DevOps engineers must know how to use one of the software testing tools and manual way of testing both dynamic and static testing. Testing is done during the development, deployment and after release operations as well as during separate testing operations in the SDLC.

6.Security skills

During the rapid build, deploy and release operations adopted by the software developers and DevOps engineers, the software/applications thus developed consists and poses various security issues, vulnerabilities and challenges. One must know how to do the secure code reviews and what the vulnerabilities are and how to fix them in the software. Also, programming errors, security risks in the applications and Business continuity/Disaster Recovery are some of the factors that need to be considered.  The steps to be considered for the security of applications are 

  • Secure Code analysis
  • Change Management
  • Compliance 
  • Security Monitoring
  • Threat Modelling
  • Business Continuity
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Security Awareness

7.DevOps tools

To be a top DevOps engineer one must know many tools available and if not learn them. The top tools that are required by DevOps engineers for various technologies are as follows.

 Other than the above DevOps tools you need to know the coding and scripting languages as described above in this article.

8.Source Control Systems

Two of the top source controls systems are Git and Bit Bucket as given the table above. The source files of the software or the applications must be saved, backed up and secured. These are needed when there is a requirement for the build files going corrupt or modified and we need to build the software again. The source controls systems along with configuration management are an important phase in the SDLC. The source controls systems will have a running history of the code and help the DevOps engineers during the merging of codes from various sources.

9. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

These are referred to as CI/CD in short.  In continuous integration, all the code is merged and finally, the automated build and test are run. Continuous delivery or continuous deployment is the method of putting the final codes in the production environment. A DevOps engineer must know how to practically do the CI/CD during the rapid automation.

Additional DevOps Engineer skills

Till now we have seen how the various technical skills help the DevOps engineers. Along with technical skills, DevOps engineers must be good at soft skills as well.

1. Communication

As DevOps is required to communicate and work in a highly complex team with stakeholders, software developers, DevOps architect, Operations people, customers, and various other cross-functional teams, he/she must have good communication skills. It includes communication with the presentation slides, various team discussions, and huddles, etc.

2. Customer Focus

DevOps engineers must understand that he/she must be in customer-facing roles and must try to bring customer focus and importance ahead of the team’s importance. He needs to clearly understand the customer requirements and must break this down functionally and technically to the DevOps teams.

3. Collaboration

This is one key skill the DevOps engineers must possess as he must play a leading role in the team and must be prepared to gather his team, stakeholders, cross-functional team’s operations team and the customers to handle the situation during the SDLC and operations.

Will all these DevOps Engineer skill set suffice?

To sum up, the DevOps engineers must be strong in Linux fundamentals. Master one of the coding languages and know others on the surface. Need a strong foundation in scripting languages needed for automation. Sound knowledge of technologies involved in development, deployment, and testing is a must. Practical knowledge of one of the DevOps tools in each category is a must and experience in CI/CD also with familiarity in one of the cloud technologies will be good to have skill. 

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