10 must-have Skills for every DevOps Engineer

DevOps has grown to be the top software development methodology worldwide. DevOps prioritizes the company and the customer by improving product delivery speed and software quality.

Because of its advantages over traditional development models, 83% of IT decision-makers report implementing DevOps practices in their organizations.

As DevOps grows in popularity, the demand for qualified DevOps engineers also increases, which is music to the ears of the DevOps community.

In this article, we will explain why companies use DevOps and discuss the skills every DevOps engineer needs to work successfully to create quality software at rapid speeds.

What is DevOps

DevOps is a software development culture that increases product delivery speeds by integrating development and operations processes. The term DevOps is a combination of the words development and operations.

Shifting from the traditional software production paradigms in which a product moves through different specialized departments (development, QA, security, operations, etc.), DevOps reduces siloes and fosters close collaboration among the other development teams. 

DevOps emphasizes continuous integration and continuous delivery of new updates. For successful and rapid product delivery, DevOps engineers must collaborate and rely on automation tools to carry out complex, repetitive tasks.

Why are companies using DevOps?

DevOps benefits companies by establishing a collaborative culture that emphasizes high-quality development at fast speeds. The DevOps development cycle is much shorter than the traditional cycle, meaning speedier deployment and lower costs for the company. 

DevOps is also known to reduce time-to-recovery because the team continuously pushes updates and patches to resolve issues as they arise. Frequent updates also improve the experience for users.

For all its benefits, many tech giants, including Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook, have all transitioned to DevOps models to improve their software more efficiently.

DevOps methodology
DevOps methodology

10 skills every DevOps Engineer needs

Below, we have collected the ten most important skills a DevOps engineer needs to work well in a team and offer their expertise in every aspect of the DevOps development cycle:

Customer-oriented and Passionate Mindset

Successful DevOps engineers possess a passionate attitude towards their work. Developers that enjoy their work and remain proactive during the development process perform more effectively. They pay more attention to detail and devote themselves to thoroughly addressing problems in the software with creative solutions.

A DevOps engineer’s drive should remain client-oriented. Not only should they work to exceed their own standards but to impress the client as well. A client-focused approach involves close collaboration with stakeholders and product owners to understand the project profoundly and focus the work on serving the end-users.

Communication/Collaboration

Because the DevOps culture avoids siloes by combining the development and operations teams, engineers have to work effectively with each other for seamless integrations. DevOps has many different aspects, including development, integration, testing, and delivery.

Each team member needs to be aware of the other’s work and how they contribute to the software and move it along in its lifecycle. With strong communication, organization, and planning skills, DevOps engineers can combine their skill sets and specialties with improving product delivery speed.

Soft skills

Essential for every member of a team, soft skills include the following:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Professional Attitude
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Willingness to Learn
  • Dependability

The best DevOps engineers use these skills to approach their problems with the other developers. Each team member should be open-minded and respectful of others’ ideas and criticisms. And developers should be able to depend on each other to overcome difficulties and learn from them.

Tool skills

The DevOps approach relies on a suite of tools to manage the development and operations of a piece of software.

DevOps engineers need to be proficient in using tools to manage software versions, provide continuous integration and delivery, monitor software and development tasks, test features, and automate processes.

DevOps software infrastructure
DevOps software

Engineers need to understand how each tool works and how they integrate to sustain the development pipeline.

Automation skills

With an emphasis on shortening software delivery times, DevOps culture relies on automating repetitive and mundane tasks throughout the product’s lifecycle to free developers up for other pressing tasks.

Automated processes also reduce human error and keep the development system stable. Because of the benefits of automation, qualified DevOps engineers need experience and proficiency in using various automation tools.

Coding skills

Of course, as software developers, DevOps engineers need to know how to code. However, unlike traditional software engineers, who may get by with expertise in a specific language, every DevOps engineer works on several aspects of the product and needs experience using multiple programming languages.

Additionally, many automation methods rely on writing Bash scripts or Groovy code for Jenkins pipelines. DevOps engineers should know other languages: GoLang, Python, Javascript, Java, and Ruby.

Cloud skills

Cloud services such as AWS, Azure, and GCP provide DevOps engineers with an ideal platform to test software and deploy code. Consequently, integrating DevOps and the cloud increases the capacity for automation and simplifies resource management.

DevOps engineers who rely on the cloud’s valuable resources need knowledge of cloud platforms and cloud computing skills. 

Security skills (DevSecOps)

In traditional development, developers consider security at the end of the product’s life cycle to keep the final version secure. However, with the dramatically increased development speeds of DevOps, security has become integrated with the rest of the development process to ensure a safe design from the beginning of a product’s lifecycle.

DevSecOps methodology
DevSecOps methodology

Because of this evolution, security is a shared responsibility of the DevOps team, sometimes referred to as the DevSecOps team. Every engineer should possess proficient security skills to address and resolve issues as they arise.

Testing skills

Along with continuous development and integration, continuous testing is essential to DevOps work. If the developers work separately from the QA team, DevOps engineers must remain aware of testing processes and assist QA engineers with their work to improve product quality. 

If QA gets merged into development, then DevOps engineers must thoroughly understand automation testing tools and manual testing methods. Engineers can continuously improve a software’s reliability with a dedication to monitoring and improving product quality.

Need to learn up on all things QA? See here what QA testers do and the skills they need to have to do so.

Proactive monitoring

Quality DevOps engineers should always remain aware of the product’s issues and pain points to organize their efforts better to mitigate them.

With knowledge of monitoring tools, engineers can track logs, find bottlenecks, fix security, and oversee production issues.

Proactive engineers work not only to resolve issues but to prevent them before they arise with careful, thorough development and testing.

Bonus skill – AWS DevOps Certification

While not a must-have DevOps skill as such, being AWS DevOps certified allows DevOps Engineers to utilize Amazon’s tools and services and its cloud infrastructure. It is a useful tools for a DevOps engineer and getting an AWS DevOps Certification can be done online.

Wrapping up

With the above skills, an engineer can work well with others, optimize development, and deliver secure, customer-pleasing code at fast speeds.

With a team of DevOps engineers equipped with the listed skills, a company can join the other 83% of IT decision-makers who see how the DevOps paradigm will revolutionize the software development industry with faster speeds, lower development costs, and better software.

What are your thoughts on these mentioned DevOps skills? Is there any that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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