The number of companies investing in DevOps increased from 66% in 2015 to 74% in 2016. A large number of users are leveraging tools like Chef, Docker, and Puppet. As a result, the demand for qualified DevOps engineers is increasing steadily. Thus, now is the best time for you to acquire DevOps Engineer skills if you are eyeing a lucrative career in this domain.
DevOps Engineer Skills Companies Look For in a Candidate
Many firms are implementing DevOps practices. Thus, it seems like it will become more crucial for their competitors to install similar (or better) practices. This, in turn, would push the demand for DevOps professionals forward.
Corporations have a huge interest in DevOps, and it looks like the trend will remain the same in the foreseeable future. There is usually plenty of demand for jobs in the market, along with a drop in the average income. This makes an aspiring DevOps Engineer seek for a vast range of skills.
Let us look at some of the demanded DevOps Engineer skills.
- Linux fundamentals
- Scripting skills
- Source code management
- Configuration and version management
- Experience with testing tools like Selenium and deployment tools like Jenkin
- Tracking and assessing release performance (CI/CD pipelines)
- Learning proactive monitoring
- Knowledge of common cloud service providers: Azure, AWS, and GCP
By learning Linux fundamentals, you will get equipped with skills such as file handling, text processing, system administration, process management, and network.
However, learning Linux fundamentals only covers one aspect of system administration/engineering. You should additionally learn how to operate Linux servers, set up proactive monitoring for the infrastructure/software, and work with web servers/DNS servers. You should have knowledge of load balancers like Apache, Nginx, etc. and various networking concepts like IP gateways, TCP, IP, etc.
It is suggested to become an operations expert prior to you even thinking about DevOps. Hence, you must become an expert in system administration and operations, before you go for DevOps Engineer skills.
To know the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer, check out our blog on What does a DevOps Engineer do?
This is one of the most demanded DevOps Engineer skills. Being proficient in at least one scripting language, such as Shell, Python, etc, is required (however, it is recommended to have Python skills) as scripting languages help you work on automating builds and testing frameworks and applications. So, a basic understanding of programming would improve a DevOps Engineer’s productivity. If you don’t have a programming background, then you would probably end up doing more of ‘Ops’ than ‘DevOps’.
Python is rising as an all-purpose language. GitHub recently crowned Python as its second-most popular programming language. Stack Overflow named it as the invasively-growing major programming language. On top of all, it is also considered as the most popular language for Machine Learning.
What can Python do for DevOps? Python helps reduce the maintenance problems that occur during the monitoring and deployment phase in DevOps.
Source Code Management
Configuration management tools that have existed for a prolonged time are now popular. The tools used for source code management were Mercurial, SVN, and Git.
Getting a good hands-on experience in Git and Git-workflow and becoming proficient in source code management is very important for DevOps Engineers. Thus, you must learn this one of the most required DevOps Engineer skills. You also need to know how to resolve merge conflicts, revert to a particular commit, rebase a branch, etc.
Configuration and Version Management
The continuous integration tool, Jenkins existed for a prolonged time prior to DevOps growing so popular. This tool gave huge success to the operations team by allowing for a steady build with the help of its automation feature.
Hence, you must learn to automate the code building process and push the recent commit to a specific central repository. Basically, you have to know how Jenkins, the automation server, works. You must additionally know how to merge/combine build tools such as Maven with version control systems tools like Git and make them work. Thus, creating Continuous Integration pipelines is one of the most desired DevOps Engineer skills.
Experience with Testing and Deployment Tools
This is known as ‘automating the testing stage.’ You might experience that the code that perfectly runs in the Dev guy’s system results in error while executing in the Ops guy’s system. This is because there is a difference between the code development and code execution environment (this happens most of the time when the Ops guy has not installed the same software, libraries, and binaries as the Dev guy).
Hence, you must perceive how to make a copy of the development environment in the testing servers, and for this, you must have a good understanding of how tools like Chef, Puppet, etc. work. You can utilize Docker containers with the same intent of packing up an application with all the required components, like libraries and dependencies. Thus, Docker helps ship it all out as one package to the Ops guy.
You also need to learn how to integrate Jenkins with the automation testing tools like Selenium (which is known as Continuous Delivery). Hence, this skill is one of the most crucial DevOps Engineer skills.
Tracking and Assessing Release Performance (CI/CD Pipelines)
Unless you don’t hold a good knowledge of the operations side concepts such as SVN, Git, CI/CD tools like Jenkins, and Windows/Linux server administration, you would not know where the Continuous Monitoring (CM) tools fit in.
Various CM tools like SaltStack, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, etc. are those that caught the attention of DevOps into the market. These CM tools provide the capability to manage infrastructure as code (IaC).
Learning Proactive Monitoring
Continuous Monitoring tools tracklogs, recognize possible bottlenecks in the production system, upgrade system versions, and pave security patches if any. This is done by sending feedback to the developer side to execute the changes.
You must find out how to work with these monitoring tools, including Nagios, Splunk, etc.
Knowledge of Common Cloud Service Platforms
Along with the aforementioned tools, there arose a need to move to the cloud for smoother functioning of continuous monitoring. Learning about common cloud providers and their resources is vital for any DevOps Engineer. You have to learn about various cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, and GCP) and Cloud Computing skills that can deploy upgrades and fixes. Furthermore, you need to gain insights into how to integrate DevOps with cloud, which is, in fact, one of the most desirable technological combinations in the world today. Consider this as an extra skill to learn along with all the other DevOps Engineer skills.
After a lot of research, the above-listed skills are the key skills that companies look for in a DevOps Engineer. For the analysis details, check out our How to become a DevOps Engineer blog.
The list might look pretty lengthy and exhausting, but in reality, it is not. As you begin achieving expertise in the above-mentioned DevOps Engineer skills (such as various tools, frameworks, languages, etc.), you’ll be gradually gaining more knowledge on what is going on in the DevOps space. This knowledge will help you start your career as a DevOps Engineer, but you must not forget ‘no efforts, no results!’
Where to start with?
Now, if you are wondering where to start with, check out our well-structured online Cloud and DevOps Architect Master’s Program in Association with IBM, which will help you in creating industry-related projects based on AWS, Azure, DevOps, Python, Java, Splunk, Linux, and more. Since this certification adds value to your resume and also acts as a solid authentication of your skills during your DevOps Engineer interview, consider enrolling in our course today!
I hope you liked this blog and understood what the key DevOps Engineer skills are. For more such tech-related blogs and tutorials keep visiting us.
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