Developing your coding skills opens a whole new range of software engineering career paths. You might even choose to specialize, and then you’re presented with even more choices.
One such specialized path is that of a DevOps engineer. Let’s take a look at the roles and responsibilities of DevOps engineers.
What Does a DevOps Engineer Do?
A DevOps engineer uses trusted IT operations to improve the reliability of code. These engineers manage everything from building and deploying programs to performing ongoing maintenance and updating important software and infrastructure.
The primary goal of a DevOps engineer is to improve the time it takes to deliver software to end users and make changes based on feedback. DevOps engineers have the skills necessary to deploy software quickly and efficiently.
But what does a DevOps engineer do within their organization? DevOps professionals know how to work with cloud-based components to make sure the day-to-day operations of their organization are running smoothly. They make sure everything from user-level applications to network infrastructure is kept up-to-date through the use of the latest advances in automated testing, scanning, and software deployment, pushing updates and making sure the latest changes are applied correctly.
What’s the Role of a DevOps Engineer in Product Development?
It might be easier to think about a DevOps engineer not as one profession, but as a sort of cluster of several positions that relate to product development. DevOps engineers may take on a variety of roles, including:
- Build engineers: build code, pull dependencies, and solve conflicts
- Release engineers: take code from development to production and monitor branches to determine which should go to testing first
- Automation engineers: oversee automatic builds before putting them into unit testing, staging, and production
- Release managers: monitor code for updates and schedule deliveries to ensure timely release cycles
- Quality assurance engineers: manage and test new code with specialized review processes
In smaller organizations, one DevOps engineer might perform many of the duties listed above, but these roles may become more specialized in larger or more established organizations.
DevOps Engineer Job Description
Those interested in becoming a DevOps engineer should consider the demands of the position before applying. Different companies have their own specialized DevOps roles, making a generalized DevOps engineer job description hard to pin down.
DevOps engineers may work in automation, infrastructure, tooling, quality, or monitoring. It’s important for DevOs engineers to maintain a solid grasp of a wide range of responsibilities that are expected of them. They may have to run code deployments, infrastructure configuration, or automated quality assurance.
DevOps engineers may also monitor networks and send alerts to empower continuous improvement across an entire organization’s software ecosystem.
DevOps Engineer List of Responsibilities
DevOps engineers have ongoing responsibilities that ensure operations can continue without disruption. The following responsibilities are dependent on their level of experience and previous qualifications, and may differ from organization to organization:
- Junior: expected to manage automation capabilities, run quality audits, and work with peers across teams to deploy timely releases
- Mid-level: have the knowledge to track and improve system performance, do installations, and provide system-level support to users; also capable of troubleshooting software, creating automation scripts, and understanding how certain code changes may impact others
- Senior: experienced professionals with the skills and knowledge to oversee teams and projects
DevOps engineers are expected to work with systems throughout their life cycles to improve their functionality and integrate ongoing changes without causing disruptions or outages.
DevOps Engineer Salary
The DevOps engineer salary for most candidates tends to be pretty substantial, but it can vary depending on their level of experience, their location, and the company they work for.
DevOps in the U.S. make around $120,000 per year on average, while higher-paid employees can make as much as $300,000.
Some developers may also receive additional compensation from other sources, such as commissions, profit-sharing, or freelancing work.
Where You’ll Find DevOps Engineers
If you’re considering becoming a DevOps engineer, you may be interested in what industries you can work in. They’re most common in the tech industry and financial tech (FinTech), but they may also work in the tech departments of companies that have their own internal IT teams.
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