DevOps is the new normal for IT organizations all around the world. According to Forbes, the market size of DevOps is expected to grow to US$ 12.85 billion in 2025, as compared to US$ 8.8 billion in 2013. Even organizations such as Netflix, Amazon, Adobe, Target, NASA, etc. credit DevOps as the reason behind their success.
Now, if we come to the DevOps Architect salary statistics, as per LinkedIn, a professional in India earns around ₹18 LPA and around US$132k PA in the United States. If you want to hop on to this trendy career, we are here to help you understand all the necessary aspects to become a successful DevOps professional. Let’s first go through the topics we are going to cover in this blog, and then, we will go through each one of them in detail:
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Who is a DevOps Architect?
To answer this question, we are going to take an example:
Let’s say an organization, Intellipaat, wants to expand its services by launching a mobile app. How will it go about it? Let’s see:
As Intellipaat already provides services through its website, it will have teams in development, operations, QA, security, admin, etc. already set up. Now, for this mobile app release, it can utilize the waterfall method.
But when Intellipaat launched this service, it realized that during the procedure, there were some issues in the waterfall method. Let’s see what those issues were:
- Time: Launching an app or website on this scale was not an easy task. With the waterfall method, it got a lot more complex since in this model, all the features were developed at once, and then the application was released. This made the waiting time for the first release of the application increase substantially. Moreover, only after complete development, the code was tested. As a result, it took even more time.
- Lack of collaboration: The development team, the operations team, and the QA team had to work in a siloed manner. This resulted in a lot of back and forth between the teams.
So, what can Intellipaat do to avoid this?
To solve these issues, it can adapt the DevOps or the Agile methodology. In the Agile methodology, all the features are not developed at once. In the first release, major features are made available for the users, which makes the application work. In the successive releases, all the other requirements are developed and patched up with the first version, which results in the rapid release of the versions. The latest versions will include new features based on the feedback from end-users.
DevOps is almost an extension of Agile. DevOps, basically, integrates the processes of development and operations. It automates the development and testing processes, which reduces the burden on developers and testers. Continuous monitoring of the release helps collect the data on errors or feedback from users, which can be analyzed by DevOps Architects and developers so that they can be fixed on a real-time basis. So, basically, DevOps is an efficient use of tools and frameworks so that all the major processes are automated and integrated.
As you can see, DevOps is slightly better than Agile, especially when an organization wants to deliver large-scale services.
So, Intellipaat decides to employ DevOps in the development process, and for this transition, it hires a certified DevOps Architect. Let’s say, her name is Alexa. Now, you may think, what exactly Alexa does. How will she help the company through this transition? Let’s see that further:
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First, Alexa will communicate with all the teams and will make sure that all are on the same page. She will ensure that the Dev team and Ops team are not working in a siloed manner. With proper knowledge of tools and environments, she can integrate the processes performed by the Dev team and the Ops team. This, in turn, will increase the efficiency of the development pipeline.
Next, she will automate the development pipeline, i.e., the continuous development, testing, and deployment of the code, ensuring the delivery of the product on time. She will work with different teams for the environment and framework set up so that the integration of all the stages remains intact. This way, she will reduce development time as compared to the time taken during the previous release that used the methods.
So, you can see how she can come in handy and help the company through this transition. She will also make sure that all future releases are done in an effective manner.
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From the above scenario, the answer to the question, ‘Who is a DevOps Architect?’ is clear. Let’s move ahead and understand why there is a need for an Architect in the first place.
Why DevOps Architect?
Let’s continue with the same example as above and try to answer our question here, Why DevOps?
Until now, you might have gained some idea why Intellipaat needed a DevOps Architect. Time and lack of collaboration were two key issues that were resolved. Still, some issues needed to be addressed. Let’s see what.
- Efficiency: So far, you saw that Intellipaat is already a well-set organization. As a result, there are higher expectations from them. So for better customer feedback, they have to increase the efficiency of the development process.
- Technology: To collaborate with teams and solve any issues, someone has to know the working of tools and frameworks and standardize them to use at different stages of the pipeline. Effective use of these tools and frameworks will enable swift integration among teams.
- Automation: To launch multiple services on set time intervals with maximum efficiency, key processes such as testing and deployment need to be automated. That will reduce the burden on developers, and the development speed will remain rapid constantly from development to deployment of services.
- Integration: Different processes at different stages should be integrated or made easier so that the unnecessary workload on development and operations teams reduces. It helps create a product development pipeline at maximum efficiency.
Alexa made sure that Intellipaat went through a swift transition and such issues did not disrupt the pipeline.
