The implementation of DevOps has recently become a major focus for enterprises. Large-scale organizations are employing DevOps engineers to enhance the speed and delivery of both software and security updates. This increased emphasis on DevOps means that there are now numerous employment opportunities and skilled engineers are in high demand.
According to surveys carried out in 2017, the role of a DevOps engineer is ranked as one of the most satisfying and profitable jobs in America. Data also shows that the median salary ranges between $104,000 and $129,230. However, building the right skill set is essential for DevOps engineers to improve their marketability and to enhance their earning power.
Although they will continuously be faced with the challenge of new technologies, there are five critical skills that all DevOps engineers should aim to cultivate in 2018.
For a DevOps engineer, acquiring skills outside of their immediate role will be essential in 2018. For example, DevOps engineers coming from a background in developing will have a deeper understanding of the tools they’re using. Jonathan Fenocchi, DevOps engineer at Bazaarvoice, recommends using software engineer skills to build tools rather than to build software. He also suggests that aspiring DevOps engineers should participate in projects involving operations whenever possible.
- Develop soft skills
Although the role of a DevOps engineer requires a wealth of technical skills, soft skills are also essential to the success of a team. DevOps engineers are required to act as a link between the development and operations teams of an organization. It is the engineer’s responsibility to encourage these teams to work towards a common goal. Therefore, DevOps engineers need to have empathy, strong communication skills, and a deep understanding of the people and the culture of their organization.
- Knowledge of automation tools and testing
Developing an expert-level knowledge of automation tools to manage servers and deployments will be critical for DevOps engineers in 2018. In terms of maximizing earning power, this is a particularly important skill to focus on.
Many manual tasks traditionally performed by engineers are now automated with the use of scripting languages, such as Python and Shell. Not only does this allow for consistent performance, but it also gives teams more time to work towards the main goals of an organization. Consequently, a DevOps engineer should be able to implement automation technologies and tools at all levels.
Testing is an essential part of automation, which means that strong testing skills are also important for DevOps teams. The right tests show whether each automated function is carrying out its job correctly, as well as testing whether the entire system is intact.
- Understanding of a broad range of tools and technologies
The DevOps landscape is continuously changing as new tools and technologies are developed. However, engineers should aim to have a broad understanding of the tools and technologies within several critical areas. These areas include source control, container concepts, continuous integration, infrastructure automation, and deployment automation.
- Security Training
The cycle of development and deployment of code has become faster as a result of streamlining. However, this means that there is now more risk of vulnerabilities. In order to protect against attack, engineers must be able to write secure code. Maintaining a defense against typical cybersecurity vulnerabilities is also essential. In the long run, security training will be of huge benefit to DevOps engineers.
With more DevOps roles available than ever before, there will be a huge number of employment opportunities for engineers in 2018. Nevertheless, it’s important that DevOps engineers develop a strong skill set while remaining curious and adaptable to the continuously changing landscape.
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