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DevOps Engineer

By: Brian Galura
| Last updated: July 21, 2022

What Does DevOps Engineer Mean?

A DevOps engineer is a site reliability engineer (SRE) whose job responsibilities include looking for ways that automation can make the software development lifecycle and operations management more efficient.

Within traditional Agile software development settings, system administrators, programmers and security specialists often operate in departmental silos. Even when they are working on the same product, team members from different silos may not exchange information often enough to understand each other's pain points. The DevOps approach to software development puts a priority on building collaborative and communicative partnerships between programmers and the system operations teams tasked with managing software after deployment.

A DevOps engineer's job requires them to collaborate with stakeholders and look for ways to facilitate communication between development and operations team members and use hyperautomation to improve the organization's software development life cycle (SDLC).

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Techopedia Explains DevOps Engineer

A DevOps Engineers job is interdisciplinary and requires someone with strong background experience in computer science, computational science, software engineering and information technology (IT) operations management.

Job responsibilities

A DevOps engineer's ability to automate the entire software development lifecycle depends on the strength of their coding and scripting capabilities, how familiar they are with DevOps automation tools and previous expertise with on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

Job responsibilities may include:

  • Documenting and improving the organization's DevOps processes for building, testing, deploying and maintaining software applications.
  • Selecting and deploying continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools.
  • Overseeing configuration management across multiple platforms.
  • Conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration tests (VAPTs) across multiple platforms.
  • Managing small to medium-sized projects.
  • Sharing customer requirements with internal stakeholders and reporting on progress towards project key performance indicators (KPIs).

The importance of automation

Automating repetitive development and operations tasks provides consistency and reduces the risk of human error. Tasks that a DevOps engineer may be tasked with automating include:

Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery
A continuous Integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) approach to software development relies on frequent, reliable and incremental code changes. Automating the integration and delivery processes enables software development teams to focus on business objectives while still maintaining high code quality and software security.

Infrastructure management
Setting up, configuring, and maintaining infrastructures such as networks and servers can take a lot of time. Automating infrastructure allows DevOps teams to test applications in a production-like environment earlier in the SDLC. This releases developers from the burden of having to manually configure operating systems, software and hardware and makes it easier to resolve deployment issues much earlier in the SDLC.

Provisioning
Automated provisioning is critical to DevOps as it allows computer resources to be acquired on-demand without human intervention. Automated provisioning supports both vertical and horizontal scalability, which in turn, empowers businesses to respond to changing business requirements faster.

Application Continuity
DevOps technologies facilitate resource synchronization and deployment across a dynamic infrastructure. DevOps engineers are responsible for making sure that all computing resources (both manually and automatically deployed) are maintained in sync as modifications are made.

Software testing
Testing is a crucial component of the delivery pipeline and the DevOps pipeline cannot be automated unless there is an effective continuous testing procedure in place. Automating the software test process with scripts or other automation tools, allows DevOps engineers to verify and communication information about an application's functionality more efficiently. Specific types of test that benefit from automation include:

Log management
Applications rely on logs to identify problems and each application can generate many logs. A DevOps engineers are often tasked with selecting a log management tool that can automatically aggregate logs and flag potential software issues.

Monitoring
As new features are added to a software application, monitoring the application's performance can become increasingly difficult. Monitoring tools that automate push alerts are useful because they allow DevOps team members to quickly respond to red flags and ensure optimal application performance.

DevOps tools

DevOps engineers don’t need to be code ninjas. However, they do need to have some coding -- and more importantly -- scripting abilities. The most popular programming languages likely to benefit a DevOps engineer are:

  • Ruby
  • Python
  • Java
  • Javascript
  • PHP
  • Bash
  • Shell
  • Node.js.

The concepts of cloud computing and DevOps are tightly coupled and devops engineers must be familiar with using specific cloud platforms and SDLCM tools. Before interviewing, potential job candidates should become familiar with the following popular DevOps tools:

Source Control

Continuous Integration

Configuration Management

Deployment Automation

Containers

Orchestration

Cloud Platforms

Git

Jenkins

Puppet

Convox

Docker

Kubernetes

AWS

Bitbucket

Bamboo

Chef

Jenkins

Vagrant

Mesos

Azure

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Agile Software DevelopmentIT CareersDevOps

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