Published on August 5th, 2019 | by Ankit Kumar0
A Skill Set to Look for in DevOps Engineers
“Devs Are from Venus, Ops Are from Mars” – Steven Haines
Increasing number of organizations are adopting DevOps as a mechanism to ensure competent software delivery – internally as well as to clients. DevOps has become the face of the project execution methodologies. As more organizations are leaning towards DevOps, demand for DevOps developers and engineers is increasing, at a rapid pace. If you look at the DevOps trends that have been predicted for 2019, it has a rosy future.
On a fundamental note, the basic objective behind DevOps is to enhance the relationship between the development and operations teams, encouraging improved communication and association between the duo. To fulfil the purpose synergetic combination of technical and interpersonal skills is needed from DevOps engineer, which is not available easily.
“If you are an organization looking for DevOps skilled expertise, this article helps you look for the key attributes that are needed in the resource, to fulfil the basic goal of this project methodology.”
“If you are a developer looking to developing a career as a DevOps professional, you need to make sure you imbibe all these qualities within you before you plunge into the professional world.”
DevOps – What is It and Why Is It Getting So Popular?
DevOps is not a profession alone; it is a culture embedded in a professional environment. It is a practice that coaches better association between development and operations as main portion of operations becomes automated and programmable. At the organization level, DevOps is a portion of the IT team that creates and maintains the set-up handling the shared IT services.
There are numerous advantages encountered by implementing DevOps for custom software development.
- Constant delivery progresses the efficiency as the developers and testers need not spend time in setting up their environments and need not manage other complexities
- It assists in lessening the time for the product to go from the design stage to the production
- Developing and implementing products swiftly means developers collect quicker feedback from users
- Automation and tools offer competence enhancements
- Enhanced productivity and quality of the product eventually showcases enriched customer satisfaction
While the significance of DevOps is so crucial and important to any organization, the must-have qualities of any DevOps professional is equally important and hence, needs a detailed look into the pre-requisites while hiring them.
“DevOps is not a goal, but a never-ending process of continual improvement” – Jez Humble
What Qualities Need to be Ascertained While Hiring a DevOps Professional?
Thorough Acquaintance with Version Control Tools & Technologies
Since DevOps is a skilled periphery, it is highly important for DevOps engineers / architects / developers to have a detailed knowledge about source control systems. Version control systems are an important part of a DevOps setup since they are used widely to track changes in the application and maintain the versions. For modernized container apps, it helps circumvent reliance issues and thereby helps build trustworthy applications. There must be expertise in tools such as Git, SVN, CVS, Mercuria etc.
Expertise in Continuous Integration and Container Technology
Continuous integration and the container technology form the keystones to the DevOps methodology. Continuous integration merges individual code of developers to the main copy and is a part of the build channel. Container technology and DevOps also work as a great team. Owing to containers, DevOps got accustomed to the fundamentals of this technology. For e.g., one known technology that every DevOps professional must know is Docker.
Complete Training About Security Aspects
Since the basic objective of DevOps is to provide faster code release, there are increased chances of cyberattacks, malicious activities and malware. It is the responsibility of DevOps professionals to guard the applications from such attacks and for that, it is essential to have a detailed knowledge about these security aspects. Today, DevSecOps is the latest jargon, getting increasing acceptance since it looks at the security aspect right from the beginning, rather then appending it later on. As per latest trends, software security testing needs to be performed well in advance so as to avoid any hassles later on.
Understanding Teamwork & Enhancing Soft Skills
DevOps calls for synergy between the development and operations teams. A DevOps professional, hence, needs to possess soft skills like communication, responsiveness, integrity, trust, understanding and more. Since these are two teams with different mindsets and objectives, there are bound to be arguments that may call for testing your soft skills. A good DevOps professional not only exhibits technical expertise but also assists teams in managing and monitoring their work and inter-team efforts. The basic goal of a DevOps person is to let the teams excel in their technical forte as well as exhibit interpersonal skills, to the optimum.
Well Versed with Cloud Computing to Garner More Agility
Knowing cloud computing in detail is a must for all, in today’s fast paced world. For DevOps, it is even more important as together, both can bring in increased agility and speed to business processes. Leveraging the potential of the cloud in the DevOps environment can ease automation, replicate cloud-based servers, use orchestration tools like Chef and Puppet, offer better monitoring and help deploy the application swifter. Manually configuring infrastructure systems is no longer persistent. There are tools like PowerShell, Terraform etc. that helps in automating infrastructure.
Understand Various Aspects of Testing
In a spirit to deliver code faster, DevOps stakeholders may tend to neglect the accuracy and correctness of the entire application. At such times, a detailed and precise testing regime is required and hence the knowledge of the same is needed by the engineers. Be it performance testing, security testing, regression testing and much more, the DevOps teams need to be well versed with all aspects of testing to ensure a speedy yet accurate output.
Knowing Automation Is A Must
DevOps isn’t possible without automation. With the help of most modern technologies like Shell, Python, Node .js, Bash etc., most of the tasks can be automated and thereby, a reliable performance can be ensured. This saves a lot of time for the DevOps teams and hence they can direct themselves into fulfilling important goals. Hence, a DevOps engineer must have the competence to implement automation tools and technologies all through different phases of the software lifecycle.
Understand Importance of Customer Satisfaction
Most times, DevOps professionals don’t have to face front the customers but still, they need to understand, analyse and embed what the customer preferences are and how well would the application be adapted by the customers. They need to have a customer-oriented approach so that the application being developed falls in line with client expectations. The gap between developers and customers decreases to a large extent, thanks to the DevOps approach.
Alertness About Network Connectivity
All DevOps professionals involved need to be well versed with the network connectivity that is involved. Right from the start of the project till its end, the network design implemented needs to be well versed with, to the concerned. Even while testing of your application, the network connectivity should be ensured and known to the DevOps team.
Competence to Flexibly Change Work Areas
While software development is in progress, there are times when DevOps engineers may need to change their phases, like move from coding to design, or from coding to testing to integration etc. At such times, the engineers should possess enough skillset to seamlessly transition between different phases and at sometimes, also between different locations geographically.
Detailed Knowledge About Scripting Code
Though it seems like a very evident characteristic that is needed, there are chances of DevOps teams having all other skills but this. Scripting code with proper quality standards and different technology base is very much required. Restricting knowledge to just a few technologies may not suffice a DevOps environment.
Ability to Undergo Quick Decision Making
Looking at the DevOps environment, there are occurrences when decision making must be quick, accurate and responsible. The DevOps professional, we look for needs to be well trained in taking decisions instantaneously and accurately. Having such speedy decision makers will accelerate the entire process of development and deployment.
“Although many organizations are in the experimentation stage with single or multiple pilots, they all are transitioning toward DevOps across their entire enterprise.” – Robert Stroud, Forrester Research
In a Nutshell
DevOps Consulting & DevOps as a Service has been in the limelight and will continue to rule the organizations, across the globe. Being a DevOps expert requires much more than mere developer / software skills and that is what we just read about. Hiring services in this periphery also needs an experienced DevOps consulting company that can leverage continuous delivery and continuous integrations by implementing DevOps as a service across organization. Adapting DevOps is surely beneficial but challenging as well. Go for it!