Hence, a DevOps Architect comes in as an aid for companies where the development pipeline involves many processes. To keep the pipeline automated and the processes integrated without any errors, the companies need an Architect. Hence these are the reasons, there is always a high demand for DevOps Architect jobs around the world.
Now, let’s have a deep dive into the roles of an Architect, and all the other responsibilities that come with the role.
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DevOps Architect Roles And Responsibilities
So far, we saw how a certified DevOps Architect oversees the development pipeline. But, what is their role in an organization? In the following section, we will learn about some key roles and responsibilities in detail:
- Aid and abet: Whenever a problem arises in any team, the DevOps Architect has to lend a helping hand and ensure that the problem is resolved. The professional should be in constant touch with the teams and be easily approachable at any time.
- Monitoring: DevOps Architects need to continuously monitor the technical operations at the different stages of SDLC. They have to oversee the development cycle, review the errors, and resolve them on a real-time basis. They also must analyze the logs from the monitoring tool to plan things accordingly.
- Integration: It is one of the most important responsibilities of an Architect. The professional should integrate all processes, such as building, testing, deploying, and monitoring, into a continuous stream so that the development is rapid and synchronous.
- Automation: The professional needs to make sure that the entire pipeline is automated and running seamlessly. All the processes involved in SDLC, such as continuous development, continuous testing, continuous deployment, and continuous monitoring, should be automated, requiring minimal human intervention.
- Designing: DevOps Architects must design the entire plan for integration and automation. They have to collaborate with teams accordingly to design the DevOps architecture.
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DevOps Architect Skills Required
This section discusses the skills of a DevOps Architect that organizations look for when hiring one.
- Communication: To collaborate with different teams, they are expected to have excellent communication skills. They have to constantly engage with different departments to ensure that they are thoroughly integrated.
- Leadership: DevOps Architects have to make sure that the staff from both development and operations teams are working together efficiently and solve the issues between them if any. The professionals have to lead the teams with a long-term vision of delivering a quality product.
- Problem-solving: Sudden unexpected errors, testing errors, and any such errors are to be solved by Architects. Therefore, they should have exemplary problem-solving skills.
- Knowledge of DevOps tools: DevOps Architects should know the functioning of all DevOps tools and platforms, depending on the needs of their company. Each of these tools is used at some stage in the development cycle. Whenever there is an issue at some stage, the professionals should know which tool has to be used to resolve it to ensure the rapid pace of the development pipeline. The different tools used at various stages are mentioned below.
- Planning: Simulink, IBM Rational, or Microsoft Office
- Source code control systems: SVN, Git, GitHub, or GitLab.
- CI/CD tools: Jenkins, Puppet, and Ansel
- Containers: Docker and Kubernetes
- Monitoring: Nagios, SignalFx, AppDynamics, or Splunk Cloud
- Testing: Maven, Chromium WebDriver, or Selenium
Experience on cloud platforms: Many notable organizations have shifted to cloud services to host applications and store their data. Currently, there are a few cloud service providers that are utilized by different companies. So, a DevOps Architect should have a decent experience on any one of the popular cloud platforms, such as Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud Platform. DevOps Architects who are certified on any of these cloud services gain more knowledge of the DevOps process.
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To summarize, organizations usually hire professionals with at least 3–5 years of experience in the above skill set to either manage their existing DevOps environment or to set up a new one from scratch. The experience validates their expertise in the skills mentioned in their resume. Now, we will move on to learning about the path for becoming a DevOps Architect
Steps to Become a DevOps Architect
First of all, it has to be bluntly said that there is no fixed path for becoming a DevOps Architect!
Let me save your time and explain to you how a general job description for a DevOps Architect may look like.
In the majority of job openings for these Architects, you will notice that the majority of organizations require the candidates to have at least 3–5 years of experience in the DevOps or Agile cycle. It means that you should have expertise in the entire CI/CD, DevOps tools, cloud services, various programming languages utilized in CI/CD processes, excellent communication skills, and strong analytical skills.
You may be able to learn about these in theory, but you should have practical experience working on the tools as well before entering the field. A basic training program in DevOps engineering will help you with this. Then, you need to move on to DevOps Architect concepts and also gain decent experience in the product development life cycle in organizations.
More than anything else, experience in DevOps cycles or the Agile methodology stands out to employers if they are looking for candidates who set up a DevOps cycle or manage the existing one.
So far, this blog has taken you through every necessary aspect that you should know when you are stuck with the question: How to become a DevOps Architect?
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From what we have discussed so far, we can conclude that DevOps is a pretty large transformation that companies go through, and DevOps Architect is a role that can help them with this process. They embed an effective approach to the product development life cycle, reduce the pressure on different teams, and make sure that the development pipeline is efficient.
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