“The right skillset can take you to places you cannot even imagine and the most important skill is to accept change and adapt to change.”
DevOps is a powerful tool which will enable the development of the company when used right. When you are searching for new people who can adapt to this change, there are a handful of skills that you have to look for. Here are a few essential skills that a DevOps engineer needs to have.
Few esential skills that a DevOps Engineer needs to have
Soft Skills – An absolute must
Even though this is a prerequisite in most white-collar jobs, this is especially needed for a DevOps Engineer.
A DevOps Engineer’s primary duty is to connect the Software Development and Operations. They are required to break down silos and build a bridge between these departments, and it is not an easy task. Therefore, soft skills are a must-have for them.
They are entrusted with the responsibility to change the culture of the entire workforce and to do this, they must understand the workforce. They need to have excellent people skills to bring about this change. Strong communication skills are required to change a traditional work environment to a DevOps one.
Technical Skills – Always required in information technology
Technical skills come in many forms and are at the core of every engineer. For a DevOps engineer, there are a few categories into which their required technological prowess can be classified into.
Tools and technological awareness
The software industry is in a constant state of flux. New technology is being introduced every instant, and it is essential for everyone in the industry to stay updated.
However, the core of technology in DevOps is still based on specific tools, and the groundwork to apply and use these tools properly is necessary not just to implement DevOps, but also take your knowledge further in the field.
Therefore, to stay updated, it is important to know the basics of the tools used in DevOps. These tools include Source Control, Continuous Integration, Cloud, Container Concepts, Automation and so on.
VSTS, Jenkins, LXD etc. are a few leading platforms on which a DevOps operator should be knowledgeable and up to date.
Infrastructure automation tools
Automation is a significant part of DevOps. Automated Systems do jobs which are traditionally done by human workers in DevOps. A substantial portion of this operation involves coding.
Automated systems are used in place of human beings in Infrastructure. This is mainly configured and supported by code. Python, Shell, Node.js are a few languages that are commonly used in coding. This mostly helps to reduce the amount of human labour involved in the process and makes it faster and more efficient.
As everything in DevOps is aimed at producing a better end product, the work must be tested at every step.
Especially in the case of automated jobs, which are done entirely by machines, any errors may go unnoticed unless tests are carried out periodically. If regular and foolproof testing doesn’t happen, then that will drastically affect the quality of the final product.
Since DevOps makes everything faster, the chance of a mistake slipping in unnoticed also increases. Proper testing can only find these possible discrepancies.
Automation is also driven by testing, which means that active testing capabilities are required for a proper DevOps engineer.
This is a primary component of all software and IT related industries. DevOps helps to increase the rate of output of a firm, which means that all processes that result in the formation of this product are either shortened or made faster.
Even though this is advantageous to the firm, faster processes mean more margin for error and less security, as faults are now introduced into the system at a quicker rate. Therefore, security is of utmost importance in this process.
Nowadays, companies are implementing DevSecOps protocol, and the security concerns are addressed earlier in the initial stages of the program itself, as nipping it in the bud makes it much easier to deal with.
This is the third and one of the most significant aspects, as it cannot be taught in any way. The mindset required to be a DevOps engineer demands versatility and means playing many roles at the same time. This is a rather self-instilled process and the right mindset goes a long way in ensuring success.
This is at the heart of DevOps. DevOps is a team effort between Software Development and Operations and requires teamwork. Two formerly different sides of the industry are now working in close association with each other and this calls for better communication, feedback loops, and coordination. Therefore, you need a hive mind to be a sound DevOps engineer.
Customer oriented mindset
DevOps focuses primarily on the final product satisfying the needs of the customer. Therefore, the workers of this sector must be able to tackle any problem from the customer’s point of view and find a solution that is suited for the end user. Alterations that are brought to the final product or the intermediate processes should be helpful in getting the product out faster and better, and not to make the conventional procedures easier without any effect on the output.
The ability to adapt is also essential for a DevOps engineer. This adaptation can be in the form of three kinds of variable situations, that may or may not coexist in a single case.
Firstly, in any process to create a Software, the final product depends on the need of the customer. The tools and principles of DevOps must be applied here to produce the best possible outcome for the customer. This may require innovative thinking and tweaking of existing systems. This depends on the knowledge of the Engineer regarding the Software and his foresight to visualize the endgame.
Secondly, you should be flexible enough to overcome hurdles that you may come across during the creation process. Some unforeseen circumstances may force you to change up your tactics, so you must be ready.
Third and most importantly, you must be able to adapt to the changes facing the DevOps sector and expand your skill set. There are always things to learn and room to improve. You need be aware of the evolution of tides and adjust unless you want to drown.
DevOps Engineers are much sought after these days. And what makes them so coveted is their skill set. Knowing these skills and honing them are essential to be successful in the sector, not just for the engineers, but also for the companies who look to hire them. After all, you can’t find the right stuff if you don’t know what you’re looking for.