How to Become a DevOps Engineer – A Complete Roadmap
In the present-day scenario of IT organizations, DevOps Engineer is one of the most demanding job profiles with no signs of slowing down. Statistically, the demand for DevOps Professionals has increased by approximately 40-45% in the job market within the last 3-4 years and the number is growing rapidly. Meanwhile, DevOps is a challenging job that requires a vast skillset along with adequate experience and in-depth knowledge in the field. No wonder DevOps will rule the IT world in the upcoming times and if you’re looking forward to making a career as a DevOps Engineer, you can consider yourself on the right track!
Before moving further, let’s discuss – Who is DevOps Engineer? A DevOps Engineer is an IT professional who collaborates with developers, system admins, and other IT staff with having a thorough knowledge of various automation tools for developing digital pipelines to manage the deployment and other processes. More Precisely, a DevOps Engineer is the one who has a deep understanding of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process. A DevOps Engineer can be responsible for various roles & responsibilities as per the requirements of the organization, some of these are listed below:
- Project Planning
- Software Development & Deployment
- Quality Assurance / Testing
- Security & Automation
- Maintenance and Troubleshooting, etc.
Now, let’s go through the complete roadmap and discuss all the skills & approaches that are required to become a DevOps Engineer.
1. Programming Knowledge
One of the basic and crucial skills to become a DevOps Engineer is having a knowledge of Programming Languages. Whether it be the job of debugging of code or integrating database changes or automation of development & deployment process or any other, a DevOps Engineer is required to be proficient with the programming or scripting languages. Also, for effective Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process, programming languages are essential. You can consider languages like Python, Perl, Ruby, etc to get into the DevOps. Moreover, before opting for any language for DevOps, you must ensure several characteristics such as scalability, efficiency, modularity, etc.
2. Understanding of Linux & OS Concepts
Indeed, familiarity with operating systems like Linux, etc. and knowledge of OS concepts is crucial to make a career as a DevOps Engineer. Meanwhile, Linux is strongly recommended as the majority of the companies use the particular OS for their applications. Although you don’t have to be an expert in Linux (or any other OS), you are required to have a general understanding of the particular operating system for better results. Moreover, you are required to have the knowledge of major OS concepts such as Process Management, I/O Management, Threads and Concurrency, Memory Management, etc.
3. Knowledge of Software Configuration & Deployment
As a DevOps person, you must know how to configure software or application and the deployment process. A DevOps Engineer is responsible for running the things fluently hence the knowledge of all the processes from configuration to deployment becomes essential. Additionally, DevOps Engineers are required to automate the deployment process and other tasks to enhance reliability, consistency, and the number of accurate deliveries. Also, a DevOps engineer should have knowledge of cluster management software and containerization for effective deployment functioning. You can use tools like Puppet or Docker to configure and deploy the application in the production environment.
4. Get Familiar With Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as Code is the practice that allows you to make the deployment process easier and automated as you can generate the desired environment as per the requirements. Meanwhile, Infrastructure as Code lets you manage your IT infrastructure using the configuration files. Unlike the past, now Ops can specify the stack once as a declarative configuration file and can deploy multiple times. Also, Deployment becomes fast and can occur instantly on every commit. There is various Infrastructure as Code tools commonly used by DevOps professionals such as Azure Resource Manager, Terraform, SaltStack, and many more.
5. Understanding of CI/CD Pipelines
The understanding of Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process is probably the most important thing for DevOps Engineers. These can be considered part of the delivery pipeline process. Continuous Integration deals with the integration of code by the developers into the main branch of a common repository. It helps in cost reductions, efficient working, etc. Meanwhile, following the Continuous Integration process, Continuous Delivery automates the release of that validated code to a repository. With the help of Continuous Delivery, software release becomes more efficient and easier. There are various tools for CI/CD such as Jenkins, CircleCI, GitLab, etc.
6. Networking & Security
DevOps Engineers are required to deal with various servers, connections, data transfer, etc. hence it becomes mandatory for them to have a knowledge of networking concepts to manage the IT workflow. Meanwhile, you can opt for several training programs or online courses to get your networking concepts clear. Also, a DevOps professional needs to be concerned with the security of the overall environment of the organization at every stage whether it be development, testing, deployment, or any other. You can introduce several security policies for the organization, manage and control the network access, automate the security processes, etc.
7. Knowledge of Automation, Monitoring, and other Tools
Indeed, automation is the primary aspect of the DevOps process. Whether it be the task of source code management or configuration & deployment or any other, all are required to be automated. Hence, you’re required to get yourself armed with various DevOps tools like Git, Docker, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, etc. Also, it is very crucial for the DevOps professional to collect the feedbacks and implement the changes at the earliest. A timely feedback process help to increase the efficiency of the overall workflow. There are various monitoring tools as well for the DevOps Engineers such as Nagios, Splunk, etc.
8. Cloud Providers and Services
How can we forget this? Yes, as most of the organizations use Cloud Services on their platforms hence it becomes necessary for DevOps professionals to learn about Cloud Services and Providers. As a DevOps Engineer, you’re required to understand cloud technology and its requirements & benefits concerning your organization. Meanwhile, you need to focus more on several topics such as Cloud Formation & Architecture, Cloud Service Models, Deployment Models, Virtualization and Cloud Computing, etc. There are various companies that offer cloud services such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and many more.
Apart from the above-mentioned technical skills, you’re required to work on several soft skills as well to become a DevOps Engineer. As a DevOps person, you have to act as a mediator and collaborate with various IT teams for effective functioning. And with the same concern, you need to work on various soft skills such as Communication, Time Management, Leadership, and many more. Meanwhile, having appropriate soft skills will not help you in managing the DevOps process, but will also give you an edge over other DevOps professionals (having the same set of technical skills) in various career opportunities.
As of now, you are aware of all the skills required to become a DevOps Engineer. Furthermore, let’s discuss several relevant DevOps certifications available in the market that can help you to kick off your career as a DevOps Engineer. There are various DevOps certifications like Docker Certified Associate, Azure DevOps Solution Certification, Puppet Professional Certification, and many more. DevOps Certifications not only enhance your knowledge but also validates your skills in a particular domain that is beneficial for advance career prospects.
So, this is a complete roadmap for everyone who is looking forward to making a career in DevOps. Although the journey to get into the field and become a DevOps Engineer is quite long but needless to say, it is totally worth it as there are a lot of ravishing career opportunities in the upcoming times!!