Top Skills Needed to Become a DevOps Engineer in 2020

Why become a DevOps Engineer?

Businesses across the globe and in all market sectors are increasingly implementing DevOps practices to optimize daily systems administration and software development tasks.

A recent “State of the Cloud” survey showed that almost every organization is using cloud at some level, with both public and private cloud adoption growing. Enterprise IT teams are taking a stronger role in cloud adoption, creating central cloud teams and Centers of Excellence.

As the use of the cloud increases, so does the use of DevOps and the global DevOps market is projected to grow at an annual rate of at least 25% over the next 5 years.

As a result, businesses need to hire IT professionals that can effectively apply DevOps techniques to reduce delivery time and improve quality in the development of new software products.

This means DevOps Engineers are currently in high demand and attract good salaries, with an average salary of $133,000 in the US according to the latest analysis by Glassdoor.

And the demand for DevOps Engineer skills is set to continue, and the number of jobs mentioning DevOps has grown by 1485% in the last four years according to job board

What DevOps Skills Are In Demand?

This growth in DevOps is driving further adoption of container and configuration tools. Enterprise use of containers such as Docker and Kubernetes is growing rapidly.

In particular, the use of Kubernetes has skyrocketed and it is becoming ubiquitous across enterprises and larger companies.

Many users are also adopting container-as-a-service offerings from Amazon AWS, Azure, and Google. AWS still leads in public cloud adoption but Azure continues to grow quickly and is gaining ground, especially with enterprise customers.

Google maintains the third position, with VMware Cloud on AWS moving into fourth position ahead of IBM. Adoption of Oracle Cloud is still small, but is growing well.

Summary of the Top DevOps Skills

Below is an summary overview list of the top DevOps skills that are currently in demand:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Container Technologies
  • Development Operations (DevOps)
  • Linux System Administration
  • Automation Scripting
  • Kubernetes
  • Docker
  • Ansible
  • Jenkins Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Python

DevOps engineers should also be familiar with Agile, Scrum, Lean, and ITSM principles and how DevOps relates to Lean and Agile methodologies.

DevOps engineers should be able to explain the concepts of test automation, infrastructure automation, and build and deployment automation.

Top Technical Skills for DevOps Engineers

Top technical skills for DevOps engineers that are in demand are as follows:

  • Code collaboration and version control using tools such as Git, Bitbucket, Artifactory and CMake.
  • Container and machine deployment, using tools such as Docker and Kubernetes.
  • Configuration management and deployment automation using tools such as AWSCodeDeploy, CircleCi, Drone, Ansible, Puppet, and Chef.
  • Cloud technologies such as Amazon AWS, Microsft Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • Web server, reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy and HTTP caching using NGINX.
  • Infrastructure-as-Code (IAC) methods and best practices using tools such as Packer, Terraform, and CloudFormation.
  • Planning, tracking, and managing of Agile software development projects using tools such as JIRA.
  • Linux system administration
  • Scripting languages such as Perl, Python, C/C++
  • Knowledge of network, server, database and container architecture
  • Knowledge of network, server, database and application-status monitoring

Skills That Help to Increase DevOps Engineer Salaries

Different skills can affect your salary. A recent survey of DevOps jobs showed that having the following skills will lead to pay that is above average:

  • Development Operations (DevOps)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Linux System Administration
  • Python

Skills that pay less than market rate include Automation Scripting.

Top Soft Skills for a DevOps Engineer

  • Good communicator
  • Organized
  • Self-motivated
  • Analytical and logical
  • Problem-solver
  • Results-driven

What do DevOps Engineers Do?

Development Operations (DevOps) Engineers typically work full-time in a company’s headquarters and are responsible for the production and ongoing maintenance of a website platform.

DevOps engineers manage cloud infrastructure and perform system administration and work with other teams to identify and repair issues on an as-needed basis, so strong communication skills are important in this position.

They are generally expected to work well under pressure with tight deadlines for certain tasks, so need to be self-motivated, organized and proactive.

DevOps Engineers work in teams to develop the environment and processes necessary to enable Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) of multiple software product releases supporting multiple customers.

DevOps Engineers have to collaborate across Engineering, Information Technology, and Quality Assurance teams to implement the tools and processes needed to accelerate innovation for the organization.

