According to a 2021 Glassdoor list of top jobs in the United States, DevOps engineer ranks as fifth— a similar ranking for the UK places it 16th. It's not surprising given the increasing demand for individuals with the right DevOps skills to fill these roles.
DevOps allows organizations to stay ahead of the pack through rapid development, better collaboration, faster innovation, and an increase in overall productivity. DevOps adoption continues in several companies as a way to improve the development and operations process.
In light of these benefits, DevOps has become the standard for many leading enterprises.
Likewise, small and medium-scale enterprises are also taking steps to embrace DevOps.
All they need are DevOps engineers with the right skill set!
This article shines a light on the top DevOps skills in demand today and why you need them now more than ever before.
What Is DevOps?
DevOps is a set of practices that integrates development and operations with tools that increase an organization's ability to deliver applications faster. In essence, DevOps aims to shorten the software development life cycle and ensure continuous delivery of quality.
According to the Globe Newswire report, 60% of developers deliver applications 2x faster than ever before due to DevOps. In other ways, the growing popularity of remote work over the past year is pushing companies to accept and embrace the need for a DevOps approach and solution.
Why Are DevOps Skills Needed?
DevOps has grown to a staggering market size of $4 billion according to the Globe Newswire. As a result, the demand for DevOps engineers with relevant skills to help organizations rapidly deliver applications is high.
In addition to that, here are a few reasons why DevOps skills are in high demand at moment:
- Faster deployment: DevOps improves the way software is delivered. It does this by bringing the development and operations teams together to deliver high-quality software as fast as possible.
- Lower cost: DevOps helps organizations lower IT costs through automation, third-party apps and packages, and infrastructure & resource optimization.
- Security: The increase in DevOps adoption also fosters the interest of organizations to ensure the security of their DevOps process. DevOps security— sometimes termed DevSecOps— refers to the strategies, policies, standardized processes, and technologies that protect every aspect of the DevOps system.
- Communication and collaboration: The simple truth is, communication and collaboration play a significant role in the success of every organization’s DevOps approach. They are especially crucial to minimizing silos and bridging the gap between the development and operations teams. Improving it helps align teams' goals with business objectives and foster an all-inclusive DevOps culture.
- DevOps tools: With a myriad of tools available for use at each stage of the DevOps process, organizations seek to hire people with the right DevOps skills that match their toolchains. Are you learning to be an Azure or AWS DevOps engineer? There’s always a demand for people with an understanding of these tools.
Top DevOps Skills In Demand
Here is a list of the most sought-after DevOps skills at the moment:
We live in an era of cloud computing that allows us to set up a data center-like infrastructure as quickly as possible. Needless to say, Linux plays a vital role in this.
Nowadays, several companies prefer to host their applications on Linux rather than other proprietary software. As a result, having the skills to handle and script—preferably Python—on a Linux operating system is extremely essential for a DevOps engineer.
To add to this, many configuration management tools like Chef, Ansible, and Puppet run on Linux systems.
Essentially, networking is at the core of DevOps. Beyond SSH and Ping, it’ll be very beneficial for you to know how to troubleshoot network issues or have a deeper understanding of protocols and network flows.
Scripting and Coding
These languages are suitable for automation processes. Python is the scripting language of choice for several companies. Despite the abundance of no-code tools available today, good programming skills remain vital in tackling the slightest error that may occur.
Organizations will also need your coding skills to help write manual codes or replace manual processes. Developers with these will always be in high demand.
Cloud and DevOps go hand in hand. Several DevOps roles are based entirely on the cloud. For this reason, it’s crucial for you to have a basic understanding of at least one cloud provider.
For example, if you are an Azure DevOps engineer, you’ll need to possess extensive knowledge of Microsoft Azure tools and best practices. It’s the same with other cloud provider roles relating to AWS and GCP.
Git is the de facto standard for software version control. It is also quickly becoming the standard for IT operations management through GitOps, and is an emerging standard for headless CMS solutions that manage content and configuration of content-rich software applications such as websites, mobile apps, portals, and other digital experiences.
Kubernetes and Docker
Kubernetes and Docker are the top containerization and orchestration providers. Containerization is the virtualization of an operating system to allow different containers to run separate applications while sharing the system resources and operating system. Orchestration automates the workflow needed to deliver resources as a service.
In a Statista survey, one-third of organizations admit to using Kubernetes in production, and/or for development and testing. As many organizations move away from traditional deployment approaches, demand for Kubernetes and Docker has been on the rise. Because of this, having a basic knowledge of Kubernetes or Docker architecture and maintenance can be extremely valuable.
As a DevOps engineer, you should know how to automate the entire DevOps pipeline like CI/CD, monitor performance, manage infrastructure and configurations, and more.
To succeed in this role, you’ll need a solid grasp of the continuous delivery process, its tools, and best practices. Similarly, understanding the process of automating the code integrations on tools like Jenkins and Bamboo will be essential.
The more frequent your deployments are, the higher the possibility of errors or risks. In light of these, leaving security till the end or as a separate process on its own won’t cut it. DevSecOps helps to bridge this gap by integrating security all through the entire DevOps pipeline.
DevOps engineers should have the skills to secure and protect the application and process from unwanted attacks. Picking up a skill in DevSecOps can only be an added advantage to you.
Soft (Non-technical) Skills
Since DevOps is a culture, communication and collaboration play a great role in its success. Any DevOps engineer should have the technical skills as well as soft skills for the role.
In addition to this, there's high demand for better collaboration considering the high popularity of remote work in recent years.
The DevOps culture promotes effective communication, trust, and understanding of the process. When communication improves, collaboration is better, and developers can deliver applications faster with fewer errors and higher code quality.
Content Operations and Management
Many software applications these days -- especially web apps, websites, and mobile apps -- incorporate managed content into the end user experience. This content is usually managed with a CMS by a content team. Content operations involve the processes, people, and technologies to quickly create and deliver content across all channels. To excel in this, you have to strategically plan, produce, distribute, manage, and analyze content.
Aside from this, the emerging field of DevContentOps will help organizations improve communication and collaboration among content teams, software developers, and IT operations. As organizations look to improve their content delivery process, learning about the tools and processes in delivering better and faster content can greatly propel your career in DevOps.
Set Yourself up for a Career in DevOps
If you’re new to DevOps, you’re probably wondering where you fit in and what DevOps skills you need. First, understand that DevOps is more a culture than technology. For you to succeed in this, ensure to embrace change, be agile in your operations, and master the technical and soft skills needed to deliver high-quality products as fast as possible.
The list of DevOp skills is a sure way to start your journey on becoming a DevOps engineer and building a successful career in the field.