DevOps Roles in the IT Industry
What is a DevOps?
Think of DevOps teams as the makers and the caretakers working together. DevOps roles cover a broad range of IT jobs that are responsible for the continuous delivery of user-focused IT systems and products.
Skills a DevOps team member needs
Here are the four key skills we think DevOps need to be great at their job:
- Team work: DevOps teams are increasingly working more collaboratively so methodologies such as Agile and SCRUM experience and the ability to work and both independently and cooperatively in teams is vital to their success.
- Strong technical ability: Good DevOps will have broad experience with a range of operating systems (eg Java, Linux, .NET) and automation tools (eg Chef, Puppet)
- Fast learner: Working in a fast-paced environment means DevOps must constantly look for improved ways of working and rapidly adapt to new tools and work processes.
- Highly organised: Attention to detail is important in DevOps roles so strong written and spoken communication skills are a must.
DevOps Roles & Responsibilities
DevOps Software Engineer / Solutions Architects
Solutions Architects plan new IT systems and products, and design team processes and technology solutions to support their implementation.
- Understand and analyse business IT needs
- Identify and evaluate new or improved IT solutions
- Assess costs and capabilities of IT systems and products
- Design, build, implement and manage the infrastructure and processes to support new IT solutions
DevOps Programmers and Software Developers
Programmers and Software Developers are responsible for the continuous delivery of new and improved IT solutions.
- Design and write code using a range of applications and software platforms
- Test, deploy, and maintain quality IT systems or products using automated processes
- Write and keep up-to-date documentation
- Support team workflows and administration
DevOps Manager and Network or System Engineers
A System Engineer is responsible for the processes and platforms that support the team’s day-to-day development and operation role.
- Identify, implement and manage business processes, tools, and systems to enable the continual testing and deployment of IT improvements.
- Monitor and maximise the use of new and existing technologies that automate or simplify work flows and benefit the overall business
- Monitor system support requirements and areas for improvement
DevOps Network or System Administrators / DBAs
Network Adminstrators are responsible for the ongoing performance and security of the operating system or product.
- Manage IT infrastructure
- Monitor and maintain systems and databases
- Manage security policies and procedures
- Monitor and maintain development and/or website environments
The Day to Day Work of a DevOps team member
DevOps roles work together to make a business more lean, agile and optimised. As a highly collaborative approach to creating new or improved IT solutions, regular one-on-one check-ins and team meetings throughout the day are vital to the success of DevOps teams. Regular updating of project management platforms is also a shared team responsibility.
Once a business problem or improvement is identified, it’s the Solutions Architect’s role to design a work plan to address it. Working closely with the System Engineer, they also support the day-to-day work of the other DevOps roles by providing the framework and tools to get the job done.
Within this environment, DevOps Programmers and Developers work hard to build the best IT solution possible, as quickly as possible. They’re at the DevOps coal face, and often test, deploy, and assess the success of new improvements on a daily basis.
During the release phase the Network Administrators keep a close watch over the stability and security of the IT upgrades and improvements, and overall system or product.
Their feedback, and that of the wider DevOps team, will loop back into the process – allowing for continuous and rapid improvement and an ultimately more successful business result.
DevOps Courses and Qualifications
There are many ways to get into DevOps jobs, from certificate courses with well-known companies such as Microsoft or Oracle, to IT or Computer Science Degrees with a tertiary provider. The New Zealand industry training body futureintech has mapped out some of these pathways to a career in IT.
With technology constantly-evolving, it’s also important to keep up with industry trends for DevOps jobs, and organisations such as the Institute of IT Professionals offer a range of workshops and short courses.
The DevOps roles and level of responsibilities vary widely, and as a result so do the salary expectations.
For example, on average Systems Administrators earn an median salary of $70,000 per year, while on average Software Developers can earn between $70-90,000 depending on their level of experience. In more senior DevOps roles salaries are higher, such as a DevOps Manager or System Engineer who can earn around $95-150,000, or Solutions Architects at $108-148,000 per year.
Job security for all DevOps jobs is good, with strong demand for qualified and experienced IT professionals in New Zealand and around the world.