DevOps Engineers may work with junior and senior engineers, project managers, and executives, as well as administrative assistants, executive assistants, and a receptionist.

Hours can be flexible, though DevOps Engineers typically work during regular weekly business hours, and they are not usually responsible for customer/client interaction or supervising junior employees.

Key Tasks for A DevOps Engineer

Typically, a DevOps Engineer will be involved in the following activities:

  • Set up Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipelines
  • Build, deploy and orchestrate application containers
  • Automate system configuration
  • Build system images and run them locally and in the cloud
  • Monitor applications and computing instances
  • Manage, collect and analyze log data
  • Use Source Code Management and Version Control
  • Research new technologies that will improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Implement highly scalable applications.
  • Integrate infrastructure builds with application deployment processes.
  • Analyze, design and evaluate automation scripts and systems.

Top Job Titles for DevOps Engineers

When looking for DevOps jobs, try these as search criteria:

  • DevOps Engineer
  • DevOps Infrastructure Engineer
  • Cloud DevOps Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Kubernetes DevOps Engineer
  • AWS DevOps Engineer
  • DevOps Consultant
  • Release Manager
  • Automation Engineer

How To Become a DevOps Engineer

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is generally required to work in DevOps, and many employers prefer those who have a master’s degree and at least three to five years of work experience in a related field.

When trying to break into DevOps it would be very helpful if you have some previous working experience in IT or a related field, particularly if you are able to show that you have worked with any of the following: CSS, HTTP, SSL, HTML, XML, Java, Linux, TCP/IP networks, cloud technologies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), DNS, SQL, any programming or scripting languages, and web app development.

To become a DevOps Engineer, you may start your career as a Software Engineer/Developer, System Administrator, Automation Test Engineer, or Operations Manager and then progress to become a Release Manager, Test Engineer, Automation Expert, and finally a full-fledged DevOps Engineer.

Anybody working in IT Operations or Development/Engineering teams could also opt for a career in DevOps.

DevOps Training & Certification

DevOps training and certification shows potential employers that you have a strong foundation and have acquired the skills needed to work successfully in DevOps – and advance further in your career.

It also shows your commitment to ongoing learning, self-development and improvement, and these are all essential qualities for anyone wishing to work in DevOps due to the rapid changes and ongoing advances in technology, tools and processes.

There are a number of DevOps training courses available that lead to DevOps certification, from basic DevOps concepts and principles to advanced DevOps skills training on how to use the specific applications and tools most commonly used to implement DevOps.

Who Would Benefit From DevOps Training & Certification

DevOps training and certification will show that you have a good understanding of DevOps concepts and methodologies, how cloud services and containers work, and a knowledge of the tools that can be used to support DevOps.

Before starting a DevOps training course, ideally you should have some previous experience in software applications and/or administering IT systems.

People working in the following roles will benefit most from DevOps training courses and certification:

  • IT Team Leaders
  • Software Developers
  • Systems Administrators and IT Managers
  • Cloud Engineers
  • Developers
  • Test Engineers
  • Operations Engineers

An Example DevOps Training Course Syllabus

Lesson 02 – Introduction to DevOps Concepts
Lesson 03 – Version Control Systems
Lesson 04 – Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, and Build Tools
Lesson 05 – Software and Automation Testing Frameworks
Lesson 06 – Configuration Management Tools
Lesson 07 – Containerization with Docker
Lesson 08 – Continuous Monitoring
Lesson 09 – Cloud Computing in DevOps
Lesson 10 – Hands-on Labs and Practice

What is the Average DevOps Engineer Salary?

DevOps Engineer Pay By Experience

An early-career DevOps Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total pay of $111,829.

A mid-career DevOps Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total pay of $116,288.

An experienced DevOps Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total pay of $121,483.

In their late career with over 20 years of experience, DevOps engineers earn an average total compensation of $126,835.

DevOps Engineer Pay By Location

Employees with DevOps Engineer in their job title in San Francisco, California earn an average of 24.2% more than the national average.

DevOps Engineers also find higher than average salaries in Seattle, Washington (8.0% more) and Boston, Massachusetts (6.3% more).

The lowest salaries can be found in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (21.2% less) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (9.2% less).