Cloud Engineer Vs DevOps Engineer: Overview, Similarities & Differences
Job roles in IT are constantly evolving thanks, in part, to the emergence of software and cloud computing.
Sometimes it is confusing for someone looking for a new job in the IT sector as hiring managers put up different job titles that lead to the same responsibilities.
Two roles come to mind: the Cloud Engineer and the DevOps engineer.
Want to learn more about these two roles, check out this video.
Although the two roles are different, they do share some common ground. A few tasks and responsibilities can be the same for both jobs.
So in this article, we will look into the key differences and similarities between both roles to help you determine which one is for you.
What is a DevOps Engineer?
Let’s start off with what a DevOps engineer does. The term DevOps in itself is a set of practices and processes that enables organizations to deliver applications at a high-speed rate.
These practices closely follow continuous delivery. This means any changes a developer makes to the application are easily tested and prepared for deployment to production.
So a DevOps engineer's responsibility is centered around building and automating the infrastructure so that the application gets to be tested, built, and finally deployed to production for end-users.
They basically create an efficient production line for software. Therefore, having an in-depth understanding of the software lifecycle is important.
DevOps engineers also improve collaboration between the development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. And they're also responsible for monitoring applications and parts of the company's infrastructure.
This is so that they can identify key points that can further improve how the software is delivered. Now I say help because it is not only the DevOps engineers that perform monitoring.
Developers and Operations also perform monitoring to some extent. It’s just that DevOps engineers often provide the tools and applications needed for them to perform these tasks.
As you can see, DevOps Engineers are involved in a lot of things in the organization. They have a very long list of responsibilities.
What is a Cloud Engineer?
A Cloud Engineer is someone who is knowledgeable in the technology and solutions a cloud platform has to offer. And is responsible for building the infrastructure in the cloud.
For example, an application might need access to servers, databases, cache, and networks.
A Cloud Engineer carefully conducts research in order to pick the best cloud-based solution to support the organization's requirements.
They are also responsible for selecting the right amount of resources. What is the right specification for the database? What type of server should we get? Is it the one with more CPU, RAM, or network bandwidth?
Cloud Engineers also provide the cost analysis of these solutions so the organization can carefully decide which is the most efficient while also maintaining top performance for a smooth end-user experience.
Once the cloud solution is selected, Cloud engineers will then do all the necessary setup and configuration and then provide information to the development team on how they can integrate it into the application.
They routinely assess and monitor the cloud infrastructure carefully to see if there are resources that are not being fully utilized to their maximum capacity (overprovisioned) or if there are resources that are simply not enough for application (underprovisioned)
So that they can make adjustments in order to maintain the cost-effectiveness of the infrastructure.
What’s the difference?
Cloud engineers focus primarily on managing the organization’s cloud infrastructure from choosing the right service solutions to managing costs. They also make sure that the infrastructure is able to scale properly and is secured.
DevOps engineers focus more on automating the process of developing and releasing software efficiently. From preparing the application for deployment to end-users to automating different internal processes within the organization.
How are they valued?
Cloud engineers are valued based on their knowledge and experience of their specific cloud platform. So one way of advancing your skill and credibility as a cloud engineer would be to obtain as many cloud certifications as possible.
DevOps Engineers are also valued based on proficiency with a vast amount of different tools and overall years of experience. The skill set for DevOps Engineers is much more extensive as they also deal with tools and technologies outside the cloud platform.
How are they similar?
DevOps engineers are similar to Cloud Engineers in certain ways.
Both can make use of cloud platforms and services. And both perform assessments on what particular cloud resources are ideal for the applications being developed and the organization.
DevOps Engineers utilize cloud platforms and their different solutions in order to help the organization develop and release software more efficiently.
Both are responsible for making sure that the infrastructure has the ability to scale effectively while at the same time managing the cost to help the organization.
Both types of engineers automate as many processes as they can.
Which one should you consider?
Many of the popular cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure provide all the needed training for you to become a cloud engineer. This training gets you familiar with all the services they offer and what they do.
They also have various levels of certifications you can get from beginner to expert levels which further add to your credibility.
DevOps Engineers require knowledge in more tools as they can often go beyond what the cloud services offer.
Their focus is on improving how software is developed, tested, and released. And there are many stages that an application goes through, from code development to the finished product.
Since DevOps needs to optimize all of these stages, they need to know what tools to use at each step. And this requires skills in many more areas.
And this brings us to salary.
Given that DevOps engineer requires skills and proficiency in more tools and technologies, this is the reason why they are in demand and paid more.
DevOps Engineers have an average salary of about $100,000 US Dollars per year.
Cloud Engineers on the other hand earn, on average $91,000.00 US Dollars per year.
However, there are also many considerations like years of experience and expertise that can further lower this gap.
Nevertheless, being a cloud engineer is a much easier approach. Whether you are just starting out or shifting your career from another industry to IT. The path for cloud engineers is much more linear and easier to follow.
Given the similarities and differences between these two roles, one thing is clear.
DevOps and cloud engineers both provide vast amounts of value to any organization they work for.
And if you’d like to get started on your journey to be a DevOps or Cloud Engineer look no further.
KodeKloud has everything you need to get you started right away.
For DevOps, I highly recommend that you follow the DevOps learning path by clicking here.
It contains courses that will get you through the basics of DevOps, such as beginner courses for Linux, GIT, and many more.
Once you have the basics covered, this learning path leads you up to the advanced courses as well. These equip you with the skills on popular tools and technologies that are essential for any DevOps engineer.
It's also a good idea to boost your credibility by obtaining certifications.
KodeKloud has all the resources you need that can help you get certified in all the technologies that matter today.
Like the course that can help you prepare for the Docker Certified Associate exam here.
You can also level up your programming skills by getting certified in Python. KodeKloud has courses that can help you pass both the Certified Python Entry-Level Programmer and the Certified Associate in Python Programming exams.
Want to master Kubernetes? We have the perfect trio of courses:
The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD),
The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
And the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
If you’re interested in being a Cloud Engineer, you can check out these beginner courses
for two of the most popular cloud platforms to date: AWS and Microsoft Azure
And there you have it.
Now that we understand what each role does, I’m curious to hear which one you prefer.
Are you planning on being a DevOps or Cloud Engineer? Or Are you currently a DevOps Engineer or a Cloud Engineer?